Planning a trip to Cartagena and want to include some time to enjoy the Cartagena nighlife?
You won’t be disappointed with the Cartagena, Colombia nightlife. There are some great night clubs in Cartagena as well as some more low key and relaxed bars.
Whether you want to get down to house music, dance the night away to salsa, rumbear to the local champeta sound, enjoy great views at a rooftop, enjoy fancy craft cocktails, or just chill and enjoy a few beers, there’s something for everyone among the best clubs and best bars in Cartagena.
Here I’ll be sharing some tips for enjoying the best Cartagena nightlife as well as some suggestions for the best bars in Cartagena as well as the best Cartagena clubs in this complete guide to the nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia.
So read on to know just where to party in Cartagena!
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Cartagena, Colombia Nightlife Guide – Contents
- General Quick Tips for Enjoying the Cartagena Nightlife
- Best Bars in Cartagena to Go for Drinks
- Best Clubs in Cartagnea to Go Out Dancing
- What to Wear to Enjoy the Nightlife in Cartagena
Nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia – Introduction
As Colombia’s most popular and well known destination, it should be no surprise that the Cartagena, Colombia nightlife is great!
As an international destination, there’s not only plenty of options for enjoying the nightlife in Cartagena but a variety of different atmospheres, ranging from relaxed Cartagena bars to bumping Cartagena nightclubs with packed dance floors.
In this post I’m going to share some of my tips for enjoying the Cartagena nightlife after spending a decade living there.
Then, I’ll share my suggestions for the best bars in Cartagena. These are the places I would recommend for going out and having some relaxed drinks and/or pregaming.
Following that, I’ll share some suggestions for the best clubs in Cartagena for going out dancing.
Finally, I’ll share some ideas for what to wear out to Cartagena clubs and the nicer bars. Colombians definitely dress to impress, so you won’t want to skip that section!
By the way, if you landed here, you might also be interested in checking out the boat party spot of Cholón. Read all about it here, book a private boat, or book a shared boat tour there. You might also be interested in a sunset cruise with open bar (a great way to start a night out), a nightlife and barhopping tour, or a private rum tasting.
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Got your Cartagena hotel reservations yet? If not, be sure to check out our guide to the best areas to stay or see the best luxury hotels, best beach hotels, best boutique hotels, or best hostels.
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Cartagena, Colombia Nightlife Tips
So, first off, some quick tips for enjoying the Cartagena, Colombia nightlife.
The first tip I’d give is to know going out in Cartagena can be pricey. I’ve made a point to include some more moderately priced places on this list, but especially at the nightclubs in Cartagena, you should expect to pay a premium.
It’s still probably relatively cheap compared to going out to the best clubs in a major city in the US, but you can certainly run up a high tab out partying at the best clubs in Cartagena.
For what it’s worth, it’s usually a better deal buying bottles, especially of rum or aguardiente, which usually include a few mixers or chasers thrown in, so if you’re in a group consider doing a bottle rather than ordering individual drinks at the clubs of Cartagena.
Due to the prices, I’d recommend doing some pregaming, maybe at one of the places on the list of best bars in Cartagena.
This works well, because the party tends to get started late in Cartagena.
If you plan on going out dancing at a club, I wouldn’t recommend heading there until at least 10. Around that time should make sure you won’t be one of the first people hanging out on an empty dance floor but still get a good spot and not have huge lines either.
For the most popular clubs in Cartagena, you should still expect a line.
Unfortunately, you should also expect to pay a cover. In some places, this cover is consumable (you can use it towards drinks), but that’s become less common, and some places that don’t even have a band charge it.
Supply and demand I guess.
There are still some Cartagena nightclubs that don’t charge a cover, especially if it’s not crowded, but the popular places do. The best Cartagena bars below generally don’t charge covers.
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Cartagena Nightlife Safety Tips
Finally, a few safety tips.
First, be aware that there are bad actors.
If you have never heard of scopolamine, google it, it’s seriously scary. It is extremely, extremely uncommon in Cartagena, but not unheard of either.
Be careful leaving your drink unattended or accepting drinks from strangers.
Both women and men can be targets for this, and many times it’s a member of the opposite sex pretending to be interested that slips you the drug. Therefore, you should be especially weary if you are out enjoying the Cartagena nightlife solo.
All that being said, you shouldn’t be shy about meeting and dating a Colombian woman or man, and going out dancing is great fun for a date, even if you might be put to shame by their moves (well, that’s my case anyway) just be aware there are a small minority of people looking to take advantage of you.
I would also be careful about wondering around solo late at night, especially after being out drinking.
You’re best off getting a taxi. If you are in a group and staying close by you are probably ok walking, but the better safe than sorry mantra applies here.
I want to be clear, Cartagena is very safe!
Like anywhere it has petty crime and has some scams that target tourists. See my Cartagena safety tips here to help avoid them.
Oh, and I’d also be sure to try to keep a mental tab. It isn’t unheard of for some places to “accidentally” tack on some drinks. Make sure you see a menu and know the prices before ordering, try to keep track, and expect a 10% tip to be included in your tab.
Where to Enjoy the Nightlife in Cartagena
Ok, with those tips out of the way, lets get to this list of the best places to party in Cartagena!
This was honestly a bit tough to put together.
So many good places have closed due to the pandemic. My favorite place to go out dancing, Bazurto Social Club is now closed, as is my favorite place to have a beer, the Bogotá Beer Company. Other places like Fragma and Babar have also closed.
A lot of Cartagena nightlife guides you’ll find online will still have these places listed. I’ve double checked that all of these places are still open (at least for the time being but things are, unfortunately, always subject to change).
All of the bars, I have actually been to.
I haven’t been to all the nightclubs.
Between closures, me never being all that much of a fan of the club or a very good dancer, and the pandemic I haven’t made it to some of the places that have become more popular recently.
However, I did do some Google research and asking around and came up with the recommendations below.
Below are my picks for the best places to enjoy the Cartagena nightlife.
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Part 1: 11 Best Bars in Cartagena
First, I’m going to cover the best Cartagena bars.
These are the type of places that are good to go and have a few drinks. Some are a bit more laid back places to just hang with friends.
I’ve also included a few places that are sort of crossovers with clubs and may have DJs and house music but are still more of a sitting and hanging out atmosphere than the dancing you’ll find at the clubs on the other list below.
These are top 11s because, well, everyone does top 10s, 11 has a special significance for Cartagena since it declared its independence on November 11, 1811 (11/11/11), and I think you deserve just a bit more value.
Don’t think of this or the list of clubs below as a ranking necessarily. Everybody likes different things so try whatever sounds like the funnest place to enjoy the Cartagena nightlife for your tastes.
1. Café del Mar – Iconic Spot Atop the Wall
You’ll likely see Café del Mar at or near the top of just about every list of best bars in Cartagena. It deservedly is one of the most popular places as it has a unique and privileged location.
It sits atop the city wall itself with a gorgeous view out over the Caribbean.
In fact, it is also a top choice on my list of where to have sunset drinks (as are a couple other places below on this list).
It’s a good place for drinks later in the evening too and they have a wide selection of all the classic cocktails.
It is a bit on the pricey side, and you won’t find any unique craft cocktails here. I’m also not crazy about the music they tend to play, which is often a sort of techno-house that feels out of step with the location, but that location is pretty awesome.
You really can’t come to Cartagena and not enjoy a drink here!
2. Townhouse – Great Rooftop Cartagena Bar
Townhouse’s rooftop bar comes in second on this list of best bars in Cartagena.
They have a cool vibe and often have DJs in the evening. They have some good craft cocktails as well as the classics, a decent beer selection, and good upscale style bar and tapa style food (including some of the best nachos in town).
That all makes it a great place to have a couple drinks and possibly food whether it be around sunset time, early in the evening, or late night.
For a unique atmosphere in Cartagena, consider heading downstairs to Prohibition, which offers some great cocktails of its own with a Great Gatsby 1920s style and even a burlesque show, making this a 2 for 1 place on this list of best Cartagena bars.
They also do a great all you can eat and drink Boozy Brunch on the weekends, which is actually a pretty decent deal, although in my experience I don’t get much else done during the day if we go!
3. Donde Fidel – A Cartagena Landmark
Donde Fidel, located on the corner just inside the Clocktower has also been here forever it feels like. At least since before I moved to Cartagena.
The inside is often packed and blaring loud salsa.
However, the outside tables are great for drinks. It’s a nice location with seats that overlook the two plazas nearby. It’s a great spot to people watch and have a few drinks.
It’s an especially good spot especially to start an evening out barhopping in Cartagena. And you could always try to show off some dance moves inside this top Cartagena bar if you’re really brave!
4. Caponera – Simple, Local Vibes
Caponera has a great location in Getsemaní diagonal from the Convention Center and across the long walkway in front of the Clocktower.
They used to be located about a block over in a place that felt like it had been there forever and had the perfect lived in Cartagena vibe.
The new location doesn’t have quite as much personality, at least yet, but it’s still a solid all around bar.
You won’t find fancy cocktails or many frills here, but the drinks are pretty reasonably priced for downtown and this unpretentious place attracts as many locals as tourists.
So, make a point to stop in here and have a drink at this classic Cartagena bar. The outside tables are my favorite.
5. Movich – Best View in the City
This next spot on the list of best bars in Cartagena, Colombia is actually my favorite place for sunset drinks.
The bar on the rooftop of Hotel Movich has the best view in the whole city in my opinion.
It overlooks the San Pedro Claver Church with the bay and modern city of Bocagrande framing the background. You can also see the pretty colors of the Cathedral’s tower in the other direction.
While the sunset is amazing, the view is great at night too with the city lit up. I’m not sure how late they stay open, so it is a bit more of an early evening rather than late night spot but don’t be shy about coming here after sunset.
There are some speciality craft cocktails here as well as appetizers and even some main course dishes.
With such a great view and in one of the nicest luxury hotels in the city, it is on the pricier side. But much like Café del Mar, you have to come here to take in the view at least once during your time in Cartagena!
It is occasionally closed due to private events so don’t save it for your last night just in case.
6. Leon de Baviera – A German Bar in Cartagena
A German bar in Cartagena?
Yes, you’ll find it at Leon de Baviera.
It has been here for a long time, and earned a reputation amongst locals for being one of the few places that played rock music. They often have live rock bands as well.
They have great, authentic brats, sauerkraut and other German food. You can get Paulaner on tap here, including Octoberfest in season.
It’s also a great place to catch a big soccer/football match. For major games, they often open up early. We watched a bunch of 2018 World Cup matches here. Beers and scrambled eggs with bratwurst was tough to beat for 9 am games!
This is also just a good spot to just have some beers with buddies. In fact, with the demise of the Bogotá Beer Company location in town, this along with Caponera would probably be my go to places for a few beers at one of the bars in Cartagena.
So if you’re looking for a laid back bar for a couple beers, to watch a big match, or to get a break from Latino music, it’s a good spot.
7. Ron y Tabaco – For a Stogie and Drinks
If you’re looking for where to smoke a cigar in Cartagena, this is the best place.
Ron y Tabaco has a pretty good selection of cigars, including lots of Cuban brands and some less expensive Colombian options as well. You can often negotiate the cigar prices too, especially if you are in a group and plan to have some drinks with them.
They have nice, comfortable leather chairs and a good drink selection, including one of the better selections of high end rums and whiskeys of any bar in Cartagena, perfect to go with a fat cigar.
Their mojitos are also some of the better ones in town.
They do have nice outdoor tables on the Parque Fernandez de Madrid, but I recommend staying inside to enjoy the paintings of celebrities smoking cigars (which they sell by the way) and the comfortable chairs. More importantly, you’ll avoid the many vendors on the plaza outside.
They also often have live music in the evenings.
So, honestly, even if you don’t want to smoke a cigar, this isn’t a bad Cartagena bar to come and enjoy a drink or three.
8. Clock Pub – Best Pub Style Bar in Cartagena
The Clock Pub is located right by the Clocktower. Hence the name.
It has a decor and style that is similar to a pub, and is one of few place in town that has a UK Pub or US bar style atmosphere.
Like Leon, they often play rock music, and sometimes have live bands. They are also a good spot for watching a soccer/football match. They are one of the only places I know of in Cartagena that regularly shows NFL games.
They have a decent menu of your standard bar food here.
Their burgers are solid as are their nachos, and they do have some craft beers as well as beer on tap and pitchers, not all that common in Cartagena. I always appreciate that they have a dart board and foosball table too.
9. 51 Sky Bar – Great Views in Bocagrande
51 Sky Bar is atop the Hotel Estelar, one of the tallest buildings in Cartagena.
In fact, the 51 in the name is for the 51st floor. As shouldn’t be surprising, the attraction at this top Cartagena bar is the amazing view.
On one side, you can gaze out over the Caribbean, while on the other you can see the bay and the Old City. It’s a neat view, and makes the visit here for a drink worth it. There’s also a nice, upscale bar vibe here, and they sometimes have a DJ.
Prices are on the higher end, so I’m not sure I’d spend all night here, but it’s definitely worth the view.
So, come here for a unique view of the city and knowing you’re at the highest bar in Cartagena!
10. El Arsenal – Great Craft Cocktails at this Cartagena Bar
Located at the start of the Calle El Arsenal, El Arsenal: The Rum Box, is one of the best Cartagena, Colombia bars to go for fancy cocktails.
They have a number of good concoctions, and they were one of the first places in Cartagena to focus on creative and specialty mixology.
They bill themselves as a rum bar, but they have all sorts of cocktails (it is a good place for a rum tasting though). Their Kennedy martini is my favorite around town, and their drink with rum and a stick of cinnamon that I can never remember the name of is also really good.
They also have food.
I’ve tried their little fried peppers, which are a tasty and kind of different bar snack, but not any of the main dishes. I’d imagine they are good though.
They recently expanded to include a larger area across the street in the convention center itself, giving them a nice space. It’s a great spot to have some fancy cocktails in a nice, relaxed atmosphere and belongs on this list of best bars of Cartagena.
They also do special rum and chocolate tastings that are well regarded. Book one here with the discount code ExploreColombia10 for a discount!
11. Demente – Great Beer Garden and Pizza
To close out this list of the best Cartagena bars, I’m including my favorite spot for pizzas in Cartagena.
Demente is located just off the Plaza de la Trinidad in Getsemaní.
They have a nice open air beer garden outback and a decent bar inside. They also have a decent craft beer selection. They also always have bourbon, which is kind of nice since it can be hard to find at bars in Cartagena.
The location makes it a good spot to go before heading out dancing or continuing enjoying the Cartagena nightlife afterwards too. If you’re looking to eat with drinks, I highly recommend it.
Bonus Spot for Beers: Corner Tienda at Plaza de la Trinidad
So, maybe this is cheating, since it isn’t really a Cartagena bar. However, no guide to the Cartagena nightlife is complete with out recommending a few road beers from the tienda on the corner by the Plaza de la Trinidad.
This is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists.
It’s a good pregame spot, as well as being a good street food spot. It can sometimes get a bit too crowded, but I definitely think it’s worth coming here and having a beer or two and people watch.
Two other good road beer spots are the the “Café al Lado,” next to Café del Mar atop the wall, and in the Plaza San Diego. You can also get road beers by the Clocktower but between vendors, prostitutes, and scammers I’d probably just avoid standing around there at night.
Honorable Mentions for the Best Bars in Cartagena:
Here are a few more bars in Cartagena you may want to try in no particular order:
- El Coro – This bar inside the swanky Hotel Santa Clara has some neat craft cocktails and a high class, luxury decor. Ask to go down and see the crypt, where according to legend there was once a skeleton with 72 feet of hair and which inspired Gabriel García Marquez’s Of Love and Other Demons.
- Mona Lisa – I used to enjoy going into Mona Lisa for their beer selection when they were located in the Walled City and I lived close by. They reopened after a long time at a new place in Getsemaní on the Calle Media Luna that looks nice although I’ve yet to make it there.
- Baluarte – Atop the wall, this makes for a great alternative to Café del Mar and has better prices and usually is much less crowded even if the view isn’t quite as nice.
- Beer Lovers – This is now the place with the best selection of craft beer in town, and they often have different styles and brands on tap. Their new location in Getsemaní is nice. I feel like they always have the music way too loud though.
- La Juma Bar – It’s right on the corner of the Plaza San Diego across from the church that is now Bellas Artes. They have a good craft beer selection and is usually pretty laid back. Outside tables are great but vendors can make them kind of a pain to sit at.
- Buena Vida – This more of a restaurant (and is featured on my picks for the best Cartagena restaurants), but they do have a pretty cool rooftop bar. I think they’ve become a bit overpriced as they have become so popular but their drinks and food are really good.
- Beer Station – A bit out of the way in Caribe Plaza, the beers here are good and their burgers are some of my favorite in Cartagena, not to mention they have jalapeño poppers.
- Beer – In Mall Plaza, the beers here are pretty solid too. They have an Imperial IPA special seasonal that is really good, as is their London Beer stout. The food here I’ve never been impressed by though.
- Mondo Exotica – I haven’t been here and it’s relatively new, but I have heard good things, especially that they have good drinks, decent prices, and great service. Sounds like a good place to enjoy a drink in Cartagena to me!
Part 2: 11 Best Clubs in Cartagena
These are the places you’ll want to go out dressed up and ready to get your dance on!
I’ve tried to include a variety of clubs in Cartagena, including salsa clubs and more crossover places that play a variety of music, as well as a few more relaxed places.
So, there should be something for everyone on this list of the best clubs in Cartagena.
1. Mister Babilla – Best Overall Cartagena Night Club
Mister Babilla is the most popular of the Cartagena nightclubs.
In fact it’s not unheard of to occasionally spot a Colombian celebrity or two here.
This Cartagena club also looks eerily similar to where they filmed the famous song from the Colombian soap opera Pasión de gavilanes, although the Google gods say that was actually somewhere else outside Bogotá.
Mister Babilla plays a variety of music from reggaeton, to champeta, to salsa, to Latin pop, to American pop.
It’s a pretty large place with lots of tables and a good size dance floor. There’s usually a good mixture of locals and tourists here, and usually a mix of all ages.
They do a great Halloween every year and sometimes other events throughout the year too.
It is quite pricey, especially if you’re buying beers or individual drinks, although that’s really the case at nearly all of the top dance clubs in Cartagena.
So, it’s best to pregame a bit and/or come in a group so you can buy a bottle. You should expect to pay a cover too, especially on weekends.
Still, if you want my opinion, if you want to go out dancing in a club, this is where you should go first.
2. Café Havana – Iconic Salsa Club
You may recall that there was a Summit of the Americas in Cartagena back in 2012.
It’s more well known for the Secret Service prostitution scandal, but a fun moment was when Hillary Clinton was seen out dancing at the next place on this list of best night clubs in Cartagena.
Café Havana has been around for a long time, and it’s the most famous salsa club in Cartagena. There is nearly always live music from the house band, and they occasionally have bands visiting from Cuba, Puerto Rico, or elsehwere.
If you’re looking to salsa the night away in one of the most iconic Cartagena, Colombia clubs, this is the place to do it.
Expect to pay a cover here since there is live music and is so well known.
3. Quiebra Canto – Salsa with the Locals
If you would like to get your salsa on at a place that is usually less crowded and less pricey than Havana, check out Quiebra Canto.
Not quite as well known or as large as many of the other best clubs in Cartagena, it’s a good spot for a more reserved night out dancing salsa and a chance to mingle a bit more with locals rather than tourists.
Depending on the night and crowd, there may or may not be a cover here. There is a great balcony overlooking the Clocktower, which you’ll see from the street with its brightly colored lights.
Inside, there’s lots of space to dance. I’ve been in here and there’s hardly been anyone, but I’ve also been here and it was packed, so crowd size can vary.
There is a bit of an old school vibe here, so it’s a good spot, not only to rub shoulders with the locals but also with a crowd not all in their 20s. Drinks are not cheap but are relatively more reasonably priced here than many of the other Cartagena, Colombia clubs.
4. La Jugada – Trendy High End Cartagena Nightclub
La Jugada is one of the newer clubs in Cartagena.
It’s also one of the largest, spanning several floors plus a rooftop. They play a mix of all kinds of music here, and it’s popular with both locals and visitors.
It’s become one of, if not the most, popular club in Cartagena, so expect both a a line and cover here.
You might want to get here a bit early to beat the line on weekends. Do be aware, that this place also has very pricey drinks.
5. Al Quimico – For a More Club/Bar Mixed Atmosphere
Across the street from La Jugada, I’ve got a place that serves up creative cocktails next on this list of best spots to enjoy the Cartagena nightlife.
Al Quimico does their own infusions of a number of different liquors. That gives them one of the most unique cocktail menus in town.
They have a neat atmosphere too with sort of un upscale, old school lounge feeling and a few different levels. There is a rooftop bar here although the high walls don’t give it much of a view.
They do have a small food menu and I think their sandwiches are quite good.
While more bar than club, on the weekends and later in the evening, there can be a line here and it has a bit more of a club style atmosphere. It doesn’t have the largest dance floor.
However, this is a good place for some drinks in a lively atmosphere!
6. Misti-k – Another Fun Club in the Walled City
This is a fairly newer place that I haven’t been.
However, I have heard good things about it. It also has good reviews, and is a fairly large place for the Walled City with multiple floors.
Music here is crossover and Latin pop and reggaeton, with a bit of everything. It draws both a tourist crowd as well as some locals. They also frequently do themed nights like Neon parties or Red parties.
7. Vueltabajero – Classic Salsa Bar with New Spot in Getsemaní
Another, new place I haven’t been!
I have been to their original location, located outside the tourist zone and a locals’ favorite salsa bar. It was lots of fun, and they play nothing but salsa.
Their new location is on the Calle Media Luna about a half block before Café Havana.
If you’re looking for a good alternative to Café Havana, this is a great option, and one that I have to make a point of actually braving showing off my weak dancing skills to check out myself soon.
It’s also a spot that is just as popular if not more popular with locals than with foreigners.
8. El Mirador – Another Mixed Atmosphere with a Great View
Mirador has a great view of the Clocktower and plaza below. It is located on the corner above the Portal de los Dulces.
Like Al Quimico this is a bit more of a mixed bar/club atmosphere and you may not see quite as many people dancing here but you can dance and it’s a good spot for a drink to go with music and a great view.
There aren’t any special drinks or the like here but prices aren’t horrible for the location and the view is great.
That makes it a solid option for enjoying the Cartagena nightlife and a worthy inclusion on this list of the best clubs in Cartagena.
9. Eivissa – Pricey but Great View
Across the way from El Mirador and above the Clock Pub, you’ll find Eivissa.
There’s a nice rooftop here that looks out over the Clocktower. There is also lots of space inside for dancing.
I have not actually been here myself either However, I have it on good authority it’s fun, popular, and it draws a good crowd of both locals and tourists.
From what I understand it can also get very crowded, can have a hefty cover, and has pricey drinks.
The price of popularity, I guess.
Still, if you’re looking for something with a great rooftop view that is a bit more lively for dancing than El Mirador, check this place out.
10. Seven 7 Times – New Thematic Bar Making Waves
Seven 7 Times just opened in January 2022 and has already made a bit of a name for itself.
It’s a thematic bar, with different types of shows every night.
That makes it a bit of unique place for Cartagena.
There are several different rooms here, including a rooftop, all with their own mix of music and performers. They have a “world” room, playing popular hits from around the world, a salsa room, a urban room playing reggaeton and hip hop, and a folk/ranchera room playing traditional ballads.
That means there should be something for everyone here.
Plus, I think it can be kind of nice to be able to change atmospheres throughout the night in a club.
So, this is on my list of Cartagena nightclubs to check out, and I’ve included it here as one you should too.
11. Taboo – Solid Standard Nightclub in Cartagena
To close out this list of best Cartagena nightclubs, I’m including Taboo, which I think is an all around ok if not spectacular spot.
This spot on the Calle El Arsenal is a good alternative if Mister Babilla is full, just a couple blocks down. This is often the club that Chiva party buses drop their clients off at, so it can get really crowded after midnight or so on weekends.
They play a little bit of everything but lean towards reggaeton and Latin pop more than anything else.
Their drink prices are ok, on the cheaper end for Cartagena nightclubs, anyways.
Sometimes there is a cover here, sometimes there isn’t, depending on how crowded and the night of the week.
What to Wear Out in Cartagena
Now that you have some ideas for where to party in Cartagena, what about what to wear out in Cartagena?
Colombians generally dress to impress when going out.
On the other hand, Cartagena is a tourist town in the Caribbean, which means you can get by a bit more casual, at least in some places.
Most of the places on the list above of best bars in Cartagena are pretty laidback with dress codes. For example, a guy could probably go with shorts and sandals or tennis shoes on.
On the other hand, the places on the list of Cartagena nightclubs do have a stricter dress code. Guys will generally not be able to get in with shorts and sandals or tennis shoes.
Also, again, the locals will likely be dressed up a bit.
I don’t think it really matters if you “look like a toursit” or not. You almost certainly look like at tourist, and will definitely sound like one as soon as you open your mouth anyways.
However, if you want to dress more like a local when going out, bring along a few nicer outfits.
Below, I’l share a handful of ideas of what both girls and guys could wear out and would go well in Cartagena. I’ve also tried to include lots of photos of us and friends out and about throughout this whole post which should give you some ideas.
You might also want to check out my complete Cartagena packing list here.
Things to Wear Out for Her
Colombian women most definitely dress to impress.
They also aren’t afraid to show a little bit of skin, so know that’s fine if you want to as well. Women can also usually get by at the club with a more casual look as well in Cartagena.
Bright colors, and floral prints look nice in Cartagena but so do darker colors at night and at the clubs in Cartagena.
- For a more casual look, pair a strapless top with this cute skirt with buttons.
- This cute spaghetti strap dress would be perfect for going out dancing.
- This floral print maxi dress is a bit more formal looking but still fits with the Caribbean vibes of Cartagena well.
- If you do want to show some skin, this crop top and skirt outfit would fit right in in Cartagena.
- A straw purse like this one is nice enough to take to the club but perfect for the beach too.
Things to Wear Out for Him
Colombian men usually wear button up shirts when going out. Jeans are fine except for in the most upscale places. Polos and plain, solid color dress tees will also be fine in most clubs in Cartagena as well.
Linen works great as it fits in with local style and is good for the hot weather. As noted above, guys should definitely expect to need proper shoes and pants to get into Cartagena nightclubs, although sandals or tennis shoes with shorts are usually fine at bars in Cartagena.
- If you want to go the linen route, get yourself a nice guayabera, which are so much more comfortable than regular button ups in my opinion, plus they are perfect for the Caribbean.
- You could also go for a more casual look with this short sleeved linen shirt or this shortsleeved guayabera.
- You can also get some linen pants if you want to wear something nicer than jeans.
- I like to recommend shoes like these Rockports that are nice enough to wear to the club but are comfortable walking around town too, perfect for traveling.
Cartagena Nightlife Guide – Conclusion
There you have it, a complete guide to the nightlife in Cartagena, including tips to enjoy it along with some ideas for the best bars in Cartagena as well as the best Cartagena nightclubs.
There should be something for everyone on this list, whether it be a few beers at a place like Caponera, smoking a Cuban at Ron y Tabaco, getting down at Mister Babilla, or enjoying classic salsa at Café Havana, and everything in between.
I hope you found this guide useful and enjoy a night, or several, out on the town in Cartagena during your visit!
Cheers and Happy Partying!
Did you like this post?
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Guide to the Rosario Islands
Guide to Playa Blanca
50 Restaurants to Try in Cartagena
Guide to Hip Beach Town Palomino
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Planning a trip to Cartagena?
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