10 Best Bars in Cartagena, Colombia – Pubs, Nightclubs & Rooftop bars!

best bars in cartagena
Feeling the vibe at Cafe Del Mar

Cartagena is colorful and vibrant and has an energy of its own. So while collating this list of “Best bars in Cartagena“, I decided to rope in fellow travelers and locals to share their inputs for this ultimate guide for travelers in search of decent drinking holes.

Just walking along the streets of Getsemani offered an abundance of live performances, road side drinking and general street party vibe till wee hours of morning. This is where I took up a small Airbnb with my travel mate and it was the base of my own Cartagena explorations.

Getsemani street art

Colorful and vibrant streets of Getsemani

Best Bars in Cartagena to experience Nightlife in this Colombian city

Here I asked fellow travelers and locals to share the coolest bars in Cartagena – Be it pubs, night clubs, sports bars or rooftop bars. So here you go, take your pick for your night out in Cartagena now –

El Baron

If you are looking for a chic and sophisticated cocktail bar in Cartagena, look no further than El Baron. This charming spot is a favorite among well-heeled locals and tourists alike and the Mixologists here are some of the best in town.

The bar is set inside a traditional building and stepping inside feels like stepping back in time. The floors are decorated with colorful azulejo tiles, and the old-fashioned bar is stacked with hundreds of ornate bottles of all manner of weird and wonderful alcohols from across the world.

You will find a diverse selection of cocktails here – from the classics (mojitos, Moscow mules, mai tais, etc) to quirky concoctions designed in-house. For the best experience, sample the drinks made with Latin American alcohols that are only really found in this part of the world. For instance, Colombian aguardiente or Mexican mezcal.  Mocktails, beers, and an extensive selection of wines and liquors are also available.

The bar is located at Carrera 4 opposite the Santuario de San Pedro Claver. This is a safe, central part of old town Cartagena You can either opt to sit inside or in the courtyard opposite this grand 16th-century church.

The latter option provides a great opportunity for people watching as street vendors and entertainers meander around the square. If you get a little hungry after having a tipple or two, you can also order snacks and tapas treats from the bar’s food menu.

Best Rooftop Bars in Cartagena

Caragena with its stunning skyline and sea views offers an array of options for rooftop bar goers. Here are our top picks –

Cafe del mar

best bars in cartagena

Feeling the vibe at Cafe Del Mar

Cafe del mar is my pick and definitely my favorite bar in Cartagena. With stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean sea, delicious cocktails and badass deep house music, this rooftop bar stole my heart. You can enjoy the sea breeze while grooving to melodious beats on the historic walls of Cartagena de Indias. Everything from the location, the music, the crowd and views gets full marks from a big-time party goer like yours truly – this is when you know this is hands down one of the best bars in Cartagena to add to your Colombian itinerary.

Pro tip – Best time to visit Cafe Del Mar is at sunset.

Movich Hotel Rooftop

best rooftop bars in Cartagena

The rooftop bar on the Movich Hotel is one of the most famous in Cartagena – and for good reason. The Movich Hotel is one of the fanciest and most upscale hotels in the city, and the rooftop is a whole vibe.

It’s tall enough to give you a great vantage point over the rest of the city: to the spires of the San Pedro Claver Sanctuary, out over the sea, and even to the skyscrapers at Bocagrande. String lights criss cross above your head, and music is playing at a comfortable volume so that conversations are still easy.

As this is a hotel, there is also a rooftop pool (only for hotel guests to enjoy, but it certainly adds to the ambiance). The rooftop bar opens to the public at 4pm, where you can enjoy drinks and/or dinner at a regular table, or reclining on the couches. Watching the sun go down and the lights of the city come on is a breathtaking sight! Alternatively, if you want to enjoy the pool and rooftop all day, book your stay at the hotel!

The food and drinks are, unsurprisingly, fairly expensive here (starting at 20-30,000 COP for drinks, and around 60,000+ COP for an entree). It’s totally worth it, though, as the food and drinks were fantastic, the setting was sublime, and the staff were incredibly nice (and all spoke English). A visit to this rooftop bar is definitely one of the prettiest things to do in Cartagena!

Pro tip – Book a stay at Movich hotel for easy access to this swanky bar. 

Townhouse’s Rooftop Bar

townhouse rooftop bar cartagena

Townhouse Boutique Hotel is one of the newer Cartagena boutique hotels located right in the heart of the historic Walled City. It also happens to have a really fun rooftop bar.

There is a cool vibe here, often with a DJ, and some neat house cocktail concoctions. The view for sunset is just ok here and isn’t quite as nice as a place like Hotel Movich due to the surrounding buildings, so it’s a better spot for evening drinks than sunset drinks. There are great bar fare style tapas, and the pork nachos are some of the best nachos in Cartagena. Bar patrons can also make use of the mini pool.

For something a bit different, check out their all you can eat and drink Boozy Brunch on the weekends, which is not a bad deal if you have nothing to do for a day in Cartagena. The downstairs bar Prohibition is also one of the most unique bars in Cartagena. With a 1920s, Great Gatsby vibe, they have their own great drinks and often feature a jazz cover band and even do a burlesque show.

Pro Tip – Stay at the Townhouse boutique hotel to be close to the action. 

Buena Vida’s Rooftop Bar

Buena Vida Marisquería has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Cartagena. They have some creative takes on classic seafood dishes and a neat atmosphere.

Their rooftop bar is also definitely one of the coolest bars in Cartagena. They have a pretty extensive menu of very good and unique hand crafted cocktails. There is often a DJ on the weekends and the place just has a neat vibe.

It is a terrific spot for drinks with friends or even a date night. The rooftop has a limited food menu but includes some tasty treats like shrimp tacos, shrimp and crab nachos, and patacon pizzas.

51 Sky Bar

sky bar cartagena

Located on the rooftop of the Hotel Estelar, one of the best luxury hotels in Cartagena, 51 Sky Bar is the highest bar in the city. That means it has a wonderful view overlooking the beaches of Cartagena in Bocagrande on one side, and the picturesque bay on the other.

There is also a fun atmosphere here. There is often a DJ, and there is a lot of space. You can get a gorgeous view of the sunset over the Caribbean, and there are good cocktails to go with the amazing view.

This neat Cartagena bar is occasionally closed due to events like weddings, so it’s not the worst idea to double check it’s open, but you definitely won’t be disappointed if you head here for some sunset or nighttime drinks.

Pro Tip – Book a stay at Estelar hotel and hop to the rooftop for stunning sunsets. 

Best Pubs in Cartagena

Donde Fidel

donde fidel bar in cartagena

Donde Fidel is basically a Cartagena institution. This tiny little bar, located on the corner underneath the Hard Rock Cafe just inside the Clocktower has been open forever it seems like and has long been a local favorite.

Inside, you’ll find blaring salsa music and usually a big crowd with some brave enough to show off their dance moves. However, the outside tables on the plaza are great for enjoying a beer or three. Their prices are fairly reasonable and it’s a great spot to people watch or enjoy a few drinks before heading out to go dancing or explore more of the city.

Demente

cartagena best bars

Demente, located on the Plaza de la Trinidad in Getsemaní is another one of the coolest Cartagena bars. They have one of the better selections of craft beers and liquor menus in town, and a neat, relaxed vibe. It fits in perfectly in the trendy Getsemaní, where you’ll find lots of the hippest cafes and Cartagena hostels.

The open air beer garden out back is especially nice to enjoy drinks. Their brick oven style pizzas are also excellent, making this a great place to enjoy dinner and drinks.

Ron y Tabaco

Ron y Tabaco cigar bar

Cartagena is very reminiscent of Havana, and if you want to get even more Havana vibes, why not smoke a cigar? The best Cartagena bar to enjoy a cigar is the perfectly named Ron y Tabaco. It’s located on a corner by the Parque Fernandez de Madrid, just across the way from Townhouse.

They have a variety of cigars from Cuba and Colombia and nice leather lounge chairs and couches to enjoy them. If you’re not that interested in cigars, it’s not a bad spot for a drink either, and they have a great selection of rums and whiskeys and some of the best mojitos in Cartagena.

The walls are decorated with paintings of celebrities smoking cigars, which gives it a cool vibe. The paintings are all made locally and can even be bought. In the evenings there is often live music as well.

Best Nightclubs in Cartagena

Mr. Babilla

nightclubs in cartagena

Mr. Babilla is Cartagena’s top nightclub. It’s located on the Calle El Arsenal, not far from Hotel Arsenal. It draws mostly locals but also tourists, and Colombian celebrities have even been known to stop by every now and then. They also host fun events and do the best Halloween fiesta in Cartagena.

This club plays a house mix of reggaeton, latin and the occasional foreign pop songs, and Champeta, a music that blends African rhythms with reggaton that originates from the barrios of Cartagena. There is a big space with table service as well as plenty of dance space. It’s a bit on the pricier end, so ordering a bottle with a group tends to be more cost effective than ordering cocktails or beers.

There is also usually cover charge and it can fill up, especially on weekends, so while you don’t want to get here too early as the party in Cartagena doesn’t get started until later, it’s not a bad idea to get here by 10 to get a good table and make sure you get in. If some reason you don’t, or you prefer not to pay the cover, you’ll find several other good nightclubs down this street.

Cafe Havana

Of course, you will definitely want to include your dancing shoes on your Cartagena packing list. One of the best places to rock them is without a doubt Cafe Havana. This is where Hillary Clinton was famously photographed getting her salsa on during a visit to Cartagena during a Summit of the Americas meeting.

Located on the Calle Media Luna in Getsemaní, there is always a house band here, and it is one of the longest running salsa bars in the city. Due to its fame, it can get crowded and there is almost always a cover to get in. However, it’s an iconic spot and perfect if you want some salsa dancing in Cartagena.

If you’d like some possibly less crowded and cheaper alternatives for salsa bars, consider checking out Vueltabajero or Quebra Canto nearby, both of which draw a more local crowd, or crazy Salsa located not far away in the Walled City.

Best Sports Bars in Cartagena

Leon de Baviera

sports bar cartagena

Most people probably don’t think about having a freshly poured Paulaner and bratwurst when making their plan for things to do in Cartagena. However, Leon de Baviera, owned and managed by a German expat and one of the longest running bars in the city, definitely belongs on the list of the most unique bars in Cartagena. It doubles up as a sports bar during big soccer games.

It’s located near the end of the Calle el Arsenal, where you’ll find many of Cartagena’s best dance clubs. Here, though, you’ll find an atmosphere more similar to an American bar or British pub. There is always rock music on, and sometimes live bands on weekends. It’s also a terrific place to catch a big Champions League match or World Cup (especially if Germany or Colombia are playing).

You can find Paulaner on tap here, and they always have a great Oktoberfest event. The brats are authentic and served with great homemade sauerkraut. So, if you’re looking for a break from Colombian fare and don’t want a burger or pizza, this makes for a unique dinner spot too.

So if you are looking for the ultimate Cartagena nightlife guide then this is it. Our handpicked list of best bars in Cartagena is collated and written by locals and travelers and is sure to give you an insight into the best this city has to offer. 

2 Comments

  1. Love it and so happy to share several of my favorite spots in Cartagena!

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