Cartagena Colombia Nightlife
Cartagena is one of the most vibrant cities in South America. A mini New York City located on the Caribbean coast, it has a nightlife that never sleeps. This guide will help you find the best places to have fun and get to know Cartagena without breaking your budget.
1. The most popular places to party in Cartagena
If you’re looking for a great place to have a wild night out, try these spots in Cartagena: 1) Getsemani: Getsemani is the party district in Cartagena. It’s known for having the best clubs in town.On any given night, you can expect to see artists and celebrities hangout with their girls at these clubs. It’s where the sex workers make their dollars. You can also find street food and street vendors to enjoy your night out in Cartagena without disturbing the locals. 2) la Boqueria: La Boqueria is the iconic Cartagena restaurant serving a wide array of fresh ingredients. You can enjoy a huge steak and chips here for knock-your-socks-off prices.
3) Mercado Central: Volkswagen is one of the greatest companies to ever operate in America. In addition to selling cars, VW also runs one of the most well-known shopping destinations on the beautiful island of Cartagena. You can enjoy a huge selection of products here like clothes, electronics, books, and a wide range of imported foods. This is the perfect place to shop for yourself or to find gifts for your loved ones.
4) Galerias: Galerias is a popular sports bar located in the heart of the city in what is called ‘the Hillside District’. It has some of the best views from the top of Colonia Central.
5) La Mar, Colonia Central: La Mar is the birthplace of the famous Colonia Central skateboard ramp located in the heart of the city. It was named the best in the world in the Dalí Report 2019.
6) Sacred Heart Cathedral: This cathedral is the largest Catholic cathedral in South America. It is considered by many experts as one of the three greatest cathedrals in the world. On a clear day, you can see the gargoyle of Santa Muerte adorning this cathedral.
7) Macasa Negra: This restaurant specializes in seafood.
2. The best places to go for drinks in Cartagena
Cartagena is a very touristy city so there are plenty of bars and restaurants that cater to foreigners, but there are a couple of spots that stand out. My favourite place to go for drinks is the Cartagena Plaza Hotel. It overlooks the beach and is a great place to sit with a drink and watch the sun set.
For a more authentic and relaxed experience, I recommend visiting El Buen Comer, one of the oldest continually operating nightclubs in South America. The bar is more cocktail and restaurant focused than nightclubs in other places. It provides the feeling of a traditional South American bar with a laid back atmosphere.
If you are looking for a more low-key nightlife experience, the Ernest Hemingway Cultural Center is a great place to enjoy drinks and comfortable nights with a local guide. Be warned that ‘as you wander through the streets of this sprawling museum where guns, making and women are displayed alongside other artifacts, you will trek through dark alleys and among graffiti’ so be careful.
Travelers will swear by MUD/WTR and the locals know these cocktails inside and out. A Canadian bar, the bar inside is closed but the bar next door serves the same concoctions. It’s a great dive bar on the duty-free zone so it’s recommended if you want to get the bar game going.
The best spots to hike in Cartagena are the mountains. Deer Park, Cartagena de Indias, and Cerro Torre are recommended hikes that can take you from a few minutes to an hour and you can go as long as you want: both had been on my bucket list before I moved to South America.
If you’re up for a leisurely hike then Green Park is an absolute gem with the city rising high above the foliage. Being South America’s largest city, the path is not exposed to the elements and only hands-on is required.
You can also take a ferry to get around the city if you’d prefer walking. Also South America has to say goodbye to more famous hikes like Machu Picchu.
3. The best clubs and bars in Cartagena
If you’re looking for great nightlife in Cartagena, we have you covered. Here are the best clubs and bars in Cartagena:
1. Las 40s
Cartagena is known for its nightlife. Most importantly, Las 40s is one of the city’s oldest continuously operating clubs and is located in the heart of the trendy part of the city. A popular club for both interns and expats, this is a fun and relaxed environment with a focus on Latin music. This place has been in operation since 1977. Some of our favorite acts to see are Bobby Showalter, Carlito Rodriguez, and J Balvin.
Address: Colonia del Tijuca, N101, 5050-000
Webinar: How to Run an Amazing Club | Wednesday July 28, 6:30–7:30pm
2. Viking Lady
Viking Lady is a nice place to spend your last night in Cartagena before heading back home. Located on Colonia del Tijuca and a few streets away from the main square, this bar is decorated with local art. There’s a pool table, a full bar, and a nice atmosphere. On the weekends, this bar offers a live DJ that will spin your favorite songs endlessly all night long.
Address: Colonia del Tijuca, N100, 5039-000
Webinar: How to Run an Amazing Club | Sunday July 18, 3:00–4:45pm
3. Vida Colombia
If you are a Colombia and/or Latin lover, then this is the spot for you. Word of mouth has led many people to recommend Vida Colombia as the right spot for people traveling to Cartagena. The bar boasts an awesome atmosphere and great music. On most evenings, DJs run the dance floor and fill up the room with music from all over the world. They also have a huge variety of food from plates to cocktails.
4. What to do when you get bored – other great sights and activities in Cartagena
You’re in a new place, you’re excited, and then you get bored. That’s natural. It’s also easy to get discouraged, but that feeling of being down in the dumps doesn’t last long.Similar to New York, the best way to start your trip in Latin America is to start with a destination. That way you’ll know when you have an adequate grasp of the culture and the surrounding culture.
With that being said, Cartagena City is one of the most visited cities in South America. It’s such a big deal because they provide various services to help the tourists.
You can’t visit every part of the city; therefore, you will need to find something that fits your budget. With that being said, the following guide will give you a list of the best places to check out in Cartagena.
If you do a bit of research before booking a room in a trendy boutique hotel, you may end up spending less than ten dollars here.
The Plaza Hotel offers a good nightlife experience. They also have bars and restaurants located around the whole of the building. This gives you the opportunity to get a drink with friends or to enjoy a meal in a safe environment.
The best thing about the Plaza is that even though it’s furnished with cheap beds, the rooms are no joke. Yes, this is a cheap boutique hotel, but that’s not an excuse to expect a cheap experience, at least within a reasonable budget.
What’s more when you book your room in advance, they give you a discount. While this may seem like a steal, make sure you reach your budget when choosing your place to stay.
Fitzgerald’s Bistro & Bar is the best restaurant in Cartagena. It’ll give you every opportunity to relax and have a good time.