Must-see entertainment in Cuba

  • Fábrica de Arte Cubano


    If only every city had a cultural venue as wide-ranging, inclusive and downright revolutionary as Havana’s unique art factory. The brainchild of Cuban…

  • Casa de las Tradiciones

    Santiago de Cuba

    The most discovered 'undiscovered' spot in Santiago still retains its smoke-filled, foot-stomping, front-room feel. Hidden in the genteel Tivolí district,…

  • Uneac

    Sancti Spíritus

    There are friendly nods as you enter, handshakes offered by people you've never met, and a starry-eyed crooner on stage blowing kisses to his girlfriend(s…

  • Callejón de Hamel Live Rumba


    Aside from its funky murals and psychedelic art shops, the main reason to come to this alleyway, Havana's high temple of Afro-Cuban culture, is the…

  • A man playing a guitar in Cuba

    Tumba Francesa Pompadour

    Guantánamo Province

    One of only three Tumba Francesa societies left in Cuba, this house specializes in a unique form of Haitian-style dancing. Programs include mi tumba baile…

  • People dancing to live music at Casa de la Musica.

    Casa de la Música


    One of Trinidad's (and Cuba's) classic venues, this casa is an alfresco affair that congregates on the sweeping staircase beside the Iglesia Parroquial…

  • Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso


    Havana's fabulously renovated 'great' theater is open again and offering up the best in Cuban dance and music. Its specialty is ballet (it's the…

  • Sala de Conciertos José White


    Restoration of this 1876 building abutting Hotel Velazco was completed in 2014 and every inch, flourish and cornicing of its former glory is well worth a…

  • Club Mejunje

    Santa Clara

    Urban graffiti, children's theater, LGBTQ-friendly performances, old crooners belting out boleros, tourists dancing salsa. You've heard about 'something…

  • Cabaret Parisién


    One rung down from Marianao's world-famous Tropicana, but cheaper and closer to the city center, the nightly Cabaret Parisién in the Hotel Nacional is…

  • Uneac


    There's at least one National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists per province in Cuba, but if you visit only one, make it here. Situated in the lovingly…

  • Teatro Comandante Eddy Suñol


    Holguín's premier theater is an art deco treat from 1939 on Parque Calixto García. It hosts both the Teatro Lírico Rodrigo Prats and the Ballet Nacional…

  • Beatles Bar-Restaurant


    A roquero’s (Cuban rock fan's) delight on the edge of Parque Josone, honoring the previously banned Beatles in a bar that evokes the decidedly un-Cuban…

  • Teatro Principal


    If a show's on, go! Second only to Havana in its ballet credentials, the Camagüey Ballet Company, founded in 1971 by Fernando Alonso (ex-husband of number…

  • Casa de la Trova Victorino Rodríguez


    Cuba's smallest, zaniest, wildest and most atmospheric casa de la trova (trova house) rocks nightly to the Vodou-like rhythms of changüí-son. One night…

  • Parque 26 de Julio

    Las Tunas

    Located in the park where Vicente García bends into Av 1 de Mayo. Every weekend sees a farmers market, music, food stalls and kids' activities, but the…

  • Iris Jazz Club

    Santiago de Cuba

    When Santiago gets too hot, noisy and agitated, you need a dose of Iris, one of Cuba's suavest and best jazz clubs, where you can sit in a comfy booth…

  • Casa de la Trova El Guayabero


    Old guys in Panama hats croon under the rafters, and musicians in guayaberas (Caribbean dress shirts) blast on trumpets, while ancient couples in their…

  • Casa de la Trova


    Trinidad's spirited casa retains its earthy essence despite the high package-tourist-to-Cuban ratio. Local musicians to look out for here are Semillas del…

  • Casa de la Trova Miguel Companioni

    Sancti Spíritus

    Another of Cuba's famous trova (traditional poetic singing) houses, this kicking folk-music venue in a colonial building off Plaza Honorato is on a par…

  • Dance performance at Tropicana cabaret club show.

    Tropicana Nightclub


    An institution since its 1939 opening, the world-famous Tropicana was among the few bastions of Havana's Las Vegas–style nightlife to survive the…

  • Casa de la Trova

    Santiago de Cuba

    Santiago's shrine to the power of traditional music is still going strong five decades on, continuing to attract big names such as Buena Vista Social Club…

  • Café Teatro Bertolt Brecht


    What pass for hipsters in Havana tend to congregate at this live-music venue known locally as No Se lo Digas a Nadie (Don't Tell Anyone) for the weekly…

  • Centro Cultural El Gran Palenque


    Founded in 1962, the high-energy Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba specializes in Afro-Cuban dancing (all of the drummers are Santería priests). See…

  • Jazz Club la Zorra y El Cuervo


    One in a duo of long-standing and highly lauded jazz clubs, the Vixen and the Crow opens its doors nightly at 10pm to long lines of committed music fiends…

  • Jazz Café


    This upscale joint, improbably located in a shopping mall overlooking the Malecón, is a kind of jazz supper club, with dinner tables and a decent menu. At…

  • Casa de la Trova Patricio Ballagas


    An ornate entrance hall gives way to an atmospheric patio where old crooners sing and young couples chachachá. One of Cuba's best trova (traditional…

  • Teatro Bayamo


    Six blocks northeast of the bus station, opposite Plaza de la Patria, lies one of the Oriente's most impressive theaters. Constructed in 1982, the theater…

  • Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís

    Habana Vieja

    Plaza de San Francisco de Asís' glorious church, which dates from 1738, has been reincarnated as a 21st-century museum and concert hall. The old nave…

  • Conjunto Folklórico de Oriente

    Santiago de Cuba

    Santiago’s oldest folklórico group was formed in 1959; they are currently bivouacked at the Teatro Heredia. They perform a huge range of Afro-Cuban dance…

  • Teatro Tomás Terry


    Best theater in Cuba? The Tomás Terry is certainly a contender. The building is worth a visit in its own right, but you'll really get to appreciate this…

  • Casa de la Trova la Bayamesa


    One of Cuba's best trova houses, in a lovely colonial building on Maceo. Pictures on the wall display the famous '70s afro of Bayamo-born trova king Pablo…

  • Casa del Changüí

    Guantánamo Province

    As primary pulpit for Guantánamo's indigenous music, this is the place to experience changüí and is a shrine to its main exponent, local timbalero …

  • Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente

    Santiago de Cuba

    For pure tumba francesa dancing check out the Tumba Francesa la Caridad de Oriente, one of only three of these French-Haitian groups left in Cuba. They…

  • Siglo XX

    Holguín Province

    A fine cultural center in the main square that hosts live traditional music on a Saturday night and provides taped stuff at other times. The courtyard is…

  • Rincon de la Salsa


    A fun live-music venue aimed at those practicing their salsa steps. It can also connect travelers to dance teachers for private lessons during the daytime.

  • Noche Santiagüera

    Santiago de Cuba

    Every Saturday night, the side streets branching off this main thoroughfare teem with street food, music and crowds for a city-wide outdoor party.

  • Casa Sandunga (ARTex)

    Guantánamo Province

    Housed in a royal blue building on a quiet street, this spot for variety shows and humor is openly referred to as 'the place.'

  • Live music at Palenque de los Congos Reales Bar.

    Palenque de los Congos Reales


    A must for rumba fans, this open patio on Trinidad's music alley has an eclectic menu incorporating salsa, son (Cuban popular music) and trova …

  • Teatro Martí


    Known also as the 'theater of a hundred doors' (in reference to the French windows adorning its exterior), this neoclassical gem is a masterpiece of…