9 Places in San Juan For Post-Sunset Good Times

When the sun goes down, San Juan takes up the opportunity to have some fun. Ask a local for the nightspots to know and they may even join you at their happy place.

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You've taken in the history, you've hit the beaches and you've cruised the cafés. But when the sun goes down over San Juan, where will the night take you?

Whether you're in the mood for some top-notch rum and a spot of late-night people-watching, or losing yourself on the dance floor till dawn, there's just the place to cater to it. Ask any local and they'll gladly direct you to their favourite dive bar or recommend a roof-top sundowner, but wherever San Juan leads you, you won't go wrong with these much-loved nightspots.

Smooth grooves: our pick of the best nightlife in San Juan

A bartender at Casita Miramar pours a pink cocktail into a glass
Cocktails on offer in Puerto Rico

For tropical island vibes

Junglebird

If it's Caribbean vibes you're after, this place whips up incredible tiki-style cocktails with substance, hitting the mark perfectly between masterful and playful. Leafy plants, bamboo decor and neon signs set all the right tones, and while the venue is cosy, there's an outdoor patio where you can enjoy your drinks al fresco.

254 Calle Canals, San Juan, 00907
+1 787-955-9706
junglebirdbar.com

For a star speakeasy

La Factoría

There's no sign outside this rather weathered looking bar - it doesn't need one. Old San Juan's famous little speakeasy is among The World's 50 Best Bars, so make sure you swing by for its renowned cocktails, such as the popular, pastel-coloured Lavender Mule (vodka, ginger tea, lavender and citrus). Venture through the unmarked door behind the bar to find a secret second bar and a DJ, where people come to dance until closing (11:30pm).

148 Calle de San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901
+1 787 412 4251
lafactoriapr.com

For a literary hangout

El Batey

An Old San Juan legend, it's been around long enough for the likes of Beat-writer Allen Ginsberg and the young Rolling Stones to have hung out here. The names of previous patrons are scrawled over every inch of the bar's walls. You can still mingle with a happening and characterful clientele - in fact, the whole place exudes the confidence of a bar that knows exactly who it is, from the jukebox in the corner spinning 45s from rock 'n' roll's heyday to the wonderfully unfussy drinks menu.

101 Calle Del Cristo, San Juan, 00901

+1 787 725 1787

elbateytavernpr.com

For food and grooves

La Placita de Santurce

By day, this century-old market square is a bustling plaza for food stands and eateries. After dark, come Thursday through Sunday, it transforms into a kind of party village, where vendors sell sizzling snacks and a crowd swells amid a noisy array of merengue, jazz and DJs. It's loud, it's lively, it's a whole lotta fun.
205 Calle José M. Raffucci Morales, San Juan, 00907
+1 939 355 4839
la-placita-historical-landmark.business.site
A man plays a cello at Casa Montecristo in Puerto Rico
On the keys at Casa Montecristo, Puerto Rico

For rooftop rum-sipping

La Vergüenza

From the rooftop of this three-storey neighbourhood bar you'll find hard-to-beat views down to Castillo San Cristóbal and the ocean. The combination of punchy mojitos, gentle sea breezes and live Latin rhythms will have you swaying until closing time. Come early to secure a good spot to watch the sunset.

280 Calle Norzagaray, San Juan, 00901
+1 939 415 4367
facebook.com/laverguenzapuertorricanchinchorro

For a locals' favourite

Esquina Watusi

Behind the bright street murals is a diminutive drinking hole beloved by locals - and travellers in the know - who come for good cheap drinks and great live music. To know travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain had a good night out here tells you all you need. Grab a cold Modelo beer or some fresh juice with rum and, if it's a Thursday night, expect live plena musicians filling the street with song.

801 Calle Elisa Cerra, San Juan, 00907

+1 787 388 7434

instagram.com/esquinawatusi

For live jazz

Casa de Montecristo

Should the mood strike for something more sophisticated, head to Casa de Montecristo cigar bar. Even if cigars are not your thing, there's plenty to get your chops around with elegant cocktails by skilled mixologists, delivered to your chair as you kick back and enjoy some great live jazz. A fitting choice is the Bohemian: rum, falernum, creme de cacao, cherry and smoked tobacco.

201 Calle del Cristo, San Juan, 00901
+1 787 705 4957
casademontecristopr.com
Dancing at La Factoria
Late night grooves at San Juan

For late nights

La Taberna Lúplo

If a nice cold ale is more your thing, don't miss Puerto Rico's biggest - and best - craft beer tavern, with hundreds of international brews and 50 crafts on tap. Don't know where to start? Ask the bartender to whip up a tasting flight. The high, wood-beamed ceilings and friendly atmosphere make a welcoming space, and it stays open till 2am. Whatever the hour, pull up a stool at the bar and make new friends with fellow beer fanatics.

Address: 151 Calle de San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901
+1 787 367 9519
latabernalupulo.com

For free-thinking performance

La Respuesta

This multi-stage performance venue and gallery was founded by local creative advocate José Morales, whose ethos is to promote free thought and expression. Depending on the night, you could be dancing to anything from reggaeton to disco, though Monday nights are legendary for lively late-night hip-hop.

1600 Avenida Manuel Fernández Juncos, San Juan 00909
+1 787 726 0166
larespuestasanturce.com

The Lowdown

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