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There are surprisingly few straight-up bars in Havana. Most drinking venues are part bar, part café, offering rum, beer, coffee and tea in equal measure, while many also serve light meals (some of these are listed with restaurants). They are invariably small, single-room venues and many in Habana Vieja feature live music. A bar crawl in Havana can involve a lot of walking, as there are very few areas with a concentrated buzz – it often makes sense to find a likeable venue and stay there. Obispo in Habana Vieja can lay claim to the biggest concentration of drinking spots – and of jineteros – while the nearby Plaza de la Catedral district is also quite lively at night. In Vedado, the Habana Libre hotel is the best starting point for evening drinking, and the Riviera hotel is another good option, while the La Rampa area has a good clutch of bars and clubs that heat up after 11pm. It’s also worth checking out theatre bars and gardens in Vedado for atmospheric and discerning tipples even if you haven’t attended a performance. However, for sheer joie de vivre you can’t beat taking some beers or a bottle of rum down to the Malecón and mingling with the crowds beneath the stars.

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