Best Nightlife in San Juan
Wherever you go in Puerto Rico, there’s music and there’s dancing. From world-class performing arts venues to spontaneous street parties, the sounds of salsa, reggaetón and Latin trap fill the air.
Whether it’s dancing on the beach until sunrise or opening up a trunk and belting out reggaetón, in Puerto Rico tropical rhythms and Latin beats are woven into the fabric of daily life. Every night of the week, lively plazas, sultry lounge bars, elegant nightclubs and hip cocktail bars speak to Puerto Rico’s status as one of the world’s new music capitals. When in doubt, just head to the artsy neighborhood of Santurce. Check out one of these hot spots to experience the best nightlife in San Juan.
*Note that due to COVID-19, many nightclubs, bars and lounges are operating erratic hours and may require proof of vaccination. We recommend calling ahead for further information.
When it opened in 2013, La Factoría ignited nightlife in San Juan. Still hailed as one of the world’s best bars with a cult following worldwide, it continues to pack in the crowds most nights of the week. One of the video locations for the iconic hit “Despacito,” this is THE place for salsa lovers. Behind an unmarked door there are six bars, each with a very different vibe and concept—hip nightclub, wine bar, salsa dance hall, upscale lounge—unified by a shared passion for music, great conversation and masterpiece mixology. If you want space on the dance floor at the weekend, arrive after 2am or visit on Sundays when you’ll experience the same high quality of dancers and ambience with less crowds.
Address: 148 Calle San Sebastián
Hours: Daily, 11am–11pm
La Terraza de Bonanza
For an authentic experience in artsy Santurce, this welcoming neighborhood chinchorro (local storefront) combines traditional Puerto Rican snacks—alcapurrias (fritters filled with ground beef) and empanadillas (meat-filled turnovers) with cold beer and exhilarating dance performances. This is the place to come for traditional music genres. Monday nights are dedicated to plena—the dynamic call and response folk dance characterized by three or more handheld drums, or panderos, of different sizes/pitches (seguidor, segundo and requinto) and the guiro (a gourd percussion of Taino origin). Performances start at 8pm.
Address: Ave. Eduardo Conde
Hours: Daily 10am–1am
A city icon inside the Fairmont San Juan Hotel, Brava is one of the island’s glitziest nightspots. With its flamboyant décor, big-name DJs and talented local musicians, it continues the hotel’s tradition as San Juan’s glamorous entertainment nexus—when it opened in 1958, legends Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli performed, played and preened here. Following Hurricane María, the club was renovated by designer Jeffrey Beers and a hedonistic vibe prevails on the huge dance floor overlooked by the hip Ultra lounge bar. With its expensive cover charge ($25), premium VIP, table and bottle service and fashionable dress code, Brava attracts San Juan’s celebrity set and well-heeled travelers. On any given night you can expect to hear Latin, house, top 40 Latin hits and electronica. The hotel’s lobby bar is a fine preamble for the evening.
Address: El San Juan Hotel, 6063 Isla Verde Ave
Neighborhood: Isla Verde
Hours: Thurs 10pm–4am, Fri and Sat 11pm–4am
Admission: Strict ID checks. Thurs, ladies & gents 18+; Fri, ladies 18+ & gents 21+; Sat, ladies 21+ & gents 23+
Placita de Santurce
A farmers market by day, lively party scene by night, a visit to the revitalized Placita de Santurce is a rite of passage. After local farmers have packed up their wares, the square takes on its nocturnal alter ego. Office workers swing by, groups of friends spill out onto the streets and families gather at the bars and the myriad restaurants flanking the square. From 10pm, everything kicks up a notch as musicians take to the makeshift stage and spirited salsa and perreo dancing takes hold—invariably the revelry continues until dawn. Any bar hop should include Junglebird, a sleek cocktail bar known for its Tiki-style concoctions, chilled vibe and creative mixology.
Taberna Los Vásquez
One of many emblematic spots that surround La Placita, Los Vásquez is an authentic neighborhood hangout with an infectious energy, soulful vibe and excellent live music on the weekend, from 8pm. Friendly waitstaff line up potent mojitos and cheap cold beers and there’s a small menu of traditional Puerto Rican bites. The locals come here for the quality salsa, fun karaoke nights and two-for-one happy hours.
Address: 1348 Calle Orbeta
Hours: Live music from 8pm at the weekends; call ahead for artists and special events.
La Piazza Terrace Club at Di Zucchero
This sleek lounge space, above an Italian restaurant in Condado transforms into a vibrant weekend dance hall. With an anything-goes ambience, it’s a welcoming spot with locals and travelers mingling and sharing the dance floor. Begin the night with classic wood-fired pizza and homestyle pasta dishes from the restaurant downstairs or enjoy a cocktail or beer and people watch on the outdoor terrace. Special events draw local DJs and Latin music solo artists and bands. Themed events include ladies’ night specials and Italian-centric eat, drink and dance brunches.
Address: 1210 Av. Ashford
Hours: Call ahead for hours, special events and guest performances
Centro de Bellas Artes
In the heart of downtown Santurce, this fine arts center is one of Puerto Rico’s cultural jewels. A lively calendar of events showcases local and internationally renowned musicians and performing artists—world-class ballet, theatre productions and operas. The center’s two-level auditorium, seating over 2,000, is hailed for its lighting, stage sets and sublime acoustics—resulting in part from its suspended platform.
Address: Ave. Ponce De León Pda. 22 ½
Hours: Check the website for a schedule of performances and events
Hidden down a Santurce alleyway, this alternative nightclub and live music venue promotes up-and-coming independent musicians. With graffiti-covered walls, artsy installations and off-beat theatrical presentations, an international vibe prevails. Each night brings a different music genre, with local DJs and live performances across the spectrum. On any given night, you might hear reggae, Latin trap, pop, R&B or hip hop. Comedy acts and performing artists also take to the stage. Cover charge ranges from $5-10 but drinks are overpriced—expect to pay around $20 for a cocktail.
Address: 1600 Av. Manuel Fernández Juncos
Hours: Thurs 9pm–12am, Fri and Sat 10pm–4am
The brainchild of Charlie Sepúlveda—Puerto Rico’s Latin Grammy-winning trumpeter—this smooth jazz bar is Luquillo’s first major music venue. Just off the main square, the 2-story building is emblazoned with a mural painted by Puerto Rican artist Frank Andujar and boasts dramatic views of Luquillo Beach. There’s live music all week long with a stellar line up of jazz greats, including Nestor Torres, James Williams, Henry Cole and Miguel Zenon. You can also find solo performances by Sepúlveda himself and sessions with his quartet, The Turnaround. On Sunday, a jazz brunch has fresh oysters. The top floor features a whisky and wine bar, as well as a cigar smoking lounge.
Address: 97GP+729, Luquillo
Hours: Thurs–Mon 5-11pm, closed Tues and Wed
Location: Luquillo is approximately a 1-hour drive from San Juan. Follow PR-66 east from San Juan, towards Rio Grande, and then take PR-3 South
Carli’s Fine Bistro
A former member of the Beach Boys and a piano player for Wilson Pickett, owner Carli Muñoz now showcases his musical talent at his fine dining bistro. Jazz enthusiasts and gourmands gather every night for world-class performances, spanning a variety of genres, along with superb international bistro fare. Monday night is dedicated to local DJs; Muñoz performs solo on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; Thursdays are all about bossa nova and samba; Fridays Muñoz collaborates with guest musicians; and crowds pack in for 70s and 80s classic rock on Saturdays. The food is a major draw here with symphonic dishes, including New Zealand lamb, tuna carpaccio and lobster ravioli.
Address: 206 Calle Tetuan (South side of the block)
Neighborhood: Old San Juan
Hours: Mon–Sat 5:30–11pm
Beyond nightlife in San Juan, Puerto Rico boasts a thriving cocktail culture that you can explore during the day. For tour and venue ideas, read Best Rum Distillery Tours in Puerto Rico.