San juan beach party: Bars & Lounges | Discover Puerto Rico

Nightlife In Puerto Rico — A Detailed Guide of The Best Spots

No matter which side of the island you’re visiting, it’s no secret that Puerto Rico knows how to party

The island that churned out musical icons like Daddy Yankee, Ricky Martin, and Luis Fonsi sways to the rhythms of Latin music nightly.

From salsa and merengue to rumba, reggaeton, and more, Puerto Rico’s lively music scene is just begging you to dance along to the sultry beats, and you can find plenty of bars, nightclubs, and beachfront dives to show off your moves, indoors or out.

If dancing’s not really your style, Puerto Rico is home to some of the best mixologists in the world, talented bartenders who know more than a thing or two about craft cocktails, beers, and tropical libations. Try some island-made ginger beer, knock back some chichaíto shooters, or indulge in Puerto Rico’s national drink, the piña colada (did you really have to ask?). The wide variety of laid-back bars and beachfront dining spots around the island are perfect for relaxing with a drink in hand — but you might just end up dancing anyway!

From sexy nightclubs to chill beach bars and open-air markets, the Puerto Rico nightlife scene unfolds where you least expect it, whether you’re dancing in the street, shooting pool near the San Juan Cathedral, or partying in your bathing suit. The party is boundless, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll be morning before you know it!

Old San Juan

Old San Juan’s cultural gems aren’t limited to Gothic architecture, famous landmarks, and ancient sites. The nightlife scene in this authentic Puerto Rican city boasts a storied history of its own with decades-old watering holes mingling with new, must-visit destinations tucked around almost every corner. From the over 100-year-old site of the weekend’s best street party to a dive bar that’s famous among local legends and celebrities like the Rolling Stones, Old San Juan’s bars and clubs are the place to leave the tourist traps behind and immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you want to sip a handcrafted cocktail and watch people pass by or perfect your salsa moves, no two nights are the same here. Check out some of our favorite San Juan nightlife spots.

Condado Beach

If you love the chance to get dressed up and show off that tan you’ve been working on, you’re sure to cherish a night on the town in Condado, the most chic and stylish district of San Juan. Here you’ll find some of the area’s trendiest hotels and restaurants, not to mention exclusive bars and clubs that’ll make you feel like a Caribbean celebrity. From dance-’til-you-drop nightclubs to beachfront mansions and unique themed bars, Condado is well worth the higher price point, especially since you’ll be rubbing elbows with a more mature crowd. While it’s worth the splurge, a night on the town here doesn’t have to break the bank; you can find smaller venues at a more reasonable price point. See a few of our favorite Puerto Rico nightlife spots in Condado.

West Coast

Can’t be bothered to ditch the bathing suit and flip flops? There’s no need on Puerto Rico’s west coast, home to the best beaches on the island and world-class surfing spots. Your favorite summer attire can take you from beach to bar in no time thanks to the region’s laid-back oceanfront watering holes and chill nightlife scene with affordable drinks and a crowd of surfers, hippies, and everyone in between. Some of the island’s best beachfront bars can be found in one of Puerto Rico’s top surfing towns, Rincón.

Mayagüez and Ponce

If you’re drawn to a younger crowd, you can’t go wrong with a visit to two of Puerto Rico’s college towns! Mayagüez and Ponce are located on the west and south sides of the island, respectively, and promise cheaper nightlife and lively young partygoers. These spots offer a nice change of pace from the island’s metro area with plenty of surprises at every venue. The bar scene here is ever-changing, so you never know which spots will be in style, but these are some of our favorites!

Keep the Fun Going!

Nightlife is an important consideration no matter where you’re traveling, but Puerto Rico makes it easy with so many options for partying.

The island vibes are exhilarating from sunset to sunrise, so don your bathing suit or miniskirt, and get out on the town!

Nightlife in Puerto Rico is perhaps the best way to immerse yourself in the local culture, and after just one night out, you’ll be ready for more. At least there’s always tomorrow!

 

San Juan Puerto Rico Nightlife & Best Things to Do at Night 2021

The city of San Juan is the most vibrant city in the Caribbean offering visitors authentic cultural experiences all day and night.  Although San Juan is a tourist destination, you won’t find many of the typical tourist trap restaurants and activities.  San Juan is a real place, loved and enjoyed by residents who love celebrating their culture, mingling with friends, and simply celebrating life.  Nightlife is vibrant all throughout the island, but San Juan is especially lively and festive every week of the year. Visitors often speak of the warmth and spice for life they feel when visiting our capital city.

Check out the video below, a great introduction to the nightlife in San Juan. 

San Juan offers something for everyone at night, from fine dining experiences, musical events, trendy clubs to dance the night away, relaxed squares, and even water activities.   With warm weather all year round, outdoor spaces become places to dine, gather, relax or dance.  

Your hardest task will be choosing from over 200 entertainment options including casinos, nightclubs, lounges, music venues, plays, and cultural events held throughout the year.

Nightlife in the New City

San Juan offers the most festive and vibrant nightlife in Puerto Rico from elegant lounges to laid-back bars.

Ashford Avenue in Condado offers plenty of restaurant options from fine dining, to cool casual places.  Many restaurants offer live music so you can dance in between courses.  If you love casinos you can try your luck at various resorts in Condado, Old San Juan, the Convention Center District, and Isla Verde.

If you want to dance the night away and mingle with locals, head to Fifty Eight at La Concha Resort in Condado.  A short taxi ride to Isla Verde Avenue and you can dance at Brava, or Chico Cabaret at Fairmont El San Juan.

Old San Juan Nightlife

If you want a romantic yet vibrant scene at night, head over to Old San Juan.  As you walk around Old San Juan, your senses will kick into high gear.  Black, wrought iron lanterns light up and radiate a golden glow to the cobblestone streets and making the colorful buildings more subdued.  You’ll hear the sounds of salsa, flamenco, jazz, and classical music coming from restaurants, lounges, and cocktail bars.  Busy squares in Old San Juan during the day, become more quiet and romantic at night, where couples and families simply enjoy each other’s company often serenaded by the music of local artists that show up to entertain.  

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As you walk, your appetite will grow with the scent of delightful cuisine that makes San Juan one of the best foodie destinations in the Caribbean.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, after dinner locals love to dance, they’ll be happy to teach you salsa moves.

Popular streets at night are South Fortaleza Street (SoFo), Calle San Sebastian, and Calle del Cristo, with many dining options, and bars.   If you’re in San Juan on a Sunday night, be sure to take a walk along Paseo de la Princesa and enjoy delicious food and drinks from local kiosks, live music, art pieces from local artisans, and the sunset over the San Juan Bay.  Calle Recinto Sur also offers a variety of restaurants.

Walking tours of the city don’t end at sunset, you can enjoy the Old City safely at night and see it in a whole new light.

In San Juan fun in the water doesn’t stop at sunset, for those that prefer nature over city nightlife, will be able to enjoy fun and romantic water activities at Laguna del Condado and the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico.

Go Kayaking at Night at Laguna del Condado

Instead of the sun rays, the city lights reflect on the calm waters of Laguna del Condado, inviting visitors to kayak or paddleboard.  See Night Tours below.

Top Rated Night Kayaking Tours at

Laguna del Condado

Enjoy the Sights of Castillo San Felipe del Morro at Night

We hope you made some time to have a tour of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, best known as El Morro, the most visited and beloved landmark on the island of Puerto Rico.   During the day, the structure is impressive and commanding with sweeping views of the city.  The grounds are playgrounds where children and adults alike fly kites, play, and relax to the cooling tradewinds.

Right at sunset, the ambiance turns more mellow and romantic with a natural show of golden hues on the skies.  By night, when most people are dining around the city, one of the most mesmerizing sights is enjoyed by a few friends and families that sit on the grounds enjoying a bottle of wine and good conversation with the absolute best sight in the city at night.  If you lack the energy to walk back to the grounds of El Morro, grab a taxi and walk down towards the entrance at a relaxed pace, you’re on vacation.. make the most of it together.

+ Castillo San Felipe del Morro — San Juan, Puerto Rico

Enjoy a Cocktail Tour in Old San Juan

If you enjoy the art of cocktails, you’ll love staying in San Juan, the “Rum Capital of the Caribbean”.   With that title, you should expect no less than the best, the colorful vibrant city of Old San Juan is a great place to begin.  Within the city walls, you’ll find some of the most popular bars, we recommend you book a tour and allow the friendly knowledgeable guides to take you to the best bars to savor the best cocktails.  For those that don’t wish to cut time away from the beach, the tours include some sightseeing around the city as well.  By the time you’re done with the tour, we are confident you will have a new favorite drink and a new favorite city.

Top Rated Cocktail Tours in Old San Juan

Bioluminescent Bays of Puerto Rico

Be sure to book a bioluminescent bay tour after a fun day on the beaches of San Juan.  The blue skies become dark and starry and the only blue you’ll see on the water are dinoflagellates creating a natural fluorescent show, sure to be one of the highlights of your vacation in San Juan.

Top Rated Bioluminescent Bay Tours 

Kick off a Great Night in Old San Juan with a Sunset Tour

Enjoying a sunset in the romantic walled city of Old San Juan is a must while visiting San Juan.   A great way to kick-start an evening is by taking a walk to see the city in the golden hues of the sunset.  You may watch the sunset from one of the squares and parks overlooking the bay, Paseo de la Princesa and Paseo del Morro.  The ultimate treat at sunset is sailing around the walled city along San Juan Bay, the experience is so amazing, it was ranked #8 Top Sailing Tours in the  World by Traveler’s Choice 2021 (see tour below).  

Great Sunset Tours in Old San Juan

San Juan tourist destinations are safe with a strong and noticeable police presence giving visitors peace of mind.  Like any other city in the world, there are neighborhoods that have a history of crime.  Feel free to stop and speak to a policeman if you have any questions about safety.   Of course, common sense is always advised when traveling to any destination.

Festival Sant Joan (San Juan) in Barcelona 2023

A man in a suit with fireworks at the celebration of the San Juan Festival

Catalonia attaches great importance to the summer solstice, the shortest night of the year. This is a festive day, which is famous for its emotional atmosphere and very noisy parties. If you find yourself at this time in Barcelona, ​​then you will not miss this holiday at all — you will be reminded of it by bonfires in the streets and constant bursts of firecrackers! Celebrations each year begin on June 23rd, but officially the holiday takes place on June 24th.

This article describes the holiday in detail: places of festive events, history of the holiday, opening hours of shops and restaurants on the holiday, and traditional celebrations.


Fireworks at Barceloneta

History of San Juan

The San Juan Festival marks the start of summer. This is the longest day of the year known as the summer solstice. This is one of the most important holidays for the Catalans, it is celebrated by the whole city. The point is that on the night of San Juan, the sun reaches its highest point before it begins its descent. The sun is a symbol of fertility and wealth, so it must be given strength. Strength is given by bonfires and fireworks, which are lit throughout the city.



It is believed that Saint Juan is personified by three symbols — water, fire and herbs. Fire symbolizes purity, so bonfires are lit. Water symbolizes healing. Therefore, in some areas, people bathe in the sea at night. Herbs symbolize medicine, and some believe that on the night of San Juan, their healing properties are enhanced a hundredfold. The herbs are usually picked on the night of San Juan.

Many of these rituals are not advertised, and you are unlikely to encounter them during a trip to Barcelona. However, one element that you definitely won’t miss is fire.


San Juan Holiday Activities

Vacationers on the beach Barceloneta

The Catalans often call the San Juan holiday «Nit del Foc», which translates as «Night of Fire». The main aspect of the celebrations are fireworks. A few days before the start of the celebrations, many fireworks tents appear in the city, with long queues. Many families and friends organize their own celebrations called «Reveltes». Barcelona is a city of balconies and terraces, so those with the biggest balcony or the best views of the city invite friends and family over to watch the fireworks, eat and dance.

People dine at the San Juan feast

If your friends aren’t having a party, the most popular place to celebrate San Juan is the beach. Barceloneta beach starts to fill up from the early evening of 23 June, people come for a picnic, drink cava, watch the fireworks and listen to the music coming from the chiringuitos (beach bars). Bands of musicians and drummers also gather on the beach to provide a soundtrack to the whole action.

From early evening, local beach restaurants set up extra tables and chairs and hang decorations. The restaurants are very popular with the locals, who start the evening with a hearty dinner to fill their bellies before a long night of drinking and dancing.


Drummers at the San Juan Festival

Since the beach gets crowded over time, it makes sense to go there before dark to get a seat, this is around 21:00. Bring along picnic tablecloths and warm clothing for nights out. If you have small children with you, then you need to understand that at night it becomes very noisy on the beach, firecrackers and fireworks explode all around. It is worth arriving at the beach early to leave by midnight.


Some bars on the beach and in its vicinity organize special street stalls at the entrance, from which they sell drinks and snacks for people relaxing on the beach.

Santa Marta Beach Bar

Various performances take place in the squares around the beach. They are very interesting, but often not for the faint of heart. The locals put on costumes and arrange various performances using pyrotechnics. This year I saw one such performance at the Plaza de Barceloneta. There was a man dressed as a devil and many other people in costumes. Suddenly, people with large fireworks in their hands ran to the center of the square. They ran in the crowd of spectators and sparks flew everywhere. It was very exciting, it was especially strong when I put out the sparks that flew into my friend’s hair!


Finding official information about planned events in local barrios is quite difficult. During the day and early evening, keep an eye out for the squares where the preparations for the evening performances take place. If you like something, then return there when it starts to get dark, and you will get to an interesting performance.


Food

The only official San Juan treat is Coque. These are pies similar to bread, which are displayed in the windows of all the bakeries of the city. These pies come in different types, both sweet and savory. Some add cracker crumbs, fruit, nuts, or cream. The only ingredient they have in common is anise, which gives all Coque pies their characteristic anise flavor.

This is the only traditional San Juan dish. You will notice that many Catalans go to restaurants on the evening of 23 June. If you are going to go to a restaurant to eat, it is better to book a table in advance so that later it will not be offensive. As mentioned later, the day after the San Juan holiday, June 24, is a non-working day. Therefore, many restaurants are closed on this day.


Opening hours

The main celebrations of the San Juan Festival take place on June 23 — Midsummer Eve. Like Christmas Eve, this day is not officially a non-working day, so all bars, restaurants and shops work according to their usual schedule.

24 June is a non-working day in Barcelona. Most bars, restaurants and shops are closed on this day. On this day in Barcelona there is definitely an «after the holiday» atmosphere. The only people you’ll meet on the streets are the scavengers who clean up the remains of fireworks, beer bottles and serpentine streamers that dot the sidewalks. Many danced until early morning, so the curtains are drawn everywhere, and people sleep off, struggling with a hangover.


If you want to touch this magic, but not plunge into the frenzy happening on the beach, you can climb the hills and see the city from above. You can go on a picnic to Montjuïc Castle and watch the fireworks that are launched from the city from there.


Fireworks on the Barceloneta beach

The San Juan Festival is one of the most exciting festivals in Barcelona. At the beginning of summer, there is already a feeling of excitement in the air. It is magnified tenfold on an exciting night when the streets are full of old people and young people having a blast. As befits the Spaniards, they celebrate with sincerity, organizing performances and parties in every courtyard and alley. Don’t wait for any special events, just get together with your friends, take food and drinks with you, and go for a walk and participate in the riots.

Campfires of Saint John in Spain 2022 date and place

Campfires of Saint John in Spain — National festivals and holidays in the country of Spain attract tourists from all over the world. We have prepared an overview of the Night of San Juan event, photos, selected popular hotels and options on how to significantly save on travel.

    Have you ever heard of the San Juan Festival in Spain? If you happen to visit the country, especially its beaches, on June 23rd, it would be hard for you to ignore the celebration. But what is it all about? Read on to find out everything you need to know about San Juan in Spain. What is La Noche de San Juan in Spain?

    The Feast of San Juan, or St. John, falls on June 24 of each year, but the celebrations take place on St. John’s Eve, June 23rd. Just a few days after midsummer, beaches across the country celebrate a Spanish festival that welcomes the coming summer. Most Spaniards believe that this marks the true beginning of summer, when Spain comes into its own.

    So, as you can imagine, this is a fantastic reason to party. This is in many ways a holiday dedicated to fire, and the bonfires of St. John that burn on the beaches of the country are legendary. The fires of San Juan are believed to purify and protect by warding off evil spirits. Some celebrate with family, some with friends, and some make new friends on the beach, but there is always food, drink and music. Some places are busier than others for these festivities, one of the most popular festivals in Spain, but you’re practically guaranteed a great atmosphere wherever you go.

    If you choose any of Spain’s major coastal cities, expect crowds. What superstitions are associated with the San Juan holiday in Spain? Some people still believe that this is a magical night when the ancient pagan gods are closer to people. It is the source of many of the rituals that people still take part in on the night of the San Juan festival.

    Traditions vary throughout the country, but fire jumping is widespread and is meant to strengthen the sun or burn away your troubles and bring good luck. It is customary to jump at least three times, but some jump up to nine.

    In Malaga, for example, as in many other places in Spain, some people make wishes at midnight on the night of the San Juan fiesta. They write down their wishes for the coming months and the things they want to say goodbye to on San Juan night on slips of paper. Then they burn them in the fires of St. John, symbolizing liberation from the past and hope for the future.

    After that, they run into the sea to swim, imagining that these wishes come true. Wherever you are, all the rituals associated with San Juan in Spain are associated with fire and water. People can burn something old to start a new life, swim in the ocean to purify their soul, or drink from fountains that some say take on magical healing powers at night.

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