It’s Travel Tuesday! Today I got some insider San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips for you. Needing only to be 18+ to enjoy most of the nightlife, I was able to sample a great deal of hotels, casinos, and clubs before I went to college in the USA. Additionally, I have been going back every year. I wonder…why the heck haven’t I written a post about them yet?!
**I will be referring to the San Juan metro area, including not only the capital, but also Isla Verde, Guaynabo, and Río Piedras
Party hotel lobbies and casinos
Let’s be honest here: Everything about Puerto Rico is a party. You can’t only find a party hotel, but also a party casino. In fact, even the locals flock into upscale hotel lobbies during the weekends for excellent free entertainment. Latin bands play live until the wee hours of the night (approximately 4 AM), with an accompanying bar serving until then.
Within the same hotels, there are also lively casinos, some which are open 24 hours a day! In there, the party atmosphere continues with great free drinks, food, and gambling that never sleeps. Below, my San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips + list of my favorite party hotel lobbies and casinos:
Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino: Party at the Ambassador Club Lounge; gamble at the 24-hour casino with 482 slot machines.
1369 Ashford Ave., San Juan 00907
La Concha Resort (A Renaissance Hotel): Laid-back, yet ultra elegant atmosphere. Rub shoulders with the chic locals. Party is at the lobby as well. Great Latin band at the Ocean Lounge on Wednesday nights, by the way.
1077 Ashford Avenue, San Juan 00907
Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza: Rated among the Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in the Caribbean by Tripadvisor readers, the lobby is where it’s at. Usually best on Fridays, when the entire Condado strip is hot to party.
999 Ashford Avenue, San Juan 00907
Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino: An all-time favorite of mine. I have partied at this lobby and gambled at this casino on several occasions. The live Latin bands and even DJs at the lobby are always great. Best San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips for this location: It is an older crowd, best for those over 25 (or anyone trying to avoid the youngsters in their late teens/early 20s). Party starts to sizzle on Wednesdays or Thursdays, depending on the season.
Ashford Ave, San Juan 00907
Old San Juan
Hotel El Convento: The number one hotel in San Juan in terms of charm and service. Ironic, yes–it used to be a convent! Good parties at the lobby on Wednesdays.
100 Cristo St, Old San Juan, San Juan 00901
Isla Verde area
El San Juan Hotel & Casino: Ultra lavish hotel, beautiful grounds, even non-guests can venture to the beach on its backyard whilst partying. Not only are there great-grandson parties in the lobby, but also at the nearby nightclub (Brava) and even burlesque lounge (The Rose Club – call 787.565.7700 for showtimes). **Fridays and Saturdays are best for partying at the lobby. Brava usually has the best DJs on Saturday nights.
6063 Isla Verde Ave, Carolina 00979
Most of the hottest nightclubs in the island play Latin (salsa, merengue, bachata, and particularly reggaetón) and/or electronic music. The more upscale establishments will usually have two rooms or more– with at least 2 different DJs dedicated to these genres. Conversely, a select few offer metal, underground genres, and even poetry readings. My San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips for this category are:
Brava (nightclub inside San Juan Hotel & Casino): Quite possibly, the classiest crowd in Puerto Rico. Also popular with tourists staying at the hotel. Most guests are in their 20s. Best parties usually take place on Saturday nights.
The Rose Club (also inside El San Juan Hotel & Casino): As described on their website, this is “Puerto Rico’s First Cabaret Nightclub Venue featuring Miss Dakota’s Ran Can Can Burlesque Show.”
La Respuesta: Self-described as “home to Puerto Rico’s underground artists,” you may come here to listen to local poetry or even metal bands. Great place to learn about the youth culture of the island. Many special events; official website updated frequently.
1600 Ave. Fernandez Juncos, esq. Calle Del Parque, Santurce
Sport bars and other popular watering holes
Great cover bands and too-good-to-be-true drink specials characterize the sport bar scene in San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife. Then it is a really big party when an important boxing fight takes place or if the Puerto Rico basketball team is playing in an important championship abroad. If you want to party with the locals like very few do, you must come down here on a boxing weekend!
One of the best San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips I can give you, by the way? Even restaurants are turned into nightlife hotspots on my island. Whether it is a special event or not, bars and other popular watering holes are still happening. *Please note, the drink specials are not as good at the upscale restaurants and lounges in comparison to the pubs and dive bars.* Below is a list of my favorites:
Shanna’s Pub: Irish bar, extremely popular with the locals. Goes crazy on boxing match nights and any given Friday or Saturday. Also very busy on Wednesdays, so be there before midnight.
On marginal of Martínez Nadal Expressway, corner of Esmeralda Avenue, Guaynabo
Di Zucchero Restaurant & Lounge: Very busy on Fridays, particularly after 12:30 AM.
1210 Ashford Ave, Condado 00908 (Condado)
Miro Seafood Bar and Grill: Fridays is the night for pretty much every bar and restaurant on the Condado strip. Miro is no exception.
1214 Ashford Avenue, Condado 00907
Small Bar, Beer Garden and Dive Bar: Crowded hotspot, but relatively relaxed for the Condado strip.
1106 Ave. Dr. Ashford (Across La Concha, between Mhan Chung & El Balcón), Condado 00907
La Placita: This is the hidden gem of my San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips for tourists. La Placita is not just an establishment, but an entire plaza full of popular bars. College kids attending the state university, and even young professionals alike flock here on Wednesdays and weekends. Here you’ll find some of the cheapest drinks in town!
Parada 18, between Ponce de Leon and Baldorioty de Castro, San Juan
Got additional San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips? Comment below!
**Special thanks to Stella Rodgz for being the major contributor of this San Juan Puerto Rico nightlife tips post!
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