Where to Find Havana’s Gay Nightlife

People sitting on the Malecon at sunset as vintage cars drive by in Havana, Cuba.

The Malécon at sunset. Photo © Diego Cervo/123rf.

Gay life in Havana has expanded noticeably in recent years, although homosexual venues remain subject to police crackdowns. There are no established gay bars or clubs, which are banned, and the gay “scene” revolves around “hangout” street locales and spontaneous private parties. Many venues attract male prostitutes, called pingueros (from the Spanish word pinga, or prick).

Most nights there are gay parties known as divino parties or fiestas de diez pesos at private venues (entrance typically costs 10 pesos, or sometimes CUC1-2). Private parties often feature drag shows. Venues change nightly and are spread by word of mouth. The amphitheater at Parque Lenin is the unlikely venue for a monthly drag show.

To find out where the night’s gay party is, head to the Malecón, opposite Fiat Café near the foot of La Rampa (Calle 23).

Casa Miglis (Calle Lealtad #120 e/ Animas y Lagunas, Centro Habana, tel. 07/863-1486, daily noon-1am) hosts gay parties the last Saturday of each month.

Discoteca Escaleras al Cielo (Zulueta #658 e/ Gloria y Apodaca, Habana Vieja, discotecaescalerasalcielo@elguajirit.com, Fri.-Sat. 10pm-4am) draws an LGBT crowd.

A transvesti show is hosted at the Sociedad Cultural Rosalía de Castro (Av. de Bélgica #504 altos, e/ Máximo Gómez y Dragones, tel. 07/862-3193).

In Vedado, Cabaret Las Vegas (Infanta esq. 25, daily 10pm-4am, CUC2-3) is also popular for its nightly transvestite cabarets.

This article has been updated with information from the newest edition of Moon Cuba.×

Travel map of Centro Vedado, Cuba

Centro Vedado


Excerpted from the Sixth Edition of Moon Cuba.

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

  1. pierre says:

    Are there any gay places in Varadero or Matanzas?

    • Kimi Owens (admin) says:

      Hi Pierre,

      The content in Moon Cuba for LGBT travelers is primarily centered in Havana with some additional resources given in the back of the book. Christopher does run his own website, if you’d like to reach out to him directly.

  2. ivor jones says:

    Are there any gay saunas in Havana or gay cruising areas?
    Thanks,
    Ivor

    • Kimi Owens (admin) says:

      Hi Ivor,

      The book this article comes from is currently under revision, so the info the article is a few years old, but Christopher does mention above that the main area for cruising is “the Malecón, opposite Fiat Café near the foot of La Rampa.”