Salsa is one of the most important music genres in Colombia. Born in New York City out of traditional Latin rhythms from Caribbean countries, Salsa entered Colombia and its flavor permeated throughout our regions resulting in a huge Salsa scene with not only excellent musicians but mesmerizing dancers, and talented singers. Salsa groups are often big, demonstrating a huge mastery of synchronicity and timing, and their lyrics tell stories about cities, love, and peculiar humans. This genre bursts with flavor and talent, it is great for dancing and amazing to listen to.
Dancing Salsa is an experience you cannot miss! It is so much fun to move your body to the music and feel it resonating inside of you. Who knows, you might have some Colombian blood in you! Fall in love with this music genre and get inspired to dance, sing or listen to it regularly.
Yes, we know, Cali is considered the “capital of Salsa”. But that does not mean that we don’t dance in other Colombian cities! Bogotá has some great Salsa bars, that you should check out during your stay, especially if you won’t make it to Cali.
But where do the locals go Salsa dancing? In this blog post we present three Salsa bars that we have visited, for an unforgettable night of rhythm and fun!
Where: This bar is located in Carrera Séptima with Calle 40B Number 31 on the second floor. (Carrera 7 No. 40 B - 31 Piso 2)
Story: Named after the birth city of the great musician Mozart, the bohemian bar wants to position itself as one of the best Salsa bars in Bogotá.
Music and Events: They mainly play Salsa or related genres like jazz latino, son, timba, and songo. Salszburgo regularly hosts events, like their Salsa Thursday or inviting different artists and DJs. Preferably, you check our their events on Facebook (link below) to make sure they play the right music when you go.
Facilities: The bar has a smallish dance floor in the middle, while you’ll find tables with chairs and sofas on the sides and a bar opposite the entrance. There are convenient drawers underneath the seats to store your bags and jackets, so they will not come in the way when dancing. Also, there are some small screens above the dancefloor, where they show the music videos. The bar is great for practicing your first steps, for this we recommend arriving early (from 8 pm onward).
Salzburgo Galería Bar
Where: You will find this bar club close to Parque de Los Periodistas (Journalists Park), in Las Aguas o Germania, opposite of the University de Los Andes, Eje Ambiental o Avenida Jimenez con Carrera 1 esquina nor/oriental.
History: El Goce already existed in 1978, but they were situated in another neighborhood. Now their bar is part of an antique house from the year 1745. As you can imagine this house has an impressive history: visited by Simón Bólivar, functioning as a tollhouse, later inhabited by a prince, being the best sweets shop in Bogotá and later converted into a famous brothel.
Music: The bar plays a music mix, mainly salsa, but also reggae, folkloric music from the Caribbean and Pacific coast as well as rock & roll, blues, and samba.
Facilities: They have a rustic interior, most of their tables and chairs made out of wood. On the walls, they put some torches as a light source and they also have a chimney. The DJ booth looks very cool, from the ceiling dangle old instruments and the wall behind the booth is packed with old vinyl discs. El Goce has two dance areas, in which you also find two big screens where music videos are shown. Because it is situated more in the center of the capital - at the border of La Candelaria, a popular area and near tourist hotspots - you might find more tourists and international people here.
Entrance to El Goce Pagano
Where: This traditional bar is based in the center of Bogotá: In Carrera 5 with Calle 17 (Cra. 5 #17-76)
History: Founded in 1979 by students from the National University, this bar is one of the oldest, established and iconic Salsa bars in town.
Music and Events: Influenced by international music, it does not only play Salsa but also jazz, funk, and soul. It is very known for its great live music with excellent music groups. When we went there played a group from Venezuela (La Llave) with two violins, a contrabass, a piano and different drums and rhythm instruments. Quiebra Canto is known as a place for yet unknown bands and artists. From this bar emerged now popular music groups e.g. La 33 who played on their stage during their early years. They have weekly events with live bands and DJs, check it out on their website.
Facilities: The bar has two floors, on the ground floor there is a stage with a dancing area in front of it. From the second floor, it is possible to look down onto the stage. At the sides of the rooms are tables and chairs to sit. They have a large bar but also offer table service. Their walls are plastered with pictures and posters of different artists and create a great ambiance and mood.
View on the stage in Quiebra Canto
Maybe you are staying in a totally different part of the city? Check out this website to look for Salsa bars closer to where you live (website in Spanish): https://www.hardsalsabogota.com/bares/
To get you in the right mood for your Salsa night, or if you want to practice some steps beforehand, we created a Salsa playlist for you!