The Best Salsa Spots in Medellin 

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TLDR? Medellin offers both salsa bars and dance schools where you can sway your hips to some salsa! 

Salsa has long been the most popular type of dance in Colombia, although you won’t have trouble finding bachata and cumbia bars, either.

If you’re a dancer, Medellin boasts a variety of spots around the city where salseros can hit the dance floor. Whether it’s a bar or a dance club you’re headed to, there are some amazing places to go.

From crowded bars to outside patios, here is a round-up of the best places in the area you can dance salsa. 

Salsa Bars

If you want the authentic Colombian salsa experience head to one of Medellin’s time-honored salsa bars. These hole-in-the-wall joints are the best places to get a taste of the local dance culture. 

Son Havana

Son Havana

At Son Havana, they pay tribute to Cuban salsa rhythms with live performances. Dancers get the exciting opportunity to step to the sounds of musicians as they sing on stage.

One of the city’s iconic salsa establishments, Son Havana, has expanded to two locations: one in Poblado and one in Laureles

Laureles is home to the original bar. An intimate setting, dancers rock to the music in between the tables. During the weekend (their busiest time), it gets packed with limited seating.

This spot is best enjoyed if you get a table with a group of friends. This isn’t the best spot for my fellow dancers who want a place to practice their newest moves.

However, if you just want to do some basic steps and enjoy some live salsa music, it should definitely be on your list. 

The more spacious twin to its first location, the Poblado Son Havana is a combination indoor and outdoor bar. An extension of the inner area, the tables on the patio are positioned to create a small dance space. With the fresh breeze and roomy exterior, this venue is definitely more dancer-friendly.

Similar to the other location, it is best to come with friends. 

Best Day(s) to Go: Friday and Saturday 

Cover Charge: Yes 

Poblado Address: Son Havana Laureles Cra. 73 #44-73 a 44-1, Medellín, Laureles, Medellín, Antioquia

Poblado Address: Son Havana Poblado, Cl 10 #43d-34, Medellín, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia

El Tibiri 

El Tibiri

This underground salsa club is a local favorite. Tucked downstairs from a busy street in Laureles, this basement bar gets packed quickly, so be prepared to sweat.

The music selection is an energetic mix of salsa caleña, son cubano, boogaloo, guaguanco, pachanga, timba, mambo, latin jazz, mambo and cha-cha. 

Frequented mostly by city natives, at this spot, salsa caleña steps dominate the dance floor, the most popular style in Colombia.

El Tibiri welcomes dancers of all styles and experience levels. The crowd is made up of individuals with different skill levels who want to let loose, so plenty of people are willing to invite you onto the floor. 

If you’re interested in exploring Latin rhythms and movement, El Tibiri offers dance classes. Just make sure to check their updated schedule as it does change.

Best Day(s) to Go: Thursday 

Cover Charge: No 

Address: Cl. 44B #70-03, Medellín, Laureles, Medellín, Antioquia

Dance Schools 

For dancers who are looking for top-notch partners and spacious floors to practice their moves, the city’s salsa academies are your best bet.

Dance schools by day, these locales turn into some of the best salsa spots in the city by night.  

Al Mambo 

Al Mambo

For all my On2 dancers looking for somewhere to practice their footwork, look no further than Al Mambo.

This distinct company focuses on various On2 dance styles and offers classes in afro-cuban, pachanga, boogaloo, cubano, and mambo. 

Starting from Thursday, the school puts on regular socials, where On2 enthusiasts can have a place to dance all night in their preferred style.

For more experienced dancers, as well as dance lovers, hosts dance battles, where competitors freestyle against each other for a cash prize. 

Best Day(s) to Go: Thursday 

Cover Charge: Yes

Address: Cra. 75 #30-09, Medellín, Belén, Medellín, Antioquia

Social Club 

Social Club

True to its name, Social Club is a dance school but with the atmosphere of a club. This crossover bar plays salsa, bachata, kizomba, cumbia, and even reggaeton. The venue has plentiful outdoor seating, with a covered dance floor and bar. 

Before the social dancing begins, they offer group classes in different styles each day of the week. Group classes are a great way to learn new steps and meet people and potential dance partners before the night begins. 

Social Club is a good place for beginners who want to practice what they’ve learned, however for more experienced dancers, the level can be hit or miss.

One of my favorite parts of the night is the performance, where professionals from the city take to the floor!

If you decide to head over to this venue, please note it’s tricky to find. Located on the side of the Rotonda La Aguacatala, a highway roundabout, don’t be surprised if your taxi or uber driver gets confused when dropping you off. 

Best Day(s) to Go: Friday, Saturday

Cover Charge: Yes

Address: Calle 12 sur # 48-01, Local 102., (Rotonda Interna Aguacatala)

Website: https://www.socialclubacademia.com/

Nueva Guardia

Nueva Guardia

This popular dance school hosts socials for salsa, bachata, and tango in their dance studio. Here you can find a good mix of dancers who dance salsa linea, salsa caleña, and ON 2. 

Because it’s a dance studio, there are nice floors and mirrors along the wall, ideal for people who want to practice. Additionally, it is pretty spacious, so you don’t have to worry as much about bumping into other dancers. 

If you are looking for pure salsa, you won’t find it here. Like most dance school socials, they play a mix of genres, so about 50/50 salsa and bachata. 

Best Day(s) to Go: Thursday 

Cover Charge: Yes

Address: Cra. 69 #43-55, Medellín, Laureles, Medellín, Antioquia

DanceFree

DanceFree

DanceFree is undoubtedly the most well-known dance school among foreigners in Medellin. They teach private and group lessons at their studio throughout the week and host regular socials. 

For people new to the dance scene DanceFree is a welcoming place to start. The studio has a large dance floor, so you can move about without it turning into bumper cars, or you can sit and take it all in.

For added convenience, there is a place to check in your belongings in case you don’t want to carry your stuff around all night. 

Arrive early for a more social dancing vibe. Later in the night, the music switches to a more reggaeton club atmosphere. To find out when they have socials check their social media page. 

Best Day(s) to Go: Saturday or when they host socials

Cover Charge: Yes

Address: Cl 10A #40-27, Medellín, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia

Website: https://www.dancefree.com.co/

Tips for Going Out Salsa Dancing in Medellin 

If you’re planning to go salsa dancing, there are a few things that you can do to make your time even more enjoyable. Here are a couple of tips to help you get your dancing shoes on:

  • Bring cash, even places that don’t have an entry fee only accept cash at the bar 
  • If you want to go dancing at a local salsa spot, learn the basic dance steps first
  • Follow the social media pages of dance schools in the city to find what socials are happening that week 

With these tips, you’re ready to get out and start dancing!

Final Thoughts

No matter what day of the week, you can find salsa somewhere in the city, so get on your dancing shoes and enjoy the incredible dance places Medellin has to offer! 

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