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Bars & Nightlife
The bars around the resorts are where most people go to enjoy most of their evening. Usually, the bars have some form of entertainment. For the early part of the evening they have huge screened TVs showing various programmes from all over Europe, usually comedy shows for us Brits but if there's a football match happening back home then it's on TV here too in one or many of them. Later on there's a DJ as the music gets turned up. Some bars have other forms of entertainment as well, there's always karaoke somewhere, quizzes, darts tournaments, family cabaret (and adult cabaret later on) and so on...
The larger bars have a small dance floor and stick with the DJ as entertainment. Bars are open all the way through the day, closing in the early hours of the morning whenever they start getting quiet, usually from 3am midweek and from 4 or so at week-ends. If it's busy, it's open. A beer or a (big) short by the way costs around €2.
Going out for a drink in a bar is what makes most people's holidays here by the way. As well as the measures of alcohol you get, the music and the games and entertainment it seems to be the people that make the night. As well as everyone being "up for it" (a good night out), you'll find the staff in these places extremely entertaining and friendly, that includes the management & owners. I've been asked to stress that so many times by people who've been here, so I stress that!!
As you walk around the resorts you'll find a lot of complexes have their own entertainment, advertise the fact at the entrance and invite guests from outside the complex to go in and enjoy the fun.
NIGHT CLUBS have the same policy as bars with their hours but open nearer midnight and tend to stay busy an hour or so longer. Drinks are a lot more expensive and there's an entrance fee at week-ends but promoters give away free entrance tickets midweek so look out for them.
One thing with the drinks here, if you're drinking what we call "shorts", half your glass or more will be filled with alcohol before the mixer goes in, generous measures indeed! You need to be 18 to be able to consume alcohol in the bars here but under 18 is fine to go in accompanied by an adult. In fact, some of the bars have children's parties very early on in the evening.
The main, livelier and busier nightlife is found in the main commercial center at the bottom of the resort. There are two main night clubs there also, one at the side of the commercial centre (on the side of the park) called "Fibber Magees" and the other, called "Jokers" is on the basement level. The Europa center at the top of the main hill also offers a good choice of nightlife and seems a little more family orientated, especially during the July & August when the young-fun crowd tend to stick with the bottom center. A nice, quiet place to head for is the main harbour to the left of the beach; there's a few smaller and peaceful bars there to sit, relax and enjoy a bit of peace, quiet and conversation.
Playa del Ingles
Well, same as Puerto Rico only there's 12 centers instead of 2 to choose from and twice as many complexes so obviously a lot more going on. The three centers together - Kasbah, Metropole & Plaza - is the area to head for if you're looking for a more clubby atmosphere around the bars and also that's the area where most of the clubs themselves are. The Yumbo center is where the gay nightlife happens but couples and even families are always around the bottom level to watch the La Belle drag show from around 11:00pm for a couple of hours. The other centers are very family orientated and quite a few of the restaurants around Playa del Ingles also have some form of entertainment going on during the evening. The Annexo II is a nice center to head for as it's right on the beach - more of a place for a bit of peace and quiet down there though.
A lovely peaceful resort so not a lot in the way of nightlife. Other than the larger, busier hotels and complexes themselves organising their own entertainment, you'll find a few quiet bars in the Varadero center (near the lighthouse and beach) and the Faro 2 center (near the Holiday World park). Again in Holiday World there's a couple of new nightclubs (one's a Salsa club) which get very busy Friday and Saturday nights.
What's the legal
A) 18 years of age
Can under 18s go
A) Yes, but they shouldn't be consuming any alcohol