Aycinena Passage, 10 years ago it became a passage of bars and cultural activity of the historic center of Guatemala City. Also known locally as "The Hundred Gates", named after the 1st bar that reopened in this historic building, but outside of this bar will find a dozen alternative places with the same cheap prices and alternative settings. A downtown artists, volunteers of NGOs are pushing for some months youth some more money that they want to give the alternative, but still remains a simple place with concerts and interesting people with whom to talk!
I took some friends for a beer at Rattle and Hum, Area 10, I told them it was a really lively area, but it wasn't really when we went (but it was Tuesday, hopefully at the weekend it's more cheerful! ). I liked the atmosphere at the Rattle and Hum. There's good rock music, and even live music the night we went. Pub-like, it's a happy place, with tourists and Guatemalans, good drinks, and also a space half facing the street outside, to enjoy a caña while smoking a cigarette! Oh and the last thing I liked: peanuts for free! (They also sell pizzas, burgers, etc.)
Ambia is one of the best restaurants in Guatemala City. You have to try the gin with cucumber soda and red pepper. I especially like the atmosphere in the garden...you feel like your miles away from the rush of the city. The menu is extensive and good overall. Don't miss it during your trip to Guatemala City.
Studio 35 is one of the most popular bars in Antigua. And it gained this success in no time. If I remember correctly, it opened in December 2006, so it has taken a little more than two years, operating on Arch Street. In the past, everyone used to get together in the Mono Loco and Sin Ventura located on the south side of Arch Street. Now the studio is always full, because they have some excellent deals, and the themed parties are widely varied. The kitchen offers simple dishes, the best pizza in Antigua, crepes and salads. Then there are special nights at Christmas and Halloween. They give you drinks if you come dressed up. One of the most popular nights is Friday because women have 4-for-1 drinks! On Saturday, 100 Quetzales you have an open bar, this is only $10, the price of a single drink at a nightclub in Europe! Remember that the bars close at 12.30am. People then go out to eat and dance until the early hours to make up for it.
The Sinventura is a cheerful bar in Old Guatemala. It's on the 4th Avenue South, right next to Mono Loco, when you go past the central park. It is an institution in Antigua because it is free to get in, the drinks are cheap and there is always a great atmosphere. At the entrance, they check your bag so that you do not take drink or weapons in, which is rare for a Westerner, but often occurs in Guatemala. There's even a place where people can leave their weapons and they are returned when they leave. In the Sinventura, there are salsa classes a few times a week and there are often some very good dancers on a Saturday night. Classes are free, you just have to buy a drink. The place, like all bars in Guatemala, closes just before 1 am, but it fills up early, at 9 pm and is packed.
I love it. When I got to the end of the street that leads to the cemetery I looked around for somewhere to get a drink and what did I find? The Last Goodbye bar, good name considering what it is next to.
It's nice, after so many years of visiting Guatemala, to see how the historic center (zone 1) has changed. Before it had a bad reputation and only had the famous hundred gates but is gradually reviving itself and has become a district where the cultural and nocturnal life are gaining momentum. Grand Hotel is one of the places that contribute to this revival of zone 1. A few blocks from Central Park, the bar is named after its former function of a luxurious hotel. It has retained magnificent columns and arches, painted by the new owners with happy colours. In this original building there's a lot of life, mostly live music concerts with local bands, DJs, every weekend but also on some weekdays. A few days ago the Gold Room opened but i couldn't see it. They say that with that Grand Hotel it becomes true concert hall with 400 places! Forgive me for the night I went there I didn't have my camera, unfortunately I cannot show the blue walls and gilded columns, drapery fabrics and majestic curtains, the Commedia dell'Arte masks and the well-stocked bar!