Sociable Nicas love nothing better to go out to eat and drink, often in large groups. Dancing is always on the agenda and discotecas – from glitzy clubs to dingy bars – play everything from hip-hop to salsa, merengue and booty-shaking reggaeton. If you don’t know your left foot from your right, there are often classes available.
Bars and cafés open by the week in Granada, from sophisticated cocktail bars in colonial courtyards (usually on the west side of the plaze), to more rustic beer joints on the lakeshore.
Student-filled León is bursting with bars that are open late most of the week, especially around the Teatro Municipal. Some even have a cultural slant, with poetry readings and discussions. Conversely, try laidback San Juan del Sur – it’s main strip has a party feel, with happy hour cocktails, open mic nights, film nights, DJ's and live bands.
Managua’s Zona Rosa is the up-and-coming party district, with clubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and a casino. The Zona Viva, around the Galerías Santo Domingo shopping mall, is another popular bar-hopping spot.
In rural areas, the drinking dens are more homespun and male oriented, and it’s not Saturday night without a fight, so don’t hang around until the bitter end.
Theatre is underfunded and limited but León, Granada and Managua’s theatre are the places for performance arts. You’re more likely to catch a dance troupe at one of the many saint’s days and festivals.