51 Issues to Do In Cuba’s Capital

Heading to Havana and in search of the most effective bucket checklist issues to do whilst you’re there? Preserve studying as a result of I’m sharing my high picks for this metropolis that may be a mix of the outdated and new, the place classic vehicles and crumbling Spanish colonial structure combine with kitschy galleries and a booming nightlife. 

TIP: Although there are nonetheless some mild restrictions for Individuals touring to Cuba, whenever you make it there you’ll discover it stuffed with character, tradition and pleasant folks with unbelievable issues to see, do and eat!

51 Top Things to Do in Havana

Table of Contents

Issues to See & Do

1. Spend an Night at Fabrica de Arte Cubano

Fabrica de Arte Cubano (the Cuban Artwork Manufacturing unit) is a innovative hotspot the place refined gallery rooms cohabitate with multimedia efficiency areas. The big warehouse house that was once a former cooking oil plant, now has been remodeled into the hippest place on the town the place reside occasions occur (like tango lessons and symphony performances) whereas attention-grabbing artwork expos line the white partitions.

Fabrica de Arte Cubano Annette

Be certain to order the outsized home mojito (a jumbo 40 ouncer for $10!). It was the most effective mojito I had in Havana, yep I’m gonna say it – even higher than essentially the most well-known place to drink this basic beverage, Hotel Nacional.

Tip: Proper subsequent door is El Cocinero, an incredible place for dinner earlier than or after your Fabrica de Arte Cubano go to!


2. Attend the Ballet on the Gran Teatro de La Habana

The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso is a prestigious theater in Paseo del Prado Avenue in Havana, constructed within the neo-baroque fashion between 1907 and 1914. Named after the legendary ballerina Alicia Alonso, the theater serves as the house of the Cuban Nationwide Ballet Firm, which she based in 1948.

They’re greatest identified for his or her “Cuban ballet” fashion, which mixes basic ballet with components from Cuban folklore and tradition. This provides their performances a novel twist, particularly to basic ballet like ‘Giselle’ and ‘Swan Lake.’

Gran Teatro de La Habana

3. Journey in a Classic Convertible

It will nearly be a sin to depart Havana with out taking a trip in a snazzy basic convertible-it’s the highest factor to do. Havana is actually a dwelling museum for traditional vehicles after American vehicles have been imported into Cuba for about 50 years within the early twentieth century. 

We took a enjoyable Vintage Classic Car Tour and it included a 3-hour trip in one in all these infants. In any other case, there are a dozen drivers with their stunning vehicles in entrance of Hotel Inglaterra at Parque Central able to take you wherever you wish to go. The fee usually ranges round $50 CUC per hour relying on the vacationer season and your vacation spot. However, all the time attempt to negotiate!

Vintage Convertible

4. Have a Peek Inside Catedral de San Cristóbal

Catedral de San Cristóbal (or Havana Cathedral) in Previous Havana is likely one of the metropolis’s most iconic landmarks. This 18th-century Baroque-style cathedral was as soon as owned by the Jesuits, nevertheless it was later turned over to the Diocese of Havana.

One factor I’ve seen about it’s its two unequal towers, one in all which is taller than the opposite. Nobody actually is aware of the rationale why that’s, nevertheless it actually provides to its allure.

The inside is nothing to write down off about both, boasting a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical types. Complementing it’s a assortment of non secular artwork, sculptures, and ornamental components, equivalent to work of three scenes from the Bible: The Supply of the Keys, The Final Supper, and The Ascension, which you’ll see above the primary altar.

Enjoyable truth: Christopher Columbus’ stays have been as soon as housed contained in the cathedral earlier than it was relocated to Seville Cathedral in Spain.

Catedral de San Cristóbal

5. Take a Cocotaxi

Cuba’s capital gives extra than simply basic cars; it’s also possible to take a superb yellow Cocotaxi for a trip across the metropolis! In Havana, these vivid yellow, coconut-shaped tricycles with backseats for 2, are a dime a dozen (nicely, possibly not a dime, however positively inexpensive!) 

P.S. There are black Cocotaxis too, however these are primarily for locals. Stick with the yellow ones for a tourist-friendly trip! Oh, and earlier than you trip one, be sure you comply with a value. The same old fare for a ten-minute trip needs to be someplace round $5 and $10.

Cocotaxi

6. Smoke a Cuban Cigar in Cuba

Cuban cigars are identified to be one of many most interesting on the earth, so that you don’t wish to miss making an attempt one in Havana. You may get cigars all through the town, however there’s an honest choice at Partagas Cigar Factory proper behind the Capitol constructing. Although the “manufacturing facility” half has moved to a special location, you’ll be able to nonetheless purchase your Cuban after which head to their VIP room to smoke it. Or seize a cigar and a mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio, similar to Hemingway did.

TIPS: If you wish to study extra about cigars, take the Cigar Trail tour, that may train you every part you want to find out about Cuban Cigars. Additionally, ff you’re not into smoking cigars, you’ll be able to no less than take a photograph of the Cuban ladies across the outdated city who will fake to smoke a cigar for about $1 CUC.

Cuban Cigar

7. Hit the Seashore

Okay, so Havana is superb – the structure, the music, the mojitos – however after a few days, I felt the water calling my identify. Fortunately, Playa del Este is a fast automotive trip away (simply 18 kilometers east of Havana). And let me let you know, it’s a seaside lover’s dream come true! Whereas this string of seashores is just not as developed as different Cuban seaside locations (like Varadero), Playas del Este greater than makes up for it with its magnificence and relaxed vibes.

Playa Santa Maria del Mar, possibly essentially the most well-known of the lot, is amongst my high selections due to its calm waters, energetic vibe, and accessibility to eating places, water sport leases, and seaside chairs. Playa Guanabo (which is the farthest one of many group), can be an incredible alternative due to its smooth sand, clear waters, and loads of resorts and eating places.


8. Discover the Previous Mansions in Vedado

Again within the mid-1900s, the grand mansions in Vedado have been as soon as the properties of the town’s rich elite. However with Fidel Castro’s rise to energy in January 1959, the mansions got as properties to households (typically even a number of households) primarily based on their measurement as a part of his reform to advertise equality.

At present, whereas most of those mansions are in a state of disrepair (though households nonetheless reside in them), the excellent news is a few of them are being restored and repurposed for brand new makes use of, like being was Casa Particulares (which is type of like a B&B) and Paladares (family-run eating places). Take a stroll round and see what number of of those mansions you will discover!


9. Discover Previous Havana

La Habana Vieja or Previous Havana, an UNESCO World Heritage website, is the historic heart of Cuba’s capital metropolis. It’s within the coronary heart of Havana and the #1 place to go to. 

Old Havana Street

You may simply spend hours aimlessly strolling by way of the slender streets taking within the colours and historical past connected to them. There are numerous historic colonial buildings, cutting-edge galleries, eating places, outlets and beautiful plazas to discover. That is additionally the place you’ll discover lots of Hemingway’s well-known stops.

Old Havana Annette

After I first arrived, I took the Old Havana Walking Tour with the intention to catch my bearings, however then simply fortunately roamed alone.

Old Havana Cuba

10. Stroll Paseo del Prado

Havana’s Paseo del Prado is an iconic promenade that dates again to 1772. Nicknamed “El Prado” by locals, it stretches for roughly 2.1 km north-south, separating Centro Habana from Previous Havana. Breathe within the ocean air as you stroll alongside the Malecón (Havana’s seaside walkway) and finish your stroll at Parque de la Fuente de la India, the place a surprising white marble statue honors Habana, the town’s indigenous namesake.


11. Marvel at Fusterlandia

A couple of half hour west from central Havana, Cuban artist José Fuster created a masterpiece of mosaic tilework in his dwelling and the encircling neighborhood – Fusterlandia. It’s road artwork not like any I’ve ever seen! His house is decked out in a rainbow of vivid coloured tiles that has spilled over to the encircling homes as nicely.

It’s an Instagrammers dream!

Fusterlandia Annette

TIP: It’s a pair greenback donation to get into Casa de Fuster positioned within the district of Jaimanitas, however you will want to decide on a solution to go to there. The simplest and quickest method is to take a yellow taxi or classic automotive, that is what I did and it price round 20 CUC ($20 USD). Or in case you are extra adventurous (and wish to save numerous cash!) try to navigate the native bus system. The MetroBus map can get complicated, however a trip will price solely about 1 CUP. You may take the P1 or P4 to get to the Playa cease. From right here it’s a couple of 30 minute stroll alongside Avenida Quinta or it’s potential to catch an area bus at Playa to take you to Jaimanitas (ask the bus drivers).

Fusterlandia
Fusterlandia Havana

12. Take a Day Journey to Viñales

Havana might have its allure, however the breathtaking fantastic thing about Cuba actually exhibits at Viñales Valley. Only a scenic 2.5-hour drive away, this UNESCO World Heritage Website has picture-perfect mogote mountains, lush inexperienced valleys the place world-famous cigars are grown, and crystal-clear rivers excellent for a cool-down. You’ll go to conventional tobacco farms, peek into prehistoric caves, and possibly even study to roll a imply Cuban cigar – all in a day’s journey! 


13. Pay Your Respect at Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón Cemetery

Cementario de Cristóbal Colón (Colon Cemetery) is just not your typical cemetery, it has over 800,000 graves in its 57 hectares (about 141 acres). It’s identified for elaborately sculptured tombs the place bishops, politicians, artists, scientists and sports activities figures lay. You’ll want to plan a bit extra time than you assume as a result of it’s so large and often called one of the exceptional cemeteries on the earth.

TIPS: It’s nicely well worth the $5 CUC price to get in, and a map is all the time out there for buy on the entrance. However, you’ll want to go early or on a cloudy day, there should not quite a lot of locations to relaxation and it might probably get uncomfortably sizzling. PS: The Hop On – Hop Off bus makes a cease there or any taxi driver ought to know the place it’s.

Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón Cemetery

14. Go to a Baseball Recreation at Estadio Latinoamericano

Baseball is the nationwide sport in Cuba, and attending a sport at Estadio Latinoamericano is simply the proper solution to immerse your self of their tradition. All I can say is that the locals are extremely passionate and vocal, particularly when cheering on Havana’s sole baseball staff, Industriales. There’s typically singing, dancing, and drumming all through the sport. 

TIPS: Video games at Estadio Latinoamericano are sometimes low-cost — roughly $3 for vacationers. You should buy them on the stadium on sport day. In case you’re planning to catch a baseball sport in Havana, you’ll be able to time it with their baseball season (which runs from late November to early Could.)


15. See the Tropicana Present

Let me let you know, Havana nights are one thing particular, and the Tropicana Show takes the cake! Entering into that open-air venue, surrounded by lush gardens (critically, it’s 36,000 sq. meters of tropical paradise!), appears like being transported to a different period.

The cabaret’s power is electrical – the place the music is pulsating, the dancers transfer like no one’s watching (however everyone seems to be!), and the costumes are straight out of a dream.


16. Go to the Sunday Rumba Celebration at Callejón de Hamel

Callejón de Hamel is a good place to go any time for its unconventional road artwork and funky artwork outlets, however on Sunday afternoons the place takes it to a different degree with a celebration that immerses you deep within the tradition of Havana – let’s rumba!

Callejón de Hamel Annette

Round midday, Callejón involves life with a reside rumba party. Locals and vacationers alike cram into the small house to look at as musicians and dancers carry out.

Callejón de Hamel
Callejón de Hamel Havana

17. Go to Ernest Hemingway’s Home, Finca Vigía

The well-known author Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba for fairly a while (across the Nineteen Forties), at a home on a hilltop within the San Antonio de los Baños neighborhood referred to as Finca Vigía. Following his dying in 1961, the home was was a museum, devoted to his life as a author. You may see a few of his private belongings, furnishings, searching trophies, and writing supplies. They also have a good view of the Havana shoreline.

And for an much more genuine Hemingway expertise, you MUST try a few his favourite haunts as nicely, equivalent to El Floridita (stated to be the birthplace of his favourite cocktail, the Papa Doble), La Bodeguita (they’ve scrumptious mojitos!), and Hotel Ambos Mundos (particularly room 511, which has been preserved as a museum in his honor).


18. See the Parisienne Dinner Present at Resort Nacional

Yearning for an evening of glitz and glamor with a style of Cuban tradition? Look no additional than the Parisienne Dinner Show at Havana’s iconic Resort Nacional. 

Held within the historic Cabaret Parisien (which has wowed and continues to wow audiences because the Thirties), the present celebrates Cuba’s wealthy heritage by way of a vibrant fusion of dance, music, and costumes reflecting Indo-American, Hispanic, and African influences.


19. Study to Salsa

In case you love to bop to Latin grooves then Salsa is an ideal factor to study whereas in Cuba – salsa is of their blood. You may study to mild up the dance ground, burn a few of these further mojito energy and boost the temper too.

At La Casa del Son, you will get a one on one personal lesson that’s excellent for the novice or somebody who desires to excellent their abilities. After class, take your abilities to the streets and hit up one in all Havana’s greatest Cuban dance golf equipment. Attempt your fancy footwork at Diablo Tun Tun or El Turquino.


20. Stroll the Malecón Esplanade

The Malecón esplanade is an 8 km stretch apart the Havana picturesque seaside. Many will rent a classic automotive taxi to drive them the size, however you’ll get a lot extra out of strolling the space, making stops alongside the way in which. You may make a day of interacting with the strolling locals, watching the fisherman, consuming at one of many Paladares, marveling on the colonial structure and a lot extra.

Attempt to time it good so you will note the sundown whilst you stroll, and even higher, whenever you attain Hotel Nacional and are sipping a mojito on their terrace that overlooks the malecón.

Malecon Havana

21. Journey in a Taxi Explicit

Let’s face it, typically getting from level A to level B in Havana deserves to be an journey in itself. That’s the place Taxi Particulares (personal taxis) are available in! What makes it higher than your normal taxi (no less than appearance-wise) is that these unhealthy boys are classic American vehicles. 

Your trip is perhaps a cherry-red Chevy Bel Air from the 50s or a modern turquoise Buick from the 60s on the following one. Positive, there is perhaps a bit back-and-forth concerning the fare, however that’s all a part of the enjoyable.


22. See the El Cañonazo de las Nueve

Fortaleza de San Carlos de La Cabaña is a formidable 18th century fortress advanced alongside the Havana sea the place the el cañonazo de las nueve (a reside cannon fireplace) occurs each night at 9:00pm sharp. Initially this shot was to announce the opening/closing of the fort’s gates, however at the moment it’s only a reminder of Cuban traditions.

Be certain to plan your go to a lot earlier as a result of the occasion begins nicely earlier than the cannon fireplace at 9. Beforehand, historically uniformed troopers march by way of the advanced performing in an entertaining parade.


23. GO TO A JAZZ CLUB

Cuba has wealthy rhythm and soul of their bloods, and it may be skilled from one of many many jazz golf equipment in Havana. Even whereas strolling by way of the Previous City late at night time the music and dance will probably be spilling into the streets. Or make a degree to go to La Zorra y el Cuervo, essentially the most well-known jazz membership in Havana, the place each night at 10:00pm brings a special musician.


24. Go to Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta

On the entrance to Havana Bay stands a fortress which protected Havana’s waters for hundreds of years from pirate assaults and privateers, the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta (or La Punta Fort). This sixteenth century fort was a part of 4 different fortresses (one in all which is El Morro, which is discovered instantly throughout it) to safeguard the harbor entrance again within the day.

At present, the fort is now a museum housing Spanish colonial artifacts. You may see issues like binoculars and spyglasses (a sort of telescope utilized by pirates and explorers), small ship fashions (search for the massive Galleon mannequin!), and outdated cash discovered within the fort’s waters. 

Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta

25. Step Inside Convento e Iglesia de la Merced

One of many oldest church buildings in Havana, the Convento e Iglesia de la Merced is an 18th-Nineteenth century advanced consisting of a church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced) and a former monastery (Convento de la Merced).

Whereas it seems to be easy from the skin, the true magic waits for you inside, with stunning Baroque structure that includes ornate altars, sculptures, and spiritual work (particularly the ceiling, a la Sistine Chapel.)


26. Go to Castillo de la Actual Fuerza

Wish to see the oldest stone fort in Havana (and probably within the Americas)? Then head over to the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a UNESCO World Heritage Website in Previous Havana. It was inbuilt 1577 to assist defend in opposition to pirate assaults and overseas invasion.

The skin of the fort is admittedly cool, even by itself, with numerous cannons and statues on show. You can too go inside after paying a small charge and crossing a small drawbridge.

Inside, there’s the Navigation Museum. It tells the story of Cuba’s maritime previous and has issues like outdated navigation instruments, weapons, small fashions of ships, and shows concerning the Spanish treasure ships.

If you attain the highest, don’t neglect to take a look at the reproduction of the “La Giraldilla” weathervane on the west tower, an iconic image of Havana.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

27. Hike to a Waterfall

Confession: I wasn’t precisely anticipating waterfall hikes on my Havana Bucket Record. However let me let you know, it’s simply the type of nature escapade that sounds fairly darn excellent. Listed here are my high 3 picks for a day journey escape, all inside driving distance of Havana:

  • Parque Escaleras de Jaruco (22.56 miles / 36.3 km): This protected space boasts mild strolling trails that weave by way of lush vegetation. Take a dip within the cool waters of the park’s waterfall (Salto de Soroa) and maintain an eye fixed out for a white flower that resembles a butterfly – Cuba’s nationwide flower, the White Ginger.
  • El Nicho Waterfalls (175.5 miles / 283 km): A paradise for nature lovers, El Nicho options a number of waterfalls, swimming holes, and luxurious rainforests. Be ready for a more difficult hike rewarded by breathtaking surroundings.
El Nicho Waterfalls
  • Salto de Soroa (53.69 miles / 86.4 km): Nicknamed “The Rainbow of Cuba,” this waterfall is thought for its dramatic cascades and vibrant rainbows after rainfall. The hike is comparatively straightforward, making it excellent for households with kids.

28. Sit on the Park Bench with John Lennon

Searching for a novel picture op in Havana? Head to John Lennon Park within the Vedado district, the place a bronze John Lennon chills on a park bench – perpetually frozen in a contemplative pose. The inscription at his ft is in Spanish (Dirás que soy un soñador pero no soy el único), however translated it means “You might say I’m a dreamer, however I’m not the one one,” which is a line from his iconic tune “Think about.”


29. Discover the Museo del Ron Havana Membership

The Museo del Ron Havana Club, positioned in a beautiful 18th-century mansion, is all about Cuba’s most well-known export: rum! Take a guided tour and uncover the story of sugarcane cultivation on the island, the intricate rum-making course of, and the distinctive types of Havana Membership.

And the most effective half? The tour ends with a complimentary tasting of Havana Membership 7 rum – think about it your reward for surviving historical past class (with a smile). 

Museo del Ron Havana Club

30. Grasp Out at Parque Central

After a whirlwind tour of fortresses and cathedrals, Parque Central was a breath of contemporary air (actually, these palm bushes present some critical shade!). Discovering a spot underneath one felt like claiming my very own little patch of Havana.

The spotlight? Recognizing the statue of José Martí, Cuba’s nationwide hero, surrounded by precisely 28 palm bushes (I counted!). When you’re chilling, take a peek on the architectural gems surrounding the park. The Gran Teatro de La Habana is an actual showstopper, and the Resort Inglaterra is steeped in historical past.


31. Go to the Plazas

The guts and soul of Havana are its plazas, every with a definite allure of its personal. High your Havana bucket checklist with a go to to those vibrant squares:

Plaza de la Catedral: Take within the breathtaking instance of baroque structure that’s the Havana Cathedral. Browse native crafts on the surrounding stalls, or just benefit from the atmosphere.

Plaza de la Catedral
Plaza de la Catedral

Plaza de San Francisco: Historical past buffs will love this plaza, dominated by the imposing San Francisco de Asis Basilica. Climb the belfry for panoramic metropolis views, or wander by way of the neighboring streets and picture Havana’s colonial previous.

Plaza Vieja: Which means “Previous Sq.,” this vigorous plaza is a well-liked gathering spot identified for its colonial structure and vibrant environment. Get to the highest of Resort de Los Frailes and see the Digicam Obscura for a unusual 360-degree view of the cityscape.

Plaza Vieja

32. See the Christ of Havana

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the bay, the Christ of Havana is a sight that stops you in your tracks. Suppose Christ the Redeemer’s Cuban cousin, minus the crowds. Constructed from Carrara marble (fancy Italian stuff!), this majestic statue is an emblem of hope and an incredible escape from the bustling metropolis.


33. See the Havana El Capitolio (Nationwide Capitol Constructing)

The primary time I laid eyes on El Capitolio on the coronary heart of Havana, my jaw hit the ground. Towering columns, intricate carvings, and a dome that appears to stretch perpetually – El Capitolio has received critical grandeur.

Whereas the constructing now not homes the Cuban Congress, it’s nonetheless a strong image of the nation’s historical past and a preferred spot for excursions. 

Enjoyable truth: El Capitolio is definitely larger than its counterpart in Washington D.C.

Havana El Capitolio

34. Take a Free Strolling Tour

Right here’s a Havana hack you gained’t discover in a guidebook: free walking tours! These excursions are led by passionate locals who’ll spill the tea on hidden alleyways, revolutionary secrets and techniques, and the most effective spots to seize a steaming cup of Cuban espresso. I imply, who is aware of Havana higher than the Habaneros/Habaneras themselves, proper? The excursions vary from strolling by way of Previous Havana, occurring a pub crawl, or perhaps a road meals tour.

Free strolling tour operates on a “tip what you assume it’s value” foundation, that means you don’t must pay something beforehand (however you continue to must ebook a slot.) Suggestions often vary from $10 to $15, however may go decrease or greater relying in your expertise. So, if the information wows you with fascinating historical past and hidden alleyway detours (which is often the case), present your appreciation!


35. Go to The Lungs of Havana / El Bosque de la Habana

The El Bosque de la Habana is a big city park positioned alongside the banks of Almendares River. It’s stated to be the greenest space within the metropolis, which is why it earned the nickname “The Lungs of Havana.” Breathe in contemporary air underneath the shade of towering bushes (some all the way in which from Africa!), have a picnic by the Almendares River, or possibly even spot birds fortunately flitting from the bushes’ branches.


36. Watch the Dawn at Morro Fort

Sunsets get all of the glory (I imply, they ARE stunning), however Havana’s dawn at El Morro Fort deserves a spot in your bucket checklist. Additionally identified by its full identify Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro (Fort of the Three Kings of the Morro), this historic fortress is positioned on the harbor’s entrance, adjoining to La Punta Fort. 

Except for the views, the fort options huge partitions, cannons, tunnels, and a lighthouse (which was added in 1844.) And for an additional charge, you’ll be able to climb the lighthouse for beautiful views of the ocean and Havana. The fort additionally homes the Maritime Museum, which delves into Cuba’s fascinating maritime historical past.

P.S. Very similar to Fortaleza de San Carlos de La Cabaña, additionally they do the 9PM “el Cañonazo de las nueve” cannon fireplace right here as nicely.

Morro Castle

37. Go to Havana’s Jardin Botánico

Want a second of pure Zen? The Jardín Botánico Nacional is your reply! This 600-hectare backyard is dwelling to a group of over 4,000 plant species, from towering palms (over 250 varieties!) to fascinating shows showcasing Cuba’s wealthy historical past of utilizing vegetation for meals and medication.


38. Go to the Museo de Bellas Artes

In case you’re trying so as to add a contact of cultural sophistication to your Havana journey, then the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is a must-visit. However get this – it’s not only one museum, however two! They’re the Palacio de Bellas Artes and Palacio del Centro Asturiano.

The Palacio de Bellas Artes (close to Memorial Granma/Museo de la Revolución) is devoted completely to Cuban artwork, with works from the seventeenth century proper as much as the current day.

Palacio del Centro Asturiano, positioned subsequent to Parque Central, is dwelling to an incredible assortment of worldwide artwork, from European masterpieces to thought-provoking items by Latin American and North American artists.

The place (& What) to Eat and Drink

39. Have a Cuba Libre by the Pool at El Presidente Resort

Let me let you know, after tumbling up these charming however uneven Havana sidewalks, a Cuba Libre by the El Presidente pool (Hotel Roc Presidente) in Vedado is pure bliss. This refreshing rum and cola cocktail is the island’s signature drink, and is simply the proper poolside companion. 


40. Have an Genuine Cuban Meal

What higher solution to gas your Havana adventures than with Cuba’s most genuine eats? Head over to a paladar/paladares, family-run restaurant, or road meals vendor and assist your self with a serving of Cuban dishes equivalent to:

  • Ropa Vieja – Cuba’s nationwide dish. Tender shredded beef cooked in a wealthy tomato-based sauce with aromatics and spices. It’s often served with white rice, black beans, and tostones (fried plantains).
Ropa Vieja
  • Fricasé de pollo (Cuban hen fricassee) – options marinated hen thighs and legs that are stewed in a savory tomato-based sauce.
  • Chicharrones de cerdo – a crispy Cuban snack/appetizer manufactured from deep-fried pork rind (or typically stomach).
  • Congrí / arroz con moros y cristianos – this Cuban meal combines rice and black beans, that are then served with different Cuban mainstays like Ropa Vieja and Fricasé de pollo.

41. Eat at a Paladar

A paladar is a privately owned restaurant, usually positioned in a transformed dwelling and run by a household. It is likely one of the greatest methods to take pleasure in Cuban tradition and delicacies. Many occasions you gained’t even understand you’re eating in paladar as a result of they appear similar to an everyday restaurant!

Paladar Annette Cuban Food

There are such a lot of scrumptious ones to select from, however I do have a couple of favorites the place each the meals and ambiance have been on level. The very fashionable O’Reilly 304 in Previous Havana was a deal with of Latin influenced meals and cocktails. For one thing extra conventional, attempt Paladar Los Mercaderes that serves up mouthwatering Cuban dishes. Cafe Laurent is positioned on the highest ground of a Vedado condominium advanced (we even noticed tenants taking out their trash on our method up!), however don’t let that discourage you. This paladar served up among the best shredded pork dishes in Cuba with an elegant ambiance.

The crème de la crème of paladares is the well-known La Guarida. It’s so bucket checklist worthy that it deserves to be it’s personal bullet level (see under).

Paladar Havana Cuba

42. Dine on the Well-known La Guarida

La Guarida is arguably essentially the most well-known paladar (and one of many priciest) in all of Havana. Positioned on the third ground in an condominium, the memorable expertise begins on the bottom ground the place a wall with the Cuban flag leads you up a dilapidated staircase. The second degree is match for the scene of a film with its naturally fake completed partitions and rustic stone columns. If you lastly arrive on the restaurant the meals doesn’t disappoint, neither does the ambiance.

Dinner for 2 (two entrees, one app, three glasses of wine) price us $68. Despite the fact that it was the most costly meal we had in Cuba, the identical one would have price us no less than double in California.

TIP: Reservations are extremely really helpful, which you can also make on-line, however bear in mind that as a result of restricted web entry it could take some time to get a response.

La Guarida

43. Eat Avenue Meals

Havana’s basic vehicles and classic vibes are superb, however belief me, your journey photographs gained’t be full with no snap of you conquering an enormous churro or downing a piping sizzling pastelito de guayaba.

Avenue meals here’s a traveler’s dream – it’s low-cost, it’s scrumptious, and it’s the proper solution to expertise native life.


44. Eat a Cubano Sandwich

Havana’s well-known Cubano Sandwich goes to blow your style buds off. Layers of flavorful roast pork, ham, cheese, and mustard, all expertly pressed between Cuban bread, create a masterpiece of a sandwich that isn’t to be missed. A few of my greatest picks to have this are Art Pub, Azúcar Lounge, and Lo de Monik.


45. Drink Mojitos on the Resort Nacional Terrace

Whereas strolling alongside the Malecón, it’ll be exhausting to overlook the long-lasting Hotel Nacional. The big historic lodge is perched on a hill giving it a view of the ocean, harbor and outdated vehicles driving by. This is likely one of the causes that their beautiful backyard terrace is so in style. ANOTHER IS THEIR MOJITOS.

Hotel Nacional Mojito Annette Peter

The mojito is their specialty drink and nearly each outside desk could have one on it. Despite the fact that I stated that the mojitos at Fabrica de Arte Cubano have been higher, the terrace at Resort Nacional greater than makes up for it.

Hotel Nacional Sunset

46. Eat Mariquitas

Cubans are plantain execs, and Mariquitas de platanos are their crispy, salty reply to potato chips. Suppose skinny, addictive slices of fried inexperienced plantain – the proper pick-me-up for exploring these cobbled streets. It even pairs nicely with some garlic dipping sauce. You’ll discover them in every single place, from road distributors to cafes. Simply comply with your nostril (and the blissful munching sounds) to attain a piping-hot batch.


47. Toast Hemingway with a Daiquiri at El Floridita

El Floridita stands out as the most touristy bar in all of Havana (it’s the quintessential factor to do within the metropolis), however who wouldn’t wish to go to the place Hemingway claimed makes the most effective daiquiri on the earth? It’s positioned within the in style Previous Havana, which solely provides to the crowds (there’s nearly all the time a line out the door).

Floridita Havana Annette

If you stroll in musicians play, the group is energetic and the bartenders have the blenders on full velocity with daiquiri glasses able to roll. Plus, you’ll be able to pose with the life-sized brass Hemingway.

TIPS: Don’t eat there, nevertheless it’s value a fast cocktail cease. Make your daiquiri a double, that’s how Hemingway did it.

Floridita Havana

48. Study to Make a Mojito

Studying to craft a mojito in Havana is an genuine Cuban expertise that goes past merely having fun with a scrumptious drink. 

Mojito-making lessons (like this one from Locally Sourced Havana Tours) will train you the secrets and techniques behind muddling mint, the magic of freshly squeezed lime juice, and the artwork of discovering the proper rum-to-refrigeration ratio (sure, that’s a factor!).


49. Drink (& Eat) at La Bodeguita del Medio

One other favourite watering gap of Hemingway is La Bodeguita on the coronary heart of Previous Havana, close to Cathedral Sq.. The bar is claimed to be the birthplace of mojito, a drink which Hemingway additionally beloved (other than daiquiris). You may see a plaque right here with a quote from Hemingway: “My mojito within the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri within the Floridita.

La Bodequita del Medio

Like El Floridita, the place is sort of all the time packed (particularly with vacationers.) In case you’re fortunate to get a spot, you’ll want to check out their ropa vieja (together with the mojito, in fact).

La Bodequita del Medio Mojito

50. Attempt Cuban Espresso on the Greatest Cafes

Craving a espresso repair with a cultural kick? Havana’s cafes serve up a number of the world’s strongest brews – assume espresso on steroids! Cuban espresso packs a punch (or possibly an uppercut) – stronger and sweeter than your normal cup of joe. To get your caffeine repair in fashion, hit up these legendary cafes:

  • El Café: a hidden spot in Previous Havana, alongside Amargura Avenue (#358 to be actual). And once I say hidden, I imply the cafe actually has no signages, save for a line of shoppers ready exterior. This one is an area favourite, particularly for its espresso and breakfast/brunch choices.
  • Cafe Arcangel: One other native favourite, in Central Havana. You’ll want to try their assortment of Starbucks mugs from prospects around the globe!
  • Cuba Libro: This bookstore cafe in Previous Havana is a literary haven, excellent for getting misplaced in a superb ebook and a cup of their daring Cuban brew.
  • Cafetalex: whereas this one is extra of a restaurant than a restaurant, they do serve a Cuban espresso referred to as Café Mambi, which is a must-try.

The place to Keep

51. Keep in a Casa Explicit

There are solely a handful of lodges in Havana and they’re largely owned by the federal government, so are very costly (usually $300+ per night time). It’s extra widespread for guests to remain in a Cuban’s personal dwelling (casa explicit) or B&B, which is far more economical and an area expertise. 

Try my really helpful Airbnb rentals in Havana or head over to Airbnb your self to do a search. That is the place you’ll be able to simply discover a room in a cute home for underneath $50 per night time.

I stayed on the pretty Mi Case Tu Casa, which was a bit pricier. However, it had glorious critiques, breakfast was included and there was web entry. Plus, its location was proper throughout the road from the bigger Resort Presidente, the place the hop on hop off bus stopped, there have been all the time taxis out there, we may change cash and hearken to music on the patio. It was a beautiful keep and I might extremely suggest it!

Casa-Particular-Home-Havana
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