Havana is one of those cities that seems lost in time – built from elegant but crumbling architecture, with vintage cars on every street and well-dressed couples and gaggles of teenagers strutting their stuff on the Malecón.
Havana is a truly beautiful city. A Unesco World Heritage site, its historic buildings, fascinating history and passionate people provide plenty to see and do for several days as a minimum. Unfortunately many people visiting Havana are just passing through on the way to the beach resorts of Guardalavaca and Varadero and don’t stay in Havana long enough to truly soak up the atmosphere.
For those who want to see more of Cuba than sea and sand, grab a mojito, put on your dancing shoes and get exploring!
1. The Malecón
The esplanade that runs along Havana’s coast is perfect for people watching, strolling and watching the waves that batter the city on a daily basis. It’s best in the early evening when the buildings are lit up and the Cubans hang out socializing.
2. El Capitolio
The National Capitol Building is a great example of Neo-classical architecture and a good spot to get some of those postcard-perfect photos, complete with colourful 50s vintage cars
This famous bar was a popular hangout of Ernest Hemingway and serves great daiquiris
4. Morrow Castle
The fortress guarding the entrance to Havana Bay is like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean and there is a cannon firing each evening, with great views over the city.
5. Plaza de la Revolucion
There’s not much to see here but it’s worth it just to take a photo of the famous Che Guevara image on the Ministry of the Interior building and the José Martí memorial.
6. Museum of the Revolution
It gets a bit hard going after a while but this museum, in the former Presidential Palace is a must for understanding Cuba’s history
This huge old-fashioned ice cream parlour is a Havana institution and popular with locals and tourists alike.
8.Callejón de Hammel
This tiny alley, covered in bright graffiti and art is the place to watch street dancing and enjoy the rhythms of authentic Cuban rumba.
9. Playas del Este
no need to travel to one of the sterile resorts to sunbathe. This white sand beach, only a 20-minute taxi ride from the centre of Havana rivals the tourist-only resorts elsewhere in the country and is popular with locals.
10. Havana 1791
This beautiful vintage-style perfume shop makes the ideal place to buy a souvenir of your trip. The handcrafted scents include classics like patchouli, ylang ylang, sandalwood and jasmine and custom-made scents can be crafted to customer request and for a low cost.