The capital of the ‘Island of Freedom’ and its main tourist destination, Havana, is located in the North-Western part of the country, on the Gulf of Mexico. From the air the city is coloured in white and pink and in 1982 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage. It is a major economic, political and cultural center of Cuba and the place where visitors can marvel at the architecture from the era of the Spanish colonial rule as well as ultra modern creations, picturesque streets of old Havana, historical and cultural landmarks and enjoy colourful shows and dancing at local clubs and bars. Here are our top 5 things to do in Havana, Cuba.
One of the most exciting things to do in Havana is to follow the steps of Ernest Hemingway. Though his house has been turned into a museum, open to visitors, the best way to experience Cuba and fall in love with it, like he did, is by visiting the bars that he frequented. Start by drinking Mojitos at la Bodeguita, a small bar in old Havana, that is packed with connoisseurs of good music, strong rum and fragrant cigars. There is a band that sings here and can entertain you till the early hours of the night. Continue to La Floridita, the birthplace of Daiquiri, where you can enjoy this fantastic cocktail. There are tourist busses that stop here every hour, so come here early and get one of the tables in the corner to enjoy the view, nostalgic Chan Chan and our favorite cocktail!
Old Havana is the heart of the city, it is interesting to take a stroll and enjoy the amazing architectural structures imbued with Spanish influence, narrow picturesque streets, local artists and even an antique book market. Here you can feel the traditional Cuban character and style, the colours with which the architecture is filled and the graceful beauty of it all.
The most magical beach is in the Varadero Beach, which is considered to be the Cuban tropical paradise. It is located 2 hours away from Havana, but you can get there by bus or car. Its wide sandy beach line, clean water and water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skis and surfing, attract visitors from all corners of the island.
When you first arrive to Cuba, you feel that you are transported to 1950’s and one of the most fascinating things you can do in Havana is to rent a vintage American car. You can choose an antique car ranging from bright Cadillacs to cabrio Chevrolets and classic Fords, depending on your taste and preferences.
One of the first things that pop into your head when you think of Cuba are cigars! Even if you are not a smoker, you absolutely must visit the cigar factory. Some of them were opened as far back as the 19th century and are still producing cigars of the highest quality. You can enjoy a guided tour of the factory that you will be offered by the locals on every corner around the factory.
Even though the city was founded in the 16th century, over this time Havana has gained popularity for its unique architectural appearance and special Cuban flavour, its historic center with numerous monuments, an active cultural life of dancing, cigars and rum, as well as wide sandy beaches which are ideal for a relaxing vacation by the sea.