Havana, Cuba

Classic cars! Mojitos! Ernest Hemmingway! Daiquiris! Havana Nights! Salsa! Live Music! 

Havana is everything I imagined it to be. As soon as I stepped out of the airport, it felt something like a Miami Vice movie. After the excitement of stepping into the 1950s, Havana is like every other city.  Every city there is the beauty and the beast to it.  Havana is the center of Cuba’s tourism so everything relatively more expensive.  

I loved my experience in Havana, however, I don’t know if I would have loved it if it wasn’t my first stop. I suggest that everyone go and experience at least once especially now. It is still “untouched” but big sky rise hotels are getting built.

Things to do

Hop on, Hop Off Bus

For 10 CUC from 9 am – 7 pm, I took a Hop on, Hop off Bus (Habana Bus Tour) around Havana. On this route, I was able to visit Plaza de Revolucion, the Grand Teatro located in the Centro and drive down the Malecon. 

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Hop On/ Hop off Schedule
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One of the stops on the hop on/ hop off bus tour. Revolution Plaza

Classic car tour

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I was able to take a classic car tour around the Teatro. They offer a 1, 2 or 3-hour tour around Havana. I took a one hour tour around the Fortress Island. Helpful tip: the price of your tour can be negotiated. 

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Callejon de Hamel ( Hamel Alley)

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I stumbled or local took us to “cigar festival” and when I wasn’t interested in buying street Cohibas at someone’s house. I ended up at this secret, colorful, artful Afro-Cuban alley. Sculptures, mosaic art, murals filled this alley. The majority of the art was done by Salvador Gonzalez Escalona. Grab a beer at one of the local bars in the alley and check out this place. Fun Fact:  Fast and Furious 8 was filmed in this alley. Check out the rest of the pictures here.

Other Suggestions but I did not get a chance to do

Partagas Cigar Factory has a tour that you can do if you cannot make it a day trip Vinales.

Cuban artist, Jose Fuster, made his house into a mosaic art installation called “Casa  Fuster”  just northwest of Havana.

I had all the intentions to go to the Casa de la Musica, a club in Havana, somehow it was close when I got there. So I ended up at a comedy show next door. Ask me what they were talking about. Still waiting for a translator.

Where to eat/drink

Ok so in my honest opinion, I did not have foodie, Homer drooling, OMG I love this dish while I was in Havana. The food was ok. One of the places that my majority of friends recommended that I didn’t get the chance to go to was O’Reilly. 

La Bodeguita del Medio

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The famous place to get mojitos! It is a super small bar and the crowd spills into the streets. But! It was all good! Music was playing + mojitos are flowing= a great time! 

Floridita

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Famous for their daiquiris and Ernest Hemmingway’s chill spot, Floridita was a cool spot to grab a drink or five while talking to people that spoke English. Oh! They also have wifi there ( with a wifi card of course).

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