Someone once said that describing Havana is always as difficult as describing poetry. This statement is as true as possible. Havana, the capital of Cuba, is like a large open-air museum, but with vibrant nightlife and extremely friendly locals. The beautiful architecture of Old Havana makes this capital the best preserved colonial city in America. No wonder many travelers around the world consider Havana the best tourist destination on their holiday list. And even if you are an experienced traveler, expect to be amazed! Colorful colonial buildings, cars from the Al Capone era, salsa music and dancing, rum and cigas, all this fascinating amalgam will give you a different experience than anything you’ve seen so far!
Here’s a short list of things to see and do on a trip to Havana:
– Take a walk on El Malecon Boulevard, one of the most emblematic places in Cuba, where the waves of the sea break through the wall of the dam that stretches across the entire northern shore of Havana. It is particularly inspiring, especially at sunset, when musicians gather here, young people swim and Cuban elders sit on benches and contemplate.
– Visit the Castle of San Felipe del Passage on the other side of the Bay of Havana. This castle is considered the bay entrance to Havana and is one of the symbols of Havana and one of the places most visited by tourists and locals alike. She was photographed and painted by many artists and appeared in various films. Inside you will be able to see many exhibitions that take you on creative historical journeys, but the building itself may impress you even more.
– Visit El Morro Castle on the other side of the bay of Havana. This fortress guarding the bay is one of Havana’s symbols and one of the most visited places by tourists and locals alike. It has been photographed and painted by many and has appeared in various films, including the production of “The Ghost Breakers” in 1940. Inside you will be able to admire several exhibitions, but the construction itself is truly amazing.
– Pamper yourself with ice cream at Coppelias, in the Vedado district.
– Stroll around in the Plaza de la Revolucion. Take a picture of the iconic monument of Che Guevara, the famous leftist revolutionary, former leader of the Cuban communist regime. Also here you will find the memorial monument of Jose Marti and the parliament buildings.
– Visit the Revolution Museum. Not only will you learn about the famous revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, when he succeeded in overthrowing dictator Fulgencio Batista, but you will also be able to see the clothing worn by Cuban soldiers during the revolution, as well as several newspaper articles, authentic weapons and other items used by soldiers.
– Spend an evening at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. Every evening, at 9:00 pm, tourists and locals gather at La Cabaña in Havana to watch a show that transports you directly to the 18th century, with gunfire shows and various artistic displays.
– Take a ride with a vintage car. No visit to Havana would be complete without the experience of driving through the picturesque streets of the city with a Cuban car from the 1950s. In general, a trip with such a car costs around 40 CUC and takes an hour. However, the price can be negotiated.
– Visit Havana Vieja. Old Havana is one of the most visited areas by tourists arriving in the capital of Cuba. Famous for the Cathedral of San Cristobal in the Plaza de la Catedral and for Ernest Hemmingway’s favorite bar, “La Bodeguita del Medio”, Havana Vieja is definitely a place that will delight you!
– Visit to the National Capitol. It is one of the most magnificent architectural buildings in Cuba, and was the seat of the Cuban government until the 1959 revolution. It accommodates the third largest statue in the world, the Republic, an ideal representation of Cuban nationalism.
– Go to “El Capitolio“. It is one of the most architecturally amazing buildings in Cuba, once hosting the Cuban government until the revolution of 1959. The building houses the third largest interior statue in the world, the Statue of the Republic, which is an amazing representation of Cuban nationalism.
Finally, don’t forget to pamper yourself with some real rum and some Cuban cigars. Enjoy the quiet but cheerful atmosphere on the streets and join the locals’ salsa dance!