5 Top things to do in Havana
A city steeped in history and charm, from the time we arrived we knew we had found our home away from home. A trip back in time, Havana is like no other city we have visited.
We loved it there, its retro charm and the locals. To be honest these are the warmest people we have ever met. They are the soul of the city always ready to help whenever we needed it. It doesn’t take long to fall under this cities spell. Guest blogger Scott from 4 Degrees of destination shares 5 top things to do in Havana.
Vintage Car Ride
If there is a recognisable symbol in Havana it’s those beautifully maintained vintage cars, often past down from generation to generation. We opted for a vintage car trip from Jose Marti International Airport arranged by our Airbnb host.
For us this was the perfect way to start our trip in Cuba, our kids loved hanging in the back of a 1956 Buick! There are plenty of beautiful vintage cars around Parque Central, just take your pick. And in no time at all, you’ll be cruising down the Paseo del Prado and out along the Malecon.
The cost can range from CUC 25 to CUC 50 per hour. However, always try to negotiate. You can also book vintage car ride tours online, there are plenty of companies to get in touch with.
Hop on Hop off bus
We have always found this to be one of the best ways to get to know a city, especially when we have kids. While most Hop on Hop off bus tours in previous countries usually come at a cost. Here it costs $10 for an adult and free for kids. The starting point is at the Parque Central opposite Hotel Inglaterra.
Make sure you sit upstairs gives you a great view. Your ticket lasts the whole day so we opted to sit, enjoy the view and do the trip/circuit in one go. We took notes of places we wanted to return to and after lunch, we spent the afternoon travelling around again, this time hopping off at our places of interest.
Some of the places we visited during the journey were; Plaza de la Revolucion, Malecōn, Centro Habana and La Cecilia. It really is a great way a get your bearings, just remember to sit upstairs for the best views.
Walk The Old City
This is something we did every day, we would pick an area in La Habana Vieja and wander around. It really is surreal, its colonial architecture mixed with either crumbling or charming buildings just blows you away. Around every corner, there was something different to see, something that makes you stop, stare and pull the camera out.
Even just the way people go about their everyday life. Yes, they have had their struggles but they always smile, love to talk and chat. The kindness they showed our kids is something I will always remember. There are walking tours you can do too with locals, this will give you even more knowledge and understanding of this city.
Stay In A Casa Particular
This is an absolute must to get to know the real Havana. We booked our Casa particular with Airbnb and we were so glad we did this rather than stay in a hotel. It allowed us to meet, chat and spend time of locals gaining a better understanding of the history and their personal journeys.
Our neighbours prepared breakfast for us every morning and we ate with them. The food was amazing; beautiful coffee, fruit juices, eggs, breads, pastries and even pancakes for the kids. Lots of Casa particulars offer this ($5CUC per person) make sure you take it.
Grab a drink at Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita
Two very popular bars in Havana and they are pretty packed with locals and tourists alike. Firstly Bodeguita del Medio, on Empadrado street, this place claims to be the birthplace of the mojito.
This place is always lively, live music, people dancing and mojitos flowing. If there is no room inside you can hang out on the street and mingle or read the writing covering the walls.
Tourists flock here to take photos and there is usually a couple of unique locals waiting for you to pay a few CUC’s to have your photo taken with them. El Floridita waits for you at the end of Obispo and is home of the daiquiri. This place too is very popular with live music playing, people dancing you could easily spend a few hours here.
Ernest Hemingway sits at the end of the bar, a photo opportunity for every tourist. Don’t count on getting a table to relax however there is plenty of room to stand.
These tips are just the beginning and there is so much more waiting for you to explore and experience. Havana, if it’s not on your list of cities to visit then add it now, you won’t be disappointed.
Author Bio : Scott is the founder of 4 degrees of destination and is part of a fun-loving, adventurous family of 4 who enjoy creating memories. They share our knowledge, passion, and experiences to inspire other families to get out and see the world. When they aren’t travelling they are planning, talking and researching their next adventure. Follow their adventures via Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
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