Hanging out in Havana

Cuba and Havana in particular had been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember and in November 2014 I finally ticked it off.

Havana is an incredible city, it’s everything you expect from Cuba and much much more.

Here are my top five things to do:

1. Join a Havana city tour
We joined a three hour bus and walking tour of Havana and it was a fantastic way to explore what the city has to offer and also learn more about the history. We loved walking through Old Havana down the winding back streets and seeing all the local street artists. Much of Havana is being ‘restored’ and many of the building including the Capital building has scaffolding surrounding the outside.

2. Take a ride in a vintage car
Havana is known for its classic vintage cars and no trip to the city would be complete without a ride in one. You don’t have to book as they are available everywhere. There are several options, you can hire one for a city tour for around an hour, this costs around 30pesos or you can do what we did and just jump in one like a cab into the city centre. This costs around 10pesos.

3. Rum rum and more rum

You cannot go to Havana without drinking a rum cocktail or two. Havana Club, one of Cuba’s biggest exports makes the most amazing mojitos and daiquiris. One of the best places to sip mojitos is on the garden terrace at The National Hotel overlooking the bay. If daiquiris are more to your taste El Floridita in old Havana is where writer Ernest Hemingway used to drink his. 

4. Walk along the Malecon

The Malecon is around five miles long and it’s really great for an afternoon stroll. We walked from the city centre to the National Hotel which took around 45 minutes. Watch out for waves coming over the wall as you’re walking – you might get wet! 

5. Visit the Museum of the Revolution

The Cuban revolution was lead by Fidel Castro between 1953 – 1959 and the museum houses a number of artifacts from that time. There is everything from uniforms worn by soldiers who lost their lives to planes and jeeps used during the fighting. Although most descriptions are listed in Spanish you can get a fair idea of what everything means. 

Since Obama announced a moved to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba in December I think the island is going to see some major changes in the next five years or so. If it’s on your list I would try and go as soon as possible! 

Have you already been to Cuba? What are your top five things to do? 

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