11 best things to do in Havana

 
Tue 13 Dec 2016
 

 

In Bandcuba, bed and breakfast in Cuba, we want to show you the 11 best things to do in Havana. This jewel of the Caribbean is full of an inexplicable and unique magic. That attracts thousands of tourist every year. For a small fee you can explore and discover all the wonders of this city, the only impediments are the time and your desire to explore. Do you dare to join us on this tour?

A trip to Cuba: Things to see in Havana

Every person who visit Havana knows that there is always a chance to discover new things. Cuba is having an incredible moment for the tourist activity, recent changes has put the island in the eye of the world. People from the show business and artists of all nationalities have come to the island to see the magical beauty of its squares, its malecon, the capitol, museums, beaches and so much more.

The colorful and vibrant landscapes of Havana can drive you to another era. This attribute is part of the charm that tourists can find in Cuba. In this city there are no moments for boredom, in the capital you can find things to do no matter what your preferences are. You can take the most beautiful pictures, eat in the "paladares" (small restaurants that offer homemade food). Walk through the monuments of old Havana and discover on foot the city, go to the book fair or art exhibitions and many unforgettable activities.

The best way to discover the capital is listening to the recommendations of the locals and always leaving early to take advantage of the day. You must be the first to arrive since in the high seasons the places (specially to eat and drink) are filled with ease.

5 recommendations to visit Havana

  • Have an open mind: In Havana there is no shortage of activities to have fun beyond the typical historical tours. You can go to the shows, salsa dancing or visit the famous tobacco factory Partagás. Do not close yourself to any experience if you visit Havana.
  • Beyond the traditional: With a little investment you can explore more of the island by your own. You can take the Havana Bus Tour towards the beach and other spaces of the island.
  • Home experience: Hotels have incredible food and spaces to go inside. But nothing compares to the experience of reaching a private home. You can enjoy the most typical part of Havana told by the locals themselves.
  • Unpublished tours: If you have contact with some locals ask them about some particular activities to do in Havana. Adapt these recommendations to your particular tastes.
  • Do not ignore the historic spaces: If you do not enjoy the historic hulls, squares and old structures you will be missing out on the charm of this city. Visit the historical sites and do not miss one of the great attractions of Cuba

Top 11 best things to Do in Havana

Ready to start the tour? Take note of all these places to include them in your itinerary.

1- Know the Capitol Building

This symbolic monument is one of the destinations to see if you visit Havana. It is located in the center of the city and was erected in 1929. Its magnificent structure can be seen from different points of the city. In this place is lodged to the Academy of Sciences and the National Library of Sciences and Technologies.

In the Capitol you will see gigantic columns, large halls and impressive stairs. In its interior it has the Lost’s hall, the Bolivar´s hall, the Statue of the Republic, the Marti’s hall and much more. The admission ticket cost around 4 or 5 Cuban pesos, depends on whether you choose to go with a guide or not.

2- Walk through Old Havana

Old Havana is a highly touristy area where you will need to invest some time during your travel. From there you can take a tourist bus or a ferry to the village La Regla or the small city Casablanca for a minimal amount of money.

Among the places to see in Old Havana are the spectacular squares, bastions, the main cathedral and buildings reminiscent of another era.

3- Visit the “Malecon”

One of the best things to do in Havana is to visit the emblematic seawall. From there you can get to know much of the city and get into its streets and junctions. The music, the color, the breeze and the street shows are part of the sunsets in this area. This ride has an extension of 8 kilometers.

4- Enjoy the delicious cocktails of Havana

One of the special points that Havana has is to have the most delicious cocktails in the world according to Hemingway himself. The Floridita and the Bodeguita del Medio are two places that offer the best daiquiris and mojitos in the city. To enter you must arrive early or have patience as it is a highly tourist area. Both are located in Old Havana.

At the National Hotel you can also enjoy delicious mojitos without so much hustle and bang, and for an incredible price. If you walk the streets of Havana try a refreshing “guarapo” made with sugarcane and some lime.

5- Take a low-cost gastronomic tour

The typical Cuban gastronomy consists of pork, fish, seafood or chicken complemented by beans, bananas and a salad. There are numerous places where you can eat in Havana, we recommend the following.

  • The "paladares": If you want to find delicious food and at affordable cost visit them. These are home-style restaurants located in the corners of Havana, on Vedado street and also in tourist areas.
  • Saratoga Hotel and the National Hotel: In these places you can enjoy a delicious Cuban sandwich and also the typical flavors of the area.
  • Street places: In these mini-businesses you can get sandwiches, pizzas, fried dough filled with jam, cheese or Guava, ice cream, tropical drinks and pork.

6- The music and the parties in Havana

Music and salsa are part of Cuba, so it is not uncommon to meet with traveling musicians and tourist places with cabaret shows. The two most popular are the Tropicana and the Parisien in the National Hotel recognized in the world for their quality and colorfulness. To dance you can approach the famous House of Music of Miramar. Other shows in Havana are those of Le Maison, outdoor fashion shows in a renovated mansion in Vedado.

7- Visit the tobacco factory

Cuba is a destination known for the quality of its tobaccos, even if you are not a smoker you can visit the Real Fabrics of Tobaccos Partagás, the oldest in the country where tobacco is made by hand. There you can learn about the process and buy souvenirs for family and friends in famous brands like Cohiba. If you have time and money, you can reach an area known for the huge tobacco plantations.

8- Neighborhoods you should know

There are two tours where you can know much of the tourist attractions in Havana. One is to Barrio Miramar and another to Barrio Vedada.

  • Barrio Miramar: Luxurious architectures and period mansions, with a Fifth Avenue that stands out as one of the most beautiful areas of the city. A historical tour full of luxury and colorful.
  • Barrio Vedada: One of the most popular where you can enjoy old houses, old and modern architecture, home-style restaurants. One of the highlights of this place is the Revolution Square and the National Hotel.

Take advantage of Mondays for walking, most of the public centers are closed that day.

9- Routes with pure art

Havana has areas dedicated to the artistic expression of young people and the beautification of the streets. One of them is the alley Hamel in the neighborhood of Key West that is located near the malecon. Along 200 meters you will find colorful works of art that reflect the Afro-Cuban culture. An unparalleled experience for art lovers.

To give a fun touch to your tour you can visit the Art Factory, a gallery/club located in an old olive oil warehouse. If you lean towards the classics, you can reach the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Havana Club Museum or the Plaza de Armas where book fairs are set up.

10- Visit the fortresses

In Havana there are plenty of fortresses, if you go with little time it is advisable to choose a few to visit. One of the most popular is the Castle of the three kings, the castle of the Cuban royal force and the fortress of San Carlos of the cottage.

11- Private taxi ride

An exciting experience for tourists is to tour Havana in an old taxi typical of the streets of the city. The prices are not high and you can go wherever you want quickly and take some pictures to remember. The approximate cost is 10 pesos.

Other places to go in Havana and final suggestions

  • If you love the beaches and have a few extra days in the city, you can go to Guanabo. It is 25 minutes from Havana to visit the beaches or to reach Santa Maria.
  • For low cost trips we recommend staying in a private residence or bed and breakfast. If you need accommodation at a good price do not hesitate to contact us.
  • In home-cooked restaurants you can eat at the best prices, the cost goes up in places with high popularity, for example El floridita, and food places in hotels.
  • If you like driving you can request a car rental to tour the city.

We hope you have fun on your tour with these 11 best things to do in Havana. If you have already visited us or are about to do so, tell us in the comments. What activity or tourist attraction do you catch your attention?

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