We’ve stopped buying Lonely Planet guides ever since our travelling life became a little out of control. Instead, we started doing our research online. Only one problem: in Cuba wi-fi is pretty much non-existent. So that kind of ruined our usual habit to plan day-by-day. We managed to figure out what to do with the help of strangers and here are 5 things you shouldn’t miss.
1. Old Havana
Downtown Havana, it’s not going to get more typical Cuban than this! The colourful American cars, the old but charming houses, the streets full of life and the people that are just as colourful as everything else that surrounds you. A sensory overload! While some places are a little touristy, when you go off the main streets you find the city’s authentic self easily. The best time to explore this part of time is during the day. At night there isn’t much to do, the nightlife happens mostly in other parts of Havana.
2. El Malecon
We love a good boulevard and the ocean and if you do too, you can’t miss a nice stroll at El Malecon. A boulevard with a lot of history, the place where the locals come hang out, play music and drink rum. A must for the full local-experience.
3. Plaza de la Revolución
Perhaps the most ultimate Cuba classic: Plaza de la Revolución. This is the square where many political rallies took place, but you’ll most probably know it by the immense buildings and pictures of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Very special to experience! For some reason we expected it to be quite busy around here, but it was almost entirely deserted at 4 in the afternoon.
The neighbourhood where the FashionContainer team resided for a total of 10 days. Want to read more about our guest house experience? Then read here. This lively and fun neighbourhood is where you experience the real Cuban life. A great area, safe, very nice people. Salsa and rum, all day every day. This is also the area where you find the best nightlife and the magestic building of the University of Havana.
5. Secret Parties
Like you probably knew, Havana is all about salsa, rum and sigars but it’s also a city that knows many so called ‘secret parties’. This basically means that what during the day is a normal residential home turns into a nightclub at night. Live music so incredibly good that you can’t believe it’s actually live. Our favourite? Sarao’s bar.
6. Playa Santa Maria
Ssstt. This is officially not considered Havana, but really a must go even if it were just to escape the extreme heat in the city. We were there in winter and even then temperatures were unbearable. Santa Maria is a quiet and magestically beautiful beach with the clearest blue ocean. Buses leave daily from downtown Havana and drop you off at a perfect little spot right next to the beach where you can also find a few bars and restaurants. Oh, and let’s not forget this: you can buy Pina Colada’s for 1 dollar here. Our kind of place.
Have you been to Havana? What did you liked most?