Havana Travel Guide
Havana Local History
Havana was a prosperous and decadent city under President Batista, but that was to last to 1959 when Castro led a successful armed uprising to depose him and declared himself prime minister in the spring of that year, with Che Guevara as his right hand man. Strong Marxist ideals have been in place since then (only just). The dusty streets of Havana reflect little modernization since then, but that's its charm and attraction.
Plaza de la Cathedral There is a daily market in the plaza selling their own arts and crafts and many smaller versions of this dot the city.
Calle 23 Around the Habana Libra Hotel on Calle 23 you'll find the dilapidated heart of Havana, there is still life in the old dog yet and an interesting variety of old shops. This is where you might just find those cigars that everyone at home is expecting.
5 Y 42 On the corner of Avenida and Calle 42 is this gigantic shopping centre offering a variety of shops plus cafes and snack bars. Beware here of the black market vendors offering food from under their big coats as you don't know what they have been doing under there.
Havana Restaurants and Bars
El Floridita On the corner of Obisso and Monserrate in Old Havana is the famed restaurant where Hemingway sipped on Daiquiri's till the bar seat gave way on him. Serving lobster, seafood and some exotic preferences. They have cashed in on the name a bit, but wouldn't you?
La Bodeguita del Medio Calle Empedrado 207, another old Hemingway haunt and many other celebrities who have signed the downstairs walls. Quality Creole cooking dominates in this atmospheric joint, but the constant tourist march through tends to be off-putting. Try the roof terrace for a more quiet eating experience.
Cafe la Marina On Oficios 202 in old Havana you will find this lovely open-air cafe. Take the weight off (not your waist) and relax with a burger and a freshly squeezed Guarapo (sugar cane juice) on it's own or with rum and watch Cuba go by.
Cafe Paris You will find this well-known and popular cafe on Obispo, where a quick bite to eat or a lingering lunch can be equally enjoyed in a lively atmosphere with live music.
Havana Bars & Clubs
Prado 264 In the old town and popular with locals and visitors alike, where locals can buy their rum in pesos, but tourists have to up the price in Dollars. Be careful as you could get pestered by ladies (and men) of the night.
Palacio de la Salsa You'll find this 'shrine to salsa 'in the Hotel Riviera, with Cuba's top salsa bands regularly performing to the delight of the locals who really enjoy dancing salsa. Be prepared for an unforgettable night.
Tropicana A Havana institution is this Cabaret Club, although the cabaret is dated nevertheless is colourful and lively, afterwards go to the attached disco for a wild night of dancing to a mix of live and taped music.
Top 10 things to do in Havana for a weekend.
- La Bodeguita del Medio
- Museo Nacional de Belas Artes
- Memorial Jose Marti
- Museo de la Ciudad
- Museo de la Revolucion y Memorial Granma
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