Tips for exploring the best of Havana

At the El Floridita, with Hemingway's brother kudumomo/Flickr

At the El Floridita, with Hemingway’s brother ©kudumomo/Flickr

As one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, Havana is an extremely attractive tourist destination in the Caribbean region. The colonial past of the city is reflected in its architectural jewels, including gorgeous castles, cathedrals, museums and wonderful mansions. The historic neighborhood of the city named Old Havana (Habana Vieja) is a main area of the city, including hundreds of fascinating landmarks.

Besides the architectural jewels, the local culture is also very attractive for visitors. You’ll understand the Cubans’ love for music and dance if you visit a club or just admire them dancing on the streets. If you’ve never been to Havana before and you need some tips for exploring the best of Havana, I recommend you to read the following guide before traveling.

Visit Old Havana and its landmarks

We can say that the major and most attractive area of the city is Old Havana (Habana Vieja). This majestic historical neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being home to hundreds of fascinating sights. The main landmarks of the city can be found here, in Old Havana. Some of the best-known visitor attractions include fortresses, historic squares, churches, museums and so on.

These landmarks are the following: the Capitolio Nacional, the Cathedral of Havana, the Great Theatre of Havana, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Revolution, the Castillo del Morro, the San Salvador de la Punta Fortress, the Malecon, the Elf Floridita Bar and so on.

El Capitolio Nacional, Old Havana stacey.cavanagh/Flickr

El Capitolio Nacional, Old Havana ©stacey.cavanagh/Flickr

Make a walk along the Malecon

The famous Malecon is actually an avenue which runs along the seawall of Havana, making part of Old Havana. It runs at the northern shore of the city. Almost every tourist who visits Havana, makes a walk along the avenue. It is a must-do activity for visitors. The Malecon presents some significant landmarks, including the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta and the Hotel Nacional of Cuba.

Get into a local club or dance along the locals on the street

As I already mentioned it, dance and music play an important role in Cubans’ lives. These make essential part of the real Cuban culture. If you would like to get in touch with locals, visit a club or just watch them dancing on the street. You can also join the locals while they dance. They will be very friendly with you. Dancing salsa on the streets is considered to be an every-day habit of the locals. Don’t miss it!

Cuban lady dancing on the street hoyasmeg/Flickr

Cuban lady dancing on the street ©hoyasmeg/Flickr

Have a drink at the El Floridita

You’ve surely heard about the famous El Floridita Bar. Located in Old Havana, it used to be one of the favorite locals of Ernest Hemingway during his stay in Cuba. Well, if you visit Havana, you can not miss to have a drink at the famous bar. I’d recommend you to order a daiquiri or a mojito. Besides, you can also make a photo with the statue of Hemingway, “sitting” on his favorite chair.

At the El Floridita, with Hemingway's brother kudumomo/Flickr

At the El Floridita, with Hemingway’s brother ©kudumomo/Flickr

 

 

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