The building its old but it really begin to take shape as a fine arts museum in 1952, it includes today 24 rooms of sequential visits or alternatives of free choosing. It has about 7600 m2 with 1200 paintings sculptures, engravings, and drawings offering a complete panorama of fine arts in cuba from the 16C as well as comtemporay artsfrom the 20C
wonderful building and excellent display of fine arts. You have two cafes and boutique store inside
It is located in a colorful building of a large dome and a mixture of styles which was official residence of the presidents of the Republic from 1920 to 1960.
The building stands as the Museum of the National Emancipation. A detailed panorama of the struggle undertaken by the Cuban people in order to obtain its freedom is available in its 38 rooms
the castle or fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña
it is by the morro castle, built between 1763-1774 to reinforce the defenses of Havana after it was taken by the English in 1762. The fortress is a hill overlooking the city. a must to see if open
Oldest convent, church in Habana from about 1584, lovely restored, and a must to see. Today the church serves as a concert hall, featuring classical, chamber and choral music. The Museo de Arte Religioso (unguided/guided CUC$2/3; open 9am to 6pm) is replete with religious paintings, silverware, wood carvings and ceramics. The admission price for the museum includes access to the tallest bell tower in Habana.
La Floridita is a large bar, very busy, but clean and cheerful. A life-sized bronze Hemingway sits on the end barstool He went here frequently for daiquiris, so we carried on the tradition. We managed to find a small table and sit down with our drinks. Actually, I wanted the barstool next to "Papa" but it was occupied.
A daquiri here costs 7 CUC.
Finca Vigia is a 4-acre estate southeast of Havana in the village of San Francisco de Paula. The house was built in 1887. Hemingway bought it in 1940 after renting it for a while first. He added a tower with a studio at the top, but he didn’t use it much. He had lots and lots of cats, but there are none at the house now.
The house belongs to the Cuban government, and it is now a museum. Hemingway left almost everything in it because he expected to come back. Visitors can’t go inside, but they can see almost all of it by walking around the building and looking in all the open doors and windows. Photos are OK, and there is no charge for using cameras. It is harder to see everything in the tower room, but the attendant will take your camera and photograph the contents for you if you want them to.
Hemingway kept his boat, the Pilar, in nearby Cojimar. Gregorio Fuentes was his long-time First Mate. After Hemingway left Cuba, he gave the boat to Fuentes, but he didn’t keep it because he didn’t enjoy it without Hemingway. Fuentes died in Cojimar in 2002, at the age of 104. The Pilar is now kept at Finca Vigia, just past the swimming pool. Visitors can see it and walk around it.
The garage is now the museum’s office. The gift shop is further down, on the parking lot. It had less Hemingway merchandise than I expected, but fans will find a few nice souvenirs.
Open from 10-4, Monday through Saturday; 9-1 on Sunday. Admission 3 CUC
Jose Fuster's art was influenced by Picasso and Gaudi, and it isn’t hard to see the connections. Every inch of his property seems to be decorated—even the stairs leading up to a showroom.
He has decorated not only his own studio, but much of his immediate neighborhood. We started seeing ceramic creations on stone walls and arched gateways about a block from his house. He has been working on this project for 20 years. (He likes chickens, and you'll see a lot of them in his mosaics, etc.)
It is well worth a visit even if you aren't planning to buy.
The Prado extends from the Parque Central to the waterfront. It is a wide, tree-lined pedestrian area between two one-way streets. It is a popular area—people were strolling, visiting, even napping on benches. A little boy was sitting on a lion statue, and two teenagers were skateboarding. It is a very pleasant walk
Havana, for me anyway, doesnt have any world class must see sights.
However, it has some fantastic architecture-see below.
A trip to Playas Del Este , 20km away is great for the beach.
The best thing for me though was the way of life and the people.
Its just a great city to walk around and people watch and just see the way of life - that for me was the greatest thing.
Heres what i did:
-Walk around the districts, i covered havana vieja, old havana and vedaro. easy enough to do on foot, quite tiring but the best way to see things is on foot.
-The old american cars - everywhere and quite surreal at first, in fact i never really got used to them.
-Capitolio-this building is a good landmark and easy to find. its a an area with a hype of activity, with tourists, taxis, food places and a busy street. the building is lovely, very similar to the whitehouse.
-Hotel Nacional - in vedaro - a huge plush hotel, quite famous.
-Walking Malecon-the street that follows the sea/river estuary - a nice place to walk away from the city bussle.
-Plaza cathedral-a lovely square with a lovely cathedral.and a great positioned restaurant on the square.
-Revolution museum-6 CUC (£4) - didnt think this was anything speical, it just had items such a Raol's haircomb and stuff, i didnt really get a story of what happened.
-Hotel Raquel - a lovely old hotel - get the lift to the rooftop and sit in peace on this great rooftop terrace and have a cuba libre (3.50 cuc-£2.20)
-Head to playas del este - i went to santa maria (20 cuc in a taxi although just 15 cuc coming back so probably over paid going there) - a picture postcard beach, see santa maria page for more.
-Plaza de marco-another nice square for some good fotos
-Hotel Ingleterra-the engand hotel, in agreat location - go to the rooftop terrace for drinks, 3cuc for a cuba libre. great views of the busy streets below.
-Hotel Ambos Mundas-another great rooftop terrace with a busy bar.
I take my laptop and a surge protector and had no problem with the electricty.
Best places for drinks day or night: Terrace in front of the Hotel Inglatera, Cathedral Plaza and open air but walled bar on the corner at the foot of Calle Mercaderes in Old Havana. Jazz Cafe in the shopping mall across from Hotel Melia Cohiba, Bar in the Hotel Riveria over looking the Malecon and the ocean, a little bar downhill behind the Hotel Havana Libre, the outdoor terrace at the Hotel National(3 stars). This should get you through the first few days!!
Dancing? anywhere there is music, Old Havana - Casa de Musica and Trastevere across from each other on Galiano, the Oasis (Prado #256).
Vedado area - El Gato Tuerto after 11:00 pm for music and dancing after the show. Near Revolutionary Square there is Teatro National with two clubs, the Cafe Cantante and another that I can't recall the name of. One for big bands and the other a piano bar with dancing to a DJ till dawn. Google Cuba Junky for more.
Have lunch or supper on the roof of the Hotel Ambos Mudos on Obispo, Old Havana,
or in Miramar, Restuarant El Aljibe for great chicken. I take cash and load up my visa in advance just in case I run low(high commission on visa). Use a white money belt as in hides the best under clothes. Always ask for a reciept when doing any transactions.
I generally stay in casas, but have stayed in the Hotel Seville and Telgrafo, both well located near Parque Central, but spend alot of time in the Hotel National, Havana Libre, Riveria and the Melia Cohiba(very new and exclusive).
Go see the Nine O'clock gun show at El Morro.
The Club Parisiene show at the Hotel National is a smaller less expensive version of the Tropicana. If you go to the Tropicana, arrive early and have supper at Rodney's behind the Tropicana, I had the best steak in Cuba there!
Hit Maison House for dancing after in a real Cuban atmoshpere on the way back.
Catch the double decker buses for a tour of Havana or a trip to the East Beaches(Playa de Este)$5.00 cuc, good for all day. Beach bus stop across from Hotel Inglaterra. (see Tourist Info in the lobby).
Try the 7 year old or Anejo Especial rum on ice or straight, and the coffee, hot chocolate, peach juice, Crystal and Buccanero beers.
Get Vivian at the Tobacco Shop 2nd floor Melia Cohiba to pick your cigars for you, she knows her stuff!!
I have never been hassled at night other than a "Ola! Where are you from?", just don't wander around with your purse or camera dangling.
Much different from the "Drug Cultures" in other major cities. Hope it doen't change!!
Ride only in cabs with working meters althougth it will cost you $20 cuc for Airport cabs. I catch cabs at the major hotels, where they don't let the pirates come around. If you are going to negoitate rates do it befor you get in.
Late at night it can be difficult to get a meter cab at places other than the major hotels.
Have fun, meet the people especially.
Check out Cuba Junky for much more info.
Casas particulares are the only way to make your experience of Cuba 100% enriching. Contact the people at la Casa de Ana www.anahavana.com who provide 25dollar/night accommodation (sleeping 2 people): they are in Vedado which is the nicest area of Havana, extremely safe. The house is amazingly clean and the people more than welcoming. We toured Cuba with a friend of theirs who was taking us around the city and Cuba for about $50-80/day (sharing in 3 people). Do not hesitate to contact me for any question
Feel free to come and look at my trip story here
Just click on each day to read the story and pictures of our tours; if you need further information please contact me
I´m just back from a trip to Havana. I booked it with www.travel-to-cuba-treat.com and I have to tell you it was a real treat. To tell you the truth it exceeded all my expectations. Havana is a kind of mysterious city. Despite the deterioration of many buildings and the lack of paint, there is a lot to see in Havana and I found it really charming. It would be great to walk along Obispo street and admire the city's architecture, just fabulous. Then turn left to the Cathedral square and have a drink at El Patio Restaurant while listening to some Cuban music, amazing. There are many other cafes around where music is always playing. Just walk and enjoy it. You can also check the travel-to-cuba-teat.com site. They have a lot of information about Cuba and their review of Old Havana is really like walking along the streets. It helped me a lot.
The Granma Memorial is built on the site of the original Presidential Palace gardens. As such, it is next door to the Museum of the Revolution. It memorializes the boat that brought Castro and Guevara to Cuba in 1956 from Mexico. It is incased in a glass-walled building so it's possible to get a look without paying to enter. There are also other vehicles here that were used in the war
Centro Habana is one of the 15 municipalities (municipios in Spanish) in the city of Havana, Cuba. There are a lot of retail spaces (such as Plaza de Carlos III commercial center, office buildings, hotels, bars and clubs (such as the Casa de la Musica on Galliano). A chinatown - Barrio Chino - is also located in this district. It is a smaller municipality of Havana, and it has the highest population density.
The infrastructure of the city, built 450 years ago, heavily deteriorated during the 1990s after the collapse of the Cuban-Soviet trade partnership. In 1996, restoration projects were started to improve housing and infrastructure in the Cayo Hueso community.[3
Havana is an absolutely Amazing City. I recommend anyone visiting Cuba take the time to take either a guided or self guided walking tour Havana (Old and New). The Architecture, Beauty, and History of this city is simply breath taking.
The streets are lined with old classic cars that will make any car buff drool. It is said that in Havana cars don't die, and from what I've seen it appears to be true.
The streets are safe, the people incredibly friendly and most are fluent in many languages so communication and directions are simple to get.
Be sure to take lots of film. You'll love this city.
This is a jewel of a hotel, located just a block or two away from Old Havana, and the shops of Calle...more
I was here when it had just opened in 1998, and this time came back for meetings and conference...more
We stayed 3 nights at the Telegrafo Hotel Havana February 2011. The hotel is in a good central...more