Havana Travel Guide

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Havana Things to Do

  • The Malecon

    Starting at the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, running 8 kms to the west to the tunnel under the river in Vedado the Malecon was started in 1901 to help protect against the waters of the Atlantic, that are thrown up whenever there are north winds. Many of the buildings are in a state of much-needed renovation although parts of it are quite modern,...

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  • El Capitolio

    4 out of 5 stars

    It's name recalls of course the Capitol in Washington but in fact is based on the design of the Pantheon in Paris, although the cupola was constructed and imported from the US. Finished in 1929 it was the home of the government until the Revolution, when the new regime disbanded the Congress. It then became the Ministry of Science and Technology....

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  • Playas del Este

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Opposed to other beaches in Cuba where one can only find tourists, Playas del Este is very popular among the habaneros, who can frequently enjoy these warm waters thanks to their closeness to the city. The next beach between Bacuranao and El Mégano is a tourist resort called Tarará, 20 kilometers away of Havana. Its marina (Marina Tarará) is the...

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Havana Hotels

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Havana Restaurants

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  • Paladares

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    family run, from chef to servers, using charcoal for cooking ,nice setting using the entire old home, you come to taste the local food, come here, very friendly and cheap. All is good. no web or tel i was there with my family , I am Cuban born, good food and cheap and great Cuban ambiance, cant beat it. pork yucca, moro rice, and cristal beer cant...

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  • La Bodeguita del Medio

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    La Bodeguita del Medio or the middle grocery store is and has been an institution in Havana since 1942 La Bodeguita del Medio is well known to be the birthplace of the famous drink mojito,that has been served there since inception. The restaurant is completely filled with signatures of visitors many famous since Ernest Hemingway and many objects,...

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  • China Town

    5 out of 5 stars

    If you're entering Barrio Chino from the north side, ignore the first few restaurants with the hassle-heavy greeters who will shove their menus in your face; they are probably the worst two restaurants on the strip. My personal favorite is three or four restaurants down on the left. I can't remember its name, but it has a spacious outdoor seating...

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Havana Nightlife

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  • Tropicana

    Tropicana is a little expensive to go to but i think that you should go there if you are in Havana. The music is good, the costumes is fantastic and the artists are very good. No special dresscode but people coming there tend to have nice evening clothes on.

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  • Casa de la Musica

    A big stage with bands playing, in front of it the dance floor and around the dance floor tables/seats and bars. Very good atmosphere a good place to practize your salsa skills, or just dance the night away. There is no special dress code.

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  • Florodita

    I appreciate the historical connection this old Havana bar has to the world in regards to its association with famed author Ernest Hemingway. I've always liked finding cafes, plazas, and old hotels where famous historical figures spent time while in these various cities. Apparently old Hemingway enjoyed more than a few nights hanging out in El...

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Havana Transportation

  • Viazul terminus

    The only bus terminal for Viazul is at : Casa Matriz: Avenida 26 y Zoológico, Nuevo Vedado, La Habana, just opposite the zoo. There is no longer a pick-up point at the Astro terminal at calle 19 de Mayo. Cost by taxi out to the terminus from Habana Vieja is generally 10CUC.Booking by internet is easy with also an English version. At Viazul offices...

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  • Havana Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour.

    Like so many other places in the world Havana has its own Hop on Hop off bus service.Although i did not use this service it was very popular with the tourists.If you have limited time and want to save your legs it is a good way of seeing the sights.With three different routes and over sixty stops it is excellent value at 5 cuc per person,valid for...

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  • travel to Cuba from abroad

    i will give you my travel agency to Cuba, they have been around since 1979 and are Cuban born so they know their island. There are in New York City and office in Miami.happy travels.http://www.marazul.com/

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Havana Shopping

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  • All under one roof.

    Six years ago the open-air market near the cathedral was relocated to one of Havana's longest standing warehouses. Built in 1885 it has a steel base inside the concrete but still needed some 3 years of renovation work. An ideal spot for shopping as it has practically everything a tourist may want in the way of gifts and cheaper than the shops found...

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  • Cigars of Cuba

    The long tradition of cigars or havano or puro cubano the cigars of Cuba,best are from vuelta abajo area in Pinar del Rio and then from vuelta arriba area in Las Villas(Santa Clara) areas. But to sell ,see,smell taste and buy there is no other than PartagasFounded in 1845 and after all still going strong. It is open Mon-Fri 9-11am and noon-1:30pm...

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  • market by malecon

    This is an artful market by malecon offering paintings by Cuban artists, souvenirs craftmanship items, second hand books , old coins and post cards.you can negotiate prices,and the items are all natural and originals. You have the info which needs to be updated as places sometimes change there. see the photoIt is at the corner of malecon and D/E...

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Havana Local Customs

  • L'Escorial, Plaza Vieja.

    Seems to be the best place in Havana to buy some coffee. Sometimes there is a long queue up to the counter, mainly of locals which should seem a guarantee of quality. At a table on the terrace the coffee is good, reasonable at 1CUC50 for an americano. Big problem is the wait. The staff just seem to be interested in filling up the tables and then...

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  • Antonio Maceo y Grajales

    This is a men from a poor family in Santiago de Cuba who rose to fight for Cuban independance .Approximately two weeks after the October 10, 1868 revolt led by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes against Spain known as "The cry of Yara" ("El grito de Yara"), Maceo, together with his father and brothers joined the war. Mariana Grajales, followed her family...

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  • The Water Truck

    Some areas of Old Havana are not hooked up to a water supply, and the residents and businesses get their water delivered by a tank truck. My roommate and I were sitting at a sidewalk table having a snack when a tanker truck pulled up and a couple of guys started dragging a hose around. They connected the hose and pumped water into the tanks of a...

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Havana Warnings and Dangers

  • money theft

    I have read that money has gone missing from rooms and also safes in Cuba. When cash goes from safes it is usually small amounts in hope that you don't miss it. I once had £10 taken from our safe in the Dominican Republic MY TOP TIPI now put all my valuables in a plastic bag and fit a tie wrap around the neck of the bag. This method will stop small...

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  • Leave your wads of cash at home and stay...

    Havana is a big city but it is also amazingly safe, particularly in comparison to most cities in the rest of Latin America. The streets are generally safe to walk in, even late at night, and the police presence is pretty strong and they are generally there to make sure you are ok, especially as a tourist.HOWEVER, people that are stupid will end up...

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  • Jineteras on the Malecon

    "Jineteras" are teenage prostitutes that hang out along the Malecon trying to pick up tourist men. They're not like regular prostitutes; I've heard they will take a man home, introduce him to their family, get him to buy her things, take her out to dinner , give her spending money, and generally become a "girl toy" for the length of his stay.This...

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Havana Tourist Traps

  • side street by opera house and hotel...

    be careful when walking up this street. there are some guys that hang around to try and get you in their bar from the street.they will sit you down and give you "mojitos" but they are very overpriced and watered down.guess its a lot of money to them but not so much for a western tourist but nevertheless still a rip off. smile and walk on!

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  • No esta niun festival de la salsa!

    Once you start walking in Havana, you'll notice lots of people, mainly guys willing to talk with you, they'll even accuse you to not want to talk with locals if you do not stop a minute.Most of these jineteros will try to offer you cigars(fake) or a convenient(fraudolent) money change, but ALL of them will tell you that today the international...

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  • Car Rental

    Be careful when you rent a car through the internet or travel agency in Cuba. You might not get what you asked for and you are already billed. As they dont have computers or networks, they cannot check the status of your reservation. Worst part there is no one to complain. I was offered a 2006 car for 10 days. They gave me a 2001 old car in...

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Havana What to Pack

  • toiletpaper

    you dont need many clothes, light cotten is the best. i wore sandels all the time,it was to warm for shoes. toiletpaper and lots of it.if you on medication bring enough in your handbag in case your suitcase get lost bring lots of film and batteries you need them allways carry some fresh water around with you

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  • trade your clothes and medicines

    Gifts are very much appreciated. We gave some of ou clothes, shoes, toiletteries to someone, and he gave us 2 bottles of the best rum and a box of cigars for it as a thank you.school supplies & toys for children bring your vitamins supplies.

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  • Bring what you need!

    Cuba is HOT in the summer months, aka June-September... bring your beach clothes: avoid jeans and bring comfy dresses, skirts, tanks, shorts, several pairs of flip flops, comfy shoes for walking and at least one (or many more) pair of going out partying at the clubs shoes. Cubans dress well! I also recommend bringing a few handkerchiefs or face...

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Havana Off The Beaten Path

  • El Cristo and forts, Casa Blanc, Habana.

    Once at the ferry terminal in Casa Blanca it is quite a trudge up the hill to the foot of the 20 metres high statue made of Carrara marble. This was one of the last things that Batista oversaw in December 1958 as 15 days later Castro arrived and Batista fled. Supposedly weighing in at around 320 tons. The work is by Jilma Madera and close to the...

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  • Take the ferry over the water to Casa...

    From the terminal at the end of calle Santa Clara and opposite the Russian Orthodox church, there are two ferries that run about every 15 mins. Normally on the r/h are the boats for Regla and on the left for Casa Blanca. Fare is 1 CUC for us foreigners unless you have some Cuban pesos and try to get away with the locals price. This is the ferry to...

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  • Iglesia del Santo Angel Custodio, Habana...

    This church is not that easy to find being on a small promontory at the northern end of the Old Town and tucked away down a side street. I was only only attracted here when seeing the multi-spires. Originally built in the late 1600's, it was virtually demolished by a hurricane in 1846 and rebuilt over 5 years from 1866-71. One of Cuba's most famous...

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Havana Sports & Outdoors

  • Baseball

    Baseball is the national sport in Cuba and cubans are very proud of their national team, winner of gold and silver several times on olimpic and world games.The season begins in november until mid april, 90 games on the regular season, then a playoffs with 8 teams and then the finals. The best teams ever are Industriales, Villa Clara and Santiago....

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  • Playing Domino's

    Not technically sport but still a great game. You'll find many locals playing domino's in the street. Join in for a game or stand and watch the locals in action. Dominos

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  • Bicycles and Cuba

    Cuba is almost flat so U can take a bike with you and go round and round in Cuba with no problem. Our worst problem: The SUN and the Heat! You'll sweat a lot so take enough water eith you to drink. In some places you'll not find good water to drink and rivers aren't so close one to another. Be sure to take a good lock with you because here a good...

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Havana Favorites

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  • Havana Vieja (Old Havana)

    En el mes de Septiembre estuvimos de vacaciones en Cuba y buscando hoteles por internet vimos que muchos Cubanos estan alquilando habitaciones en sus casas. Nos dio curiosidad y ganas de ensayar pero a la vez desconfianza por ir a casa de personas desconocidas. Al fin decidimos ir a una de estas casas pensando en que si no nos gustaba nos...

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  • Money, Health and Safty info

    Cuba is on a two-tiered currency system and it can easily confuse people. One of my favourite moments in my friend Jovana paying for a round of drinks (at a bar where they charged in CUC, obviously) and mistakenly handing the bartender a 20- in nacionales (this is less than 1 CUC, much less than the bill the bartender wanted her to pay). She stood...

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  • Plaza de la Revolucion

    One of the buildings in Revolution Square is the Ministerio del Interior or MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR. It would just be another building, if not for the giant ironwork mural of the likeness of Ernest (Che) Guevara (1928 to 1967 ) Cuba's revolutionary Hero. His motto " Hasta La Victoria Siempre" - "Towards Victory Always" is inscripted below his...

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Comments (3)

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    book casas online now with Airbnb, mostly in Havana for now;see article
    bloomberg.com/news/articles/...

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    tayed tune, AMEX is asking ok to do business there and Mastercard just jump in the wagon and doing the same. The problem is the cash machines are many times not working and only about 398 in all Havana, long lines are expected now, imagine when all these new cards comes into play.

  • gwened's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    USA and Cuba to re establish diplomatic ties after 56 years! travel is one who will win.

 
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