Cuba’s capital Havana is full of colourful characters, classic cars and deceptive facades. Crumbling but not crushed, Old Havana still has a genteel veneer despite the rubble. The cobblestoned streets hold a feast of fascintating history dating back to the sixteenth century.
Budget – Stay in a Casa Particular (meaning private house in Spanish). Similar to a bed and breakfast. Casa Habana at #209 e/Empedrado & Tejadillo, Habana Vieja has a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy views over the city.
Mid-range – Hotel Nacional de Cuba, a refined Art Deco masterpiece overlooking the Melcon.
Luxury – Hotel Parque Central located at the intersection of Prado and Neptuno right in the centre of Havana.
For cheap and authentic meals, try Jardin del Oriente just off the Plaza de San Francisco.
For an atmospheric family-run restaurant serving some of the tastiest dishes in Havana, you can’t go past La Guarida, which was the set for the award-winning Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate.
Try the delicious churros from the little churro cart located outside the La Casa Del Chocolate (The House of Chocolate) on Calle Mercaderes. For only a peso (roughly around 50 cents Australian) you can buy a cone of churros – yum!
Enjoy a mojito or two on the rooftop terrace of Hotel Inglaterra.
- Explore the plazas and iconic sights of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Havana on a 3.5 hour walking tour.
- See the city on two wheels on the Cuba Ruta Bikes City Tour of Havana.
- Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour – well worth the 5 CUC to get your bearings with more than 60 stops around Havana
- Take a Salsa Dance Class.
- Try your hand at creating an authentic Cuban meal with a Cuban Home-Cooking Lesson.
- Hail one of the many classic Chevrolets or yellow coco taxis and head to Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabaña for the nightly Canon Ceremony. Entry will cost around AUD$10, and for an extra peso you can secure a great viewing point up on the turrets of the fortress (and a mojito is included!)
- See the Parisian Cabaret at the Hotel Nacional. The show and a drink with cost you around $30 as opposed to $80 to the Tropicana Caberet.