We only visited Havana – so these are tips for visiting the city, and I’ve included a few notes on day trips!
1 – Old car tour
We did a 3 hour tour through Old Cars Havana. Great way to see the city. Drove us through Old Town, the Military School/Outlook (where we found the best Pinja Colodas EVER), Vedado, Miramar and the forest
2 – Havana Club Rum Distillery
We didn’t make it, but read it the book it wasn’t the best anyways. My friend went and said it was interesting but not a hilight. They got to taste rum of different ages.
3 – Chocolate Museum
This is more of a restaurant than a museum, but you can see them making chocolate at all hours and it’s great! We went after dinner one night and had the best iced chocolate drink I’ve ever had. They were sold out of many of the special chocolates so maybe go earlier in the day to get the best selection. VERY affordable – we ordered tons of chocolate for under 10 CUC. Definitely go.
4 – Cigar factory
We went to the old location and ended up just purchasing cigars at the store there. It was going to take us over an hour to get to the new location of the factory and complete the tour. BUT definitely purchase some cigars from a registered place while in Havana – affordable, so why not?!
Definitely take your time to walk around old town. The streets are fun – there’s music, restaurants, shops and museums to pop into. Go to all the old plazas.
You MUST walk around the Melacon. It’s the long walk along the beach. People sit out and fish, play music and just hang out. Our tour guide told us this is where people go to find love. We obviously took every chance to walk on the Melacon.
1 -San Jose markets
This is a massive inside market with tons of crafts. People definitely try to sell you everything under the sun. I bought some cute woven leather sandals for 15 CUC and also came home with tons of magnets after having won a free necklace from opening a magic box. I felt like I couldn’t take a free necklace and didn’t have any small bills so bought 4 magnets. If you want one, email me.
2 – Havana 1971 perfume shop
Come here for the best perfume experience ever. They’ll make you a special scent just for you. We LOVED this place. They have all size bottles that you can take on your carry on. MUST GO.
Casa De Musica – my friend’s rec for a fun show with different musical acts.
Club 1830 – This is pretty far from Old Town. My friend and I didn’t make it, but another friend went and LOVED it. She said it’s the best place to go for salsa – and to go on a Sunday night. We also got the same rec from a taxi driver.
La Zorra y el Cuervo – Jazz club recommended by a friend who went. She said it’s 10 CUC for entry and two drinks. They loved it.
Fabrica de Arte – A bar that has different art exhibits. It was closed when we were in town, but we’ll just have to go back! Supposed to be really great. It’s on the far end of Vedado so we took a cab.
Sarao – This is a night club in Vedado. We went when we found out that Fabrica de Arte was closed. It was fun, but similar to a nightclub in the states.
Santa Maria – This is a beautiful beach about 1/2 hour outside of Havana. We took the beach bus from Parque Centrale. It’s 5 CUC per person for a round trip. We rented chairs on the beach for 2 CUC and mojitos for 2.5 CUC each. LOVED it. Also ate at a cute little pop up restaurant in front of the Tropicoco. (Don’t stay a night out here – the hotel is quite run down. Much better to come in from Havana). We took a taxi back for 15 CUC.
If you’re traveling around Cuba, everyone we spoke with said Trinidad is the best beach hands down. Next time!
Vinales – Friend’s rec:
- Visit tobacco plantation and coffee plantation
- Horse riding, sunset or sunrise horse riding trails available
- Went to these old Indian caves which was cool too!
- Best meal we had on the trip was at the back of someones house in the mountains. I have no idea the name of where but it was a highlight!