It is possible to walk between all of the places of interest in Havana, but do you really want to be walking 22 km a day in the midday Caribbean sun? I would definitely recommend the open top bus tour instead. This is the first place that I have ever used these tourist busses but in Havana it is the best way to explore. However, do not just sit on the bus, get off and explore each stop to understand the real Havana. There are local busses but you need to use local currency (CUP) and it is difficult to work out the routes if you are not fluent in Spanish. (more…)
Despite numerous revolutions and years of repressive governments the art scene in Cuba has thrived, with 14 art schools and a University of Fine Arts and numerous Cuban artist galleries. Cuban art is as diverse as the people that inhabit this small Caribbean island, with influences from Africa, South America, North America and Europe, however often the best place to experience Cuban art is on the streets of Havana, the island’s capital city.
As the birthplace of salsa, it is no surprise that cuban beats pulsate from most bars in Habana Vieja late into the night, attracting phenomenal dancers who will leave you spellbound as you watch them in wonder whilst sipping on your mojito or cuba libre. Some bars cater more to those who want to just drink and listen, but the music will remain fairly similar.
International acts (albeit often with Cuban or latin american heritage) are more likely to be found in Vedado. Jazz musicians, in particular, attract big crowds and locals will pay several months salary to see the very best play here. (more…)
Forget the large overpriced hotels, these are often run by the government and are soulless in comparison to the smaller casa particulares. These family run places are full of Cuban love and the owners have all the best and up to date information on where to eat and what events or gigs are on nearby. Casas are usually similar to European bed and breakfasts, but can be anything from private apartments used as holiday rentals or a room in a family house. (more…)
Traditional Cuban food is simple local ingredients that are cooked fresh with a (usually) light spicing. It is safe to say that Cuban cuisine has not made it as one of the world’s favourites, but that doesn’t mean that it is not delicious. Despite this, there is a new food revolution starting in the capital city that is raising traditional dishes to gastronomic levels as Cuban chefs are being trained internationally and returning home to create something special. (more…)
Varadero has a split personality, it is where many people spend the last couple of days of their holiday as a place to wind down and relax after the frantic city life of Havana, but it is also the all inclusive destination of choice in Cuba. If you have just arrived off the Transtur bus from Havana, the clean wide streets, with flat pavements and no one stood around hassling you to take a taxi will be a sweet relief. Perhaps the most exciting thing you will find here is a supermarket, but just double check the price the cashier asks you for your shop. (more…)
Havana; the capital of Cuba, is the best place to soak up the true Cuban atmosphere that the world expects when they visit. Unlike some of the smaller cities Havana doesn’t just welcome you into Cuban life, it smacks you round the face with it. A few days in this crazy city is often enough before you are just exhausted and suffocated by it. Not least by the soot from the old cars that swarms around the streets! (more…)