Havana, Cuba’s Iconic Capital, instantly recognizable, this city is like no other steeped in History and culture. To some the city is trapped in a time warp, with its streets full of Classic American cars like Buicks, Cadillacs and Chevrolets lining streets filled with Colonial style buildings dating back to the 16th Century, to others it’s the gateway to the Latin world. Havana is one of the last places on earth that you can describe as being unique, it offers visitors a glimpse in to a bygone world, it’s Old town is a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s people are friendly and artistic, the city lives for music whether it’s Salsa or Jazz you’ll always find somewhere with incredible live music to dance the night away and there is no better time to do it in this, it’s 500th anniversary.
Area: 781.58 km2
Population: 2.1 million inhabitants
Currency: Cuban Peso
Official Language: Spanish
Time Difference: -4 hours in summer / -5 hours in winter
Time from the airport: Downtown havana is about 30 minutes by taxi or bus
Avg. Fight Duration Time: Flight time from the UK to Cuba is around 9 or 10 hours
Annual rainfall: Averages about 1320 mm
Average temperatures: Range from 22 °C (72 °F) in January and February to 28 °C (82 °F) in August
Festivals: Habanos cigar festival, International Pepe Sanchez Festival, havana Biennial, International Boleros de Oro Festival, Fiesta del Caribe, Cuba Carnival, Cuban Hip Hop Symposium festival, Fiesta de la Virgen del Cobre, Matamoros Son International Festival, havana International Ballet Festival, International, Festival of New Latin American Film, International Jazz Festival and Las Parrandas
Topography: Most of Cuba is farmland with coffee, sugarcane and tobacco grown and cattle grazed
havana is a city of contrasts. The capital city of Cuba is known for its gorgeous beaches, colourful culture and party districts. This is the land of salsa dancing, colourful vintage cars and the famous Cuban cigars. havana holiday packages allow you to explore three cities in one - Old havana (Habana Vieja), Vedado and newer suburban districts. The town overlooks the famous Playas de Este beach, which is just a short drive from the city centre and is known for its clean sands.
With a history of over 500 years, havana has numerous places of interest - from UNESCO World Heritage monuments and historic places to castle & art galleries and nightlife entertainment. If you’re wondering where to visit in havana, make the most of your time and explore as many of these must-visit attractions as possible:-
Callejon de Hamel: Book cheap havana holidays and get an insight into the well-preserved Afro-Cuban culture and customs. Walk into the community centre to see the murals and graffiti. Witness Cuban dance and relish traditional food – all in one.
Tribuna Antiimperialista: Wish to see Cuban musical concert? This is the place! Once an important government building, the Tribuna Antiimperialista now holds world-class concerts by renowned artists and bands.
Revolution Plaza: This Boulevard witnessed some of the historic speeches and rallies that transformed the history of Cuba. You can also enter the museum at the base, buy snacks at the corner and take in great views of the city.
Cuban Art Factory: The enlivening centre of havana's nightlife is one unmissable place in the city. A factory-turned cultural centre offers live performances, art shows and a huge food menu.
Fusterlandia: Created by Cuban artist Jose Foster, this art & craft complex began as a private establishment and ended attracting locals and visitors. This vital havana attraction showcases an unforgettable effect with a powerful message of unity, brotherhood and an ancient tradition.
National Museum of Fine Arts: Only a couple of minutes from the Malecon, this amazing museum houses some of the most significant works of various Cuban artists - right from the ancient to the modern world. Do not miss the room dedicated to the work of Wilfredo Lam.
Playas del Este: Cuba is not all historical. There are beaches that spellbind people. Playas del Este is one such beauty strip on the north-eastern coast of havana and this is one of the best places to visit in havana. Art the end of the strip, continue exploring nightclubs, local restaurants, cafes and shops.
Statue of Jesus Christ: Soak up the wonderful view of the old town and the bay from the hilltop where the statue abides. Reaching there is fun. Take a short ferry to Casablanca and enjoy the climb.
Capitol Building: Built in 1929, the Capitol Building is a magnificent building that movie directors love to shoot. You can explore the interiors but the exteriors are magnificent too.
Partagas Cigar Factory: If you smoke one cigar, you will be interested to see how it is made. So, have a look at the Partagas Cigar plant to see how workers build the boxes and roll the cigars. Explore every floor and see what goes into the cigar production.
havana holidays offer a delightful mix of things to see and do. From the rum and cigar factories to the impressive Cathedral de San Cristobal, there is something for everyone. We’ve highlighted the most popular things to do in havana:
Capture sunset at Malecon: The Malecon is a stone wall that separates the city of havana from the harsh ocean waters. For decades, families and couples come to the Malecon to drink and socialise because it’s much cheaper than going to a bar — but it is truly a splendid sight to see during sunset.
Go for a Ride in a Convertible: Cuba is known for its striking collection of vintage cars from the 1950s. They might be used every day but most of them are either private cars or taxis. This is one of the top things to do in havana and if you're in the city, riding one of them is an experience not to be missed.
Taste Daiquiri at El Floridita: El Floridita is one of the popular spots in the town. Nothing draws people other than the 'best daiquiri in the world'. Just walk into havana Vieja Bar and sip the local drink while you groove to some live Spanish music.
Walk around havana Vieja: havana Vieja translates to 'Old havana' despite being one of the stylish neighbourhoods to hangout. One would surely call this 'touristy area' because of its newly opened hotels, markets, restaurants & cafes and several landmarks that keep you engaged.
Explore the Craft & Fruit Market: Markets are extremely lively and there are several that you'd love to explore. Among all, La Rampa on the 23rd street is not to be missed. This market is loved by all due to all the charming souvenirs and better chances of bargaining.
Discover the Cuban Missile Crisis Tunnels: If you’ve done all and still wondering what to do in havana, head to Malecon. While you admire the sunset, the tunnels are under your feet. There will be a long line to get into the tunnel. Why not, after all, this is where the Cuban Crisis Missiles were installed aiming directly at America.
Enjoy a view at Morro Cabana: Built in the 1800s, this huge fort is hard to miss. Located across havana Vieja, marvel at the ancient canons and big guns that were used to fire at the invading ships. The fort also offers a stunning view of havana Bay and Malecon. Every night at 9 pm, a cannon is fired from Morro Cabana. Be there at 7 pm to enjoy a little celebration.
The Cuban capital is one of the most enthralling destinations in the Caribbean that will definitely get under your skin. The best time to visit havana depends on your priorities: come in the shoulder seasons to see fewer crowds and lower prices or visit during the high season for ample sunshine. The island also holds fantastic events throughout the year, from traditional music celebrations to cigar and food festivals.
Speaking about the weather in havana, the driest period in havana is between November and April, when the climate is less humid but still very warm. Fortunately, the city is much safer from hurricanes than other parts of the Caribbean, although these can occur at any time between June and November. The rainy season generally lasts from May to October, although the city still receives plenty of sunshine during these months.
Airport: Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)
If you’re travelling to Cuba from the UK, you will need a tourist visa. This is known as a tourist card and is valid for 30 days.
Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended to avoid water and food-borne bacteria. Rabies and typhoid vaccination may also be necessary, depending on your itinerary. Insect repellent should be carried or applied to prevent dengue fever.
Travelling to Havana for the first time? Well, you’re in for a treat. Try to eat like Cuban and visit places that are popular with the locals. Dona Eutimia is a good place for traditional Cuban food, while Razones Bar & Restaurant is a private restaurant that is popular with Cubans. There are also other restaurants featuring cuisines from other communities - from Iranian to Chinese and more. Explore flavours from the communist heritage by relishing authentic Russian food at Nazdarovie.
No trip to Havana would be complete without a visit to the many roadside food vendors selling delicious street food, such as burgers, hot dogs, guava milkshake, pineapple pizza and coconut pie.
havana nightlife is as vibrant as the locals and their culture. You just have to wait for the sun to go down and the place bursts into life. With live music echoing through the clubs, on the streets and in local bars, the young and old alike don’t mind partying until dawn. If you’re there in July, get into the party spirit at the multi-coloured carnival in Santiago de Cuba and experience some of the best salsa clubs in the city.
Holidays to havana allow you to enjoy the most popular nightspots in havana. Be it clubs, vibrant bars, and live music venues, the options are endless. The Cuban festive spirit gets wilder every night in the capital, but don’t forget to explore other spots on the island as well. If you travel out of havana, resorts like Varadero boast a lively evening scene and you can expect a brilliant mix of partygoers of all ages dancing the night away.Read more
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