I have never put as much effort into preparing for a 2-week holiday as I did for Cuba, and even then I couldn’t compete with my fresh-faced afro-latina aphrodites.
An assault on the senses at every turn, dizzying heat and a host of essential places to go on borrowed time. Enjoy my highlights of Havana!
My Top Picks
Cocktails and beautiful rooftop night views of Havana
Arroz y pollo y plantanos street food
Rice, Chicken and Plantain – cheap, cheerful and a good way to practise your Spanish.
Note: tourist prices are different than the ones for local Cubans. This is displayed clearly.
Café Taberna Bueno Vista Social Club
You can buy tickets (which include entry to the show and two mojitos) from a tour guide from Iberostar Parque Central hotel. Ours were pre-arranged with The Holiday Place.
El Floridita Bar
It’s a hotspot for tourists, so the cocktails are a little pricey, but the fancy décor/ambience almost makes it worth the trip. It was also a favourite hangout for Ernest Hemmingway. Note: prepare for stares from tourists if you’re a group of beautiful, black/brown girls with confidence, cute outfits and winning smiles.
The Upmann cigar factory tour (formerly ‘Romeo y Julieta’)
The chance to see some of the world’s most premium cigars being rolled in front of you. Try and build a good rapport with the tour guide, as they may be able to get you good cigar deals!Note: You aren’t allowed to photograph or record the workers.
A Café de la Musica
So this night was odd. We had planned to go to one of the popular ones [Café de la Musicas are live music venues/clubs] in central Havana, but none of the taxi drivers we approached seemed to know which one we were referring to. Cue being taken through a labyrinth of alleys (at this point my mild concern changed to having my stilettos in hand, just in case).
When we eventually arrived at this nondescript venue, tucked behind dim streetlights and a group of forlorn revellers, we were a little dazed and disorientated. In the end the night picked back up again; the Havana Club rum was dirt-cheap! A guy two rows ahead of us continuously dropped some serious shoulder shimmies and the live band performed with all the gusto as one presented before concert goers at Madison Square Garden – an impromptu adventure to mark our last night in Havana!
Museo de la revolución
We were told if there was one museum we had to visit in Havana, this one was it. Housed in the former presidential palace of Cuban presidents of old, Museo de la revolución is a grandiose structure of opulence and decadence.After clearing security (we weren’t allowed to take bags inside) we started from the ground level and eventually made our way upstairs. This was naturally
Housed in the former presidential palace of Cuban presidents of old, Museo de la revolución is a grandiose structure of opulence and decadence.After clearing security (we weren’t allowed to take bags inside) we started from the ground level and eventually made our way upstairs. This was naturally
After clearing security (we weren’t allowed to take bags inside) we started from the ground level and made our way upstairs. This was naturally a celebration of the pro-Cuba communist revolutionary era (plus a few digs at western imperialism). My highlight was seeing Che Guevara’s personal possessions/military uniform. We finished off our visit with some refreshing mojitos in the museum café – naturally.
Strong, flavourful and cheap. All of it. Everywhere we went. From daiquiris to Cuba Libres – you will never be able to enjoy imitations of the real thing ever again!
For more tips, tricks and an exclusive photo gallery from my Cuba trip, visit my blog