When we arrived in Havana, we didn’t have a plan for the next 48 hours. Here is a list of our top ten things you must do in Havana.
1. Tour Ernest Hemingway’s Home
You can’t make a trip to Cuba without visiting a piece of such great history, Ernest Hemingway’s estate near, Havana, Finca Vigia, know as Muséo Hemingway since 1962. After we had watched the film Papa Hemingway in Cuba, it was top on our list to see while in Cuba. It was very interesting to see how much everything in his home has stayed the same.
2. Cruise the Malecón in a Classic Convertible
Don’t miss out on cruising in an old American car down the long stretch of road along the coast of Havana Harbor know as the Maleón. Expect to pay 30-35 CUC per hour, but we arranged with our casa particular and got it down to 25 CUP an hour. It is totally something you won’t want to miss out on.
3. Relax at Hotel Nacional De Cuba
This historic luxury hotel is located steps from the Maleón and offers a lovely sunset view looking over Havana Harbor. The hotel has housed everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Kardashians and even hosted Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky who held a mob summit, back in 1946.
The grounds that surround Hotel Nacional are absolutely beautiful and you can explore the Santa Clara Battery which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you seem up to it, walk through the underground tunnel.
Sit out on the terrace, drink their famous mojito and watch the sunset.
Be sure to take in all the history that lies within this iconic building.
Oh, and they have beautiful peacocks too!
4. Drink a Daiquiri at El Floridita
I’m not going to lie, we almost didn’t experience this. Every time we walked by, the line was wrapped around the corner. We just assumed it was a tourist trap. Boy, were we wrong about that!
On one of our last nights in Havana, we noticed the line was very short and thought what the hell, let’s go in. This place was packed, but we managed to make our way up to the bar and snag two seats. We each enjoyed two, very delicious daiquiris and had a great time just watching the bartenders make hundreds of them. Oh, and did I mention that you can get your photo taken with a life-size bronze statue of Ernest Hemingway. The Floridita’s is famous for Hemingway’s love of their daiquiris.
5. Eat Tapas at El Dandy
If you didn’t already know, good food is hard to come by in Cuba. I kid you not, we probably ate at El Dandy four times in four days. I fell head over heels in love with this place. From the servers and bartenders to the atmosphere, El Dandy quickly became my favorite place in Havana. Mainly because on our first stop here our server gave us some homemade special green hot sauce. I secretly wanted to stick the bottle in my bag and take this stuff back to the states with me. It was that good!
When you make your stop at El Dandy be sure to order a Mojito El Dandy or a Cerveza along with a Quesadilla Sincronizada and don’t forget to ask for the green homemade hot sauce. You won’t be disappointed.
6. Stroll Down Obispo
Take a walk down Obispo and visit the street markets and little shops. Get your bargaining pants on!
7. Visit Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro
The grounds and views from this fort are breathtaking. I recommend paying the entrance fee and making your way into the fort to read about all the history that lies between those rock walls.
8. Relax in a Park
Just find a park bench and watch the locals. One of our favorite things to do was just sit and watch the kids ride their bikes or play soccer. Admire the architecture of the buildings that surround you.
9. Stop by El Capitolio
Walk over to El Capitolio (National Capitol Building) and see the resemblance it holds to the capital building in the United States.
10. Listen to Live Music
End your night with live music and drinks at Ruinas del Parque, on the corner of Calle Obispo and Aguacate. Grab a fresh ground sugar cane mojito on your way in, find a seat and enjoy. The band will not disappoint, trust me.
Save this post for future reference on Pinterest.