Havana, Cuba Travel Guide

Havana, Cuba Travel Guide

My Havana trip was decided when I asked you guys over Instagram story on where to go next. The truth is I was really hoping that most of you will interest Havana more than Mexico. I love Tulum but it’s lately having some issues with the seaweed thats making the beach looks dirty and brown. So Havana was probably the best place to go explore.

Havana well most part of Cuba is experiencing some of the economic transformations. A lot of new Hotels are being built in Havana, One of them and probably has the best pool view is Kempinski which I couldn’t highly recommend staying at. I wrote about it HERE.

I was so surprised how Havana has transformed since my last visit more than 3 years ago. I was also always under the impression that you can’t find decent food when in Cuba. I was wronged. I discovered a few places to go which I’m writing down below. There are also so many things to do while in Havana, I totally recommend staying for 4 days. What I did as I explained on my last post was I booked an all inclusive trip to Varadero for 7 nights ( 8 days in Total and spent 4 days (3 nights) in Havana. I like this plan as it saved me more money than buying the bundle one ( Varadero and Havana) or booking everything individually. I was able to treat myself to a nice Hotel like Kempinski. It’s also near all the tourist must see as it’s in the center of Habana Vieja and a walking distance to Old Havana. ( about 10-15 minute walk) . Walking is very necessary during the day as you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to ’50s. You’ll get to absorb the amazing culture and energy that surround this somewhat reflects as a forgotten city. Immense yourseld and your soul when exploring Havana.

I also enjoyed riding the vintage cars which you can literally find everything. The prices are somewhere around $40 USD to $50USD. You have to remember that everything Cuba is in USD or CUC ( for some reason this is their rate for foreigners) The local money is Cuban pesos which is 24 CUP = 1CUC (USD) but only seems locals can access this. If you’re eating out expect to spend at least $60 USD to $100 USD. No american cards are accepted here. It is best to Travel with cash only when visiting Havana.

Weather-wise it’s always warm and if the forecast says it’s going to rain expect just light rain, not over 1 hour. Rain doesn’t stay long and you get to enjoy the beautiful weather here.

People are very friendly, they may seem pretty rough at first but overall people are very friendly and helpful. Havana seems pretty rough on first impressions but you’ll warm up after few hours of arriving. Once you go out and explore you won’t have to worry anymore. It was such a dream during my stay there.

Here are some of the Places that I fell inlove with while in Havana:

Where to Stay:

Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana – This place is perfect if you’re looking for a great internet since internet connection in Cuba is thru a card that you pay per hour. The hotel includes 24 hours per day connection while you’re staying here. The Spa is gorgeous and the pool amenities is stunning. The rooms are new ( Hotel is New) and concierge has always great recommendations. It’s also a perfect location as it’s walking distance to all the fun things and sights to see.

Hotel Mercure Sevilla La Habana – This hotel is old but if you’re on a budget this is a really stunning hotel to stay at. The bar/fountain area is so beautiful and the building is pink. It’s also very accessible to all the tourist spot.

Iberostar Grand Packard – which just opened late 2018 one of first Cuban 5 star hotel owned by a Cuban owner. they refurbished the old Grand Packard which was known for Hollywood celebrities to visit. It just opened when we were here.

Iberostar Parque Central – This is an older version but I actually like this one as it’s right in the center of action. It’s a walking distance to Kempinski as well.

What To Do:

  • Take a tour of Havana in one of the vintage cars. you’ll find all kind of colours by the area of Iberostar Parque Central and Kempinski.
  • Walk around the area of Habana Vieja and Old Havana. A lot of buildings and things to see and don’t forget to wear light clothing and comfortable shoes to walk around. If you walk towards the El Capitolio (looks like USA’s white house) you’ll see on your left the famous coloured buildings where most bloggers take their photos. It truly is beautiful.
  • Explore Plaza de Armas.
  • Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso – a gorgeous architecture right by Hotel Inglaterra and Kempinski.
  • Secret Bar (CERO Habana)- Explore this secret bar at Aguiar 209 La Habana Vieja and salsa your night away. Tell them you were sent to me. and this will be our little secret. However, you’ll need an invitation to get in but if you go there early around 10 pm you could kindly ask them for one. they open at 11. I was supposed to go but when 11 pm hits I started craving the plush bed awaiting in our hotel.
  • Drink Mojitos and anything with Rum – I had the best mojitos in El Del Frente. You can’t also miss the famous El Floridita and have Papa Hemingway Special (Grapefruit Daiquiri). It’s also a famous cocktail bar that goes way-way back during the WW1.
  • Sunset watching over a rooftop or by the pool. I don’t know what it is but sunset watching is by far my favourite thing to do while in Cuba, It’s so magical and beautiful every time. I spent most of my sunset in Kempinski’s rooftop pool sipping on mojitos and swimming.
  • Watch Tropicana Nightclub show. I saw this show the first time we visited and it’s a must-see. It was such a beautiful show complete with hair, make up and costumes. It was so entertaining and the heart to cuban entertaintment.

Where To Eat:

I think this is my Favourite part of the blog guide. I was able to explore amazing restaurants while in Havana. The seafood in Cuba is amazing and the way they serve it in Havana is so beautiful and soooo good. The mojitos are a must during lunch time and dinner. I have about 3 restaurants that I love so much. I tried about 5 while we were there as we also have breakfast included in our stay at the Hotel.

  • El Del Frente – The rooftop atmosphere makes this place perfect for Sunset mojitos and the food is so good and is surrounded with the most historical buildings around it. I loved everything we ordered here. I love the crispy banana plantain serve with their homemade salsa. I recommend ordering this and order the seafood spaghetti (taste like heaven) and octopus. The chicken and rice are also superb. we love it here so much we went back 3x. If you’re going for lunch its super hot to go the rooftop so it’s better to be inside if its lunch time.
  • Paladar 5 Sentidos – We went here for lunch and it did not disappoint, the atmosphere and food is also incredible. I ordered the Seafood Truffled Risotto and its honestly one of the best Rissoto I had. It was so good I ordered twice. Mojitos here are also really good.
  • La Guarida – I love this place. It’s so historical and probably one of the best places for Sunset and cocktails. I love the entrance to the place, it’s so beautiful and grand. It’s a bit more fine dining compared to the first two I shared but I didn’t like the food here that much as I love the first two. But it’s definitely a MUST place to visit when in Havana.
  • El Dandy – I love this place, it’s always packed and but a nice place for breakfast. Try the tacos and cuban coffee. I also love the interior of the place, so raw and beautiful.

Theatro and Hotel Inglatera

Floridita

Took a tour around Havana with the pink Vintage Car.

Stunning Sunset dip at Kempinski Pool

Mojitos at Paladar 5 Sentidos

Seafood Risotto at Paladar 5 Sentidos. 

Habana Vieja

Riding around the Square

Old Havana

Another Sunset moments at Kempinski

Sunset Views at La Guarida

Entrance to La Guarida

Favourite Meal at El Del Frente – Seafood Spaghetti with mojitos.

El Capitolyo

Mercure Sevilla Hotel de la Habana

Gorgeous entrance at La Guarida

2 Comments

  1. January 15, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    This came in handy!!! We are going there soon and in the same area – 65 more days and it’s our first trip since we got engaged 🙂

    Thank you for sharing all your tips. You’re the best … as always.

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