Half of my heart is in Havana, ooh-na-na
Oh, Havana! Of all the cities I’ve visited during my Cuba trip, I liked Havana the most – so much that I came back at the end of my trip to enjoy another two days in Cuba’s charming capital city. Here is what I did during my time in Havana and what you shouldn’t miss there:
Thanks to Mr. Jetlag I woke up pretty early, but couldn’t fall asleep again. The reason why I couldn’t go back to bed was that I simply couldn’t stop marveling at this amazing sunrise! This is the view from my AirBnB room at the casa Las Idilias. Yes, AirBnB settled on the island in 2015, but internet access in Cuba is another story…If you start your Cuba trip in Havana, I would totally recommend this casa – the hosts Osniel and Yislen are very friendly and try to help in every possible way! Plus: Osniel speaks English, which is very rare in Cuba.
Start your day right with these freshly made churros (the Cuban guy who made them looked like a young Obama!) and walk around the lovely streets of Havana Vieja.
Time for some sightseeing! I started at the Capitolio and made my way to Plaza Vieja. Although the design looks like that of the United States Capitol in Washington, it is not a replica of it and it was the highest building in Havana until the 1950s.
Plaza Vieja once used to be the site of executions, bullfights and fiestas – witnessed by Havana’s wealthy citizens on their balconies.
Mi mojito en La Bodeguita, mi daiquirí en El Floridita.
Yeah I know, El Floridita is one of Havana’s classy tourist spots, but as a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway’s literature I had to go there! Hemingway frequently visited the bar for drinks and now I know the reason why – the daiquirís are, though pricy, phenomenal! The bar offers like a thousand different flavors and I finally decided to try a banana daiquirí which turned out to be a great choice! Plus: They serve free salty banana chips – yummy!
Make your way over to the Malecón and stroll along Havana’s famous seawall that stretches for 5 miles along the coast. Sit down, read a book (why not Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea?) and take a short break – sightseeing always makes me tired!
Go to Terminal de Ferris (Av. del Puerto) and take the ferry to Casablanca. The fortress El Morro opposite the Malecón is a typical tourist attraction, but the view from Casablanca over Havana is breathtaking! Go watch the sunset from the Christ Statue and continue to walk to the fortress.
Every night at 9pm, a cannon ball ceremony is held at El Morro. Although I knew that a cannon ball would be fired at the end of the ceremony, I was a little frightened because I didn’t expect it to be SO loud! They will charge you an entrance fee of 8 CUC for tourists, which is pretty expensive compared to the 8 CUP that locals have to pay – but it’s a really nice spectacle and again, the view over Havana at night is priceless!
The day is not over yet! Head over to the Museo del Ron Havana Club (I don’t recommend the tour though- it’s way too expensive (around 7 CUC) and everybody was pretty disappointed in the end). But it’s a nice place to drink a good Mojito & listen to some Cuban rhythms! Oh, I learned one interesting fact there: our guide told us that everytime a new rum bottle is opened, they spill the first sip on the floor and say “por los santos” (for the saints).
So if you want to find out if they tell the truth at the Havana Club Museum, go to El Dandy and see for yourself. By the way, El Dandy makes the best cocktails in Havana! Hungry for dinner? Try the Pulled Pork Tacos, they were delicious.
What did you do during your stay in Havana? Where did you eat/sleep? Let me know in the comments below!