Intro to Havana

What’s there to do in Havana, Cuba? Well, a lot. Enough to keep you occupied for months, if not years. The city boasts musicians shaking maracas and belting out classic Cuban tunes all day long, beautifully laid-out plazas providing places for relaxation and people-watching in almost every corner of the city, as well as an architect’s heaven (or hell) with the stark contrast of well-maintained colonial-era buildings and crumbling, war-zone like homes in Centro Habana. Regardless of where you go, there’s no doubt that you will be experiencing a world you’ve never experienced before. Whether it’s your cup of tea depends on your own personal taste.

Jump to:

A vintage taxi in Havana, Cuba known as a "colectivo"
A vintage taxi in Havana, Cuba known as a “colectivo”

117-second history lesson of Havana

1500s

Havana A.K.A. Habana, was founded in 1515 by the vicious Spanish conquistador, Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar. A city of salsa, sugary mojitos, unforgettable art and an equally unforgettable history. But, it wasn’t always the bustling capital of Cuba. No, before Havana, Santiago de Cuba was the place to be. The main reason for the switch was the fact that Havana, given its location at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, was the perfect place to be the harbor of the New World. It was the main stop for the conquistadors to chill out and renew themselves before going off and slaughtering (I mean, exploring) other lands and indigenous inhabitants.

Despite not offering much in the way of gold, silver and other gems, the city was often under the attack of pirates, the first taking place in 1555 by Jacques de Sores, who burned much of it to the ground. Eventually, the Spanish Crown figured out a way to protect Havana, and its ships, and the city began to gain notoriety as a metropolis given the fact that all of the conquistadors who stopped there, before heading back to Spain, needed food, water and other supplies. It was this newly acquired importance that caused the capital to move from Santiago de Cuba to Havana.

1600s

On December 20th, 1592, Havana officially earned the title of “City,” thanks to King Philip II of Spain, which led to the construction of palaces, defensive castles and more. By 1750, Havana had around 70,000 inhabitants and was the third-largest city in the Americas behind Lima and Mexico City (for perspective, it was bigger than Boston and New York).

1700s

Around 1762, the British eventually came and took it over (during the Seven Years’ War), introducing slavery to the country (because that’s what they always did, right?). A year later, the Seven Years’ War ended and the Spanish regained control of Havana.

1800s

The 19th century brought about the cultural prominence of the city. Theater became world-renowned, featuring notable actors, and mansions were erected by the growing middle-class. This is when it became known as the “Paris of the Antilles.” In the mid-19th century, life in Havana was good. There were luxury hotels, the third-largest middle-class in the Northern Hemisphere and its tourism began to give Miami a run for its money. Well-known visitors, like Ernest Hemingway, flocked to the country.

1900s

Then came the revolution, which basically flipped the country upside-down. Private industries were nationalized, private property was expropriated and Communism reigned supreme. And with this, a host of other issues arose, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Havana played a role in. This all left much of Havana in ruins, which you can still see in its crumbling concrete buildings today. Additionally, it also caused the country, which was once the biggest receivers of immigrants, to be one of the largest sources of emigrants (around 15% of Cubans live abroad). With many of these trade and economic sanctions still in place, the government is turning towards tourism, again, as a means of bringing the city back to financial prominence.

Family or friends hanging out on a balcony in Havana, Cuba
Family or friends hanging out on a balcony in Havana, Cuba

Things you have to see in Havana

Museo de la Revolución – Even if you’re not someone who’s enthralled by history (i.e. if you skipped the section above), you can appreciate the Museo de la Revolución. It boasts many rooms dedicated to the rise of communism, the fall of capitalism, and (biasedly) explains how Cuba became the country that it is today. My highlights were learning about the “Fathers of the Revolution,” discovering unknown architects of significant revolutionary missions e.g. Frank Pais (who was leading complex and integral missions at 22), seeing how women played a critical role in it all, as well as all of the significant dates and events e.g. 26 Julio, 30 Noviembre. History is written by the victors, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see a room solely dedicated to how the United States has worked to thwart Cuba. What’s also a bit cheeky is that the building  used to be the Presidential Palace, which Fidel, after successfully winning the revolution, turned into a museum. Be forewarned that there is A LOT of information in there. So much so that it can get overwhelming.

Price: $8 to enter

Address: 1 Refugio y Avenida Bélgica, Habana Vieja

Hours of operation: 9:30am-4pm daily

Time required: 2 hours

Museo de la Revolución in Havana getting a facelift
Museo de la Revolución in Havana getting a facelift

Plaza de la Catedral – If you plan to go to any of the plazas (which you must), Plaza de la Catedral is the plaza to visit. It’s not only a lively place to feel the spirit of Havana, but it’s also exceedingly beautiful. You’ll find regal buildings all containing balconies bearing doors with light blue and white shutters with stained-glass windows above each of them. Women, dressed in flamboyant dresses and red lipstick are eager to pucker up and kiss both male and female tourists. For a price, of course. However, the main draw of the plaza is the cathedral, La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana, which is one of eleven Roman Catholic cathedrals on Cuba. It’s a great place to sit, meditate or pray and marvel at the 18th-century house of worship. But, the best part, by far, is the bell tower, which you can climb up for 1CUC ($1) for amazing views of Old Havana and the plaza. Just don’t ring the bells!

Price: Free to enter

Address: Plaza de la Catedral, Habana Vieja

Hours of operation: 9am-4:30pm Monday – Friday, 9am-noon Saturday and Sunday

Time required: 45 minutes

This guy was loving all the kisses in Plaza de la Catedral...I don't blame him ;)
This guy was loving all the kisses in Plaza de la Catedral…I don’t blame him 😉

Fábrica de Arte Cubano – Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) is NOT TO BE MISSED! I’ve personally traveled to 25+ countries and have never experienced anything like it. It’s hard to pinpoint whether FAC is a restaurant, club, theater or live art show, because it’s all of those in one. The hip venue is located in the upscale neighborhood of Vedado, and occupies an old olive oil factory (yes, very Williamsburg, New York City). Upon entering ( the line can be long, get there early), you have to pay 2CUC ($2) and are handed a ration card, which is stamped with all of the drinks and food you buy throughout the night. In order to leave, you’ll have to give back the ration card and pay whatever the amount you purchased comes out to. Note: If you lose the ration card, you have to pay a flat fee of 30CUC ($30), which could be a good thing depending on how much of a glutton and alcoholic you are. It’s also fairly cheap. I paid 10.50CUC for 2 beers, 1 juice (gotta stay hydrated!) and 1 sandwich. The crowd is attractive and no two rooms are alike. It’s like an artistic orgasm and playground for adults at the same time. I passed through one room, which featured modern art with electronic music playing in the background (DJ and all), to a room which had a full on play happening, to a room with a huge screen playing a movie (sound turned off) with jazz music in the background. I’d go back to Cuba just for FAC.

Price: $2 to enter

Address: Calle 26 y esquina 11, Vedado

Hours of operation: 8pm – 3am Thursday – Sunday

Time required: The whole night

I don't understand the cowboy hats, but luxury vintage is abundant in Havana...for a price
I don’t understand the cowboy hats, but luxury vintage is abundant in Havana…for a price

Playas del Este – If you’ve done some research on beaches in Cuba, you’ve probably heard people saying to go to Varadero. “Varadero this, Varadero that, etc.” I went to Varadero, it’s about 2.5 hours outside of Havana and a nice place to go. But, nothing mindblowing. Especially given the fact that the beautiful, crystalline beaches of Playas del Este are only 30 minutes outside of Havana and just as nice, if not nicer. There are also more Cubans and less tourists, which is always a plus in my book. Now, I went to Playas del Este before Varadero, which may have made me biased, but when I saw the deep blue waters (I had never seen water that blue before, and I’ve been to the Caribbean many times), I was taken aback by how arresting it all was. You can rent a lounge chair for 1-2CUC, and they have drinks for order from one of the men walking around (you’ll see them at the entrance). There’s also a sandbar a few meters out from the shore – I had never experienced standing in the middle of the ocean before, so it was pretty cool. In terms of getting there, I paid one of those vintage taxies 10CUC ($10) to go there, and 15CUC to go back since it was a bit late. If you find a good driver, they’ll wait for you, but don’t hold your breath if they say they’ll be back by a certain time! My driver, Jorge, whom I thought was a good and honest man, never showed back up! But, he was fairly old, so it’s plausible he had a heart attack on the drive back. I really hope not.

Price: Free

Address: Playas del Este

Hours of operation: Sunrise – sunset

Time required: As much as you want, it’s a beach

The beautiful and blue Playas del Este. Only 30 mins from Havana
The beautiful and blue Playas del Este. Only 30 mins from Havana

Gimnasio de Boxeo Rafael Trejo – I was fortunate to hear about this gym from two photographers I met in Viñales who showed me a photo they took of an Cuban olympic boxer who trains there (supposedly many olympians train there). It’s tucked away on the side street of Cuba (nice name for a street) and has a brown sign with white lettering on a pole, so you can’t miss it. If you make it here early enough, you’ll get to see the guys training, who are the least bit camera shy. Aside from being huge and jacked monsters, they’re some of the nicest people I encountered in Cuba. One, Makiel, is a rapper and I’d bet $50 that he’ll try to sell you his CD (be warned, it’s actually quite good). Many of them met Kanye (sort of cool, no?) because he wanted them in a music video he was supposedly shooting in Cuba. Again, nicest guys out there and a great photo opportunity for photography lovers. The gym itself is pretty worn down, as is the ring, which gives it this gritty feel that amplifies the experience.

Price: Free to enter

Address: Calle 815 Cuba, Habana Vieja

Hours of operation: Anytime

Time required: 20 minutes

Olympic boxers at the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym in Havana. Some of the nicest people I met
Olympic boxers at the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym in Havana. Some of the nicest people I met

Necropolis de Cristóbal Colón – I stumbled upon this place (very hard to miss) after getting lost on a solo excursion throughout Vedado. The necropolis is one of the most beautiful cemeteries (if you can call it that) I’ve ever visited. It’s HUGE! You’ll know it’s the necropolis when you see meters and meters of yellow walls with white plus signs carved on them. The 140-acre necropolis, found in 1876, features over 800,000 graves and 500+ family vaults and chapels. The main allure of the necropolis, aside from its size, is the elaborate artwork featured on many of the graves and mausoleums. But, don’t be surprised if you see broken bottles and windows in some of the mausoleums. They rubbish may be from ghosts, or just disrespectful people. In which case, I hope the ghosts get them.

Price: 1CUC ($1) to enter

Address: Calle Zapata y esquina 12, Vedado

Hours of operation: 9am – 5pm daily

Time required: 1 hour

University of Havana – The main draw of the University of Havana (Fidel’s alma mater), aside from its beautiful architecture featuring large columns and a really nice cloister where students hang out, is just how “normal” it is. In a country where communism is still strong – the state runs most industries and businesses – the University of Havana is a great place to take a break and realize that Cuban people are no different than you or myself. Students hang outside in groups cramming for tests, exchange flirtatious glances and laugh with one another. They experience all of the feelings any college student experiences. Now, that’s not to say they don’t have difficulties specific to Cuba (I spoke with one student in Viñales who was switching majors due to internet issues and old textbooks), but a visit to the university is a great way to feel the humanity of the youth.

Price: Free

Address: Calles L and 27, Vedado

Hours of operation: Anytime

Time required: 30 minutes

College students at the University of Havana doing what college students do
College students at the University of Havana doing what college students do

Things you don’t have to see in Havana, but might want to

El Gran Teatro – The name is self-explanatory. It’s a “large” theater featuring a large auditorium (pretty nice) and has some modern art (e.g. a photo of the Cuban flag made entirely out of nude women) on the second floor. My guide spoke a variety of languages, but rarely had time to describe everything we were seeing in all of them. There was a band rehearsing as we sat in the auditorium for a few minutes, which is what made the $5 worth it. If you have the time and money (around $30), a show is probably worth it. It’s also right across from Parque Central and a few steps from Hotel Inglaterra, so, if you’re in Havana for a few days, you’ll likely pass it a handful of times.

Price: $5 to enter

Address: 458 Paseo de Martí, Habana Vieja

Hours of operation: 9am-6pm Monday – Saturday, 9am – 3pm Sunday

Time required: 1 hour

Inside of the Gran Teatro in Havana, Cuba
Inside of the Gran Teatro in Havana, Cuba

Plaza de Armas – If you’re familiar with Union Square in New York City, this is basically the Union Square of Havana. There are dozens of vendors selling everything from posters, to books (quite a good selection of revolutionary works) to flags to t-shirts to anything a tourist would probably want, but not need. It’s a great place to sit and people-watch (nice park) and there are restaurants all over the place to grab a beer or mojito.

Price: Free to enter

Address: Plaza de Armas

Hours of operation: Anytime

Time required: 30 minutes

Posters of Fidel and revolutionary books in Plaza de Armas, Havana
Posters of Fidel and revolutionary books in Plaza de Armas, Havana

El Malecon – Most malecons in most cities are worth a visit. It’s basically a stone-walled embankment on a waterfront, sort of like a boardwalk, but without wood or a ton of vendors looking to sell you things. Okay, not like a boardwalk. On Havana’s malecon, you can see fisherman looking to catch their next meal, teenagers exchanging kisses and even dance parties erupting out of nowhere. Be sure to not go in the middle of the day if you want to avoid the blistering heat.

Price: Free to stroll

Address: Go by the water

Hours of operation: Anytime

Time required: 2 hours

Man fishing on the Malecon in Havana
Man fishing on the Malecon in Havana

Partagas Factory (original building) – This isn’t a cigar factory. It hasn’t been for over three years, but most people don’t know that. If you want to go to a cigar factory, to see where and how they’re made (no cameras allowed), check out the H.Upmann cigar factory or the current Partagas factory, which a visit to needs to be coordinated at either Hotel Saratoga, Parque Central or Inglaterra beforehand. The original Partagas factory is still a good place to buy cigars, sit down with a drink in one of their leather chairs, as well as speak with the knowledgeable staff about cigars. However, you can do that in almost any cigar store in Havana. There’s a VIP room, but you have to be a member to enter. A woman working there told me becoming a member isn’t all that difficult.

Price: Free to enter

Address: Calle Industria

Hours of operation: 9am – 5pm daily

Time required: 30 minutes

The original Partagas Cigar Factory in Havana, Cuba
The original Partagas Cigar Factory in Havana, Cuba

Capitolio – It was unfortunately closed for repairs when I went, but still a work of architecture worth a look. It was modeled after the U.S. Congressional Building, and looks exactly like it. There’s also a large surrounding garden, which was surprisingly calming to look at amid the frantic hustle and bustle that is Havana.

Price: ––

Address: Paseo de Martí, Habana Vieja

Hours of operation: Currently closed

Time required: ––

Parque Central – It’s a nice little park. I read a guidebook that described it as “large, sprawling, etc. etc.” It’s not. It’s a nice little park with a statue of José Martí. Aside from that, it has a very central location (hence the name), which makes it a good place to meet. You can also hop on one of those hop-on-hop-off buses here for 10CUC ($10). I’d recommend doing one of those at the beginning of your time in Havana, to get situated, and not at the end (I made that mistake and it was a waste).

Price: Free to enter

Address: Parque Central (I always feel weird giving the address as the name of the place, but it’s sufficient!)

Hours of operation: Anytime

Time required: 15 minutes

A little (or a lot) of physical labor in Havana, Cuba
A little (or a lot) of physical labor in Havana, Cuba

Things you should probably know about Havana

Getting there – If you’re heading to Cuba from the States, visa restrictions are much more lax than they ever have been (could change with change in administration). I didn’t bother applying for one of those special visas (even though I was traveling from and to Costa Rica), and neither did my friends flying directly from New York. I personally wouldn’t worry about it. In terms of getting to Havana, taxis are outside of the airport and the standard price is 25CUC ($25). You may be able to negotiate to $20.

Language – Some Cubans speak English, but many don’t. Brushing up on your Spanish wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I doubt you’ll be lost and left in a constant state of confusion if you don’t know any. You should at least make an effort to speak a little, though. There’s nothing worse than a traveler who doesn’t even make the effort in another person’s country.

Money – There are two types of currency in Cuba: Convertible Pesos (CUC) and Pesos / Moneda Nacional “National Currency” (CUP). It can become a bit confusing when trying to pay some people (e.g. colectivo drivers) who typically take CUP, but there’s a reason for all of it. The CUC was created to accommodate tourists visiting Cuba who needed to convert dollars and other non-Cuban currencies into something that wasn’t too inflated. Today, 1CUC essentially equals 1USD / 1EURO. And 1CUC is equal to 24CUP. While CUP isn’t necessary, it’s good to have a little if you can get it in case some places only accept the national currency. I only needed it for colectivos.

Nothing like exhaust fumes in the air in Havana, Cuba
Nothing like exhaust fumes in the air in Havana, Cuba

Politics – Don’t ask any Cubans about Cuban politics. Just don’t. It’s a really sensitive subject and I found that many Cubans were afraid to even discuss it. However, they’re happy to discuss American / world politics. I made the mistake of bringing up Fidel once, and, after giving me a crazy stare, a taxi driver whom I was friendly with didn’t speak to me for ten minutes.

Safety – I write this realizing I’m a darker-skinned male. Havana (all of Cuba, really) was one of the safest places I’ve ever been. Maybe it’s because I’m male (to be fair, women were probably being cat-called) and maybe it’s because I can blend in due to my complexion, but I’ve never felt safer. Obviously keep your wits about you, but anything above petty crime (e.g. pick-pocketing) is rare.

Crumbling concrete in the tropical, humid heat of Havana, Cuba
Crumbling concrete in the tropical, humid heat of Havana, Cuba

Taxis / colectivos – The yellow Cubataxis are the most legitimate form of transportation in the city. But, they’re also expensive compared to other means of getting around. My go-to were the colectivos, which are the vintage (more broken down looking) cars blowing disgusting black smoke out of their exhaust pipes. They only cost 50-cents (or 10CUP in the national money). There’s an art to getting them, and to making sure you go to the right place, which I’ll detail in another post.

CubaTaxi drivers hanging outside of Tryp Hotel Habana Libre in Havana, Cuba
CubaTaxi drivers hanging outside of Tryp Hotel Habana Libre in Havana, Cuba

Wifi – Wifi exists, but, for most places, you need to get an ETECSA card, which can be purchased from specific ETECSA vendors. This card allows you to punch in a wifi password and code at designated areas (hotels, parks) in order to access the Internet. People told me I’d have to wait hours in line to get one, but I never saw a long line at any of the places that sold them, nor did I actually buy one. Tip: If you’re used to using the Internet every day, use Cuba as an excuse to not access it for the entirety of your time there. The photos / videos you take won’t magically disappear if you don’t post them. Trust me. I didn’t access the Internet for three weeks, and I instantly had much more time to engage in the physical world, as well as truly relax.

Viazul bus station – The Viazul bus station is pretty out of the way. Take a taxi from Habana Vieja there, or, if you’re a lunatic like me, walk a few miles to it each time you need to go. It’s the main place to buy tickets to other Cuban towns and cities. But, don’t get excited when you see the dirt cheap prices, those are for Cuban nationals. It’s also a great place to peer into (or lament at) just how behind the country is in technology. The woman who printed my tickets printed them on one of those really old fax-like machines that tick every second the paper comes out and beeps at the end. One of these!

Food – Food is relative, of course. But, the quality of Cuban food isn’t all that great. I heard it’s because of the embargo, and they don’t have access to quality spices, etc. It just wasn’t good. Some of the food was bland, some of the food was labeled as something it didn’t even closely resemble and I had to remind myself that food, in many places, is for fuel and not taste. Full disclosure: I’m a vegetarian, so I probably missed out on whatever delicious Cuban meats there were. Side note: Waiting times in Cuba are atrocious. They move at a slower speed compared to the State, and you could spend an hour waiting for a juice and a sandwich.

A kind boxer at the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym in Havana, Cuba
A kind boxer at the Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym in Havana, Cuba

Places to eat in Havana

La Dominica – This place is great. I wish I had eaten there before my last day in Cuba, but happy I did nonetheless. This Italian restaurant has quaint outdoor and spacious indoor seating, and features a variety of Italian dishes ranging from shrimp scampi to spaghetti arrabiata. Despite my overall feel for the food of Cuba, I found that La Dominica was a cut above the rest. There was a energetic band playing in Plazuela de Santo Domingo, which is where the restaurant is located. The staff was professional, attentive and the food didn’t take too long to come out. Highly recommended.

Address: Calles O’Reilly y Mercaderes

Hours of operation: 12pm – 12am daily

Cafe Madrigal – Hip as hell! Inside some dude’s living room, but very official. The “cafe” features tables, lamps, a bar, tons of paintings (erotica) and even “reserved” signs on certain tables. The overall vibe is relaxed and the bathroom is worth a visit (sounds weird to write that, but true). There were plants inside a retired sink (and dirt) and a bidet. Cafe Madrigal offers food, such as falafel, tostones and more. If Williamsburg and the Lower East Side of New York City had a child, it’d be this place. Weirdly enough, there are a ton of Marilyn Monroe paintings. If you look out one of the windows towards the hallway, you will legitimately be looking into someone else’s house. I saw a shirtless old man and shirted (I think that’s a word) woman watching television with a fervor that would equate to a college frater on the brink of winning his fantasy league. Bras, undies, towels and socks were also hanging on the line on their mini balcony. I ordered a daiquiri (what’s in a daiquiri, by the way?) because it was recommended in some travel book I skimmed, but didn’t buy (Don’t buy them, just take screenshots with your phone at the airport / bookstore. However, if I come out with one, buy mine!). Definitely worth a visit.

Address: 809 Calle 17, Vedado

Hours of operation: 6pm – 2am Tuesday – Sunday

Some beautiful music and dancing at La Dominica in Havana, Cuba
Some beautiful music and dancing at La Dominica in Havana, Cuba

El Barracon – Nice Italian restaurant inside Hotel Tryp Habana Libre. The prices were low and they have all of the elements of any Italian restaurant around the world (bread, pastas, wine). I dined there twice and there were never more than two or three other people in there at a time, which could be nice, or concerning, depending on how you look at it.

Address: Calle L and between esquinas 23 and 25

Hours of operation: 12pm – 10pm daily

La Catedral – Great atmosphere day and night. The staff was pleasant and the prices were extremely cheap. Beer for $1, appetizers for $2, main entrees with meat $5, cup of whiskey 80-cents. I had the pasta every time I went there (vegetarian’s go-to when choices are slim) and it was sufficient. They doused it in what I want to call cheese, but it might not have been due to the taste. Maybe just a lower grade of it. Again, I’m sure the meat was okay.

Address: Calle 8 between calle 5 y Calzada

Hours of operation: 8am – 11pm daily

Union Francesa de Cuba – Due to my casa particular being in Vedado, this place was my go-to (savior, really). There’s an open-air balcony and they have an eclectic menu with traditional cuban dishes (types of fishes, etc.), but also vegetarian-friendly options like rice and vegetables. The staff wasn’t the friendliest, though. Prices were extremely cheap. I got one large vegetable rice dish with salad and a beer for $5.05 after tip.

Address: Calle 17 y esquina 6, Vedado

Hours of operation: 12pm – 10pm daily

A buddy with some recently purchased cigars in Havana, Cuba
A buddy with some recently purchased cigars in Havana, Cuba

Gran Cafe “El Louvre” Hotel Inglaterra – This restaurant is part of the famous and historical Hotel Inglaterra. It features a long strip of tables, separated by the main entrance to the hotel, and often has live and charismatic bands playing while patrons sip on their drinks and munch on various types of fare. There’s also wifi, however I’m not sure if it’s free or not. Due to its central location, it’s good for a pit stop.

Address: Hotel Inglaterra (across from Parque Central)

Hours of operation: 8am – 11pm daily

A view of Vedado, which is basically the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) of Havana
A view of Vedado, which is basically the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) of Havana

Where to stay in Havana

Hotels – If you have some money to spend and want to stay at one of the more luxurious types of accommodation in Cuba, hotels are the  way to go. Fortunately, Havana isn’t in short supply of them.

Below are a few of the nicer hotels I saw:

The first casa particular I stayed in in Havana, Cuba
The first casa particular I stayed in in Havana, Cuba

Casa particulares Casa particulares are basically homestays. They range in price depending on where you go, but paying $35 / night in Havana isn’t unheard of. For comparison, I paid $35 / night in Havana, $25 in Viñales, and $15 in Cienfuegos and Trinidad. The owner of the home will most likely offer you breakfast for $5 and maybe even dinner for another $5. The quality of the food, and the food you receive, will depend on the casa.

I booked mine via a friend of a friend, but below are a few links to directories:

Hostels – I met two women who told me they stayed in a hostel in Havana for $5 via Hostelworld. After checking Hostelworld, I can confirm that there are, in fact, many hostels. However, the cheapest I saw is for $8.81.

A crumbling home in Havana, Cuba adorned with flowers
A crumbling home in Havana, Cuba adorned with flowers

Summary of Havana

There’s an endless amount to do in Havana. No, an exhausting amount. From museums to restaurants to salsa clubs, there’s no shortage of activities to do regardless of what you’re into. It’s a city with rich history, but what’s even more exciting is that history is still happening right now. With the death of the country’s six decade leader, Fidel Castro, Cuba is changing. People are becoming more informed and the air is electric. And, truth be told, the time to go was yesterday. But, now is as good of a time as any. ¡Viva Cuba!

Check out my other popular adventures:

Liked this guide? Leave a comment, subscribe to my newsletter and get loads more!

–––

Mateo is a writer who quit his flashy job in NYC to live life on his own terms. He’s done everything from working at an orphanage in Nairobi to building a new university in Abu Dhabi to sleeping on volcanos in Guatemala. And right now, he’s working to get an agent for his book. His writing has been featured internationally in publications including Matador Network, Víkurfréttir, Caribbean News Now and Black & Abroad. Regardless of where he is, he’s always working. To keep up with him, follow him on Instagram & Twitter at @AskMateo and read one of his elaborate stories at SwagPapi.com

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *