Thanks to improved US - Cuba relations brought about with the Obama administration, the incredible city of Havana is appearing on more and more cruise itineraries.
A number of US-owned cruise lines have jumped at the chance to include this beautiful country on Caribbean cruises, much to the delight of passengers. Cuba – or Havana in particular – is indeed a logical stop for cruise lines departing from Florida, and is a city that was once often entirely by-passed on routes down to the Caribbean islands. So now that it’s on the agenda, the question remains – what are the top things to do in Havana?
Have a Cocktail in El Floridita
Thanks to Ernest Hemingway, this small Havana bar has made it on most ‘must-see’ lists for those visiting Cuba. The renowned author frequented El Floridita when he lived just outside the capital city – from 1940 until 1960. Whether you prefer a classic Cuban mojito, or a flavoured daiquiri, or indeed something else entirely – rest assured the friendly staff at El Floridita have you covered.
Admire the architecture
As soon as you enter the city you will come face to face with some stunning architecture. Unsurprisingly, many of the buildings were built by colonial Spaniards after Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492. The city was then shaped to emulate the great European cities, and so many buildings were designed in Baroque-style architecture. Some of our favourite spots include El Capitolio (the National Capitol Building), Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution), and Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (Palace of the Captains General).
Enjoy the sounds of street music
Havana is one city in which you can’t escape the intoxicating ambiance of music, dance, and laughter. On street corners, parks, and plazas you’re likely to find men and women playing all kinds of instruments, from the Cuban Tres guitar, to harmonicas, and bongo drums. With music of course comes dancing. You’ll see salsa, mambo, merengue, and much, much more all over the city. If you’re feeling brave join in, or you can of course sit back and watch while enjoying the warm breeze.
Watch a game of dominoes
Dominoes is played on just about every calle (street) in the country. You can find men, women, and children of all ages playing together, and you’ll be amazed at just how long the games can go on for. A riveting dominoes game to Cubans can be as Wimbledon is to us Brits; you can find hundreds of locals gathered around just one game, even placing bets on who will win. If you come across a game, just find a spot in the shade and study the moves for yourself.
Take a taxi
Classic cars have become synonymous with Cuba, and it should be said that all the pretty images out there are no exaggeration of the truth. From bright pink Cadillacs, to beefy-looking Chevvys and classic Ford Sedans, even those who thought they didn’t have an interest in automobiles will be impressed. And the beauty of the matter is that these cars are so common, they are widely used as taxis – and are generally reasonably priced. It's the perfect chance to take a ride in your dream car.
Browse through our range of Caribbean cruises to Cuba.