We spent first few days in Havana. I can say that only now we know how to handle hurricanes haha :D. We came exactly 2 days before hurricane Irma hit Havana + stayed there until it was gone.
1. Visit Havana Vieja – Old Havana
Old Havana is the oldest part of Havana. I would also recommend accommodation in this area. Forget the hotels, find your home in Casa Particular.
Choose your Casa and connect with the owner. The prices in Havana should not be more than 35 CUC. If they ask you for 40 CUC, negotiate, negotiate …:D. We found accommodation in Havana Vieja for 25 CUC.
You can book your accommodation in advance, but never send them money before your arrival!! Once you book it, you do not need to worry that they wont be waiting for you. If you agree on something with Cuban person they will always do so, not like in Europe or other places.
2. Visit small ART boutiques on the street
For those who are art lovers like me, do not forget to visit small art shops and buy your Cuban souvenir. I bought A4 size painting for 25 CUC. Dont forget to negotiate with them.
IT is also a must to visit Fábrica de Arte Cubano. Unfortunately, We could not visit this place due to hurricane reasons. This Museum is open also overnight.
3. Chill in Malecon
Malecon – part of Havana, which was affected by hurricane the most. People were without electricity for days and the area was completely flooded. We were lucky enough to not book our casa in this area, as we would be stuck for days…
It says that this place is packed with artist, not sure if its true, or maybe the reason was coming hurricane, however there were not any.
I recommend to stay here till sunset as its soooo beautiful.
This place is not good for swimming and its also forbidden to do so. The water is just ugh.
4. Eat in Local restaurant
And be careful what you eat 😀 !!!!
We love seafood and….it is not really a good idea to order this kind of food in Cuba.
The reason is that local people do not eat it too much, as it is very expensive for them. They catch the fish without cooling it after, when they transport it to the restaurant, they don`t keep them in fridges. In restaurant you will most likely get seafood which is not fresh and you could end up in bathroom for the rest of the daz. The price of food is about 9-15 CUC.
I would recommend eating meat as the locals say its fresh.
In the restaurants there are bands playing, having a break very often ….They will offer you to buy their CD……anyway you should always give them tip for making your dinner experience better. After you finish your dinner, order Mochito or simply RON to kill the bacteria 😀 ( the price of Mochito should not be more than 3.50 CUC)
5. Visit Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is situated in heart of Old Havana. This place offers various restaurants and coffee places. However try to avoid eating here as its very expensive.
6. Plaza de la Catedral
This square offers unique old Spanish architecture, located close to the sea. It is worth visiting.
8. Take a Taxi
Take a taxi from place to place – the old one. They will usually ask you for 10 CUC, which is way too much. Negotiate, go down with the price and ask for 5-6 maximum. They will not say no to you 🙂
9.Walk through OBISPO street
This street offers lots of small shops, bars and some restaurants.
Don`t forget to visit the oldest pharmacy in the town.
You will be able to buy there card for internet, which will cost you around 3-4 CUC. This street takes you to the main square surrounded by hotels – where you can use the Internet card.(Hotel Inglaterra)
There are many taxis ready to take you for the Havana tour…
10. El Capitolio
Seeing El Capitolio and the old fasion cars at the same time will make you feel excited.
El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building in Havana, Cuba, was the seat of government in Cuba until after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. “El Capitolio” has a size of 681 by 300 ft.