As the travel restrictions have lightened in recent years, Havana is no longer as much of mystery to Americans. The largest city and capital of Cuba is now well visited by people from around the world, including the United States.
It’s tourist draw is understandable with the blend of old and new, where vintage cars seamlessly mix with kitschy galleries and the up-and-coming food scene has a lot to offer. It’s purely a bonus that the prices are still very reasonable.
This may change in the near future, when more cruise ships arrive and people get wind of the plethora of incredible things to do there, so the time to visit Cuba is soon.
Travel to Cuba now!
During my recent visit, I spent four days exploring the nooks and crannies of this intriguing city. One of my favorite finds was Fabrica de Arte Cubano (the Cuban Art Factory). It is a cutting edge hotspot where sophisticated gallery rooms cohabitate with multimedia performance spaces. We made a night of it by having dinner at El Cocinero restaurant, which is right next door.
Of course you can’t go to Havana without exploring the Old Town. It’s the perfect place to take a ride in a vintage convertible, smoke a Cuban cigar, follow the footsteps of Hemingway and indulge in the iconic mojitos.
My favorite dining experiences were at the local paladars, a privately owned restaurant typically located in a converted home and run by a family. If you are in the old town definitely go to the very trendy O’Reilly 304 which is a treat of Latin influenced foods and cocktails. Cafe Laurent is located on the top floor of a Vedado apartment complex (we even saw tenants taking out their trash on our way up!), but don’t let that discourage you. This paladar served up one of the best shredded pork dishes in Cuba with a chic ambiance. El Litoral is located along the Malecón esplanade and has the perfect patio for watching the vintage cars drive by. The crème de la crème of paladares is the famous La Guarida.
With a population of over two million, the fun things to do in Havana are practically endless.