When visiting Cuba, it’s important to remember that the best things to see and do are more than often free. Unless you speak Spanish, museums and the like are going to be boring so here are my top 10 things to see (and do) in Havana;
Salsa: Everywhere you go, no matter what time of the day, you’ll hear the great music and see people dancing. It’s the happiest music and after a while you’ll find yourself unconsciously dancing along with it. Salsa lessons are available in the city if you’re a complete beginner.
Take a ride in a vintage car. The image that most people associate with Cuba are the vintage cars. They literally are EVERYWHERE. Most serve as taxis so it’s very easy to arrange. Be careful though. ALWAYS negotiate the price in advance. Also, if the weather agrees, consider an open top car and tour around the city.
See cigars being rolled. Everyone seems to be smoking cigars in Cuba. Drop into to the Cigar “museum” (I use that term loosely because it was really just a guy rolling cigars) and watch the guy rolling them before heading upstairs to the cigar store.
Eat at a private restaurant. Some restaurants in Cuba are state owned and others are privately owned. The private ones have the best, most delicious food you’ve ever eaten.
Sit back and enjoy a mojito. Mojitos are literally the thing to drink in Cuba. In a bar, close to closing time, we asked for beers to be told that the only drink we would be served were mojitos. They wouldn’t even serve water after a certain time. Bizarre but true.
Follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway spent a great deal of time in Havana so why not visit his old haunts including the Ambos Mundos Hotel, Floridita Bar and his house.
Walk the streets and take in the architecture. The architecture in Havana is amazing. Get lost and wander the streets taking in the variety of influences. Havana is relatively safe but be careful of beggars who engage you in conversation and won’t let you go without a donation.
Walk the Malecon. The Malecon is an area by the sea where Cubans hang out at night. It makes for a great walk but be careful of the waves which were dumping water a block away while we were there.
Drink coffee in the National Hotel. The National Hotel is an impressive building which boasts stunning views of the sea. Explore the gardens and enjoy a cup of coffee at the cinema cafe.
Go to the beach. Just a few kilometers from Havana are some great beaches. With crystal clear water, this makes for the perfect, relaxing day out.