Updated: Oct 8, 2020
If I have to name one destination that you have to visit right now, it’s Cuba. Since the United States lifted the embargo, I am sure the country will change rapidly. So if you want to experience the real Cuba, you have to book your trip now. To discover the entire island, you need at least 2 or 3 weeks.
We only had 1 week so here’s an itinerary to discover the highlights.
Guest Blogger: Wendy Maes, World Wide Wendy
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Plaza del Cathedral
Havana - Day One
Vedado Plaza is the modern part of the city. It’s not the most attractive part, but it has a few things you have to see:
The Malecon: is the promenade along the sea. It’s best to visit the place in the evening because it’s the place where Cubans gather.
Plaza de la Revolucion: this famous square and many of the surrounding buildings are constructed in 1952 and was called Plaza Civica at that time. After Fidel Castro’s victory is was renamed as Plaza de la Recolucion. It’s the cultural and political heart of the country. In the middle of the square you will find a 109 m high monument in honor of Jose Marti. You can enter the monument and take a lift to the top. On the buildings around the square you will see pictures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos.
Necropolos Colon: a giant cemetry. With nearly 2 million graves it’s one of the biggest cemeteries in the world. It’s declared a national monument because of the many sculptures.
John Lennon Park: always wanted to sit ona bench with John Lennon? It’s possible over here.
Centro Habana and Prado is the area just outside the old city. The highlights over here are:
Parque Central: this park was created in 1877 and it’s surrounded by beautiful buildings. Hotel Inglaterra, Palacio del Centro Asturiano, Gran Teatro de la Habana and Hotel Parque Central just to name a few. Go up to the rooftop terrace of Hotel Parque Central to sip a cocktail and enjoy the amazing view.
Capitolio: situated right behind Parque Central. Build and 1929 as a railwaystation. From 1959 the governement was located here and nowadays it’s home to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Part of the building is open to the public, including the amazing library. The exterior of the building is inspired by the Capitol in Washington.
Best placet o buy cigars: Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagos (situated right behin the Capitolio).
Go for a cocktail to Sloppy Joe, Hemingways favourite bar (situated besides Hotel Parque Central)
A perfect way to get around in Havanna
Havana - Day Two
Habana Vieja is the old town. It’s on the Unesco Worldheritage list. They started restoring this beautiful historic center.
Visit the following highlights:
Bodeguito del Medio: again one of Hemingway’s favourite bars. It’s close tot he Plaza de la Catedral. The bar was a grocery store at first (halfway up the street).
Plaza de la Catedral is the highlight of Habana Vieja. It’s supposed to be the most beautiful cathedral in Latin America.
Convento de Santa Clara: a huge 17th century monastery.
Convento de Belen: another beautiful monastery. Restoration works were almost finished in March 2017.
Calle Obispo: one of the most famous and characteristic streets of Havana. Don’t forget to visit the old pharmacy.
Plaza de Armas is a cosy square. Palacio de los Capitanes Generals is worth a visit.