Hope you all are getting adjusted after the holidays and new year!!
I’m back in LA, back to work and still wishing I could explore Cuba a bit longer (already planning my next trip)!! Cuba’s been on my bucket list for a long time..and it’s definitely not a regular tropical destination so I put a lot of research and planning into this trip! I wanted to share a round-up of my most memorable locations and travel tips for those of you who are interested in travelling to this incredible and charming place! I hope this post gives you guys some insight and motivation to visit soon!
Parque Central + Paseo Del Prado
Paseo Del Prado is where I got some of my best photos! This area divides Old Havana and Central Havana. We took a long stroll along Paseo Del Prado on our second day in Havana and encountered some of the city’s most unique vintage cars, colonial buildings, and prestigious hotels.
Plaza De La Catedral
This is one of the main squares in Old Havana that houses the Catedral de la Habana and is one of the most beautiful sites I’ve seen throughout the city. Although the Catedral is the main attraction, the surrounding buildings in the square are fine examples of 18th-century aristocratic mansions..which all show a similar architectural design and are very photo worthy :)
Atelier was by far the best restaurant we visited on the entire trip! The ambiance, incredible views and tasty food made this a go-to spot in Havana. I would definitely recommend visiting this restaurant for a nice dinner on your last night in the city and sitting on the rooftop patio to take in the stellar views!
If you’re looking for a more relaxed, casual and family style restaurant then El Palio is my best choice. First item we ordered off the menu? A couple plates of their signature shrimp..it speaks for itself!!
La Bodeguita Del Medio
If you’re looking for a bar with history, great mojitos and music then this is the go-to spot! La Bodeguita is best known to have been one of Hemingway’s favorite hangout spots among other famous personalities who left their mark on the walls. Although I must warn that this place is very touristy and crowded, but also full of graffiti and memorabilia that is worth staying for after a mojito or two!
Hotel Nacional is one of the most well-known hotels in Havana with a rich history, culture and a lot of must-see art deco!! This hotel is in a prime location..standing on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. After exploring the grounds, we went up to the ocean side bar to get a round of their famous mojitos. Seriously one of the best sites I’ve ever experienced at bar..overlooking the Havana Harbor, the seawall and the city!! Can’t get any better than that!
Casa de la Musica
One of the top venues in Havana for live salsa music and dancing! We went here Wednesday night after dinner and had the best time! It’s located in a gorgeous mansion in Miramar and hosts some of the best salsa groups and bands in the city. Such a great spot to unwind after dinner, take in the music, local culture and have some more mojitos (I stopped counting after Day 2..lol)!!
- Make sure you print ALL your travel documents (itinerary, hotel bookings, maps) before you leave for Cuba!! This is very important because wifi connection is very limited and the last thing you want to do is spend your vacation running around finding wifi hot spots or buying hourly cards.
- Bring enough cash to last you the entire trip!! Cuba is mostly a cash economy, and a lot of places do not accept credit or debit cards. Those that do, currently do not accept cards from US banks. We had to pay everything, including our hotel, in cash.
- Most of the vintage cars you see in photos are taxis that tourists can pay to ride in, but unfortunately are not allowed to drive. A majority of these taxis have set routes in Havana, so make sure you have a map with you at all times and know where you’re going!
What are some of the destinations on your bucket-list in 2017?! Let me know in the comments below :)