Cuba, the Caribbean island famed for its communist rule and 1950’s-era classic cars, irresistible coffee, and cigars is a place filled with rich history, Spanish-colonial architecture, and a vibrant art and music scene. Traveling to Cuba is truly a one of a kind experience, although there are many places similar to it, nowhere in the world is quite the same.
Cuba has centuries of culture piled up to make it a place filled with a rich and vibrant energy that flows into its food, art, music and to the kind people that live there. Whether you go now, or in a few years when things begin to pick up a bit more, Cuba is definitely a place you will not forget, but be sure to have a plan before you go and don’t miss these top 7 things on your next trip!
Go to Old Havana
Whether you book your accommodations in Old Havana, or simply visit there, Old Havana is where I spent most of my time. There is a lot of hype around Vinales, too which I also loved. However, Old Havana makes the top of my list because of it’s cute and quaint feel, pastel-colored houses and friendly atmosphere. It simply feels like the classic Cuba you imagine and see in photos, the people there are kind, it is a safe place to be, and this is where most of the excitement happens.
Check out the art scene
You may not know, but art is a very significant part of the Cuban culture. I recommend going to the Fabrica de Arte Cubano. This is an amazing art gallery and cool place to check out for nightlife as well.
Go to the beach
Cuba’s location in the Caribbean is sandwiched in between Cancún and the Turks and Caicos Islands; you get all the picture-perfect clear blue water and white sandy beaches without the outrageous cost and herds of vacationers. At Veradero beach the water is warm and clear, there is hardly any crowd, and the mojitos they sell are delicious. Give yourself a relaxing day seaside and soak up the sun either at Veradero, or Santa Maria beach which is closer.
Visit the San Jose Market.
The art scene in Cuba is a large part of their culture. There is art, dance, live music, and all with a classical Spanish spin. The market is a place to check out to experience this art scene at its peak, where vendors, dealers and collectors flock to score some amazing deals to add to their collection, or for visitors to come admire the vibrant culture in the form of artistic expression.
Eat out in the West End
With so many cool restaurants to choose from, go to Old Havana for traditional dishes. Although the food did a leave a bit to be desired, and flan wasn’t as easy to find as I wish it was, the best restaurants we stumbled upon were in the West End for their food and their atmosphere. However, the street food is quite tasty, too if you’re out and about and
Grab drinks at National Hotel
Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, check it out for a good evening cocktail, and to get a taste of this famous tourist spot. Graced with a historical exhibit, you’ll get a nice drink in a culture-filled atmosphere and spent a fun yet relaxed evening out.
See a Tropicana show
If you’re looking for a night of vibrant entertainment, check out a Tropicana Show where $90 gets you an evening filled with cabaret dancers adorned in vibrant costumes, lively music and your own bottle of rum.