Havana is a magical city that never fails to inspire a hopeful wanderlust in all of us.
Between the cobblestone streets, colourful facades and intricate architecture, this Cuban gem proves to be spectacular both day and night. We were fortunate enough to spend some time wandering the city streets with Nexus Tours. This wonderful add-on was a day trip during our stay with Memories Varadero Beach Resort.
Once the bus unloaded and we started to get our bearings, the clock struck nightfall and to our surprise live music, laughter and lights flooded the proverbial city walls. We were treated to amazing sounds, sights and smells of local cuisine and culture. Roadside churros were a must, as was dancing and singing with the vibrant and kind locals.
There’s something so touching about spending time in a city that has captured the imagination of so many. It came as no surprise that Havana conquered the heart of literary great, Ernest Hemmingway. An infectious inspiration can be found in everything you see and do in that city, and it certainly occupied my heart in a more profound way than expected.
If Havana is on your radar (which is should be), check out a few of our top city picks.
Eat: Habana 61
61 Habana, La Habana 10100, Cuba
Voted number one on Trip Advisor, this tourist and local hot spot is packed with outstanding culture and cuisine. We were told to make reservations in advance of visiting the city, as this quaint restaurant tends to fill up fast. If you’re looking for the best meal for your money, the lobster with garlic is otherworldly.
Sip: Café Fortuna Joe
Calle A, La Habana, Cuba
This quaint bar and eatery presents a proud display of vintage typewriters and toilets as decor, as well as sofa seating underneath the stairs. The tables are made from old cars and the ambience will make you feel as though you’re spending time in a traditional Cuban home. Additionally, the expansive menu boasts the most reasonable pricing for everything from small plates to sips. Be sure to taste the El Padrino cocktail, a white rum wonder.
Sleep: Memories Miramar Havana
5 Avenue Between 72 and 76, Miramar, Havana 11400, Cuba
You can experience the heart of Havana in this perfectly situated hotel. This lovely spot is tucked away in a residential neighbourhood and has everything from a pool, to restaurants and even two bars that can whip up the best mojito you’ve ever had. If you’re looking for easy access and a feeling of being part of the local culture, look no further than this hot spot.
72 A, La Habana, Cuba
We were treated to a 2-hour show of stunning costumes, a spectacular set and amazing choreography at the one and only Tropicana. Set in a tropical oasis, the live music and dancing started as soon as the Cuban rum started flowing. Our eyes were sincerely glued to the stage, as every act was better than the last. While a live show might not be for everyone, this is certainly one thing you definitely need to cross off your bucket list.