Vivacious, romantic and exuberant, the Cuban capital Havana is a compelling city and a place full of contradictions. Ration shops and tenements are juxtaposed with colonial palaces, a dramatic coastline and throngs of tourists, and some parts of the city feel like youre stepping back in time as you pass through.
Whether you're an early bird or night owl, Havana will keep you entertained
This dramatic, colourful city knows how to party. Its never quiet; listen carefully and youll always be able to hear singing or music somewhere. Havana has known some tough times but its people are indomitable and their spirit is infectious.
Top 5 sights to see
- Parque Central - This pretty park, surrounded by historic buildings, houses a statue of the poet José Martí. Over at the Esquina Caliente, baseball fans gather to discuss each game
- El Malecon - The 8km esplanade along the coast, lined with impressive monuments and ruined houses, has two faces: its quiet and peaceful by day, but comes alive at night
- Parque Almendares - On the banks of the Río Almendares, this park has a river promenade, an antiquated miniature golf course, a small outdoor performance space, a playground and food outlets
- Museo Hemingway - The former home of the writer Ernest Hemingway, and the place where he wrote much of For Whom The Bell Tolls
- Museo de la Revolución - The former Presidential Palace, whose interior was decorated by Tiffany's, is now a museum tracing the history of Cuba, with some interesting displays on Che Guevara
Top 5 Havana experiences you mustnt miss
- Get a day pass to the members-only Club Habana, a 1920s mansion in Flores with its own beach, swimming pool, tennis courts, bar, boutiques and health club
- See a production at the Gran Teatro de La Habana, which houses theatres, a concert hall and an art gallery and is the home of the Cuban National Ballet
- Go scuba diving at the La Aguja Marlin Diving Centre
- Take the children to the Isla del Coco theme park, which has rides including a rollercoaster, a twister, a carousel, a Ferris wheel and bumper cars it even has a pillow fight room
- Browse the Plaza de Armas secondhand book market its full of old, new and rare books, including works by Hemingway, poetry and writings by Fidel Castro