Havana Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Cuba > Havana > History

Havana is a vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan city, where colonial past and present reality come together in what is the cultural, political, economic and social centre of Cuba.

The old part of the city was declared part of the heritage of mankind by UNESCO, and there can be no doubt, with the beauty of its streets, the colonial balconies and the baroque and gothic constructions which surround Old Havana that this title is well-deserved. The atmosphere in Havana is lightened by the cheery character of its people who walk through its Arabic-style streets, not to mention the Malecón, where tourists and locals come together to watch the sunset while they enjoy the soft sea breeze.

At night, Havana becomes a magical carnival with its shows, night-clubs and discotheques inviting you to go in and join all the fun that this beautiful Caribbean city has to offer.

In Havana you will find four main areas of interest. First there is Old Havana, where you will come face to face with Cuban history and culture. Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Parque Central are excellent examples of Colonial architecture. Besides the wonderful atmosphere provided by the buildings and open spaces, there are many cafés, restaurants and bars on every street, offering the perfect excuse to escape from the strong tropical sunshine and try the many traditional Cuban dishes on offer. You could even try a drink or two in the Bodeguita del Medio or the Floridita, where Hemingway used to drink his mojitos and daiquirís. Old Havana is also home to several important museums, such as the Museo de Autos Antiguos (if you like antique cars), La Casa del Arabe, La Casa de Africa, La Casa de Asia, Museo de la ciudad, and the castles of Morro and La Real Fuerza (where you will see one of the famous symbols of Havana, the weather-vane on one of its towers, La Giraldilla). This is the favourite area for tourists, who come here to walk and take pictures of the area.

Walking upwards along La Rampa, from the Malecón, you will get to the Vedado area, one of the most charming sectors of the city, with its 19th century houses and mansions which are now home to several embassies, ministries and cultural organisations. On the corner of Rampa and Calle L is the ice-cream parlour, Coppelia, famous for its excellent tropical fruit ice-creams. Making your way up the University hill you will eventually come to the Plaza Ignacio Agromonte, where the neo-classical Havana University buildings stand. There are also two museums: the Montané Anthropology Museum and the Felipe Poey Natural History Museum. Further along, you will come out to the Plaza de la Revolución, a symbol of Cuban's socialist system. It is star-shaped and has an enormous statue of José Martí standing in the middle, (the view from the top of the monument is truly sensational). Opposite the statue, on the other side of the avenue, you will find a fresco of Ché Guevara. This is where president Fidel Castro makes his speech every year on the 1st May.

To end this tour, we recommend you pay a visit to Miramar, one of the most "exclusive" areas in Havana, with truly beautiful colonial houses, now home to embassies, cultural centres and foreign companies. The Parque Emiliano Zapata (Avenida 5- Malecón), which has within its grounds a number of pools, is also worth a visit.

For lovers of the romantic and picturesque, don't miss the chance to go to the Almendares river, where you can rent a boat if you wish, and enjoy the evening breeze in a breathtaking setting. Palm trees line the avenues and there are a good number of cafés, bars and restaurants near the Marina Hemingway resort. Try the Chan Chan, El Mandarín or Rumbos and you won't be disappointed.

Weather

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High 78° 79° 81° 83° 85° 86° 88° 88° 87° 84° 81° 79°
Avg. Low 65° 65° 67° 69° 72° 74° 74° 75° 74° 73° 70° 67°
Mean 72° 72° 75° 77° 79° 80° 82° 82° 81° 79° 76° 73°
Avg. Precip. 2.5 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 2.1 in 3.9 in 7.2 in 4.2 in 3.9 in 5.7 in 7.1 in 3.5 in 2.3 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.

 

Mother Earth Travel > Cuba > Havana > History