For a lot of people Havana is the starting point for their trip around Cuba and most of them take only few time for this loud, fascinating and charismatic city that has to offer so much. It is really pity but we had only two days so we tried to see as much as we could. It is really important to have a good Casa Particular which is located in the center or near the places you want to visit so you do not waste time in a taxi.
Our Casa Particular is called “Casa Novo” and it is just around the corner of Malecon. So it is not surprising that the first place we went on our first day in Havana was the Malecon. After the Malecon we wanted to go to the Viazul Bus-Station to get our tickets for Las Terrazas. We went to Viazul and we saw a lot on our way but if you want to go to some museums or do other stuff instead of walking around the whole day you should go by taxi. We walked because we love to explore a city on our own and we take our time for doing so. And yes, I have to say we got lost two times because the map of our LP ended before we arrived at the busstation 😉
Havanas best known Promenade
It is about 8 kilometers long and a MUST SEE. It is always said that the best time for visiting the Malecon is in the evening because there is a beautiful sunlight but we did not have time to visit it in the evening and so we had to go early in the morning. Best thing about this time is that there are no drunken people at the Malecon and you can take a walk around easily. The day we went to the Malecon was bad weather and if there are bad weather conditions you may get wet here. The huge waves roll over the walls and flood the street so sometimes the streets are closed because you can not drive on the flooded streets. Best time for taking a walk because you can walk the street without any car on it.
At the Malecon is a lot of work going on because a lot of houses, hotels and old buildings are renovated at the moment. I think it will take a long time until everything is done because time in Cuba is running slow and so you may have enough time to see what damage the salty sea breaze has done to all the buildings along the Malecon.
We went along a lot of beautiful buildings, churches and saw a lot of interessting people on our way to the Viazul via Havana Centro and Havana Vedado. You may stop on every corner to take a picture because in Havana you have “The Feeling” and for it is the first stop in Cuba you may be a little overwhelmed by all the colors and sounds around you in the street. But there are also a lot of things that may make you smile. For example the old phones that you find everywhere over Cuba because only a few people can afford a mobile phone, a laptop or tablett. So these phones are as usual as the colorful oldtimers.
There is another fact that surprised me: there are not that much cigar-smokers in Cuba than I thaught there would be. For sure there are a lot of people smoking cigarets or cigars but as I said I would have thought there would be many many more. So good for them and their health but I am not sure if this fact is because the people want to live a healthy life or because of the fact that they can not afford it.
Plaza de la Revolución
Spotted the first “Che”
We arrived at the Plaza de la Revolucion at 12.30 o’clock and there we saw our first “Che”. It was really huge and stuck on a building with the claim “Hasta la victoria siempre” and on the other side there is another cuban hero – Camilo Cienfuegos and the Claim “Vas bien Fidel”. The Plaza de la Revolucion is really impressive because it is really huge but you may only need ten minutes to see everything and take some photographes. If you want you can visit the José Marti museum on the other side of the street but we did not visit it.
When we finally made it to the Viazul we were very happy that we took our passports with us because you need theme to get a ticket. Without you passport you could leave and come back later – with your passport. And if you want to go anywhere in Cuba from Havana you should come a few days earlier so you get a ticket for sure. If you come here late there might be a chance that all the tickets have already been sold. In all the other cities we had no problems with this but in Havana it happens a lot. So save your time an come early.
Necropolis Cristobal Colon
Just a little walk at the cemetery
This cemetery is really worth a visit. It is so different compared to ours and has so many different stories and myth to offer that want to be discoverd. So take your time and explore this 56 hectar of history. You have to pay 5 CUC to get inside the cemetery and another five CUC for a map – but you do not really need it. Just pay the entrence fee and take your walk without a map.
I would say the biggest difference between our cemeteries and this one is the color. In Cuba everything is white and there are some colorful decorations. No dark colors or big black stones. This may be the reason why you do not get a uncomfortable feeling while walking around all the graves.
After visiting the Necropolis Cristobal Colon we wanted to get a refreshment so we decided to got to the famous Coppelia.
The place where you learn to stand in line
It is only icecream and usually you would not stand in line for one hour only for icecream but in Havana you do. Why? I really can not explain to you why this icecream is that famous and why all the Cubans love it but we read about it in our LP and we wanted to see it. So we went there and unfortunately we miss the entrance for the tourists and had to wait for an hour until we got our seat in the Coppelia. But it was worth it, the icecream was delicious and we learnd what it is like to stand in line like a real Cuban.
Cubans do not only go to the end of the line, they ask if it is really the end of the line just to make sure they do not take somebody elses place. After some time – when they are not the last one in line anymore they leave!!!! Yes you heard right – THEY LEAVE. Why you may ask. So they go and get something to drink or something to eat and look for a place to sit comfy. And when it is theire turn in line they come back in line and only wait two more minutes before it is their time. That’s it. That is the way a Cuban stands in line. Really funny and absolutely amazing that this works without complaining…
Day two in Havanna
City-Round-Trip and a lot of Rum
On our second day in Havana we did a Hop-on-Hop-off Bustour. Starting Point is at the Capitol…
You can get the ticket for the T1 Line for 10 CUC and if you do not leave the bus the tour takes about two hours. Back at the Capitol you can switch to the T3 line to get to the beaches. You can get this roundtrip for 5 CUC. WARNING: You have to show your ticket when you hop on the bus and you do not get it back until you leave the bus. But the driver does not give it back to you if you do not ask for it. So please remember to get your ticket back when leaving the bus or you may get some problems if you want to go back to the capitol by bus.
Museo del Ron F. Havana Club
Yes, I take another one
After our Bustour we wanted to relax and so we went to the Havana Club Museum. When we arrived there we had to wait for 45 minutes till our tour starts so we tried a lot of different Cocktails and when the tour finally started we were already a little drunk 🙂 So take care and do not drink to much while at the Havana Club Museum 🙂 The tour tells you all about the rum-making-process and for 7 CUC you get the tour and a rum-tasting afterwards.
A really beautiful place to go
If you are feed up with rum and cigars after you’ve visited the Ron Museum than you can go for a walk around beautiful Habana Vieja and visit the Plaza Vieja.
Long story short…
Two days in Havana
Our two days in Havana were beautiful, informative, fascinating and colorful. There are so many more stories to tell and I have so many other photographes but I think the best thing would be if you grab your passport, go to the airport and fly to Havana 🙂 I know this post got a little long but I hope you had fun reading it and maybe you got some inspiration for your own trip. If you have questions just ask or leave me a comment.