IFLY tips Havana
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Obispo Street (1-3 hrs)
Calle Obispo is a very colourful street and the main commercial street in Havana. In this street you will find many tiny shops, restaurants, bars, cafeterias and a small market.
There are a lot of bars in this street where you can enjoy lovely luscious Cuban cocktails while enjoying live music. Try a Cuba Libre, Piña Colada or Mojito but be careful, they might taste like lemonade but are dangerously strong. You will find some restaurants in this street as well, but they might not serve the best food. For really good food we suggest some other restaurants in the old centre like Ivan Gusto, which is mentioned at this page as well.
Handcraft market San Jose (1-2 hrs)
Go to San Jose handcraft market to buy lots of paintings, souvenirs and decoration articles. The famous crafts market used to be near Plaza de la Catedral in Old Havana but in 2009 it was relocated to the former Almacenes de San José on the Port of Havana.
This old harbour side warehouse is located at Avenida del Puerto corner of Calle Leonor Perez (Paula). You will find it opposite Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula. The market is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. Most prices are fixed, but you can try some bargaining.
Bodeguito del Medio (1-2 hrs)
One of the most famous bars in Havana is Bodeguito del Medio or simply called La B del M. This bar is located at Empedrado 206, just around the corner of Plaza de la Catedral.
This bar claims to be the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, prepared in the bar since it’s opening in 1942, although this is disputed. Nevertheless it is a bar serving great cocktails and real Cuban cigars. And there is live music every evening. B del M is open every day from 11 am to midnight.
Bar restaurant Floridita (1-2 hrs)
Another tourist hotspot in the old centre of Havana is bar Floridita. The establishment is famous for its daiquiris and for having been one of the favourite hangouts of Nobel Prize-winning American writer Ernest Hemingway in Havana.
The bar opens at 11 am and closes at midnight. Floridita is located at the beginning of Calle Obispo at number 557 at the corner of Calle Monserrate.
Hotel Inglaterra rooftop bar (1-2 hrs)
Enjoy Cuba’s tropical climate at the rooftop terrace of an old hotel and sip your cocktail while enjoying the magnificent views on the old town.
A hotel with a really beautiful rooftop terrace is Hotel Inglaterra, which is located at Parque Central. The address is Paseo del Prado, No. 416. Take the elevator to the 4th floor. From there you can enjoy the stunning panoramic views of Havana. The opening hours are from noon to 2 am every day.
Casa de la Musica (2 hrs)
For salsa dancing we recommend Casa de la Musica in Miramar where top salsa acts get the crowd moving. In this huge venue are live shows held nightly from 11 pm to 3 am.
The entrance fee can be 5 to 20 cuc, unless there is a special artist performing. Casa de la musica is located at Calle Galiano 225 (on some maps mentioned as Ave. Italia) between Neptuno and Concordia.
Restaurant Ivan Justo (2 hrs)
One of our favourite restaurants in downtown Havana is Ivan Justo. It is a lovely little place with a wonderful atmosphere, eclectic furnishing and decor and amazing food. The menu is changing almost daily and you can expect dishes from contemporary cuisine.
This restaurant is located just behind the Museum of Revolution at Aguacate 9, corner of Chacón. It is advisable to make a reservation. Call them at 15371 863 9697. Especially during a balmy summer night it is marvellous to reserve a table at their tiny rooftop terrace.
Best coffee in town: Cafe el Escorial (1 hr)
Looking for the best cup of coffee in Havana? Go to Plaza Vieja. At the corner of this square you will find Café el Escorial. The exact address is actually: Mercaderes 317.
It is the perfect place to enjoy your espresso or cappuccino at the terrace while watching colourful people passing by.
The coffee is roasted and ground on the premises and can be purchased for home consumption. And it is so good that (local) people are really queuing for that. The whole square smells like coffee.
Café Taberna, Buena Vista (1-2 hrs)
Okay, how touristy can you be, but one of the most famous export-products’ of Cuba is Buena Vista Social Club of course. And their performances started in Café Taberna. So don’t miss a (new) Buena Vista Social Club concert in this great place. You can have dinner here as well but we suggest skipping the food. Just go for a mojito and the music.
If you like to see where that all started, you should go to Café Taberna at.
The place is located ate Calle Mercaderes 531 at the corner of Calle Teniente Rey and Plaza Vieja. Most nights the price per person is 30 cuc including drinks and 50 cuc including dinner.
Restaurant El Cañonazo (2 hrs)
A great restaurant on the other side of the Bay of Havana in Casablanca is El Cañonazo. The restaurant is located nearby the fortress where they fire a canon every day at 9 pm.
They serve great meat, fish and seafood dishes in a great ambiance. You can have lunch or dinner in the lovely garden (and hear the canon very well).
The address is Morro-Cabana, Casa 27. From downtown Havana it is a 10-minute taxi ride, which costs 5 cuc.
Things not to do:
Restaurant Doña Eutimia
We went to the #1 ranking restaurant at tripadvisor. And was this resally the best place in Havana? We were not satisfied. They served very simple food and the waiters were very pushy.
Price and location might be good, but if you are looking for quality, we know much better places.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Havana.