Havana: what to eat & drink (and see in between)

1. Hotel Ambos Mundos. Walk in the footsteps of Hemmingway and pay a visit to this plush hotel. There’s a Hemmingway gallery on the ground floor, a rickety cage lift and the preserved bedroom of man himself waiting for you to take a peak. The real highlight though is the rooftop bar and restaurant. Precisely cooked seafood and warm service.

2. The Malecon. The Lonely Planet pronounced that ‘only a fool would miss it’. They’re probably right. Giant Atlantic waves crash over the snaking sea wall splashing retro cars, lone trumpeters, fisherman, street sellers and kissing couples.

3. Hotel Nationale. Perched proudly on a hill overlooking the Malecon, Hotel Nationale is bold, beautiful and a little over the top. Sup a Daiquiri in the gardens, then explore the bunker shared by Castro and Che during The Cuban Missile Crisis.

4. Bacardi Building. Slip the doorman a couple of CUC and he’ll let you take the lift to the rooftop of this Art Deco tower. Bacardi may long have gone, but the views from the top are nothing short of spectacular.

5. Casablanca. Hop on board a commuter boat just before sunset for the short crossing to Casablanca. A five minute stroll up hill, past the giant statue of Christ, will reward you with beautiful views of down town Havana.

6. 1950s car tour. The best way to see Havana. Hop in and ask the driver to show you his part of the city. We were rewarded by the once plush suburbs of Miramar housing the embassies and a tranquil nature reserve.

7. Callejon De Hamel. Get your dancing shoes on and head to Callejon De Hamel on a Sunday for music and a party like no other.

8. Centro Habana. The old town might be nice but Centro Habana is where real life plays out in the city. Snaking queues form at bakeries, fruit and veg carts tout for business and local paladares serve top notch grub in elegant, yet crumbling surroundings. Take a stroll round the side streets with a backdrop of live music and pumping bass. Watch out for flying footballs.

9. Plaza de la Revolucion. This 11 acre complex firms the administrative centre on Havana. Stop by and admire the giant murals of Jose Marti and Che.

10. Malecon ice cream. Despite not being one for ice cream this place had to make the list. Dapper bow tied waiters serve scoops of delicious ice cream from this spotless sea side parlour.






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