Sightseeing in Havana:

While sightseeing in Havana most people start with a visit to the Ernest Hemingway house – ten miles east of Havana. Hemingway’s Cuba house – Finca Vigia, meaning “lookout house.” Finca Vigia is located in the small, working-class town of San Francisco de Paula. The Cuban people have always respected famous writer’s choice to live in a modest town, amongst the people he fished wit. Built in 1886 by a Spanish Architect Miguel Pascual y Baguer, Finca Vigia was purchased by Hemingway in 1940 for a cost of $12,500.

Sightseeing in HavanaThere, Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. A Movable Feast was written there as well. Now a museum and tours cost $3 per person.

Hemingway has probably given more bars notoriety than any other author – the man loved to both travel and drink.

El Floridita – Hemingway’s regular hangout during his time in Cuba, may be the most famous of his haunts. Even when he moved out to the suburbs, Hemingway would still drive into town to drink here. He wasn’t the only fan either: Ezra Pound and Graham Greene were also patrons. At El Floridita you can drink with Hemingway – there is a life-size bronze figure of him at the bar. Be sure to check out the chummy photo of Hemingway and Castro up on the wall.

Hotel Telégrafo – Cuba’s oldest hotel first opened its doors to the public around 1860, some years after the first telegraph station was established in the country. Circa 1914 the hotel rooms and restaurant boasted telephones that afforded guests both national and international telephone services, at a time when even public restrooms were a rare and novel luxury. Today this hotel is situated in the perfect spot to enjoy people watching a cheese sandwich and a great mojito (don’t order the burgers! they don’t’ taste like home, and you will likely be disappointed)..across the street from the Park Central, and just about next door to the Capitolo.

Moro Castle – Built initially in 1589 in response to raids on Havana harbor, El Morro protected the mouth of the harbor with a chain being strung out across the water to the fort at La Punta.

Horse and Buggy Tour around the city from Park Central is one of the best ways to see and enjoy the city. The Colon Cemetary after the walking tour and highlight the tour

The Colon Cemetery – Or more fully in the Spanish language “Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón” was founded in 1876 in the Vedado neighbourhood of Havana, Cuba on top of Espada Cemetery. Named after Christopher Columbus, the 140 acres (57 ha) cemetery is noted for its many elaborately sculpted memorials The wealth of funerary sculpture and the diversity of architectural styles are among the most notable features of the cemetery, which many specialists describe as one of the three largest and most luxurious worldwide.

Walking Tour Old Havana – Sightseeing starts from the Cigar Factory, past the Capitol down to the Presidential Palace (now the Museum of Revolution), back up to the top of Obispo and then stop for refreshments along the way..small bars and cafes all the entire street. Head on down to Hotel Ambros (have a drink on the rooftop) right on Calle Mercaderes up to the Plaza Vieja..wonderfully restored plaza with a great coffee shop in the sun, (as close to Starbucks as you will get in Havana. Head on down Sol Street to Dos Hermanos another Hemingway haunt for great Mojitos and good food. Continue left on the waterfront and over to Plaza de San Francisco, then to Plaza de Armas, then Plaza del Segundo, Plaza de la Catedral..whew, by now you will need a good drink, and you can get it at El Templete on the waterfront. If you are happy with beer and fried chicken, check out the three chicken places right on Ave. Del Puerto, which has a great view of the harbour and castle a great cheap place to people watch!

Sightseeing in Havana
Sloppy Joes Bar – Just reopened April 2013 after being shut down after the revolution and is fabulous! Located behind the Park Central and drinks are reasonably priced and unusually delicious!

Sightseeing in Havana

Playa De Este – (The Eastern Beaches)

Tropicana shows – Hotel National and the Tropicana

The Malecon – Sightseeing the sea wall that runs along the Havana coastline.

For some time out of the city we suggest:

Playa De Este – (The Eastern Beaches)- Santa Maria with appreciable shade and the softest cleanest sand is the best. 

Las Terrazas – A eco-resort which is located in the region of Sierra Del Rosario, 45 min drive west of Havana. Las Terrazas is an artist colony cum eco-tourism experiment with open studios, ziplines, hiking, birding and swimming in river cascades. Nearby Soroa is famed for its Orquideario- an orchid garden and research station with more than 700 species that bloom between Dec and March.

Sightseeing in HavanaVinales – Sightseeing to these peppered pincushion hills is spectacular enough to warrant longer than a day trip if you have the time. The town is quaint in that rocker-on-the-porch kind of way, and the hospitality of Cuban guariros is unsurpassed. Go horseback riding or hiking amid the oddly shaped limestone hills. This area becomes a rock climbing mecca from December through April. The A framed structures covered in shaggy fronds you will see are the drying houses for the world’s finest cigar tobacco, grown throughout this part of Pinar del Rio Province.

Shopping for Souvenirs

The largest market is La Feria de Artesania in Old Havana. The new location is great if it happens to rain, and the market now has a Cadeca (money exchange), washrooms, snack bar, great place to listen to music, watch the harbour and have a couple of beer.

Also known as Feria San Jose, it was moved to a waterfront warehouse so that it is now larger and cooler. You can find hidden treasures among the kitschy tourist ashtrays and ceramics. Although bargaining is acceptable, the very low prices mean that artists are struggling. Keep this in mind and haggle in moderation. There are bargains galore, such as detailed replicas of some of Havana’s architectural wonders that can be boxed for carrying home. Open 10am – 6pm

Plaza de la Catedral – Sightseeing in this plaza to the left of the restaurant (a great place to sit and watch the action by the way) is a museum that has the best quality pictures and souvenirs..some jewellery etc. This plaza has Cuban bands quite often and is just a beautiful place to experience Havana.

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