Cuba remains one of the most intriguing countries in the world. From vintage cars that drive down colonial streets to bustling nightlife in the city, Cuba has to be seen to be believed. There are many experiences in Cuba, all of them spectacular. Join us on a list of the top things to do in Cuba any visitor must try.
3 top things to do in Cuba
Foodie experiences in Cuba
Let´s kick off our list by looking at restaurants and eating in Cuba. For many years, it was illegal to own a dining establishment. Big chains and public dining disappeared. However, thanks to a legal change in later years, it was permitted for people to have restaurants within their homes. These became known as paladares. The food here is extremely authentic and is exactly what you would eat with a local family. These type of experiences in Cuba can be found on every street corner, allowing you to really see Cuban culture.
Some dishes to try include ropa vieja, slow-cooked shredded pork served with rice and beans. You may also see fried plantain on the side. There is also arroz con pollo, which is deeply flavorful chicken and rice. Don´t forget to try the Cuban sandwich, made of roast pork, ham and Swiss cheese, accompanied with pickles and mustard. Indeed, there are many varieties of sandwiches in Cuba and all of them delicious.
Nightlife is also extremely important in Cuba. Havana is the spot to try piña coladas and mojitos. It is very common for locals to stay out all night, drinking, talking and dancing. So if you cannot beat them, join them! After, you can watch the sunrise over Havana, one of the best things to do in Cuba.
Walk through Old Havana
This is one of the many unforgettable experiences in Cuba that you are sure to have. This is the archetypal street view of Cuba that we have become so familiar with. The buildings are extremely colourful, built in a colonial style. Their run-down appearance only adds to their charm. Here, you can also glimpse locals travelling down the streets in antique cars. There are many markets, where you can buy local artisanal goods.
The many museums in Old Havana will also provide you with a series of mesmerising experiences in Cuba. It is highly recommended to visit Catedral de San Cristobal, a hark back to the colonial past of Cuba. Make time to visit Museo de la Ciudad, which illustrates the history of Cuba.This focuses mostly on the end of colonial periods but does include some artefacts from the revolution.
After that, one of the best experiences in Cuba is having a coffee in Plaza Vieja. This is where most people come to meet and hang out. Its vibrancy is accentuated by music and street hawkers. However, the real beauty is that of its buildings, which are a mix of Art Noueveau and Baroque.
Another must-see in Havana is Calle Obispo. This famous street has some of the most well-known restaurants in Cuba. It also has the Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway lived for part of his life.
Cultural experiences in Cuba
It goes without saying that any experiences in Cuba will always be etched in your memory. Take, for example, renting an antique car and driving down the seafront boulevard, known as El Malécon. This is a typical past-time in Cuba, as locals show off their cars, many of which have been repaired using makeshift materials. El Malécon is a beautiful promenade, and here you can see Cuba in all its glory. From couples strolling to children playing in the surf, it is one of those eternal experiences in Cuba.
It might also be a good idea to enrol in a salsa lesson. This will also allow you to experience Cuban culture, through music and dance. It will also be excellent fun!
If you decide to leave Havana, there are many places to visit. The first stop as you leave Havana should be to watch the sunset at Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. It is a beautifully preserved fort and is only just outside Havana city. Here, you can see inside the colonial past of Cuba but also it´s resilience over the years.
One of the quirkiest experiences in Cuba will be Fusterlandia. This is outside of Havana and is reminiscent of Gaudi. Fusterlandia is a project by José Fuster, who began tiling his home in coloured tiles and did not stop. The tiles are shaped like all sorts of objects, from animals to politicians. The place is not to be taken seriously and is a wonderful insight into a more whimsical side of Cuba.
If glimpsing into a corner of the world steeped in intrigue and mystery tickles your fancy, then please contact Exoticca for more information on experiences in Cuba.