Havana, Cuba

Founded by the Spanish and located just 90 miles from Key West, Florida, Havana, Cuba is rich in history with vibrant architecture, live salsa music, impeccable art, cigar factories, and, of course, local rum. Those who visited Havana during the decades of great splendor in the 30's and 40's had to visit three different places when it was about food and enjoyment: "El Floridita" , "Sloppy Joe's Bar", and "La Bodeguita del Medio", otherwise, they wouldn't have visited Havana.

The Small List

  1. Hotel Nacional de Cuba - This historic Art Deco style hotel in the center of Havana overlooking the Malecón and the city dates back to 1930 and has hosted many famous personalities such as Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, and Ava Gardner. hotelnacionaldecuba.com
  2. La Bodeguita del Medio - One of Hemingway's favorite bars, full of history and memorabilia since 1942 and also known as the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail, it is a must to scribe your name on the wall along with Brigitte Bardot, Fidel Castro, Nicolás Guillén, Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole. Phone: +53 7 8671374
  3. El Floridita - A legendary fish restaurant and cocktail bar, meaning 'Little Florida', where bartender Constante Ribalaigua invented the daiquiri soon after WWI and where Hemingway popularized it. floridita-cuba.com
  4. Restaurant Dos Hermanos - In 1894, the González brothers from Granada, Spain opened their Dos Hermanos or “Two Brothers” bar and restaurant in the Havana harbor, one of the oldest bars in Old Havana, where you can enjoy the fresh sea air. Phone: +53 7 8613514
  5. Sloppy Joe's - This well appointed, attractive and historic bar, once known as the Crossroad of the World, had a great splendor in the 30's and 40's and was part of the restoration project of the Historical Centre of Havana City - reopening in 2013 after being closed for 48 years. sloppyjoes.org
  6. Doctor Cafe - Owned by Dr. Oscar de la Conceptión who wanted to take advantage of Cuba's new laws in 1996 allowing residences to open up there homes and offer home cooking as a private restaurant, also known as a Paladar, he and his wife have a steady buzz of customers where the exceptional food and service is the best in Cuba. Phone: +53 7 2034718 
  7. Paladar Los Mercaderes - Innovative Cuban cuisine in Old Havana at a private residence in a historic building where the ambience is refined and romance is alive! paladarlosmercaderes.restaurantwebexperts.com
  8. Malecón - The roadway and seawall stretching 5 miles along the coast offering Havana an outdoor lounge and a promenade to stroll and mingle on a stifling day or a hot summer night, especially at sunset.
  9. Tropicana - In the open air and one of the most famous cabarets in the world, offering Las Vegas style nightlife with voluptuous showgirls amid bright lights, this historic club mixes the sensuality of the Caribbean and the historic Cuban culture. cabaret-tropicana.com
  10. Partagás Cigar Factory - Havana is the birthplace of cigars and the Partagás Factory, the most famous in all of Cuba, is a journey back in time with an unforgettable earthy, pungent smell of unlit cigar tobacco. Specializing in full-bodied cigars, today some 400 workers toil for up to 12 hours a day rolling such famous cigars such as Montecristos and Cohibas. Phone: +53 7 338060
  11. Varadero, Cuba - A popular resort town located just 2 hours from Havana on a white-gold sand beach complete with All Inclusive Hotels and the only 18-hole golf course in the country. varaderogolfclub.com
  12. Meliá Varadero - An All-Inclusive Hotel next to the sea with freshwater pools equipped with waterfalls and hydromassage, boundless activities, and authentic Cuban cuisine, Japanese teppanyaki, or Trinidadian meals. For golf lovers and beach goers! melia.com
  13. Museum of the Revolution - One of the most beautiful buildings in Havana, the former Presidential Palace, features the tank used by Castro during the 1961 Bay of Pigs battle and a replica of the 18m yacht that carried Fidel Castro and 81 other revolutionaries from Tuxpán, Mexico, to Cuba in December 1956. The boat is encased in glass and guarded 24/7, presumably to stop anyone from breaking in and sailing off to Florida in it. The pavilion is surrounded by other vehicles associated with the revolution, including planes, rockets and an old postal van used as a getaway car during the 1957 attack. Phone: +53 7 8601524
  14. Havana Club Rum Museum - El Museo del Ron Havana Club is a symbol in the historical heart of Havana. From freshly cut stalks of sugar cane to a reconstitution of a distillery and aging cellars, the museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture. Phone: +54 11 4413-7126
  15. Casa Fuster - There are several blocks in a neighborhood in northwest Havana where the homes and gates that surround them are covered entirely by mosaic tile. These ordinary homes began to be transformed into works of art decades ago when artist Jose Fuster took up residence and opened his studio in the community. His own home is a mosaic wonderland, aka Fusterlandia, with small colorful tiles adorning fountains, stairs, rooftops, benches and every other surface. An ever-evolving mosaic installation. josefuster.com