Though unwillingly stuck in decades past, Havana is a vivacious, colorful city filled with kind people who always seem to be smiling. Cuba feels completely safe wherever you stray and Cubans seem to be truly warm-hearted.
It’s as if the plane you flew over in was actually a time machine. From the 50s-era cars that populate the roads to the shabby—yet charming—buildings themselves, it’s hard to believe you’re in the same modern times as you were before you boarded the plane.
Habana Vieja (Old Havana): The Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza Vieja, Calle Obispo, Paseo di Martí
The Hemingway Museum at Finca Vigía (it’s his house, a 30 min. drive from city)
Callejon de Hamel (the ‘Wynwood’ of Cuba, a tiny art district with a block party on Sunday afternoons)
El Café, Café O’Reilly (GET THE CAFÉ BONBON, it’s espresso with condensed milk and your taste buds will absolutely freak out), Café Bohemia
El del Frente (one of my absolute favorite places of the trip, such a cool vibe)
El Cocinero, La Guarida, Atelier, Tierra (inside of Fábrica de Arte Cubano, super hip)
Fábrica de Arte Cubano (feels like you’re in Berlin, giant building made up of rooms for art, music, and dancing), El Floridita (delicious daiquiris, Hemingway’s favorite bar!), Siá Kará (the most vibrant, fun violinist performs here with his band), Dos Hermanos, Mercure Sevilla Havane (your dose of millennial pink)
Viñales Valley: rural town known for tobacco fields and horseback riding across green valleys
Though Havana makes for the perfect Insta-backdrop, most places are in need of serious remodeling and the old-time cars are…well, old. And those are just some minor issues. It’s absolutely magical to visit for a weekend, but the country’s inhabitants live this way everyday. What I’m trying to say is, be thankful for the air condition (and everything else) we constantly take for granted.