- The Malecón
- La Casa Balear (23 y G)
- Free concerts
- Happy Hours
Drinks and Food
WHERE to eat?
Government run restaurants
Paladares are restaurants owned and run by private persons. Now the main restaurants and the high-quality ones are private. Thanks to those places the Cuban food gained his former variety again, also the decoration and presentation of the places and dishes are usually more special. Normally better chefs work in a Paladar.
Of course, there are bad ones as well.
The Cafeterias are the Cuban alternative to international fast food chains. Since 2013 Cubans have the possibility to be auto employed and open small businesses so in the last years a lot of people opened their own small fast food places. Most Cafeterias are a lot cheaper than Restaurants and serve fast food or Cuban dishes for small Prices. Typical fast food is pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. Most of the bakeries and Cafés are also private run.
WHEN to eat?
Where to find Fusterlandia and what to expect
Visit the founder of the Daiquiri and other celebrities
Everybody knows that day, some love it, some fear it and some people hate it. All around the world, this day is connected to a lot of pressure and money spending on your loved ones and their gifts. February 14th in Cuba, however, is a little bit different.
As in other countries in Cuba people also celebrate Valentine’s day, but it’s called differently. February 14th in Cuba is the “día de los enamorados” or also the “día de la amistad”, so it’s the day for loved ones and also the day of friendship. And believe me, people take this celebration seriously!
So here are some tips for Valentines Day in Cuba:
If you want to eat out that day, make a reservation or eat early. Streets, especially in Havana are packed that day! Everybody goes out with their partner, date or just a group of friends. Outside of restaurants and cafeterías, there are queues and every place has their own special offer for that day.
check some of them out at A la Mesa.
How to spend Valentine’s Day in Havana?
If you hate Valentines Day, stay in or get a bottle of Rum and make new friends at the Malecón.
If you want to take somebody out to impress him or her, here are some ideas for:
or Dancing or Music
Also, you can just go out wandering the streets and watch what the others do!
It’s going to be a unique February 14th in Cuba that’s for sure!
Yes, Cuban music is famous all over the world. Everybody knows at least the Buena Vista Social Club. But there is Cuban Indie Music too!
Cuban music is not just Salsa and Son or Reaggeton. There is much more and especially young Cubans experiment a lot and make mix different styles and influences to create a unique musical environment. There is Cuban Rap, Indie Rock, Reggae, Punk, Metal and also electronic music.
In Havana you can see concerts from different groups and styles in many places like the Fabrica de Arte Cubano or the Diablo Tun Tun (Calle 35, esquina 20, Playa) and the Corner Café, or Clubs like the Berthold Brecht (Calle 13 e/I y J, Vedado) or the Submarino Amarillo close to the John Lennon Park .
In those places, you can discover more Cuban music and see live concerts for just a small fee or even no entrance prices. You can enjoy Jazz, Indie and other types of music that you might not have expected on the Island.
Here are just some artists and songs that you should have heard of:
X Alfonso – A Cuban Indie Music Classic
The artist who also started the F.A.C in Havana grew up in a very musical environment and mixes a lot of styles and influences. He has a lot of songs about the Cuban lifestyle and everyday life. He got popular, also internationally, by making the soundtrack to the Spanish movie: Habana Blues.
Check it out:
Buena Fe is really popular on the island. Ok, they are not an Indie Band anymore, but they still sound different. They have nice and interesting lyrics and catchy songs, also they do great live concerts. They form part of current Cuban culture so if you have a chance to see them while you there, do so!
They also have quite creative video clips, check them out:
Wichy De Vedado – Some Cuban Tecno
My next tip is a Cuban DJ, who named himself after a neighborhood in Havana. He produces and mixes his music in his home in the Vedado and does a really good job with it!
check it out:
Another good Cuban Dj. You could also expect him to play in a Club in Berlin or elsewhere in Europe.
Telmary does Hip Hop mixed with Cuban rhythms and Cuban topics. Her music is for listening and for dancing. She gives great concerts and you should also have heard of her or take the chance to see her live!
Sweet Lizzy Project
Sweet Lizzy Project is a young indie band. They sound like an indie folk band from Norway or Sweden, but they are from Cuba and gained some fame for the last years.
don’t miss them:
So check these artists out and be surprised by the variety of Cuban music. Of course those are not the only ones making Cuban Indie Music.
But for now :
Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks, you guys for reading and following!
Or better to say FELICIDADES!
Cuba, as every country has their own Christmas traditions and especially for new Years Eve. People gather around with their families and share the last week of the year with them.
On the 24. in Cuba people celebrate Nochebuena and on New Years Eve people meet again to celebrate the end of the year with their families.
Important for both days is the food! People start preparing early to have all the stuff together for the big celebration and everybody ships in to buy “carne puerco” (pork), Yuca (Maniok) and all the other food for the big dinner!
Christmas is less about religion and presents since the Revolution but some people still celebrate and have a small Christmas tree made of plastic. Usually with colorful decoration, lights, and flashy ornaments. The decoration got more popular over the years and if you happen to be in Cuba around Christmas you will see a lot lights and inflatable Santas.These Days are dedicated to loved ones.
So hopefully you have a nice Christmas, maybe even in Cuba!
Merry Christmas and Felicidades to all of you!
Thanks for reading this blog!
There are some things you should know about before you travel to Cuba, or at least have a rough idea about them to avoid unpleasant surprises. Sometimes a little advice for traveling to Cuba comes in handy.
I am not talking about planning every detail about your trip… just some basics
so here we go:
THE INTERNET: Cuba has an extremely poor internet environment, and most of the foreign companies have really high roaming fees for Cuba. And, yes I mean extremely poor internet environment, there is no private internet connection, just public WIFI in parks or hotels (2CUC -3CUC per hour). More about the Internet here. And more about Telefons and Cells here.
MONEY: There are two currencies in Cuba (maybe that’s going to change soon) the CUP and the CUC (similar value than USD). One CUP is 24/ 25 CUP, and you can pay with both of them in almost every place, you just have to know how much they are worth. You can change money in banks and CADECAS (currency exchange) or withdraw from the ATM with Visa or Mastercard. Just be careful with American cards, there are still some problems. Try to get money to the bank with your credit card, before you try the ATM. (The last advice is just for travelers with American Credit Cards). More about Money here.
Accommodation: Stay in BnB (Casas Particulares), more here.
TRANSPORT: There are buses and shared taxis all around the island. Also, you could hitchhike if you are on a budget or seek for authentic adventure. More about transport here.
Here are some general tips for behavior in Cuba.
Politeness: Be polite to the people. Please don’t just walk into homes, schools or official buildings without a permit. (Would you want people to do that at your home?) If you want to talk politics be polite and not hardly direct and accept it if people do not want to talk about that kind of topic. Also be respectful. If you want to bring a gift, please consider this post first.
Tipping: As in many countries, in Cuba, you also tip 10%. Sometimes the 10% is included in the check. You usually would tip in restaurants and bars, also tour guides or taxi drivers. In a restaurant you leave the money with the check, wait until the waiter returns with your change and then leave the amount you would like to tip.
Toilets: There is a thing about Cuban toilets that you shouldn’t forget: Do not through your paper in the toilet! Never! In most places like hotels or public restrooms, you should pay about 10cents or 1 CUP for the paper, or carry your own. Also be aware that most public restrooms are not in the best condition.
Safety: Cuba is a very safe place. Nevertheless, you should be aware that there are pickpockets and scams in touristic areas.
Water: Do not drink tap water. You should buy bottled water or drink boiled, and filtered water like most people in Cuba do. Don’t wonder if you cannot get water anywhere that happens. Make sure to drink enough because of the heat and the sun.
Check out my packing list, for your trip to Cuba.