Old city. Young heart.
Welcome to Havana, a study in contrasts. Old and modern, calm and vibrant, deeply complicated and completely inviting. Cuba is on the cusp of change, and Havana, the crux of the transformation. Catch a special glimpse between a troubled past and an exciting future. Rich in culture, history, sunny skies, and sandy shores, Havana is full of artists, designers, and other creatives, where every art form comes alive. It’s a vibrant place full of life, colorful buildings, urban plazas, and eclectic architecture. It’s a place where warm breezes wash over you and music spills out from every corner. Its cobbled streets are lined with classic cars, Salsa clubs, and maybe an intense game of dominoes. At first glance, Havana seems neglected. But the tattered facades of this magnificent city only add to its charm.
A stroll down the Prado, through the historic neighborhood of Vieja Habana (Old Havana), provides a glimpse into the city’s 16th-century heritage. Wander past the pastel hues of Havana’s beloved oceanside boulevard, the Malecón, a quintessentially Cuban experience, and hear thundering waves crash over the wall. Enjoy an authentic Cuban lunch at a local paladar and do a little shopping at the Almacenes San José Artisans’ Market, meeting business owners, workers, and other locals along the way. Visit the Havana Club Museum of Rum for a tour (and of course, a tasting!) and explore a local organic farm. Follow in Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps with a visit to his residence, Finca Vigía, then venturing off to one of his favorite retreats, the nearby fishing village of Cojimar, the setting for The Old Man and the Sea. Havana seems to bask in a golden glow from sunrise to sunset. It’s a snapshot in time, as though time once stood still. Yet keeps moving.