Metro Newspaper recommends Havana for city breaks

Posted: 16-Apr-18 08:40

One of the UK's most popular weekday publications recently nominated Havana as an ideal destination for a city break. Ann Lee from Metro described the city's highlights and shared her opinion on the most interesting sites to visit and activities to sign up for whilst enjoying holidays in Cuba's colourful capital.

Metro Newspaper recommends Havana for city breaks

Growing in popularity across the globe, the magical city of Havana was recently recommended as one of the top city break destinations by British newspaper, Metro. Reporter Ann Lee described Cuba’s capital as an exciting and vibrant setting and shared tips on where to go, where to stay, what to eat and what to do. Havana is unique for being almost suspended in time, where travellers can find old Chevys rolling through the streets, interesting historic sites, lively night clubs and music.

A plethora of cultural options and even a beach paradise.

Exploring urban wonders

Ann Lee started off by recommending Havana before it changes and loses some of its peculiar charms. Once arriving in the capital you can take your pick of a classic 1950s American car and ride it to the city’s landmarks. Visit the main sights, such as Plaza de la Revolucion, Christ Of Havana, Museo de la Revolucion, the Capitol building and the posh neighbourhood of Miramar.

According to Lee, the best way to explore the city though is on foot. It’s hard to get lost as Havana’s streets follow a simple grid. The main squares in the Old Town are also very close together. Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza de Armas and Plaza Vieja are all worth exploring and a five- to ten-minute walk from each other. Calle Obispo is one of the liveliest streets in the city, featuring lots of shops and restaurants. Finally, head to the Malecon, a beautiful seawall known as “Havana’s sofa”, as that’s where everyone congregates at the end of the day to watch the sunset.

Try Cuban cuisine

Though Cuban food hasn’t always had the best reputation due to years of rationing and food shortage as a consequence of economic crisis, the country is quickly bouncing back. As private businesses start to soar, there are several venues offering authentic local cuisine, with great quality and a delicious taste. Never forget to try Ropa Vieja (translated as old clothes in Spanish), a delicious dish of shredded beef cooked with onions and peppers, and taste the delicious pork escalopes and grilled seafood. Everything is served with rice – either white or mixed with black beans – along with salad and the finger-licking tostones (fried plaintain).

Learn how to salsa

If you listen to Cuban music you won’t be able to resist shaking your hips to beats of salsa. Make the most of your time here and try to learn a few steps at La Casa Del Son. The school offers private lessons at reasonable prices and makes learning incredibly fun. It’s based in a beautiful building in Old Havana where there’s always people laughing, singing and dancing. Teachers are friendly and enthusiastic and will turn you into a dancing sensation in no time.

Artistic evenings

Young travellers will really enjoy Cuba’s trendiest nightclub: Fabrica de Arte. The hip arts complex is a converted warehouse that hosts experimental plays, concerts and exhibitions. Everything from sipping a mojito while observing beautiful art to dancing the night away to vibrant live music is possible at FAC, which is open on evenings from Thursday to Sunday.

If you prefer a more refined and laid-back experience, take the chance to assist a show by one of the world’s most prestigious dance companies: the Cuban National Ballet. Based in the stunning Grand Teatro de La Habana "Alicia Alonso", the company offers regular performances and tickets can be bought at the box office.

Beach retreat in Playas del Este

There is no need to leave the capital in order to enjoy a beautiful stretch of beach. Located in Havana’s easternmost tip, Playas del Este are white-sand wonders only 20-minute drive from the city centre. It’s popular with locals too but it’s big enough that you can always find a quiet spot away from the crowds.

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