Rough Guides releases its top tips to enjoy secret Havana

Posted: 19-Nov-18 10:40

While there's no shortage of things to do in Havana, some travellers like to explore a little off the beaten track. Aside from the regular galleries, theatres and markets, seek out some of Cuba's secret hidden corners to discover quirky wonders and unusual experiences.

Rough Guides releases its top tips to enjoy secret Havana

Beautiful and intriguing, Havana has plenty to entertain any traveller. But among the historic sights and stunning beaches, there are some special experiences waiting to reward discerning visitors. From this list recommended by Rough Guides (check link in source), we’ve rounded up some of the best and most unusual delights for you.

Seven unmissable "top-secret" attractions of Havana

  • Modern art at Fabrica de Arte Cubano

    The Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) has its home in an old peanut oil factory in Vedado. It makes for an interesting combination, with contemporary art pieces housed in an industrial space, much like similar set ups across London, Berlin and New York. The gallery space upstairs is accompanied by bands playing downstairs, where guests can sip cocktails on the patio while enjoying the work of local artists and musicians.

  • Music at El Jelengue de Areito

    This authentic music venue is also known as the Patio Areito or "Patio EGREM", and belongs to the recording studios of Cuba’s most renowned record label, EGREM. Here, visitors can enjoy drinks at the patio bar where a different band or soloist plays each evening. With a wide variety of acts, there’s something for everyone.

  • Vintage car tours in Havana

    Havana is well known for its incredible vintage cars, and visitors can tour the city in one themselves. With an Art Deco Tour, a Hemingway Tour and a Mob Tour, the trips last about three hours each, and each trace a special part of Havana’s intriguing history.

  • Vintage posters at Memorias Animas

    It’s easy to find antiques and art dealers all over Havana, but finding the right one can be tricky. That’s where Memorias Animas comes in. With high quality reproductions, you won’t find the same copies anywhere else. There are plenty of originals too, and their little shop as a wonderful selection of pre-revolutionary memorabilia, with gems such as Cuban beer and cigar adverts, chocolate box covers, as well as postcards from around the world and old photos of Havana.

  • Attend at talk at Casa de las Americas

    In a gorgeous Art Deco building, visitors can find the Casa de las Americas – established as a cultural institute in 1959 by the revolutionary heroine Haydee Santamaría. Her goal to promote the arts was achieved here, and today it plays host to regular conferences, musical performances and talks, many of which are open to the general public. When such talks are not open, visitors are restricted to the bookshop, the ground-floor reception area (that sometimes hosts small art exhibitions) and the beautiful Galería Latinoamericana on the first floor.

  • Ice cream at Coppelia

    In Vedado, the flagship branch of ice-cream emporium Coppelia stands proudly. Designed by Mario Girona in 1966, his aim was to create an eating place with prices that were within the reach of every Cuban. The branch serves over a thousand customers a day, and is hugely popular with locals, with plenty of people willing to queue for over an hour.

  • Peer through the lens at Camara Oscura

    The Camara Oscura is located in the northeastern corner of Plaza Vieja, right at the top of the seven-storey Gomez Vila building, which is one of only two post-colonial edifices on the square. The museum offers visitors an unusual ten-minute tour of Old Havana and the bay through a 360-degree-rotating telescopic lens. Unique and captivating, it’s definitely one of the most unusual things you can do in Havana.

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