A Taste of Cuba - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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A Taste of Cuba

Here’s a snapshot of my 5 days in Cuba, with highlights of what you can experience on this controversial island.

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Visit the Capital – Havana – and Drink Like Hemingway

Varadero is only a couple of hours from the Cuban capital of Havana. This is where you’ll find the iconic historic buildings in old Havana, with cobble-stoned streets full of classic 1940’s and 50’s cars. Some Varadero resorts will arrange to have a classic car pick you up for a private tour of Havana. History buffs will enjoy museums like the National Museum of Fine Arts that will give you a glimpse of Cuba’s story via art.

A Taste of Cuba

Havana is a vibrant, picturesque city

As a die-hard shopper, I suggest the Almacenes de San José, an open-air market where you’ll find colorful handicrafts like wooden classic cars, shell jewelry, linens and cotton clothes. Every item is unique, nothing comes from a factory and the money your spend supports local artisans.

A Taste of Cuba

Find a one-of-a-kind treasure at the Almacenes de San José Market

Make you last stop one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bars, the El Floridita. This birthplace of the daiquiri (legend has it that Hemingway downed 16 in one sitting here!) can be a bit crowded but the chance to sip a cool drink where the famed author once sat, is too satisfying to pass.

A Taste of Cuba

Spend an afternoon drinking like Hemingway at El Floridita

 

Take in a Cuban Musical

Music is at the heart of Cuban life. So much so that, during the mourning period for Fidel Castro, no music was allowed. I arrived during this period and immediately noticed that the city seemed oddly silent. When the mourning period ended, I got a real sense of what music means to Cubans. The wait staff hum songs while they serve, the bartenders will routinely break into ballads, and loud dance beats compete with the breaking waves.

A Taste of Cuba

Havana’s Tropicana cabaret show is a classic

This musical spirit translates into nightly entertainment at the biggest show on the island – Tropicana. The cabaret is a Vegas-style show featuring local sounds and dancers. If you like a classic, sexy cabaret, then you’ll love the performance. There’s no Cirque du Soleil spectacle here, just show girls in colorful costumes showcasing a bit of old-world Cuban nightlife. All the same, I just can’t get enough.

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After obtaining her Honors B.A. and postgraduate journalism degree, Pegah has written and researched for a variety of magazines and newspapers, with celebrities, fashion and travel being her topics of choice. Now settled in Toronto, she has lived in many corners of the world, including the U.S., Switzerland, and Japan. In her spare time, she divides her love unevenly between her poodle, chocolates and shopping.

Reader Discussion: 79 Comments

  1. Jamie Wurst

    Great article! Thanks for sharing your experience! Hoping to head that way soon!

  2. Alta Johnson

    I’ve read about Cuba’s dual currency system, any thoughts on this?! I’m afraid I might be confused and cause me trouble 😝🤑

  3. Laverne Pollard

    Cuba is among the most poorly connected countries in the world, so forget about the Internet!

  4. Deanna Hurt

    I believe Cuba is a fascinating country and a bit different from most places I’ve traveled to!

  5. Mary Fisher

    I’ve been to Cuba and my advice to those who’d like to travel is this: Bring cash for the entire trip because it is mostly a cash-only economy.

  6. Sarah Chipps

    I think it’s better if I leave my tablet at home… I believe Cuba lacks Wi-Fi and mobile data.

  7. Mandy Jordan

    I think you had a different but exciting vacation 😉

  8. LUSI

    Your pictures are amazing. You convinced me to visit Cuba.

  9. Maxine Ford

    The way of living in NYC, and in Cuba is very different. They live a simple life, while people in NYC are modern.

  10. Esther Devine

    I love coffee, I can’t live a single day without it.

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