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Havana - The Cuban Capital

Since the withdrawal of Fidel Castro from Cuba's politics in 2008, Havana is fast becoming one of the Caribbean's most exciting and dynamically growing cities.

Modern Havana tempers revolutionary feelings with its desire to embrace trade and commerce and has been met with a somewhat moderate relaxing of world trading embargoes opening up new business and tourism opportunities.

But Havana hasn't forgotten its heritage and remains true to its heart and passion. The small run down streets are littered with brightly coloured vintage cars, bustling street markets and the occasional locals dancing away to Latin-American beats.

If you're a refined smoker or even if you're not, a tour of one of the Havana Cigar Factories will be a worthy day trip. Watch how these famous cigars are made at every step including still being hand rolled.

Top 5 things to do in Havana

Old Havana

That original town settlement area is known today as Old Havana and it is here that you will find the oldest and best kept monuments of the city.

The Cuban State has gone to great efforts to preserve and to restore the heritage buildings in this heritage area.

Many of Old Havana's finest buildings have been converted into museums, and there are churches, palaces, castles, revolutionary monuments and markets to visit.

The most outstanding sights include the Plaza de la Catedra and the Castillo de la Real Fuerza.

Revolution Square

Before the famous Cuban Revolution of 1959 Revolution Square, situated in the Vedado area of Havana, was known as the Civic Square.

During the Cuban Revolution, the square was central stage of where many concentrations, parades and combative revolutionary acts where held.

Surrounding the square are the headquarters of Cuba’s political and administrative bodies, including the head offices of the Council of State, the Cabinet, and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Within the plaza is a large memorial to José Martí, the national hero of Cuba.

El Capitolio

El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building was the seat of government in Cuba until after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences.

Completed in 1929, it was the tallest building in Havana until the 1950s and houses the world's third largest indoor statue.

The building bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Capitol, however, architect Raynieri always strongly denied this.

The inside of the main hall under the cupola is dominated by the huge Statue of the Republic.

The statue was cast in bronze in Rome in three pieces and assembled inside the building after its arrival in Cuba. It is covered with 22 carat gold leaf and weighs 49 tons.

Extensive gardens run around the building area.

Museo de la Revolucion

The Museo de la Revolucion is one of the more intriguing of the museums in Havana.

Situated within Old Havana, the Museum of the Revolution prior to the revolution was the Presidential Palace of the then President, Fulgencio Batista.

Ironically, the building has been turned into a museum dedicated to the revolutionary party that ousted him.

Considering the building's original purpose, it is an impressive sight on its own.

The museum's Cuban history exhibits are largely devoted to the period of the revolutionary war of the 1950s and to the country's post-1959 history. Portions of the museum are also devoted to pre-revolutionary Cuba, including its War of Independence waged against Spain.

Real Fuerza Fortress

The Castle of Royal Force, Castillo de la Real Fuerza is on the western side of the harbour at Havana.

Considered to be the oldest stone fortress in the Americas it was originally built to defend against attack by pirates, however, it suffered from a poor strategic position being too far inside the bay.

In 1977, on the 400th anniversary of completion, the building was inaugurated as a museum and used to display exhibitions of Cuban contemporary and international art.

It then changed purpose again in 1990 becoming the National Museum of Cuban Ceramics, however, no exhibits have been on display since 2007 due to extensive building renovation works.

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Quick City Info


There are 2 official Cuban currencies.

Cuban Peso $1

Centavo 1¢
($1 = 100¢)

Convertible Peso (Chavito) $1

Centavo 1¢
($1 = 100¢)

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+53 7 then local #

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119 then international #

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