Travel guide to flights & holidays in Havana.
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Havana Holidays Overview
Havana is the largest and most vivavicious city in the Caribbean, which is known for its infectious energy and romantic atmosphere. Its year round tropical climate makes it even more attractive to visitors.
Old Havana is the traditional heart of the city and the centre of entertainment, industry and commerce in Havana. Vedado is the major rival for Old Havana when it comes to nightlife and activity. Centro Habana is a shopping district that offers visitors a wide variety of shopping options.
Because Havana has existed for almost 500 years, there are a number of diverse architectural styles in the city, which range from modern skyscrapers to 16th century castles. Plaza Vieja is located in Old Havana, which is marked by narrow alleys and quaint overhanging balconies, and it was once the location of fiestas, executions, bullfights and processions.
Fortress San Carlos de la Cabana is another important landmark. This impressive fortress dates back to the colonial era. La Habana Vieja is a World Heritage Site, which contains Havana's original city.
There are a number of high quality museums and galleries scattered throughout Havana. Among the most notable museums are the National Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of the Revolution and the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Havana has a number of historic performing arts venues and theatres as well. The Great Theatre of Havana is a historic landmark dating back to 1837. Another important theatre in the city is the National Theatre of Cuba.
Festivals like the Havana Film Festival, Jazz Festival and the International Ballet Festival of Havana attract thousands of people to the city each year.
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holidays - Top Places To Go
|1. Playas del Este
||What is it? Twenty-five minutes east of Havana are the
Playas del Este, a chain of sandy beaches stretching for six miles
(10km) between Bacuranao and Guanabo. At weekends they are
generally packed with Cubans escaping the city. There are a few
tourist hotels lining the coast, but other than that there are
limited facilities. If needing an escape from the city the beaches
make a good day trip, however those expecting pristine tropical
island beaches might be disappointed.
Hours of Operation:
|2. Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City)
Calle Tacón, Plaza de Armas, Habana Vieja
|What is it? The stately Baroque residence of Cuba's
colonial governors and former Presidential Palace, the Palace of
the Captains General built in 1791, stands as an impressive sight
on the Plaza de Armas and is now the repository for the city's
museum collections. The museum's displays and exhibits tell the
tale of Havana, from its founding to the present day, including
rooms devoted to the Cuban wars for national independence. The
colourful Hall of Flags contains the original Cuban flag as well as
a number of others used by the Spanish colonial government. There
are also exhibits relating to archaeology, folklore and weaponry,
and an art collection that includes porcelain, paintings and
furniture of historic value and great
Hours of Operation: Daily 9am to 6pm
|3. Cigar factories
Partagas Factory: Calle Industria 520, Centro
|What is it? Even non-smokers have to agree that a visit
to Cuba would not be complete without investigating the island's
most famous export, cigars. The art of cigar-making in Cuba is old
and traditional, and three main factories in Havana offer tours for
visitors to see cigars still rolled by hand. In the oldest factory,
Partagas founded in 1827, traditionally a reader is employed to
keep workers entertained while they fashion the famous cigars.
Havana's other cigar factories are La Corona and the lesser-visited
Romeo y Julieta. There are shops attached to the factories where
cigars can be purchased. Visitors are advised not to buy cigars
from people off the street as these are usually rolled banana
leaves fashioned into cigar look-alikes and the sellers are
Hours of Operation: Partagas tours are Monday to Friday from 9am to
Phone:Partagas: (0)7 862 4604
holidays - Top Events
|1. Havana Carnival
|What is it? Parades and street parties, colourful
costumes, wild dancing and traditional music. Cubans really know
how to throw a party and for several weeks each year they do, the
fun and frolics reaching high levels over weekends when the locals
put their toil and trouble away and bring out the rum. Carnival
comes with some traditions, like effigies of well known people
being paraded along the coastal road, the Malecon, and the gaudy
'faroleros', decorated lamp posts carried aloft by dancers. For
more information contact the Ministry of Tourism on +53 (0)7 330
545 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where is it? El Malécon promenade
|2. Havana Biennial
|What is it? First held in 1984 as a political exercise to
showcase Third World visual arts for First World art tourists, the
Havana Biennial has proved itself a worthy event attracting dozens
of artists who exhibit their works over a two-month period in the
Cuban capital. In recent years the art fest has been dogged by
withdrawal of sponsorship because of a government crackdown on
cultural freedom, and censorship. The dates are therefore
continually moving, but the exhibition continues to be held every
two or three years, the last event having taken place in November
Where is it? Several galleries and sites in Havana's old colonial
|3. International Jazz Festival
|What is it? Held every two years, Havana's feast of jazz
is eagerly awaited by fans around the world, offering five days of
concerts, jam sessions and workshops. Many artists travel to Cuba
to perform without any remuneration, the event having gained a
prestigious reputation for quality and good organisation. Star of
the show is Cuba's own Chucho Valdes, who usually performs with
other local artists and international guests in the grand finale
concert on the final night.
Where is it? Various concert halls in downtown Havana, with impromptu jam
sessions in the streets