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Why fly to Havana?
Cuba's capital city is a lovely enigma of sorts. Images of Havana circa 1950 have created a permanent picture of the city in the world imagination, complete with rum, cigars and big American cars, but most people realize there are many layers to this little city, and understanding them requires a flight to Havana proper.
The city has undertaken major renovation projects in recent years that have transformed the city into a sort of cultural masterpiece. Dilapidated buildings have been restored or rebuilt, traditional plazas have found second lives and new business initiatives have brought a fresh energy to the city.
Old Havana has been the focus of some of this restoration and today it is a virtual living, breathing museum dedicated to various periods in the city's history. This is where you will find the oldest square in the city, the Plaza de Armas as well as numerous other buildings that span several hundred years including an old nunnery, the Covento de Santa Clara.
Visit Havana's political center located on Catalenes Hill, the main revolution square is surrounded by political institutions housed in lovely character buildings but what draws the most attention is a bronze sculpture of Che Guevara.
There are many great things about visiting Havana and one of them is a very unique staying option. In Havana you can stay in a casa particulaires which is essentially a private home that has opened its doors to visitors. A lovely traditional meal is provided and there is no better way of knowing a city than staying with its inhabitants.
Food in the city is spicy and delicious and likely will give your tongue something to think about and lo and behold you can also have a traditional meal in someone's home. This is part of a small business initiative the government conjured up, allowing private homes to open their doors to guests.
Lastly, have a mojito at one of the many fine bars in the city. Havana is the birthplace of the drink and the locals know how to make a mean one.
Havana has lovely temperatures throughout the year that generally stay in the 20s. The summer months are fairly rainy and hurricanes are a possibility in late summer and fall.
When to fly to Havana
Holidayers love summers in Havana and the rain certainly does not keep them away so flight tickets to the city are fairly expensive in July and August. Havana weather is very nice throughout the year so the city sees a fairly steady stream of visitors throughout the year.
The lightest tourist numbers appear in the first three months of the year, which means its a particularly good time to snap up some great flight deals and give yourself a vacation after the December holiday rush. November is also a good time to pick up some lower-priced flight tickets.
Getting into Havana
You will fly into the Jose Marti International Airport which is about 15 minutes outside of the city center. If you are booked at a hotel you will be picked up by their service or alternatively you can hop on a local bus or grab a taxi.
Getting around Havana
Shuttle and tour buses are a great choice for travelling the city. Public bus transport and taxis are also available. For fun transportation options try a tractor-pulled taxi, horse-drawn carriage or rent an antique car for a day and take yourself back to the 1950s.
- Take in an evening of colorful song and dance performance at one of the city's top cabaret clubs. A big favourite is the Cabaret Tropicana as well as the Copa Room.
- Forget about hotels, stay in a mansion. Casa de Dr Jose Mario Parapar de la Riestra is still decorated in the style of the 1940s and makes for a thoroughly elegant stay.
- The city is home to many museums but one of the most unique is the museum dedicated to chocolate. Museo del Chocolate serves up rich cups of hot chocolate as well as a frothy cool version. You can watch the chocolate making process and view artifacts related to the history of choco-production.
- The city is home to many museums and galleries. The Museum of Fine Arts provides a great chance to see Cuban art, which is not easily accessible, and not found in too many other cultural institutions in the world.
- If you've ever wanted to learn how to Rumba, Havana is the place to do it. The city is home to several professional groups and there are serveral clubs in the city that rumba.
- Compare flights to Havana from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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