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Thoughts/ Comments:

1. Each day in the first few days is pretty packed, but most locations, unless I put a * next to
them, are kind of, walk up, take your photo, feel the vibe, onto the next. However, I left
Saturday pretty empty, so if some days we dont get to everything, we can push that
place back to the following day.

2. I was thinking that we could bring breakfast foods with us for two reasons 1. On Wed,
since we are going to the next city pretty early in the AM, we wont have time to get food,
so maybe oatmeal or a protein bar would be good to bring to snack on for our car ride. 2.
If we dont wanna be spending tons of money on breakfast we can just snack on our bars
(if not everyone is a big breakfast person- save the tummy space and money for lunch
and dinners)

3. When we get there, we should see if there is a grocery store we can hit up to get snacks
and things like that for breakfast/just to have at the house, eggs for example, and stock
up on water.

4. I was thinking that the last day would be our beach day before going to the airport, just a
relaxing, no walking around, chill day so bring your bathing suits, and if you can, bring
a small towel (as I dont think we can take any from the Airbnb)

5. We are going during monsoon season, bring an umbrella and shoes you dont mind
getting wet- extra socks too!

6. Make sure to get Euros from your bank, we will change it to CUC when we get to Cuba.
When we change our money to CUC we should ask for small bills so that splitting
taxi/food will be easier for us. Our Airbnb host will pick us up at the aiport for $25, and we
should tip him a little, so for that ride we will need $7 each

7. Bring as much money as you can/want you can bring US $ into cuba, but you will have
to pay a big fee to exchange them I suggest giving yourself a budget of $x and
exchange that to Euros, then bring with you, if you can some extra US $ (incase you run
out of Euros), but I wouldnt over do it on Euros since it will cost you money to exchange
it back+ the exchange rate.

8. Download MAPS.ME

9. Download CUBA

What people have told me:

1. You need to show your passport to exchange money so be sure to have it on you. it's an
easy process and you don't need to shop around for better rates since it's all govt run.
You'll get ~$80 CUC per $100 USD (jf going directly from US to CUC vs Euro to cuc).
They're very orderly in Cuba and there will be a security guy outside the door of the
exchanges. Wait in line outside and he'll let you in once a cashier is available. They only
let one person up to the cashier at a time so friends/couples won't be able to go up
together. There is a money exchange at the havana airport and taxis will only accept
CUCs, so i would exchange some here, but the line can get pretty long. Once in havana
there is an exchange rate in the central part of the city so you can easily exchange
American money if you need to and the rate is very good. CUC is the Touristic Cuban
currency, don't get it confused with CUP which is the local currency and worth way less
(Only locals use this)
2. Don't drink the tap water - even the Cuban's cant drink it so bottled water is everywhere.
We even used bottled to brush our teeth. The ice at bars and restaurants were fine
3. Bring tissues/toilet paper around with you in case a bathroom doesn't have any
4. We spent about 40-60 CUC for dinner and drinks at "nice" restaurants for 2 people.
Cocktails are 2-4 CUC each mostly everywhere. It's very cheap over there. if you're
taking side trips, our taxi between Havana and Vinales was ~80 CUC each way.
5. For 0.50 cuc (10 Cuban Pesos) a shared taxi can be picked up in Calle San Lazaro, one
block from the apartment towards the Malecon, to go to Old Havana. For the same price
a shared taxi from the corner of Galiano and Calle Neptuno (on the corner of La Casa de
la Musica) will take you to Vedado, and for 1 cuc, you can go to Miramar. These are flat
rates set out by the Cuban State, but in recent times it has become common for taxi
drivers to request higher fees, particularly from tourists.
6. Can buy a wifi card and use it in some public hotspots (parks, etc.)
7. We took taxis, but the bus system is called Viazul and i would book tickets way in
advance because they sell out super quick!!!! But everyone uses it
8. Skip the cigar/rum factory tours. Also, skip the Museo de la Revolucion unless you're
truly interested in how the Cuban government wants to portray the revolution, on a shoe-
string budget.

Food Suggestions:
1. Burner Brothers Bakery- Really great privately owned doughnut shop and bakery. we
tried the mini cheesecakes (guava!) , doughnuts, and coffee. everything was delicious.
Calle C #719, between Calle 29 and Calzada Zapata, Vedado Open 10-9
2. Habana 61 Restaurant - this place has great food -
traditional cuban and more creative dishes. the octopus carpaccio, lobster, and ropa vieja
were great. small place so a reservation is a good idea - just pop by during the day to
make one.Calle Habana #61, between Cuarteles and Pena Pobre, Habana Vieja, 12pm-
12am daily
3. O'Reilly 304 - - another hip great restaurant -
tiny and reservations recommended unless you get there really early. cocktails are great,
ceviche, shrimp, tacos - everything. Definitely sit at the bar to watch the bartender make
some impressive drinks, and meet people. really friendly place. Calle O'Reilly #304,
between Calle Aguiar and Habana, Habana Vieja,12pm - 12am daily
4. Fabrica de Arte Cubano -Must go! Part bar, restaurant, nightclub, art gallery. there are 4
different floors with something for everyone. it get's crowded with long lines Thurs-Sat but
we got there around 9pm and only waited 20-30min on
TH-Sat 8pm-4a, Calle 26 between Calle 11 and 13, Vedado
5. La Taberna del Son - hole in the wall tiny bar on a side street in Habana Vieja, good
drinks and fun live music. by the end of the night everyone was dancing and spilling out
into the street. Teniente Rey #104 between Calle Cuba and San Ignacio, Habana Vieja
6. La Bodeguita del Medio - another small bar with live music, and the party spilling out into
the street. (here is where everyone write their name on the wall) Calle Empedrado #207
7. Hotel Ambos Mundos - Hemmingway used to live here and you can check out the floor
he stayed on. Great Rooftop for drinks and/or food with a view. Calle Obispo #153
8. Hotel Inglaterra - another great rooftop for drinks and views of the city, usually live music
Paseo de Marti #416
9. San Jose Market ("Centro Cultural Antiquos Almacenes de Desposito San Jose") -
artisan handicraft market at the end of Calle Cuba on Avenida del Puerto. Mostly your run
of the mill typical souvenirs, but also artwork, food stands, and what I really recommend -
D Brujas artisanal soaps. These woman started their own handmade soap business in
their kitchen with a crockpot melting down the govt sopa, adding herbs and scents, and
reforming them into beautiful floral soaps. they may great gifts and the owner is so nice. I
really recommend talking with her and supporting them :) when you enter the market, her
stall is all the way to the right, against the wall towards the front. All the way to the left
inside the market, towards the back is a coconut water and pina colada stand. get the
pina colada! its 3 CUC, he cuts a fresh pineapple, cores it out and pours the pina colada
into it, and then gives you the fresh cored fruit in a bag to take with you. it was delicious.
10. The best churro I ever had was from a cart in Habana Vieja on Calle San Ignacio and the
corner of (I think) either Calle Obispo or Calle O'Reilly. Look for the cart that makes them
fresh to order and offers them "relleno" filled with dulce de leche or chocolate.
a. Paladar Los Mercaderes: Order the dance of the seafood, a plate-full of char
grilled lobster, fish, shrimps, octopus, and crawfish. (207, Mercaderes St., Old
b. Paladar Doa Eutemia (reservation is a must). Sample their Shredded Beef in
red sauce served with a side salad, rice and beans. Wash down your meal with a
frozen mojito. (Callejon del Chorro # 60-C | Plaza de la Catedral, Habana Vieja |
Tel +53 7 8611332)
c. Caf Bohemia: Located at Plaza Vieja, this cute caf is run by an Italian family.
Try their pasta dish of the day and their strawberry and pepper gin and tonic
(Plaza Vieja | San Ignacio 364, Old Havana)
d. El Chanchullero: This hole in wall tapas bar is packed with backpackers because
of its cheap drinks, good food, and generally cool atmosphere (theres an outside
sign that reads Hemingway was never here).
e. Sloppy Joes: Make it a boozy lunch at the original Sloppy Joes. If youre brave,
order the Sloppy Joe, otherwise stick to their burgers (Calle Zulueta No. 252 | E
Animas y Virtudes)
f. La Guarida (reservation is a must) in Centro Habana. The restaurant is housed at
the top of a magnificent abandoned mansion. Its the best fine dining destination
in Havana. Order the oxtail risotto or the seared tuna in sugar cane skewer
(Concordia. No. 418 | Gervasio y Escobar, Havana 10700, Tel +53 7 8669047)
g. Los Nardos: Popular among locals and tourists alike, this place is always packed
(expect a queue). Menu is extensive and portions are large (Across Capitolio)
h. El Cocinero: In Fbrica de Arte Cubano, this rooftop restaurant is the new Cuban
hangout. Order the Duck Confit Blini and Grilled Fish. (Calle 26, Vedado |
Between Calle 11 and 13 | Tel +53 7 8322355)
i. Paladar Los Amigos: If it made Anthony Bourdains No Reservation, you know
its good. Order the Tamales and Ropa Vieja. (Calle M No 253 | Vedado,
j. Ivan Chef Justo: This eclectic restaurant is one of the best restaurants in
Havana. Sample their suckling pig specialty (good for two). (Aguacate 9, Esquina
Chacon | Habana Vieja, Tel +53 7 8639697)
k. San Cristobal in Calle San Rafael where Obama ate when he was in Havana
l. La Fontana: Obama (moment of silence), Rihanna, and the Kardashians dined
at. Reservation
11. Bars
a. La Bodeguita Del Medio: one of Ernest Hemingways favorite Mojito bars
(Empedrado No. 207 e/ Cuba y San Ignacio)
b. Factoria Plaza Vieja: microbrewery with wonderful atmosphere especially at
night. Enjoy fresh bianco (blonde) or negra (dark) beers while listening to the live
band. (San Ignacio esq, a Muralla, Plaza Vieja)
c. Bertolt Brecht: Hang out with the hip Cubans at their local nightspot, Bertolt
Brecht and listen to upcoming Cuban musicians. Bertolt Brecht is also known as
No Se Lo Digas a Nadie (dont tell anyone!). (258, 13 Street, Havana 10400)
d. El Floridita. The daiquiris are Ernest Hemingways favorite and have been
making this cocktail since the 1920s. Theres nothing quite like it. (Esquina a
Monserrate | Obispo No. 557, Tel +53 8 8671300)
e. Fbrica de Arte Cubano: (opens at 8PM) Is an old oil factory thats been
transformed into an art space for established and emerging Cuban artists. A very
cool hangout, the factory includes a theatre, club, a restaurant and bar. You can
catch live performances on the weekend or an art house movie screening at
midnight. (Calle 26 - Equina 11 | Vedado La Habana )

Things to do suggestions:
1. Playa del Este. The water there is lovely, but it's not very developed as far as restaurants
and resorts go. I think it's where the local Habaneros go and it's a close trip from the
center of Havana.
2. The Malecon. Walk along the sea wall anytime of the day or evening. It's always pretty
and it's always changing. When you have nothing to do, go sit on the Malecon.
3. The National Museum of Fine Art (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes). This place is
AMAZING! (Calle Trocadero e/ Zulueta y Monserrate)
4. Almacenes San Jos Artisans' Market. This is a fun place to buy souvenirs.
5. The Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana. In the evening, they have a canon-firing
6. Hotel Nacional. Have a drink on the veranda of the Nacional as the sun goes down.
When it's hot in Havana, it's cool at the Nacional. (Calle 21 y O | Vedado, Plaza, Havana
7. All the plazas. It's lovely to walk from plaza to plaza.
8. San Jose Harbour, a harbourside warehouse thats been transformed into an open
artisan market. Here you can see and buy everything from local art to souvenir magnets
9. Paseo del Prado, a lively street filled with locals, artists, and tourists. Check out the
neighboring galleries on both sides of the granite pedestrian street.
10. El Capitolio area to see the coolest American vintage cars lined up for your choosing.
Pick a top down version and go on a car tour (20-25 CUC) around Havana and cruise
around the Malecon. (Paseo de Marti, Havana 10200)
11. Busy street of Calle Obispo. Here you can get a glimpse of how local Cubans enjoy their
time. Make sure to stop by for an afternoon coffee and churros in the street.
12. Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro
13. Calle Mercaderes
14. Plaze de armas
15. Perfume laboratory Havana 1791 (Mercaderes, e/ Lamparilla y Obrara, Old Havana
(Havana Vieja)
16. Museo Del Chocolate (Mercaderes Street and Amargura | Old Havana)
17. We took the ferry (can also take a taxi) over to the Casablanca area to visit the Che
memorial house and walked by the military buildings where they have pieces of US
bomber debris, and a whole thing about the missile crisis