Visiting Havana, the glamour of an old city
- Submitted by: admin
- Arts and Culture
- Culture and Traditions
- United States
- 11 / 16 / 2009
To know this city, even just to pass through it, is to love it, and now, more than any other moment, is the time to visit.
Obama has already lifted restrictions on Cuban-Americans travelling to the country.Go now, before millions of Americans head for what to them is still a tantalisingly prohibited island, while you can still drive with the wind in your hair through blissfully empty highways, with no advertising in sight, just the occasional rousing revolutionary slogan.
Don't miss ...
... a walking tour of Old Havana. The Unesco-protected slice of the city, which is banked by the waters of the port, is being restored to its former glory.
... La Plaza de la Revolucion. Its vast concrete wastelands are flanked by faceless government buildings, but it's notable for the Jose Marti memorial (Cuba's hero of independence) and a bronze statue of Che Guevara.
... El Morro, the pirate-proof fortress that dominates the north-eastern side of the harbour.
... Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas. The best-run museum in Havana is the working tobacco factory behind the Capitolio Building, which offers English-speaking tours (open 9am-11am, 12.30pm-2.30pm, Monday to Friday; buy tickets from the Saratoga, Parque Central or Telegrafo Hotels).
... a visit to the Piano Bar del Hotel Florida, at Calle Obispo, where local salseros strut their stuff on the tiny dance floor to a live band every night of the week.