Two vibrant days in Havana, Cuba

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Hola amigos! For this leg of the journey, we're stepping into a time capsule and embarking on an immersive 48-hour adventure in Havana, Cuba, a city that combines historical allure, dynamic culture, and an irresistible rhythm.

I'll mention below where to stay, when to visit, my recommendation on how to best explore Havana in two days, but also a few tips and tricks that might be useful while planning a trip to Cuba.


From June to October, Cuba has its wet season and sometimes hurricanes are known to happen. As far as we've heard, Havana is not the best place to be during a hurricane; power outages are very common during that time and they tend to last for days. I can only imagine that something like that will inevitably ruin your vacation, so to be on the safe side, I would stick to the dry season while scheduling a trip to Cuba.

Therefore, the best period to visit Havana is between December to May, when the weather is warm and the sky is cloudless. 


Most countries require a visa in order to visit Cuba and before booking a trip its best to check the requirements for your country.

For Romania, the Cuban visa can only be obtained at the Cuban Embassy in Bucharest, but the good part is that you can send your documents (passport, flight reservation, proof of stay) via a courier and they will send the visa back in just a few days. Overall, the process was a very smooth one and the communication with the Embassy went great.

For more info if travelling from Romania we always recommend MAE.


Due to travel restrictions, using isn't an option in Cuba. Instead, opt for a 'Casa Particular' - private home stays run by locals, offering a unique opportunity to experience Cuban hospitality. You can find and book these via Airbnb.

We highly recommend Capitolio Residences (check them HERE). The location is perfect, very close to Old Havana and the hosts are very knowledgeable and will help you throughout your stay. Not to mention the view from the balcony is one of the best in the city. The perfect place to enjoy a cuban cigar in the evening.


DAY 1: Time Travel in Old Havana & Iconic Car Excursion

* Begin the day roaming the cobblestone streets of Havana Vieja, a UNESCO site. Discover architectural gems such as Plaza de la Catedral and the Catedral de San Cristóbal. 

* Afterwards, embark on a ride in a classic car down the famous Malecón, the city's social hub that pairs serene sea views with colorful urban vistas.

Havana is famous for it's colorful classic cars so you can book one on the spot, however we opted for an AirBnB experience with Josue & Friends and we were very happy with our choice. We've heard stories of tour guides/drivers trying to scame you, yet we never had to worry about that and our tour guide solely focused on us having a wonderful time and seeing the top spots in the city.

*Conclude your day at Cha Cha Cha, a trendy Cuban restaurant serving a modern spin on traditional cuisine. You will find here not only good food but lively rumba tunes.

DAY 2: Engage with Art at Fábrica de Arte Cubano 

* Kick-off your day with robust Cuban coffee. Havana is an up and coming destination, so now days you have a larger variety of hip cafes to choose from. We really enjoyed El Cafe.

* Relish an authentic Cuban lunch at Los Mercaderes.

* Visit the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) for a dose of modern art and culture. Engage with the artwork, mingle with local artists, and perhaps join a dance class.

In the evening, experience FAC's vibrant music scene. Enjoy diverse performances, from jazz to Afro-Cuban, and try your hand at salsa dancing.


- Acquiring a SIM Card - Purchase a SIM card from this location HERE . Keep your passport and foreign credit card handy for payment. The Internet provider, ETECSA, provides 3G speed which is primarily useful for navigation through Google Maps.

Navigating the Internet - Wifi isn't readily available throughout Cuba. Some Airbnbs might offer wifi for limited hours per day, providing speeds sufficient for light browsing such as checking emails or maps.

Taxi Reservations - It's advisable to book your taxi through your casa particular (homestay) to ensure a reasonable fare and prevent falling victim to scams.

- Beware of scams Be alert to the most common scam - the Cuban Cigars scam, where you are offered counterfeit cigars at high-end prices.

- Cuban pesos exchange rates - The local currency in Cuba is the cuban peso and you will find considerably different exchange rates in the city. The bank offers the lowest rate, so we really do not recommend changing your money there.

However, we found that the best way is to pay in US dollars, and for example at restaurants where they have a good rate (much better than the bank), they will give you change in the local currency. Keep in mind that you won't be able to exchange local currency back to dollars anywhere so try to spend it all in your last day. Important note: at the airport they do not accept local currency at all, only US dollars, so make sure you spend all your cuban pesos before arriving at the airport for your departing flight.

Havana Classic Car Tour - Book this classic experience through Airbnb and prioritise those with plenty of reviews. Tours you may find on the streets are often more hurried and tend to steer you towards purchasing merchandise.

Havana, with its fusion of history, culture, and vivacious life, offers an unforgettable journey. Its pulsating streets and rhythmic music will for sure leave a lasting impression. 

Sending colourful hugs,


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