Havana, called Cuidad de la Habana in Spanish, is not only the capital of
Cuba but it is the largest and most vibrant city of the Caribbean. Havana is a unique and diverse city where vintage American cars cruise roads lined with Spanish colonial buildings and African and Caribbean music fills the air. From exploring the fascinating landmarks and museums through to immersing yourself in the city‚Äôs exciting and diverse night scene, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a holiday to Havana.
Havana is served by Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) which is conveniently situated just 9 miles away from Havana. A flight from London to Havana takes just less than 10 hours and Virgin Atlantic is the only airline that flies directly to Havana. When flying to Havana, travellers will be required to make at least one stop, usually in France or Spain. A return flight to Havana will cost between ¬£550 and ¬£600 depending on time of year you decide to make your trip. High season in Havana runs between April and August.
What to Do in Havana
There are a number of great museums and galleries to visit while on holiday in Havana. However, the Museo Napole√≥nico and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes are not to be missed. Museo Napole√≥nico is one of the best museums in the country and has a well laid-out collection of artefacts associated with Napolean Bonaparte. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is spread out over two buildings and one can easily spend the entire day exploring the impressive collection. Housed on Centro Astrurianas, the Arte Universal half of the museum explores art from around the world since 500 BC. A couple of blocks away, the Arte Cubano section of the museum is home to a diverse and well-organised collection Cuban artwork.
Havana is a sight-seeing paradise that is best explored on foot. Walking around the city you will see an eclectic mix of architecture, especially in Old Town which has an abundance of colonial buildings. Two must-see attractions in the Old Town are the Havana Cathedral and Plaza Vieja. Havana Cathedral, formerly called The Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, is located in the heart of the Old Town and overlooks the Plaza de la Catedral. The cathedral has a stunning exterior which is predominately made from coral and features a unique, asymmetrical, baroque design. In the past, Plaza Vieja served as a stage for a variety of events such as fiestas and grisly executions. Today, the square is lined by some of the most important colonial buildings in the country and is littered with cafes and bars.
Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Caba√Īa is another must-visit sight while on holiday in Havana. The fortress was built towards the end of the Eighteenth Century to protect the left part of the city‚Äôs harbour. Today, the fort has been restored for the public and has a wealth of attractions than easily keep your occupied for at least half a day.