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More recently, Havana was one of the Caribbean hotspots. But at the moment when Cuba was reopened for tourism in the 1990s, this city again became a popular destination for tourism. There are many travelers at any time of the year, so you need to be prepared for crowds and queues in all significant places of the city.
This is the main air gate of Cuba through which 3.5 million people pass through each year. The figure is not very impressive compared to any Beijing or San Francisco. But let's not forget that this gate was opened to the world quite recently.
Prepare for waiting in this airport. And you will have to wait for the luggage most of the time. In addition, you need to come here in advance, at least for a few hours, so as not to get into an unpleasant situation due to a long wait at the control.
But the most unpleasant thing at the Havana airport is the need to pay for literally everything, including the toilet (!). This is probably a unique local feature, although not the most pleasant one. The prices here are high, almost all stores are concentrated in Terminal 3, and even among those the choice is not the richest. Given that one way or another you will have to spend several hours here, it is better to stock up on a snack, a book or a movie in advance.
From the airport to the center of Havana, traveling pretty far. It's more than 20 km. At the same time, public transport does not go between the two points. There are some private buses, but reliable information about the schedule and cost can be found only upon arrival at the airport. There are also special buses for airport employees who run every half hour. If you are sociable enough, you can try to negotiate with the driver and get to the center for a nominal amount, especially since the drivers are quite open to such offers.
Many tourists speak of Havana as a sexual city. The capital of Cuba is emotionally electrified thanks to salsa, cocktails and an abundance of retro cars. A little more than two million people live in Havana who always have something to do for themselves in the evenings. And tourists will not get bored in this passionate city during the day.
This is one of the most important periods in the modern history of Cuba, so any Cuban tourist is sure to get to know him. Here you can look at the uniform of Cuban soldiers, read newspaper articles, look at other interesting artifacts of the revolution. Finding a museum will not be difficult. This is a huge and very beautiful building of the Presidential Palace, which is symbolically surrounded by artillery pieces. By the way, do not fall for the words of the locals as if the museum was closed. This is a clever attempt to lure you into one of the bars nearby instead of cultural relaxation.
Every night, at 9 p.m., tourists flock to the Havana Fortress of La Cabana to watch a cannon show, a canyonazo ceremony, where locals recreate an 18th-century shoot-out. In addition, it’s good to go here a little in advance to watch the sky fill with pale pink and blue flowers before dark. In the daytime, travelers can visit the museums of La Cabana, where art exhibitions are often held.
Cuban cuisine, of course, is different from others in the world, but not quite as you might think. Here you can find some traditional dishes or truly authentic places to eat and drink. But for the most part in Havana food is not delicious. It’s all because of Cuba’s difficult trading situation in the world. For a long time they ate what they had to, and the distribution of products was normalized by the state. Now the situation has become easier, but it hasn’t changed completely. So don’t be upset if you are constantly told in restaurants that one or another dish is temporarily not on the menu.
Very often on the menu you came across Moros y Cristianos, a literal translation of which sounds like “Moors and Christians”. Despite the formidable name, in reality it’s just a combination of black beans and white rice, which are served with stew. Another popular home-made dish is ropa vieja, which is minced beef with vegetables. A mandatory snack for Cuban coffee is fried bananas. Cuban coffee is an espresso mixed with sugar during brewing. It is so strong served in tiny cups. And to find something like lavender latte in Havana will be almost impossible. So get used to very strong coffee and order fried bananas with it.