Havana Cuba for 2 days

Jan 3rd, 2017, 05:59 PM
  #1  
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Havana Cuba for 2 days

Going to Havana on a cruise during April....we will be there for two full days....can anyone suggest the best way to spend our time....should I rent a driver/guide? Any recommendations?
Johnnytravel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 08:09 AM
  #2  
 
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One thing to understand is that a trip to Cuba is usually more about experiences than sights.

To get an overview of the city, you can take a tour with one of the classic cars (about 60 CUC/hour, many gather at a central location) or there is a hop on/off bus (10 CUC).

You probably want to walk around in Havana Vieja. The main tourist shopping street is Obispo, with shops and restaurants and bars with live music (including the Floridita with the statue of Hemingway, a live band, and great daiquiris). There are restored public buildings and charmingly crumbling private residences, a chocolate shop and more.
Vedado is another neighborhood worth wandering, with crumbling mansions, a dance museum, and the Malecon seawall, among other things.
You can visit Hemingway's house. There is Fusterland, a Gaudi-esque construction. Go to the cannon firing at 9pm every night at the castle. Visit the murals at Callejon de Hamel and support the community projects based there.
There is a lot of art, if that interests you, and lots of music.

I suggest posting on Cruise Critic to find the roll call for your particular cruise dates and more specific details about it.
SambaChula is offline  
Jan 4th, 2017, 10:45 AM
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You'll have a great time just wandering in Havana and people watching. Take the time to relax and meet some locals.

This article has some tips from a local on things you might like to do: https://www.viahero.com/blog/local-g...o-do-in-havana
erinh86 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2017, 01:01 PM
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with two days, I would spend one wandering around Havana Vieja, seeing the Castle, the museum of the revolution, perhaps the art museum, having lunch in a nice restaurant, hiring a vintage car for a hour or so [should be more like $40 if you bargain] etc. I don't think you need a guide for his.

Then on the second day you could explore wider Havana - Hemingway's house, or getting the HOHO bus to Vedado and Playa, or the rickety ferry to Casablanca and walking up to the Fort - to fit it all in a tour might be a good idea.

but do leave enough time just to drink it all in - it's got such a vibrant atmosphere.
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 07:23 AM
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We're just back and I will be posting a trip report later today.

I would suggest the first day with a guide and the second on your own. We used Havana Memories - terrific company with highly-rated guides (ours was Jorge) that will tailor your tour to your interests. The first day we toured Old and Central Havana, the Callejon de Hamel for Afro-Cuban rhumba (this only happens on Sunday), plus rum tasting and cigar buying. The second day on our own we hired a taxi and went to Finca Vijia (Hemingway's house) and Fusterlandia - a must-see mosaic wonder neighborhood. We did the museums (Revolucion & Cuban art) on Day 3, along with a visit to the historic Hotel Nacional in a hot pink classic convertible. You could incorporate all that into Day 1.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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welcome home, crosscheck. I am agog to read your TR!
annhig is offline  
Jan 8th, 2017, 11:37 AM
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I have a trip planned for March, my third. This time I will spend five days as an independent traveler in Habana before joining my small group of travelers. We'll be going outside Habana and onward to Santiago, Trinidad, and elsewhere before returning to the main city for a day or two before departure. I have been reading salient sites on the net as well as timely guide books. I will also be using the wonderful site lahabana.com which is a monthly web mag which has a wealth of timely information.

From what others have posted, you have lots to weigh in how you wish to spend your two days, but I, too, would urge you to hire an independent guide for a day with her.him already having your plans in hand prior to your proceeding.

On this trip, which I know will be quite different from my first two as a US citiZen, I plan to hire a guide (with whom I've already been in touch) and explore the cultural and social attributes about which I've already read and/or perhaps have experienced previously, and I'll echo crosscheck's recommendations in their entirety!

Enjoy and I hope report back here to share with future travelers as well as those of us who've experienced this unique and island nation of a people and their resilience!
Axiom2017 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2017, 12:19 PM
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Hi Axiom, I have begun posting my report - interested in your feedback. I'm envious that you're going to Santiago...now very much on my list.
crosscheck is offline  
Jan 13th, 2017, 12:32 AM
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yes, one of our biggest regrets was not getting to Santiago - we had the time but found ourselves defeated by the difficulties of arranging transport in particular.

I think that by the time we left we probably had the wherewithall to arrange it, but by then it was too late!
annhig is offline  
Jan 14th, 2017, 12:53 PM
  #10  
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AXIOM2017 could you recommend any of the independent guides?
Johnnytravel is offline  

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