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10 Toast the city with a Havana Club Housed in a

first_img10. Toast the city with a Havana ClubHoused in a renovated eighteenth century solar (colonial townhouse), Havana Club’s Museum of Rum tells the tale of how one of Cuba’s most successful – and tastiest – exports is produced. You’ll see the wooden fermentation casks, the gleaming copper distillation columns and the ageing cellars with their rows of barrels before tasting the finest of Havana Club’s tipples in the Havana Club Boutique. 4. Visit a cigar factoryA visit to a traditional Cuban cigar factory is a must on any visit to the island and you don’t need to venture too far from central Havana to find one. Head to Partagas Cigar Factory on Industria street No. 520 and you’ll see teams of skilled workers deftly picking the best leaves and hand-rolling perfect cigars in seconds. One thing that photos can’t convey is the wonderful smell of the factory – the drying leaves create a pungent, almost sweet aroma that you’ll never forget. 6. Follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway”My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita.” Hemingway may or may not have said these words, but his years living in Havana certainly included plenty of evenings (and days for that matter) drinking in these two traditional bars – and La Floridita has even cordoned off his favourite seat with a velvet rope to honour him. You can also visit the room (number 511) he first lived in in Havana at the Ambos Mundos Hotel, where he started to write For Whom the Bell Tolls. Outside of town, his home, Finca Vigia, has also been preserved just as he left it, so you can wander past his desk and imagine him penning The Old Man and the Sea (written here). 5. Head out to ViñalesFor the gorgeous views alone, this lush valley two hours outside Havana is well worth a day trip. The steep limestone cliffs plunge almost vertically to the valley floor, and there are some spectacular caves to explore. Don’t miss the Cuevas del Indio (Indian Caves) where you can jump on a boat tour through the flooded caverns. Bizarrely, the valley also features an enormous wall painting of dinosaurs in garish colours, allegedly commissioned by Fidel Castro himself. RelatedTop 15 attractions and things to do in HavanaWhether you’re on the trail of Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway or you just want to kick back and relax to some vibrant live Cuban music washed down with plenty of mojitos, Havana is the perfect destination for a city break. Here is our guide to the top 15 essential…Is it safe to travel to Cuba?Following the recent passing of Fidel Castro, here’s the latest information on any developments that might affect travel to Cuba. We’ve got advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, plus visa information, in case you are planning to travel to Cuba or are currently in the country.World’s 5 best adventure holiday destinationsCycling, safaris and snow-shoes: five destinations to inspire your next adventure from Finland to Botswana. 7. Stand tall at Plaza de la RevoluciónIt may be stark, but Havana’s main square is impressively huge – holding as many as one million Cubans on celebration days, such as 26th July, the Day of the Revolution, a national holiday. Check out the huge portraits of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, then dodge the traffic to make your way to the José Martí Memorial, the giant 109m tower in the centre of the square. There’s a museum to José Martí, a Cuban national hero, underneath the tower and you can ride the lift to the top for spectacular views of Havana. 3. Take a tiny taxiThe streets of Havana are packed with vintage vehicles, many of them dating from the 1950s before ties with the USA were cut. Ingenious mechanics have kept these old Cadillacs going against all the odds, and many now serve as taxis – although be prepared to pay a premium for a classic car (the ubiquitous Russian-made taxis are cheaper). However, for a really novel treat, why not hop into a bright yellow bubble taxi? These tiny, open-air three-wheelers make for an exhilarating ride through the Havana traffic, and their charismatic drivers are always happy to pose for photos.center_img 1. Drink a mojitoYou haven’t had a mojito until you’ve had a mojito in Cuba. Almost every bar and restaurant in Havana offers them, and for a fraction of the price you’re used to back home. Damn do they taste good – but be careful, they’re pretty strong! Most places will pour in obscenely generous measures of rum, topped with lashings of brown sugar, resulting in an intensely sweet, alcoholic drink that will have you dancing on the tables in no time. Head to La Bodeguita del Medio on Empedrardo in the heart of the Old Town for the best (even Hemingway said so). 9. Stroll along El MaléconThis lengthy seafront esplanade is a great place to take a late afternoon stroll, and you’ll find plenty of locals doing the same, especially as the sun dips over the water and the romancers come out to canoodle on the sea wall. Watch the Cadillacs roll by as the fishermen haul in their catch, and life in Havana slowly putters along. Nothing ever happens quickly in Cuba, so get with the vibe and take a leisurely meander. 2. Go to Mass at the Catedral de San Cristóbal de la HabanaThis impressive building with its distinctive asymmetrical towers is one of the oldest churches in the Americas and dates from the mid-eighteenth century. The inside is fairly austere but the cupola is impressive, as are the numerous statues and frescoes. If you can, time your visit to coincide with mass on Sunday morning (9am) for a real insight into local culture. The plaza in front is also a great place to grab a coffee (or mojito) and spend the afternoon watching the world go by. Find out which other holiday hotspots we’ve tipped to be big in 2016.Top things to see and do in Tokyo Thanks to a weak yen, it’s now 50% cheaper for UK tourists to visit Japan than it was in 2013 – now’s the time to act on those long-thought-out plans and find cheap flights to Tokyo.Where to go for guaranteed winter sunWinter getting you down? If you can’t stand the cold, why not jet off somewhere the sun is currently shining? Fly south to one of our top picks for winter sun and you’ll be topping up that tan before you know it.6 best places to see the Northern Lights in winter 2015-2016Would you like to see the ‘Northern Lights’, or Aurora Borealis? How, and where, can you see this phantasmargorical phenomenon? We’ve got some suggestions…Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map 8. Dance to live Cuban musicYou’re never far from live music in Havana, and it’s easy to find local bands – just wander the streets at night and listen out for the distinctive sounds of Cuban music wafting from the bars and clubs. If you’d rather not chance it, Privé on Calle 88A in Miramar is a good bet for jazz by local big names, while Café Teatro Bertol Brecht on Calle 13 in Vedado is best for contemporary Cuban fusion music.last_img read more

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