Havana stole my heart. It is one of the Caribbeans most authentic cities I’ve visited so far. In this post I’ll share with you where to stay & what kind of vehicles this city has to offer. It’s the first part of my city guide of how to get around in Havana.
Cuba is an island like no other. With its own charms, time-bending surroundings it will mesmerize you for sure. We stayed a total of 8 days in Cuba. The first 3 nights in the beautiful city of Havana, traveled for 2 nights to the authentic city of Trinidad & stayed our last 2 nights in Havana again. We had a bit of rain, but when you live on a sunny island yourself you don’t really mind.
Havana can be divided in 3 main area’s: Habana Vieja (Old Havana), Central Havana & Vedado. We stayed all our Havana nights in Habana Vieja but we’ve seen Havana Centrum as well.
Cuba is famous for its old vintage cars. You’ll not be disappointed! Everywhere you look you see these amazing cars in all colors you can possibly imagine. There are plenty of them in the city used for taxi, Classic Car tours to all of Havana’s touristic main points or for personal use. When in Havana you should definitely take a ride with such a car at least once. We’ve tried to take as many vintage car rides as possible. The smell, sound & feeling in such a car is just indescribable.
Classic (American) Cars are not the only way of getting around. There are the state caps, coco taxi’s & bicycle taxi’s.
A coco taxi is a small yellow circle on 3 wheels. It’s a crazy, weird vehicle but very popular in the city. One of its popular features is the difference in price compared with a car taxi. It is a lot faster than the bicycle taxi as well, but slower than a normal car. It also ain’t that steady so you better make sure you divide the weight equally. It was an adventure to ride in one of those!
A bicycle taxi is as referred to: a taxi that’s being bicycled. Its in the shape on an triangle and goes really slow. Sometimes the driver has a radio build on top which will make the experience even more fun. It’s the most cheap way of getting from A to B (Apart form walking of course). We took a bicycle taxi in Trindad (you’ll read more about that in the Trinidad post!).
Where to stay
While planning your trip to this city you want to make it unforgettable. One way of doing that is by booking your stays at a casa particular.
What is a casa particular?
As mentioned in my previous Prepping for CUBA! post, a casa particular is basically a personalized bed&breakfast. We have experienced the Cuban life by our friendly hostesses who invited us into their homes. More Cuban than that you won’t get!
This casa was probably my favorite of all. It is at a perfect spot in Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) from where you can easily get to all the main points. Our hostess was a friendly, helpful, enthusiastic young woman who introduced us to her cute daughter and to her home. The house itself is very old and furnished with all these old odd little gems. It has a balcony at the common room & a table at the patio for breakfasts.
Our room was build on the roof with 2 private balcony’s : one directly next to our room & one above it. From here you could overlook the ocean, the city and the Russian Orthodox Church. The streetview of all 3 balconies were amazing too: such an authentic experience. To book her casa (highly recommended!) click here.
More photo’s of Casa Zaiden:
Casa El Patio
Our last 2 nights in Havana we stayed at Casa El Patio. This Casa has a more modern interior build in an old house. It is located at the other side of El Capitolo (Cuba’s replica of the white house) and therefore in a much different neighborhood. It is still part of Old Havana but at the other edge. Here there is more traffic, more people. I have to admit that this neighborhood was in comparison to the others my least favorite.
What I do loved about this casa where it’s animals! Such cute dogs and a cat that came to greet you each morning while you had your breakfast at its patio. The patio itself is gorgeous, with a lot of greens around you and gives you a quiet, peaceful space in the middle of all the fuzz and buzz of the city. To book your stay at El Patio click here.
Photo’s of El Patio:
So many things to share about this amazing city. Can’t wait to show you guys how to get around for hotspots, restaurants & ofcourse Havana’s bars (hint: mojito’s everywhere).