In Havana, you can’t escape history. It snakes its way up wide avenues, around colonial architecture, imbuing the Cuban capital with romantic nostalgia. But to focus on the city’s past is to ignore its present—one defined by bohemian culture and neighbourhoods brightened and revived by local artists. Move down the malecón to jazz or cubaton beats and see what’s buzzing behind the historic facade.

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Let Havana charm you! Visit Old Havana for iconic colonial buildings like El Capitolio (National Capitol Building) and sightings of colourful, vintage cars. Other things to do in Havana include visiting one of the most famous Havana hotels, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, and touring art districts like Fusterlandia.

HAVANA TRAVEL GUIDE

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DESTINATION FACTS

LANGUAGE

Spanish

WHAT TO EAT

Huevos habaneros (a Havana-style baked egg dish), medianoche (the “midnight sandwich” of roast pork and cheese), cajitas (to-go boxed meals of meat, beans and rice prized by locals) and a meal at one of the city’s paladares (privately owned restaurants located in beautiful, colonial homes).

WHAT TO BRING BACK

Cuban rum (Havana Club, Santiago de Cuba, Legendario), albums of Cuban music (check out Callejón de Hamel on a Sunday or any night at La Casa de la Música and La Zorra y El Cuervo to discover local acts), la boina del Che (a Che-style beret) and locals' fave game—dominoes.

FUN FACT

Images of vintage cars zipping down Havana’s avenues are iconic. When Fidel Castro took power in 1959, communist laws and the US embargo forbade purchasing new cars and stopped the import of new parts. Cubans were left with classic American models from the 40s-50s for generations until the laws finally relaxed during the last decade. You can now spot new wheels on the road!

IMPORTANT INFO

For more information on all necessary travel documents, visa, taxes and more, check Air Canada’s Travel Requirements page and the Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism website.
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HISTORIC HAVANA SIGHTS


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