Ahhh finally, the long overdue Havana diary!  First and most importantly- GO, and go as soon as you can.  No words can describe this place!

Amazing country, incredible people, and by far one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been to.  It was a special trip, for more reasons than one . . .

Rarely does my job allow me to completely disconnect, but in an attempt to end 2016 with a work free trip, I made plans to be completely off-the-grid. Four days with an iPhone-only rule to snap quick pics and check in with family.

Peeling paint, beautiful Spanish architecture, romantic old cars to ride around in- we spent our days wandering the streets, feeling welcomed by locals and inspired by the culture.

I was lucky to have someone special to roam with!  It was the perfect for a getaway with this guy . . . such a romantic city!

Okay! So here it is!  Everything you need to know…

Buy Cuba Travel Visa. You have to have this — http://www.cubatravelservices.com/ – I paid $50. I selected “Educational: People to People” and had no problem. I flew Southwest and, picked up my travel visa at the gate before departing. This was instructions per Southwest so could vary depending on airline, however you will need a travel visa.

Get all of the cash you will spend on the trip out prior to leaving US. Convert it to CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos). This was the biggest mistake I made. I assumed I would be able to convert currency in Cuba, however at the time we were there they would not accept ANY US cards. I would budget 80 – 100 CUC per day, 150-250 CUC on the high end.

There is no free Wifi in Cuba. Internet access is still restricted and controlled by the government. You have to have access wifi cards (1-5 hours of access per card) and then find a hotel that has wifi. Wifi cards were $5 CUC for one hour. We found these (plus currency exchange and souvenirs) at Almacenes San José Artisans’ Market. The card you have will have an access code and password on the back of it.

Download “Cuba” & maps.Me (then download map of Havana). If you’re traveling more than 20-30 minutes outside of Havana, go to the Viazule Bus Station to get a cab. There are numerous cabs outside of the bus station. We made the mistake of having a hotel call a cab to go to Veradero. Paid 150 CUC one way.. Should have been no more than 30 CUC

Where to stay?!

We stayed in Airbnb, Alameda Suite. We booked for less than $200/night, nice modern apartment, clean, good area. If you do Airbnb, ask if they will pick you up at Airport. Airbnb was a true Cuban experience, but I would probably recommend a hotel if you don’t mind spending a bit more…peace of mind, wifi, amenities, etc =)

FYI -Airport – Southwest is in Terminal 2. American in Terminal 1

Where to eat?!

· La Gardillia – In Habana Vieja, go for drinks and app at 5pm if you can get one of the 2 small tables on porch, amazing view!

· Doña Eutimia – a cozy paladar located down a blind alley in Habana Vieja. Make reservation. Try its twist on ropa vieja, made with stewed lamb. YUM!

· La Bodeguita Del Medio – Habana Vieja

· El Cocinero – restaurant, cool bar next door

· La Guaridia – really cool rooftop bar, go at sunset, make reservation for dinner

Where to drink?!

· El Floridita Bar – one of my favorite spots! Hemingway’s Bar

· Iberostar Parque Central – nice hotel with rooftop pool

· Siá Kará – really cool bar

Needless to say I was totally charmed, and can not wait to find my way back to this city!  Let me know if you have any experience with travel in Cuba . . . I would love some tips for the next trip! XX M


  • Reply January 30, 2017

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Loving all the vintage architectural and classic cars on the streets … Such lovely and beautiful photos! Simply amazing! 🙂

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply January 30, 2017


    Oh my, I’m so envious! I wanted to visit Havana for forever and those photos… Oh wow, such a great trip diary! Hope to make it there someday.


  • Reply January 30, 2017

    Ewa Macherowska

  • Reply January 30, 2017


    Absolutely love it!

    Mireia from TGL

  • Reply January 30, 2017


    This is such an amazing photo diary! Definitely one of the places I want to visit -L


  • Reply January 30, 2017

    A Girl with Geography

    Happy you have enjoyed, I was there around the same dates, stayed a week and now slowly writing about it on my blog. Internet cards are actually 3 CUC/ USD per hour on black market and wifi is more than hotels. I will include some practical part as well, as even for me Havana was a bit of a funny throwback to my childhood days :))

  • Reply January 30, 2017


    Omg! Looks amazing.


  • Reply January 30, 2017


    Ahhh so cool!! I would love to go there, I have heard so many great things! Looks like you guys had an amazing time!


  • Reply January 30, 2017


    So amazing and fab!!

    || D I A N A ||

  • Reply January 31, 2017

    Natalie Keinan

    Ah can’t wait to visit! I’m half Cuban and going for the first time in march with my family! We’re planning to travel all over so your cab tips are super helpful! <3


  • Reply January 31, 2017


    Such a lovely little guide ! I definitely want to visit one day, it looks so pretty <3 I love your little phone snaps, sometimes that's all you really need ! That blue dress is stunning by the way <3


  • Reply January 31, 2017


  • Reply January 31, 2017


    Great info! Loved your pics. I’m going to shoot a destination wedding this April in Havana ♡ I’m a big fan of your blog so maybe if you go at the same time, Ill take pics for your blog! 🙂

  • Reply January 31, 2017


    wow! beautiful!
    i’d love to go to Cuba one day
    I can’t believe your photos are all taken off an iPhone

  • Reply January 31, 2017


    Wow! A dream to visit one day. Thanks for the advice! Amazing images too!

  • Reply January 31, 2017


    It looks like you had a magnificent vacation filled with culture. I hope to go soon since it is only 90 miles away from me.


  • Reply January 31, 2017


    Beautiful photos! You looked like you had an amazing time. I hope that I get a chance to visit soon. It’s so exciting that Americans can now experience the beautiful culture in Cuba.


    Camille, a fellow Nashville-based blogger

  • Reply January 31, 2017

    Liv D.

    Hi there! I have a question for you based on your Cuba trip. Did you need to provide anyone with a strict itinerary to enter the country? I have been reading mixed reviews and though I am going for educational purposes (Spanish language study and photography) I am going independently. Thanks!

  • Reply January 31, 2017


  • Reply January 31, 2017


    Amazing pictures!


  • Reply January 31, 2017

    Kimberli Simon

    Thank you for this post and your lovely shots. The hubby and I are heading to Cuba in March, planning on going for creative reasons (musician and artist). We will also fly SW (from Miami) as they have some really inexpensive flights. We knew about needing the visa but not about the internet or internet cards – thanks for that tip. We’ll be renting AirBnB too. I plan on checking out some of the restaurants and bars you’ve recommended…we are so excited to visit and your post made our upcoming trip seem even more real! Muchas gracias.

  • Reply February 1, 2017


    Wooow it’s amazing..must be an amazing trip!!!

    Be Happy with Fashion

  • Reply February 1, 2017


    YOu captured Havana beautifully! It is definitely on my list of places to see. xx, Erin – http://www.stylebythepeople.com

  • Reply February 2, 2017


    Honestly, I love that you make your blog like a true traveller’s journal. The content is interesting, I actually read your blog without cringing! I actually stopped looking at blogs because they become so commercial, almost like a magazine. Pictures over pictures – all edited and photoshopped – without any content or meaning.

    I love the pictures you take and the destinations you choose to visit. xx

  • Reply February 2, 2017

    Summer Anderson Jones

    This is great info! We are planning to go here this summer!

  • Reply February 2, 2017


    I am dying to go to Cuba!!

    Great photos <3



  • Reply February 2, 2017


    The architecture and cars there are so beautiful. Like a step back in time.


  • Reply February 5, 2017


    Did you use a company to book tours? If so, anyone you recommend? I’m going with my girlfriends to celebrate my 30th in April 🙂

  • Reply February 14, 2017

    Wardrobe Stylist Kent

    Love the vintage cars on the street, looks like a beautiful place.

  • Reply March 8, 2017


    I could watch Schnldier’s List and still be happy after reading this.

  • Reply April 7, 2017


    I just got back from Havana this week and had an amazing time. We stayed in a Casa Particular (bed & breakfast) for 35 CUC a night in the Vedado neighborhood and it was great! 30 CUC for a taxi from Havana to Veradero sounds really low. It’s approx a 2 hour drive and we paid 100 CUC each way which we heard was standard (from our casa owner). Getting online isn’t always the easiest there – you need to buy the cards and if you’re not staying in a hotel with wifi just be on the lookout for locals on their phones in parks or on street corners- you’ll know there’s wifi there. We had some issues with intermittent access and if you don’t properly sign off the card you’ll lose the remaining time. I also bookmarked this blog post (among others) with the intent of looking up the information there and I wasn’t able to access – I think some US sites are still restricted so if there’s info you want to bring with you I recommend taking photos of it or printing it out. I would recommend cafe Laurent restaurant in the Vedado neighbourhood or any locally owned ( paladar) restaurants over state run ones. Check out FAC- fabrica de arte cubano – very cool bar that’s part art gallery/ part bar – multiple rooms/ levels/ outdoor patios, great mojitos, fantastic local art, there’s a line up every night (both locals and tourists) so go early.

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