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One Day in Havana

This post goes out to the unlucky ones among us who only have one day to visit Havana. Giving you a couple of inspirations how to make the most of it.DSC_9670DSC_9691P1350301Calle Obispo is the busiest street of Havana and it also used to be the first pedestrian area of the city. There are a couple of nice stores and restaurants on it. Two places you must not pass by are definitely the Hotel Ambos Mundos and the Taquechel farmacy. Ambos Mundos has a beautiful entrance hall and a vintage elevator which takes you to a roof top bar overviewing the old city of Havana. And the farmacy (founded in 1898) is also a museum. Make sure to buy some headache medicine, the Havana nights can get quite long.P1350297In some of the stores you can „even“ pay with Moneda Nacional and not just with the tourist currency CUC ($1CUC = $25 MN). Which is obviously worth an extra announcement.P1350274P1350260DSC_9737DSC_0218A huge bat is overviewing the city from Edificio Bacardí, you can always look for it if you get lost.P1350255P1350170DSC_9711If you follow the Calle Obispo to the very end it will take you to the oldest square of the city: Plaza de Armas. It’s a good place to have a rest in a park under the huge palm trees or have a look at the revolutionary period books they sell. P1350290DSC_9766DSC_9719DSC_9667DSC_9764After that just turn left and you will get to the Plaza de la Catedral. It’s also a nice one, but don’t forget to check out all the cute little streets which lead to it. There is something suprising hiding behind every corner. And getting lost here is always a bless.DSC_9913DSC_9974DSC_9968P1350329DSC_9792Well, it didn’t even take two hours till my Dad came up with a new girlfriend. Even though they didn’t really understand each other, they shared the same passion: smoking. P1350382P1350335P1350800P1350306P1350401Time for the first drink. Hemingway used to be super ambitious when it came to good drinks, so you can’t miss his favorite bar: “Bodeguita del Medio”. Have a mojito for 3 CUC, write you name on the wall as long as you remember it and get out quickly. It’s pretty crowded with tourists. An iconic place though. Gabriel García Márquez, Brigitte Bardot and Harry Belafonte used to be loyal customers as well.P1350377P1350420P1350372P1350565 2P1350485Malecón is a roadway and a seawall which stretches for 8 km along the coast, but it’s also a great place for fishing and kissing. You can see people fishing during the whole day but to see people kissing (or maybe even try it yourself) you should come in the evening when the sun is about to set. That’s when the waves swash over the wall, splash on couples and cars and the setting sun covers everythings – even the house ruins – in every shade of gold you can imagine.P1350506P1350623Walking down the Malecón turn left into the boulevard Paseo del Prado. You will find restored and nicely painted houses side by side with empty fassades which are about to collaps. But I guess as long as this mix exists, real people will still live in the streets of the old town of Havana hanging out their laundry and arguing across the balconies.P1350609P1350734P1350582P1350545P1350629P1350783P1360908There can only be one type of milk and cheese in Cuba, but they start to take things seriously when it comes to cigars: 200 different sorts! Picking one can also be a political statement. Fidel Castro used to smoke the „Cohibas” (the most expensive ones), Che Guevara loved “Montecristo” and Churchill “Romeo y Julieta”.P1350634P1350661El Capitolio Nacional is definitely Havana’s most important landmark and they even put a spike on the top of it to make it one meter higher than the Capitol in Washington D.C.P1350827DSC_9918P1350798DSC_0131P1350814If you are looking for the street where the cover picture of every Cuba guide was taken from: it’s Teniente Rey.P1350695P1350700P1350764There is another nice square you should visit: Plaza Vieja is not that crowded and it has a couple of nice cafés playing salsa all day. And there will always be a Cuban who passes by, stopps for a short dance and heads off as suddenly as he appeared.P1350751P1350744DSC_0122Grab a cab to get to the Plaza de la Revolución. Otherwise you gonna lose too much time. The square is notable as a place where Fidel Castro and other political figures address Cubans. But most of the visitors just come for one picture: Che Guevara image with his well known slogan of “Hasta la Victoria Siempre” (Until the Everlasting Victory, Always) on the Ministry of the Interior building.P1360804Hemingway wouldn’t be happy about your behaviour if you didn’t visit his second favorite bar: „Floridita“. One of his wisest quotes ever was: „My Mojito in the Bodeguita. My daiquiri in the Floridita“. This order also makes sense because Floridita is so much more beautiful during the evening. Make sure to try at least one lemon daiquiri before you head into the Cuban night.P1360786P1360943P1350928Tropicana is the world famous Cuban cabaret show. And you literally feel like traveling back in time to the Golden Twenties while you watch them dancing. During the prohibition period the Southern States (especially Florida) only had a short way by ship to Havana. Where alcohol, gambling and lots of other fun things where more than allowed and people were celebrating life during shows like Tropicana.P1350916P1360044Check German tour operator Alltours for convenient Cuba trips!