10 Best Things to do in Cuba

The trip to Cuba made a big impact on me. I fell in love with the country, the charismatic people - which reminded me a lot of Brazilians, the music, and the art expressions that are present basically everywhere.

Cuban people are strong, and their love and patriotism can be seen and felt everywhere. My main advice for those who are planning to go there is to not try to understand everything, but simply go with an open mind and let that beautiful place make you fall in love.

Some of the best things we did in Cuba were found in the moment, so make some time to just walk around and explore, but here are the 10 favorite things to do in Cuba:

Dinner at Dona Eutimia
We ate there on our first day in Havana. The food was delicious, and the frozen mojito is a must.
For reservations: d.eutimia@yahoo.es

Floridita
The place is famous because it was frequented by Ernest Hemingway, and their frozen daiquiris were named the best ones in Havana. We tried to have a drink there on our first day in Havana but it was packed. We ended up coming back 2 days later and got to sit at the bar and try the famous daiquiri. There was a band of women singing and playing and they were amazing.

Cha Cha Cha
In my opinion, they had the best mojito I drank in this trip. Sweet but also strong in the right amount. We did not eat there, but for sure I want to go back and have dinner next time I'm in Havana.

La Guarida
Unfortunately we couldn't make reservations so we were not able to get a table there. But we got to go to their bar on the rooftop and they have an amazing view of Havana. Not to mention that the restaurant is inside a building that looks like a house, and its architecture is so beautiful. Oh, and If you are a selfie fan don't miss out on the opportunity to take pictures on the stairs that Khloe Kadarshian posted on Insta.

Veradero
Now, this is a serious advice: Make an effort to take at least 1 day to go to the beach and get to see the heavenly Veradero. We went there just for the day and we paid 240 CUCs for a big car that we split in 6 of us. The beach is gorgeous with clear water and fine sand. And the best part is that because of the US embargo in Cuba the beach is basically intact. You won't see many hotels, restaurants, shops or anything man-made.

Roof top
After we had dinner one day, we started to walk around Havana trying to find a place to have a drink. During our walk we met Allan, an architect and artist from California. He was super nice and talented and getting to know him was also another great part of the trip. He took us to this rooftop that reminded me a lot of Brooklyn. It's a fun place to hangout and have drinks. Tip: their shots of Rum are equivalent to about 4 shots. That night was lit.

Auto Biennial Art
We found this little art gallery when we were walking around Havana Vieja. The gallery is inside a two-story house and has several sculptures and posters that reflect everything. From their intense love for their country to creative abstract works.

Museum of the Revolution
For me, the day at the Museum of the Revolution was what helped me to understand the country a little more. As much as we have always heard of the Cuban revolution, in the museum they display very interesting things that I didn't know about those sorrow years for the Cuban nation. 

Fine Art Museum
One of the most beautiful museums I have ever been to! I love contemporary art and the Museum has beautiful works that made me speechless. It is kind like the MOMA but smaller. Unfortunately we arrived there a little late and didn't have enough time to see everything, so it is another place that I really want to go back in the future. Don't miss the chance to go there!

Dancing salsa without fear
Cuba is moved by music and you will hear a beat playing basically everywhere. Salsa is their main rhythm and there are several places where people are dancing. I know that there are places that you can take salsa lessons while there, but my advice is to just dance whenever you have a chance to, and don't worry about your skill because nobody will judge you. Just be happy and move those hips.

Ride antique cars but also the "bike taxi" and "coconut car"
Yes, do ride the old cars. They are super cool and Cuba is the only place where you can find them everywhere. However, we had more fun when we rode a "Bike taxi" that fits 2 passengers, and the "coco car" that fits 3 people. They are a little more adventures than the old cars and you get to see the city better that way. 

These are the top 10 things I did in Cuba, but the most important thing is to arrive in Cuba with an open mind and heart, put all your problems aside, and try to dive in the culture of the place. You won't have internet so be there living the moment. If you do that, it will definitely be an unforgettable trip

Raquel Paiva

Brazilian fashion and lifestyle blogger based in NYC