Tips & Destinations

The capital of Cuba celebrates 500 years of existence Timeless Havana, an experience of a lifetime

Spanish-born Diego Velázquez founded San Cristóbal de La Habana on the 16th November 1519, after celebrating Mass under the shadow of a Ceiba tree.

Did you know that locals still walk in circles around this sacred tree three times to make their wishes come true?

Mystical and romantic at the same time, the vast history of the capital of Cuba has been nurtured by different cultures that have built its joyful and vital character of its people.

From Coppelia to the Malecón, a trip across traditional Havana

The most traditional icons in Cuban society are found in the neighborhood of El Vedado, with its 18th and 19th century mansions, which live together with other more recent constructions.

Among them, the popular Malecón stands out, a promenade where locals talk, laugh, fish, dance and fall in love with each other during the whole day.

Nearby, the 4-star hotel Habana Riviera by Iberostar will take you back to the forties, Cuba’s golden age. Here, you will be able to attend shows in the timeless Cabaret Copa Room.

Walking down Avenida del Paseo, you will get to Plaza de la Revolución, the heart and soul of Cuban political and social life, one of the most photographed squares in the world.

In Coppelia, a church-shaped building, the queue you will have to wait in will be well worth it, to try one of its irresistible ice-creams. This 1966 classic is named after the famous Parisian ballet, and is built on an old, Italian, modernist building with influences from the Brazilian architect Oscar Nimeyer.

You cannot leave Havana without having visited Cabaret Tropicana. Stars such as Celia Cruz, Omara Portuondo and even Frank Sinatra have performed in this open-air artistic and musical show since it opened in 1939. Is there a better way to take advantage of your stay in these hotels in Cuba?

Cuban cuisine: dishes that captivated Madonna and Barack Obama

Congrí rice, ropa vieja, black bean stew, caldosa… The best place to taste these delicious Cuban recipes are paladares, classic city restaurants that will surprise you thanks to their vibe and excellent flavors.

Feel like a character from Fresa y chocolate in La Guarida, where the famous Oscar-nominated movie was filmed. Ask the owners of this gourmet restaurant where Madonna sat on her 58TH birthday.

Not far away, the exclusive San Cristóbal restaurant occupies a beautiful neoclassic mansion full of works of art and fine porcelain. Here, you will be able to taste a Triple A sirloin steak, just like the one that Barak Obama ate during his historic visit to the island in 2016.

And if you are at your hotel and do not feel like going out, you will enjoy Cuban rice, matajíbaro and other delicious traditional recipes in the Cuban restaurant Tradiciones, within Iberostar Grand Packard, and in the Habana Elegante restaurant, in Iberostar Parque Central, two of the best 5-star hotels in Havana.