What to see around the Habana Libre Hotel and the National Hotel Cuba from your Casa Particular

casa del habano at Habana Libre HotelThe Habana Libre Hotel is possibly the finest classical example of modernist architecture in the city and displays a notable collection of photographs of various revolutionaries visiting the hotel in Havana after it was taken by Fidel Castro and his comrades. The Hotel Tryp boasts good shops, including La Casa del Habano (the Cigar Store) with a cigar lounge and fine bar serving excellent Cuban cocktails. Centrally located in Vedado at the famous 23 and L there are many shops and bars in the surrounding area, as well as several places of historical interest. Makes for an entertaining tourist experience on any visit to Cuba, with plenty of examples of the city's rich architectural tradition on display plus many prosperous homes.

Even if you don't stay at the Nacional Hotel Cuba at O and 21 St (declared a National Monument for its artistic and historical value) it's well worth sampling a drink in its beautiful gardens overlooking the sea (at very reasonable prices). The perfect spot to enjoy one of Havana's most popular picture-postcard views.

Staying at a private home or casa particular in Vedado is considered a budget option to discover Havana and a great way to sample a genuine slice of Cuban living in total peace and comfort. In Vedado many of the private houses to rent are large and luxurious, while there are many villas dating from the 19th century close to some of the best known hotels in Havana. Most have spacious balconies, gardens or roof terraces and are located on wide avenues with no shortage of trees and green spaces. Besides, the owners of most private casas are well known for going above and beyond when it comes to ensuring their guests have the best stay possible.

Havana University in CubaThere is easy access to all importantparts of the city from the Hotel Tryp Habana Libre and the National Hotel Cuba all just a short distance from the Malecon seawall, the historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982) and the University of Havana on L and San Lorenzo street, the oldest in Cuba, which also includes a pre-Columbian period Anthropological Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Near the Malecón Avenue along Central Havana and Vedado, you'll discover plenty of culturally important buildings and a special place for the citizens of Havana to meet and enjoy a cooling sea breeze and the spectacular sunsets. On L Street you’ll find the Revolution Square, one of Havana's most important landmarks, featuring the Jose Marti Memorial and the Interior Ministry with its iconic image of Che Guevara, which marks the scene of important historical events.

La Rampa in Vedado HavanaLa Rampa is a stretch of 23rd Street between L Street and the Malecon which is home to many bars, paladares, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas and art galleries. It's a lively and pleasant place to stroll, home to Havana's lively night scene and a favourite place for young people to gather after dark. An obligatory stop in Vedado is the Coppelia ice cream parlour, famous in Cuba throughout the world, from the movie "Strawberry and Chocolate" and considered to serve some of the best ice creams you'll find anywhere. A notable architectural gem for film lovers is the Yara Cinema on La Rampa, Cuba's best known movie house and the base of the film-makers center “'Fresa y Chocolate”.

The Cuba Pavilion located on 23rd Street in La Rampa is one of the main cultural squares of Havana and indeed the country, where you'll find the Book Fair, art exhibitions, as well as recreational activities for children with regular performances to enjoy.

The Napoleonic Museum is a beautiful mansion on San Miguel street, which currently hosts the most extensive and varied collection of around 7,000 artefacts from Napoleonic period.

Presidents Avenue in Vedado HavanaThe splendid Presidents Avenue on G street is surrounded by statues of famous Latin American presidents. The House of the Americas stands facing the ocean with a cultural center that hosts an art gallery and library. In the evening this area takes on a lively atmosphere as young musicians come to jam and play together.

The Focsa building at 21 street is considered one of the most remarkable works of Cuban architecture housing many shops, cafés, restaurants and some spectacular panoramic views over Havana, it's ideal for a memorable sunset view. Here you'll also find La Torre Café, which offers impressive views and possibly the best Cuban Mojito you'll find on the island. The open air lounge at El Patio Piano bar and the Emperador Restaurant below bring live music and superb fish and meat dishes.

Where to eat and drink around the Habana Libre Hotel the National Hotel Cuba

  • Atelier Restaurant serves delicious piña coladas in a fascinating converted mansion with a stunning terrace
  • La Roca Restaurant on 21st Street is a colonial gem, decorated in ebony with very affordable prices
  • Las Bulerías Bar on L Street opposite the Tryp Habana Libre features regular performances from singers and comedians, serving very reasonably priced meals
  • Huron Azul - paladar serves well-prepared dishes, generous portions and is well known for its excellent service. Located in the busy Rampa, near the hotels Habana Libre and National

Nightlife around the hotels Habana Libre Tryp and the National Cuba in Vedado

  • The Parisien at the National Havana Hotel and cheaper than Tropicana
  • Turquino disco at the Hotel Tryp has great views over Havana at night
  • La Zorra y el Cuervo on 23rd Street has a reputation for hosting some of Cuba's funkiest jazz musicians
  • El Gato Tuerto – historically significant bar with live music and a cosmopolitan mixture of foreigners and Cubans - located near the Malecon and the National Hotel Cuba
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