While the rest of the world have been rapidly developing and modernizing Cuba is still to be left in the 50s, and the capital Havana is the true symbol of this. Find cheap tickets to Havana with KILROY!
The buildings and the architecture remain the same as when they were raised, the streets are dominated by old American cars and the surroundings are certain to give you a retro feel. For a Westerner, the city can seem shabby and old-fashioned, but that is also the reason why most tourists choose to travel to Havana. They want to experience the world's only remaining retro nation before it gets captured by the 21st century.
Let Havana's charm lead you to a world you thought were long gone. Enjoy the national cocktail Mojito made the right way, with local rum and fresh mint, and greet the cigar smoking ladies sitting in the stairways while strolling down the streets. The Cubans are friendly and welcoming people with a positive outlook on life. If you're able to impress them with some Spanish words, they might spontaniously invite you to a local salsa dancing party!
It might be a good idea to book your transfer from the airport to your accommodation in advance, as public transport is quite rare in the area. Taxi is an option, but be advised the drivers are known for trying to scam foreign tourists. The trip should take about 30 minutes and not cost you more than 25 CUC. Taxi is a good form for transportation also within the city of Havana, but be aware the difference between taxies for tourists and taxies for the locals. The tourist taxies are comfortable og reliable, and can be hailed on the street or outside hotels. The price should be around 1 CUC per kilometer, and it's common and very welcomed to leave a 10% tip.
Another option, if you're not in a hurry, is to use the bicycle taxies, which are on the same price level as regular taxies. You won't be left hanging for long, as the drivers usually spot you first. If you know your way around town and your Spanish is up to par, public transport or buses are the last option. Though you need to remember the local norm; Tourists are to que at the back. The buses, called guaguas or camellos, operate 24/7 although more frequently during the day and early afternoon. Keep in mind there are no fixed timetables and the buses are usually very crowded.
You can choose to stay at either exclusive resorts or cheap hostels when traveling to Havana. Additionally, there is the option of "home stay", where you get to spend the night at a local family's house. If you are traveling as a backpacker, wanting to experience the true culture while saving money at the same time, "home stay" is an absolute must. It's easy to find accomodation around the city, however you should book your first few nights beforehand, to avoid getting scammed at arrival.
You probably won't have the gastronomic experiences of a lifetime when traveling to Cuba, however an evening out in Havana will definitely not dissapoint you! Although there are countless bars and night clubs around town, you should not underestimate the experience of joining in on the latino rythms playing in the alleyways where the locals gather to party. There is never a closing time, night clubs close when the most perservering guest of the night eventually goes home. Last but not least, make sure you have time for a night out at one of the city's famous 50s style jazz clubs!
You will experience a wide price range on Cuba, depending on what you're after. However, as a backpacker you should manage with a daily budget of 20-25$ for food and accommodation.
Did you know that KILROY can also help organise your study tour to Havana? Read on to learn more about how we can plan your study trip with the right academic content and interesting study visits in the city of your choice.
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