After spending an afternoon and evening in Cuba, we began to understand how to navigate Havana. We decided this first full day should be all about history and culture so we heavied up on museums. I actually liked stacking the museums like this. It felt like a long day, but we still appreciated all cultural activities. And since we “got it out of the way”, it made the rest of the trip feel extra relaxed.
FYI: Be sure to check out Part 1 of our Cuba trip here.
Day 2 (Thursday, 4/13/17)
The main reason I recommend staying in an Airbnb is to take advantage of breakfast. Home hospitality breakfast is a major part of Cuban culture. Just 5 CUCs per person got us more food than we could handle – perfectly cooked eggs, cheese, heirloom tomatoes, fresh pineapple and papaya, bread with butter and jam, jamon and bacon, and fresh mango juice. All that on a rooftop with a spectacular view of the entire city.
After breakfast, we made it a museum day. We first checked out the Museo de Bellas Artes. While everyone told us to go to the Museo de la Revolucion, nobody mentioned this one, which is a shame because it’s three floors of stunning modern Cuban art. There is a fabulous art scene in Cuba and we were able to discover some truly talented artists. From there, we walked across the street to the Museo de la Revolucion, which is filled with amazing artifacts from the Revolutionary War period, including clothes still stained with blood and the Granma yacht.
After all that culture, it was time for a cocktail so we headed to O’Reilly 304, which I had read about through Grub Street. Because this is a newer, trendier place, drinks were on the pricier side (about 7 CUCs) but large and delicious. They also had this amazing chili sauce/salsa on the table for plantain chips. I wish I could have brought that stuff back to the states.
After drinks we went back to shower and change for our night out. We were told the Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) is the hottest place in Havana and we would have to agree. We arrived to a line and got a little giddy knowing something cool must be inside. It’s basically an artist collective that’s part bar, part gallery, part performance space. It’s on multiple levels – go up a spiral staircase here, down a ramp there, through a passageway here. Each level has a bar and funky art on the walls. When you arrive, they give you a card that they mark anytime you buy something to eat or drink and you settle up at the end. We started with the largest mojito I’d ever seen (about two iPhones tall) and we were allowed to pour in the rum ourselves, to our own peril. We ambled around the space, stopped for a snackie at that cafe, then watched some of the performances (a clarinet quartet and modern dance troupe) before heading to bed because I was exhausted.