Havana, Cuba Travel Recommendations

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The Spanish colonial core of Old Havana is the city’s stellar attraction brimming with frescoed churches, cobbled plazas, civic mansions and nobles’ homes turned museums, galleries and restaurants. Admire the ecclesiastical interior beauty of Nuestra Señora de la Merced and the detailed exhibits at the Museum of the Revolution (9.30am-4pm) charting Fidel Castro’s rise to power amid the Tiffany interiors of this erstwhile Presidential Palace.

Behind the palace sits the Museum of Fine Arts (Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-2pm). Go for the pop art of Raúl Martínez, the homo-eroticism of Servando Cabrera, the African symbolism of Manuel Mendive and Wifredo Lam, and the avant-garde works of Cuba’s thriving contemporary art community.

Amble Havana’s wind-whipped ocean boulevard, the Malecón, and admire the facades of its sun-bleached buildings as the sun slopes down behind fishermen, lovers, swimmers and trumpet players.

Ever since street artist JR and Cuban American artist José Parla honoured 25 Cuban senior citizens by crafting enormous impressions of their faces across the flaking shards of the city walls for Havana’s Biennial art fair in 2012, street art has been creeping across the city. See work by Fabián López, Yulier Rodríguez and Luis Casas, among others, and meet the artists on a street art tour. Tours cost US$140 including transport.

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