Havana, Cuba, is a colorful city that’s just as eye-catching as it is historically interesting – there are all kinds of stories worth sharing from the streets! It’s well-known for its brilliant architecture, and for being a bit of a historic throwback at the same time.
Let’s dive into some fun facts about Havana and why it might be worth exploring.
1. Fingers in the ears at 9pm sharp!
La Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, a fortress based in Havana, has daily cannon blasts! It’s a bit of a tourist ritual – the cannons blow once a day, and resident guards march in a display before the blast at 9pm daily.
2. Everyone played a part!
The Hotel Nacional de Cuba, based in downtown Havana, is a bit of a cultural mish-mash. It was actually built by Americans, and combines interesting architectural touches of Art Deco, neoclassical and more!
3. A modern monument.
There’s a giant sculpture of famous revolutionary Che Guevara built in bronze on the outside of the Ministerio del Interior. It’s been there since 1995.
4. UNESCO’s recognized Havana.
Old Havana is a magnificent, historic site that’s been recognized by UNESCO for its heritage list! The fortress array here actually houses a museum dedicated to Cuba’s maritime history.
5. The magnificent fortresses… didn’t always help.
While the forts of Old Havana may be considered historically important, they actually didn’t serve much help from a strategic standpoint. It’s based too far inland!
6. Imagine… a ban for 40 years!
7. This Lennon lacks specs appeal.
The John Lennon statue lacks spectacles – because they keep getting stolen. Weirdly, a local man, if he’s passing, places glasses on the statue for you if you’re looking for a photograph!
8. The city used to be British land.
Havana was indeed British property for some time – if only for around a year! This was as a result of the Seven Years’ War. It went back to the Spanish in exchange for Florida!
9. The mystery of Matias Perez is famous here!
Matias Perez was a keen hot air balloon navigator who famously set off from Parque Central, Havana in 1856. He chose to set off when winds died down, and drifted into the sky… and his balloon was never found. Neither was Perez – what on Earth happened?
10. Four-wheeled wonders all around.
Havana is a city of fabulous vintage cars! There are reportedly 60,000 of them across Cuba, and you’ll likely see plenty of them driving around the city.
11. It’s a city of chilly drinks.
The frozen daiquiri was invented here – by a barman by the name of Constante, who ran a bar called the Floridita.
12. A ‘fitted’ tribute!
The Floridita actually used to have some famous visitors – such as author Ernest Hemingway, who has his own statue in bronze, propping up the bar!
FAQs about Havana
Who owns Havana?
Havana is now owned by Cuba - it was once owned by the British and the Spanish, too!
Is Havana a good tourist spot?
Havana is a hugely popular tourist resort - it’s big, colorful, and it’s never been more open to visitors.
Is alcohol cheap in Havana?
Believe it or not, yes - it’s relatively cheap to buy beer here - around $2 a bottle.
Do you know any fun facts about Havana? Share them in the comments below!