top 5 non-toursity things to do in havana

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I like to do mini blog posts on my insta so you might have seen a quick summary on this. If you're into mini blog style posts, check it out @beautymilk_
 

eat at a paladar

Paladares are restaurants run by locals.

So basically it's just a local’s house and they open their doors and stoves to strangers. It feels like skipping up to your grandma’s house for a quick bite.

When you go up to ask for your food you can see everything from their living room to their family pictures on the mantelpiece.

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If you'd like to contribute to the well-being of the local families, this is a good way to get your tourist dollars into their pockets rather than that of the mainstream restaurants.

 

people watching in plaza del cristo

Here you’ll find a lot of tourists, but you’ll also see the locals just kicking it and going about their daily lives.

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The image above has to be one of my favourite pictures that I've ever taken. This man has a permit (as seen around his neck) to be working on the street.

I caught a little boy running around his balcony in his pjs on a Friday, playing with his giant pet rabbit.

The lifestyle is relaxed so you’ll see young men coolin in groups and kids off leash. In Plaza Del Cristo you’ll see a ton of internet cards littered all over the ground. People come to this park because it’s a wifi zone.

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In Havana, you can’t get access to internet unless you use a wifi card. I met a guy who does IT for a hotel, and even he from his own pocket, has to buy internet cards in order to do his job which I thought was pretty whack. But also gained a new perspective on why working in Canada is a blessing.

enjoy the music

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Here are a few non-related but beautiful images because I didn't quite have anything music related lol.

You’ll find restaurants with open windows and archways instead of doors. From the streets you can hear live bands performing traditional Cuban music.

I was shocked because the quality of their voices made it sound like they were playing off a record. The city offers beautiful warm sound on every corner.  

 

stay in a casa particular

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People offer up their homes as a hotel service. Some are more “put together” others are more lax. Choose the right one and you’ll get the inside scoop on family structure, daily life and Cuban culture. 

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the old city wall

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They call it the worlds biggest couch. Tourists come to take pictures and locals come for a siesta, and believe me siesta is a thing here.

It was around 1:00 just outside the city, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. All of a sudden I’m seeing grown men under trees, hats over their faces, out cold. And I don’t mean a few men. I mean groups of men. All passed out, snuggled up to their landscaping equipment. 

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Also, I'm always gonna keep it real. This is the pollution in the water. Great for games of  I-Spy. There are full-blown watermelons floating there if you look close.

visit the street vendors

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I would skip out on the traditional markets because they sell toursity knick-knacks that you could find in pretty much anywhere. But the food stands are where it's at. Grab some fresh fruit for lunch, or watch a vendor make dough into fried churros. 

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chacon 162

I'm actually not sure if this is toursity or not but I have to mention it because the food was so good. This restaurant is called Chacon 162 and you  can check it out on trip advisor here.

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I honestly wish I could tell you the names of the things that I ate for certain, but I'll give it a stab.

So my main course was some kind of a blue cheese crema. Almost like a cheese soup. Very strong, very delicious. It was an incredible combo with these super salty empanadas dipped in. And then there was a vegetable soup. I'm not remembering it much so couldn't have been all that good. Exhibit A...

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Right, well. I hope this was helpful. Feel free to leave a comment if you want any more advise and I will personally respond :)

Xx,

 
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