Vedado is the third area in Havana I mentioned earlier – in addition to Habana Vieja and Centro Habana. Vedado is the area with the most hotels and many restaurants. The standards are much higher than in Habana Vieja, and so are the prices. There are not many sights in Vedado, so if you stay here, you will have to take a taxi to get around the city. But, it is a very nice area, and there are many beautiful buildings here – for example are many embassies located here.
Plaza de la Revolucion is a huge square located in Vedado. You will see enormous paintings of Che and Castro, as well as a monument (José Martí Memorial). It is located a bit far from everything, so you need a taxi to get here.
Hotel Nacional is probably Cuba’s most famous hotel. It opened in 1930, and has since its opening been a luxury hotel housing many famous and important people. The hotel is located in beautiful surroundings with the ocean and the Malecón (the ocean promenade) in the front. The bars at the hotel are known for making the best drinks in Cuba, and I have to agree. We tried mojitos and daiquiris several places (“Cuba’s national drinks”), but we were always disappointed (too much rum, too little lemon etc.) until we tried the drinks at Hotel Nacional. You can have a drink in the hotel’s garden while enjoying the ocean view. It is amazing to come here after a busy day in Havana. There are even peacocks walking around!
We had to stay one extra day in Havana because of our missing luggage, and because we had seen most of the sights (and it was extremely hot) we wanted to go to the beach. But, even though Havana is located by the ocean, the beaches are pretty far away, so we decided to check out the pool at Hotel Nacional instead. The entrance price surprised us; we got a package for 18 CUC – stay at the pool for the whole day and eat/drink at the pool bar for the value of 13 CUC. The food and drink prices were at the same level or even lower than most other places, so this was a really good deal.