Old Havana’s main squares and colonial churches highlight the crumbling grandeur the city has long been known for. A hotchpotch of extraordinary architecture from every era; baroque to colonial to soviet Russian, provides an enchanting and revealing backdrop to Havana’s character and dramatic political history.
Cultural influences range from music, dance and religion brought to Cuba through the African slave trade, to western traditions stemming from colonialism, to the hedonistic lifestyle hallmarked by the 50’s Mafia gangs that poured into Havana from Miami. They treated the city as their playground, boosting its sensational live jazz scene, casino-culture, penchant for stiff rum cocktails and lining the streets with timeless Cadillacs and Chevrolets that give Havana its technicolour reputation.
Zoom around in neon-painted vintage bangers, soaking up the frenetic atmosphere. Get a real feel for daily life by visiting a local market, seeing an inner-city school, learning how the ration system works at a bodega and seeing where locals buy beans, sugar and rice.
Discover Havana’s art scene, meeting curators and emerging artists in their home studios. There are some notable community art projects and galleries to visit, as well as the Museo de Bellas Artes’ stunning collection. PSA clients enjoy behind-the-scenes access to Cuban National Ballet rehearsals and for those travelling in November, we’ll fix tickets and VIP access to the Ballet Festival.
As the sun sets behind the city skyline, sip rum cocktails from a private rooftop, watching the malecon (sea front) become a buzz of social activity and the fishermen turn into silhouettes, still waiting patiently for their catch. Along with tasting home-cooked recipes in traditional paladars, exciting new restaurants are popping up every week and we keep close tabs on the hottest tables in town. After dinner, catch some live jazz or salsa dance into the early hours – live performances are held every night of the week.
For music lovers, we’ll fix an exclusive dinner with an original member of the Buena Vista Social Club in their home, followed by a private performance with drinks and dancing. This is an incredible way to discover Cuba’s music scene through the eyes of one of its greatest musicians.