1/10 The National Hotel
It has housed guests as diverse as Winston Churchill to Al Capone but Cuba’s most famous hotel, The National should be on every family itinerary.
Activities: Swan around the lobby or sip a cocktail in the bar, La Terrazza, with stunning views of the Malecon. Opened in the 1930’s, it’s also the only hotel in Cuba that’s a national monument.
Book at: hotelnacionalcuba.com
2/10 Catch a baseball game
Where to go: To get in on the baseball action either head to Parque Central on the edge of La Habana Vieja where locals gather to play daily, or book a seat at the Estadio Latinoamericano, home to Havana’s two main teams, Metropolitanos and Industriales.
Book: Get tickets at the stadium box office, call the Estadio on (537) 870-6752, or ask at your hotel if they have a booking service (although prices will be higher, it does take the hassle out of buying tickets).
Price: Between CU$1 and CU$3 per person.
3/10 Mi casa es su casa
Where to stay: There’s no better way of getting the authentic, real-deal, Cuban experience than shacking up with a local in their own private house. Havana has many licensed ‘casas particulares’ (private houses) where you and your family can sample daily Cuban life for yourself. They’re also usually cheaper than private hotels.
Book: We recommend you try Casa Mylena y Otto, Calle, Vedado, Havana, Cuba.
Book at havanacasaparticular.com
4/10 Learn to dance
With its pulsating African and Hispanic rhythms, Rumba is Havana’s musical heartbeat. You’ll see impromptu performances all over the city but why not learn for yourself by visiting one of the regular rumba spots around town.
Where to go: Head to Callejon de Hamel, where several groups play on Sundays and you’ll be treated to drumming beats and local rhythmic chants.
5/10 Pay homage to Che Guevara
His is the face that adorns many a souvenir t-shirt, but as the rebel leader responsible for ending Barista rule in Cuba, Che Guevara is an enduring cultural hero and icon.
Activities: The Che Guevara Mausoleum (Mausoleo Che Guevara) is a day trip away in the nearby city of Santa Clara, but visiting the Plaza de la Revolucion, Cuba’s political centre on Catalanes Hill is an essential stop in any family itinerary.
6/10 Tour the city
No visit to Havana would be complete without a tour in one of the city’s iconic 1950’s American classic cars.
Activities: Cruise along the Malecon, with the ocean on one side and the crumbling colonial facades on the other.
Book: Cars can be booked through Gran Car at all hotel tour desks.
7/10 Hit the beach
Just 20 minutes’ taxi ride away from Old Havana is an 8km stretch of white sand, the Playas del Este, divided into sections that each have their own attractions and atmosphere.
Activities: Go to Tarara, El Megano, Santa Maria del Mar, Boca Ciega and Guanabo. They’re the places where the locals hang out on evenings and weekends, and a great way to relax during your city break.
8/10 Old Havana
Wander the streets of La Hababa Vieja (old Havana) and you and your family will be instantly transported, sans Tardis, up to five centuries past.
Activities: Must- sees are the Plaza de Armas, the oldest square in the city and the site of its foundation; El Templete, the oldest neo-classical building in Havana; and the baroque portico of Casa de la Obra Pia, which was carved in Cadiz in 1686.
9/10 Museo del Chocolate
Situated in the old town and a chocoholics paradise, Havana’s quirky Museo del Chocolate doesn’t just hold artefacts mapping the history of chocolate in Cuba, or the place where you can see chocolates and truffles being made, but serves up drinking chocolate (served hot or cold) so thick you can stand your spoon in it.
Details: Mercaderes Street and Amargura, Old Havana. Open every day from 10am-8pm.
10/10 Visit a Hemingway haunt
It’s a must-do photo opportunity, visiting the bars (La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita) where Hemingway once hung out.
Top tip: If you do go, though, limit yourself to just the one mojito (as they tend to be pricey).
Where to go: Head for Bar Monserrate or Lluvia de Oro to sample the much more authentic and famously raucous Cuban bar experience.