I recently found out that in Belgium, nobody under 84 actually uses the word ‘cool’ anymore. I wasn’t in the know yet and unfashionably pronounced those 4 letters when in company of some teenagers who must have thought I was close to retirement. They looked at me as if they’d seen a unicorn sitting on a spaceship to Mars. They say ‘swag’ nowadays, or so it seems, and saying ‘cool’ isn’t ‘swag’. But this is an article about Cuba, and that, my friends, is beyond cool! Let me tell you why.



The best things to do in Cuba
The best things to do in Cuba
The best things to do in Cuba

The best things to do in Cuba

[A] Almost get arrested because some waiter thinks you didn’t pay the check and calls the police, who promptly decide to stop every car in the area to find the ‘thieves’.

[B] Take a boat tour at Cueva del Indio in Viñales and drive through the mojotes afterwards.

The best things to do in Cuba

[C] Stay with the locals in a casa particular, chill at one of the many casa de la musica and smoke hand made Cuban cigars.

The best things to do in Cuba

[D] Go dirty dancing with the locals at the ‘Copacabana’ in Camaguey.

[E] Return to your room in Habana after a night out to discover it’s empty… Turned out the owner of the casa rented 3 rooms, while he was only allowed to rent 2 and an inspector passed by so he had to quickly put all our stuff in the wardrobe.

[F] Talk about Fidel Castro and socialism for hours with your taxi driver on the way from Trinidad to Santa Clara.

The best things to do in Cuba

[G] Meet these lovely grandmothers in Trinidad, where they run a casa particular.

Directions: the casa particular is located at the intersection of Calle Alameda and Calle Amargura. It’s the house with the green doors. When you come from the Casa de la Trova, follow Calle Alameda – stop for a drink and some live music at Las Ruinas de Segarte on your right – and you’ll see it right in front of you.

[H] Wander through the streets of Habana Vieja.

[I] Visit one of the many iglesias.


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Pocket Havana, Edition - 1 eBook by Lonely Planet
The best things to do in Cuba

[J] Discover how in Cuba, EVERYONE has a job. Even the guy sitting behind a closed entrance gate all day reading a magazine.

[K] Discover how kind and helpful the people are.

[L] Sleep at the ‘love shack’ in Habana – but only if you like shiny pink sheets and you’re not too difficult about hygiene… If you want to do something that’s actually cool – excuse me swag – go listen to live music at Plaza Mayor in Trinidad.

[M] Rent a motorbike and drive from Viñales to Cayo Jutias for some white sand and perfectly blue water.

[N] Get a ride in a car with nine hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine kilometers on the counter. Because that’s where it stopped turning…

The best things to do in Cuba

[O] Get lucky when the owner of the most awesome turquoise oldtimer parks his car at the picture perfect spot by the beach.

The best things to do in Cuba

[P] Go to a Peso store or eat at a paladar (‘restaurant’ in the home of the locals) for cheap local food.

[Q] Eat quesadillas – because there’s really not much else to find if you’re a vegetarian.

[R] Drink rhum. Do I need to explain why?

[S] Take salsa lessons and dance all night with the locals in Trinidad or Santiago de Cuba.

[T] Visit a tobacco barn in Viñales or go to the casa de la trova in Trinidad.

The best things to do in Cuba
The best things to do in Cuba

[U] Don’t forget your umbrella. In Cuba, when it rains, it pours and you’ll have water up to your ankles in no time. Not that an umbrella will do anything to solve that problem but ‘bring boots’ doesn’t start with a U.

The best things to do in Cuba
Time to prepare an umbrella and a pair of boots in Trinidad…

[V] Take pictures of every ‘Hasta la Victoria siempre’ or other propaganda you see. You might want to consider extra storage.

[W] Get your money stolen by a girl that hits on you at a party but turns out to be a whore (I would have written prostitue but P was taken already – this happened to my friend who was travelling with me).

[X] Look for a relevant word that starts with an X for hours but don’t find a single one. Suggestions anyone?

[Y] Drink yummy fresh fruit juices.

[Z] Zigzag your way through the market stalls and troba singers in the cobbled streets of Trinidad.

The best things to do in Cuba

Alright, now that you know all the coolest – excuse me swaggest – things to do in Cuba, it’s time for some practical stuff. Check out these Cuba Travel Tips from fellow blogger Raphael!



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56 thoughts on “My ABC of the coolest things to do in Cuba”

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  1. The “swaggest” 2 things I ever did in Cuba, gave a little boy sitting outside is house in the countryside in Jibacoa a “matchbook” toy car. The expression on his face was the highlight of my first trip to Cuba. Number 2 was sipping beer at the brewpub in Plaza Vieja with Anna our tour guide and Ridell the driver/owner of an awesome ’57 Pontiac. It was our second visit to Habana with them and it was like we were out with old friends. Beautiful people.

      1. drivers are everywhere in Cuba,, just stop and ask someone.. most of them speak pretty good English and will take you anywhere you wanna go for a price, usually cheaper than bus tours… make sure you haggle with them to get a cheaper ride.. if they say no,, walk away. they will take your money especially when the cuc is more to them than their own money. Good luck and have fun,, we are going in march. |It will be our 4th time to Cuba.. Absolutely love it..


    2. Thank you so much for this. I keep on forgetting about Cuba and now I’m just about ready to go and pack my bag! Are they still very tight on not being able to travel to the USA after as that’s something that has put me of… My mum lives is NYC… But the thought of salsa is making me thing maybe my mum doesn’t need a visit haha

    3. Is it “swaggest” or “swaggiest”? Just wondering so I can quit saying “cool”. Cuba looks amazing and I really hope to get there soon, once I can find an affordable flight. But once airfares drop, everyone will go. Hmmmm. Any tips on that?

    4. I really want to go to Cuba! I don’t know how or when, but when I do, I’m going to check this list again and make sure I’m covering my ABCs.

      1. I’ve been all around the country: Havana, Vinales, Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, etc. It was amazing but it was also 8 or 9 years ago so I have no idea how touristy it has become in the mean time… However if it’s anything like it was then, I would totally recommend it, it was one of my best trips ever!!

    5. Most people are kind because they want money in return and are not afraid to ask for it. But, it is nice when they are being kind just because. Should have had under T say “watch out for taxi drivers they will hose you”.

    6. Don’t worry I’m a teen that still uses cool, must depend on the country. Cuba sounds fascinating, I would love to visit one day-though as a vegetarian I’ll probably have to bring my own food

    7. I lost 2500 CUC ( 12 years pay for a Cuban) on a bus. I spent 5 hours asking all the bus drivers if they found it. It was returned without one penny missing. SAFEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!

    8. have lunch or dinner at a beach called playa prohibida in cayo coco. best ans biggest lobster with red snapper and shrimp which comes with rice and cucumber slies and also comes with a cuba libre for $15.00 cant beat it

    9. Letter B: the boat tour. That sounds amazing. Could you provide details on how to go about doing that? Going in June- yayyyyy!!!

    10. What a great post! I love your blog in general, but I think this is my favorite post. I tend to look for the most romantic places to visit (since I blog about romance & travel) but it’s good for me to get out of my comfort zone and find new ways to have adventures I might not normally try. (Although I’ll skip almost being arrested, lol)
      You’ve given me some good ideas for planning my next trip. Thank you!

    11. Cuba is a very peaceful city. I really love the atmosphere over there. Once I have been over there and enjoyed some of these activities. Thanks mate for this great info, you remind me my days in cuba. I really appreciate that. Looking forward to take one more trip and do other activities that you have mentioned. haha…

    12. What a unique format of list. As what I’ve heard of Cuba, it’s a peaceful place. I’ll probably try a boat tour at Cueva del Indio in Viñales and drive through the mojotes afterwards.

    13. Thank you for sharing this amazing destination, i will travel there after this pandemic, i just have a small question, i have heard about scams when buying cigars, what is your best advice about it ?

    14. Fall in love with Cuba? I think I would be on my knees too if I can experience everything written in this blog first-hand! I love how this blog amazingly made an ABC to 26 things to do in Cuba! Never thought this place would be fun and cool, as my first impressions of it would be boring. Thanks for letting us know and being so passionate in encouraging us to visit this place!

    15. This is an amazing article and more than enough to get a memorable experience in Cuba. I totally agree with you the people in Cuba are so kind, and so friendliest especially with tourists. I’m sure anyone who travel to Cuba would have a perfect trip.

    16. Cuba looks so nice!
      Soon we will be there too. We are going to travel around and I hope that our rooms not are double booked
      Nice blog!

    17. Travel is one of the most enriching experiences that one can have in life. It allows us to explore new cultures, meet new people, and learn about ourselves in the process. Whether it’s backpacking through Europe, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or lounging on a beach in Thailand, travel has the power to transform us in ways that nothing else can.

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