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    Updated on Aug 12, 2019. Posted on Jun 21, 2017

    17 Havana Bars To Drink In Before The Tourists Arrive

    Drink up before the crowds descend.

    1. Hotel Nacional

    2. Cafe la Flauta Mágica

    A converted penthouse suite, this bar lies 10 floors up and overlooks the iconic Malecón road. Order a round of daiquiris and drink them by the pool with the Havana skyline as backdrop. You should also indulge in the bar's extensive rum collection – it stocks the full Havana Club range. The Selección de Maestros makes for excellent sipping as you watch the sunset and wait for the night's jazz musicians to arrive.

    3. Madrigal

    4. Doña Eutimia

    Instagram: @blanca.prial / Via

    Come here for ice-cold frozen mojitos and some of the best ropa vieja (shredded beef) in Havana. Doña Eutimia was one of the first paladars (private restaurants) to the area, and is now surrounded by copycats – don't let any of the hustlers hanging nearby lure you in. It's tiny, so be prepared to wait if it's full. It's worth it.

    5. Floridita

    Here, in one of Ernest Hemingway's favourite haunts – there's a statue of the author sat at the bar – you can forget overworked mixology. Instead you'll find infinite amounts of the best frozen daiquiris you'll ever have being made at the speed of light. Try to work your way through the crowds to grab a seat at the bar for a front-row view of the spectacular pours (up to three bottles of rum, upside down, from up high).

    6. Waoo

    7. El Cocinero

    8. Fábrica de Arte Cubano

    9. La Guarida

    Tony Hisgett / Via Flickr: hisgett

    Opened in the '90s by Enrique and Odeisys Nuñez, this paladar is one of the island's most famous, thanks to its appearance in the Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate. Housed in a huge, derelict mansion, the restaurant lies hidden through a warren of corridors and stairs, its cosy intimacy heightened by the faded grandeur outside. Up top you'll also find a modern rooftop bar with panoramic views of Havana.

    10. Espacios


    An un-signposted house in Miramar that contains a gloriously chilled-out tapas bar and mini art gallery hanging on the walls. You can watch from a little corner indoors or head out to the patio to mingle with the beautiful, artsy crowd.

    11. Bodeguita Del Medio

    12. Cafe O'Reilly

    Francis Mariani / Via Flickr: designwallah

    An intimate two-floor restaurant with a rustic feel. Go for food, or try to find a spot on the balcony to do some people-watching – one of my favourite Havana activities.

    13. Sloppy Joe's

    14. Casa Miglis

    15. Bar Monserrate

    Slow fans, dark wood panelling, a live Cuban band, and more than a few locals – Monserrate is the classic Cuban bar that you'll see painted in films and literature. Order a drink and while away a few hours in conversation with your nearest neighbour – there are far worse ways to spend an afternoon.

    16. Sia Kara

    17. El Polvorin

    derek polb / Via Flickr: drkolb

    A little hidden spot by El Morro castle, with sweeping views over the harbour from the terrace. Step outside of the downtown crush for an atmospheric evening that's lively without being a squeeze.

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