A good hostel/meeting place for 42-year-old single traveller in Havana
Replies: 31 - Last Post: Apr 1, 2013 7:16 AM Last Post By: drienke
Feb 14, 2013 6:22 AM
A good hostel/meeting place for 42-year-old single traveller in HavanaHello,
Have done quite some reading of the thread, but haven't found one that can answer: which is a good hostel/casa/hotel in Havana for my first 3 nights (so that I can buy my tourist card) where a 42-year-old (young in the head) traveller can meet other 'mature' travellers? I love a party, etc., but am not up for sleeping on a cardboard box anymore.
I only have two weeks (this coming March), but am hella excited.
Feb 14, 2013 6:37 AM
1One small point... you don't need accommodation to purchase a Tourist Card, that prerequisite was dropped many years ago...
There are almost no stereotypical hostels in Cuba yet so your accommodation usually isn't a great place to meet other foreigners. If you get lonely just walk down Obispo and drop into any bar, you'll meet new frens soon enough...
Feb 14, 2013 7:08 AM
Feb 14, 2013 7:26 AM
3Thanks. Just to clarify, I was under the impression that I needed to have booked three nights accommodation before leaving the UK in order that I could apply for the VISA. Terry suggested otherwise, however I just called the Cuban Embassy in London and they informed me that I do need to have three nights booked to get the tourist card.
They did however say that I could get it in 30 minutes provided I have proof of: flights, that I have booked at least 3 nights accommodation, passport and £15.
So now I just need recommendations for somewhere to stay for the first 3 nights...any good places?
Feb 14, 2013 8:30 AM
4The Embassy is wrong, as mentioned above the pre-booked accommodation requirement was dropped a long time ago. If they want to know where you're staying just tell them anything... the National Hotel will do fine.
And yes, picking up the Tourist Card is as fast ad easy as they say, no worries.
Lastly, in terms of accommodation you have to decide whether you're interested in a Casa Particular (Cuban version of a bed & breakfast) or a hotel. Also, what's your budget?
Some decent hotels in good locations: http://www.habaguanexhotels.com/
For casas, local guides and other local services and info have a look here:
Feb 14, 2013 9:13 AM
5Thanks Terry. I'll check out the links you've sent. Do you know what, I haven't even thought about my budget (I booked this yesterday after leaving a long term relationship - typical eh), but normally when I travel with someone I spend between £60 and £100, but on my own am happy in a hostel type at £20 a night.
I'm quite surprised there are no back packing hostel type places, but at least now you've told me what a 'casa' is (I didn't even know that).
Feb 14, 2013 9:15 AM
Feb 14, 2013 9:17 AM
7Hey. Meeting up with other tourists outside of resorts can be tough in Cuba compared to other places, its much easier to meet cubans!:).
The hostel thing where you meet other independent travelers doesn't exist in Cuba except for one exception, there is a hostal (like 5 beds in one room thing) which often serves people from the couchsurfing community. If i remember correctly they also have a bar there, so even if your not staying there its a good chance that you can go to the bar and try to meet up with some people.
El Chanchullero(spelling..) is also a popular place for these type of tourist. The tables at the first floor is usually taken but their benches are rarely full so you have a good excuse to take a seat at the tables :).
The viazul terminal is also a good location to find other tourists. But the best bet would be to go to the couchsurfing forums and ask for other single travelers and or meetings in havana.
Feb 14, 2013 9:17 AM
8Normal casas are generally about CUC 30/35 a night in Havana, less in other parts.
Feb 14, 2013 11:39 AM
9npumpre, the bureaucrats at the embassy in London are just that, bureaucrats.. you don`t even need to get the tourist card through them at all, try www.visacuba.com (its a lot less hassle and the entire process is on line) and without questions related to your accom.
£20 the equiv. in Cuban currency, will you get you a nice enough casa particular in Havana (something like a B&B). The pound goes a long way in Cuba, we are lucky!
I don`t think you need to worry about meeting people, old Havana is full of traveller`s just hanging out or Cuban people hanging out, have a stroll around - but the hotel inglaterra terrace is always a good spot, el Floridita bar, or you try hotel swimming pools such as the one of the hotel nacional or melia cohiba.. the list is endless really, you`ll have a blast!
Feb 14, 2013 5:22 PM
10I think some sort of accommodation that houses more than one room would work. There are a couple of old converted convents in old Havana. (Sorry I don't recall the names of them.) Or a casa that rents several rooms and has a common court yard/eating area. I know I have seen a few of those listed on different sites.
Good luck and have fun planning!
Feb 14, 2013 5:30 PM
11This is one of the convents. I know there is one more, I just can't find it.
There is this web site too. Just don't know about those prices. They seem too low to be true.
Feb 15, 2013 2:33 AM
Feb 15, 2013 3:27 AM
Will be in Havana in March.
When will you be there?
Feb 15, 2013 5:56 AM
14where a 42-year-old (young in the head) traveller can meet other 'mature' travelers
I have never figured out why a tourist would travel to Cuba to meet other tourists.
Anyway a good chance I will be there in March if not April for sure and can be found in the outdoor café of the pastelería Francesca sandwiched between the hotels Inglaterra y Telégrafo. If you see this young lady there that will be me sitting beside her. Stop by and introduce yourself.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$375.50 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$160.69 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$318.18 per night