With diplomatic ties resuming between the U.S. and Cuba, visitors are coming to Havana in droves, and locals are embracing it.
Cuba is famous for its cigars. To get a behind-the-scenes look at the cigar-making process, visit the Partagas Cigar Factory, a renowned label in both Cuba and the world over.
An estimated 1 million Cuban citizens gather at this plaza on International Workers' Day on May 1. Annual festivities include speeches from top officials, including the Castros.
M G Therin Weise
Five miles of Caribbean beaches lie just 11 miles east of Havana. The shoreline consists of six separate beaches, each with a different personality and set of amenities.
Considered the city's main square, Plaza Vieja is lined with restaurants, art galleries and some quirky art, in addition to its colorful architecture.
Jacques van Dinteren
Ernest Hemingway called Havana home for a whopping 22 years. Although visitors cannot enter his former home, travelers say views from the open doors and windows offer excellent vantage points.
Artifacts on display at this museum include blood-stained uniforms from the revolution, a tank used in the Bay of Pigs and bullet holes in the walls from an attempted assassination.
This plaza is a favorite among visitors for its stunning 18th-century cathedral. To avoid crowds, plan your trip when cruise ships aren't docked.
Rosita So Image
Old Havana is not only considered to be the heart of the capital, but it's also a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
Jose Manuel Azcona
This 5-mile-long seaside boulevard is popular among locals and tourists. To experience El Malecón like the locals, visit at night when the Habaneros come out to play.
Buena Vista Images
No trip to Havana is complete without riding in one of these classic automobiles. Luckily, they are used as taxis, making this quintessential Cuban experience not one for just the locals.
When it's windy and the tide is high, the ocean's waves crash against El Malecón, creating a picture-perfect splash zone for passersby.
Colors Hunter - Chasseur de Couleurs
Even though Cuba is changing, it's best to keep your political opinions to yourself. Believe it or not, it's actually a crime to say anything unflattering about top leaders of the country.
Cuban coffee is famously strong. Served in little cups, the coffee is espresso mixed with sugar while it brews.
Cubans are credited with creating both the mojito and the daiquiri. If you're a Hemingway fan, don't leave Havana without stopping by his old haunt, El Flordita.
Ignasi Jans?á Guinchard
Come nightfall, Havana can be downright enchanting. Take a walk along El Malecón or soak up the city's nightlife.
Cuba invented the cha-cha, the mambo and the conga – and dancing flows through the blood of Cubans. Don't be surprised if you see dance parties break out at restaurants, bars or on the streets.
The most traditional Cuban dish is rice and beans served with a side of meat. You'll likely see Moros y Cristianos (nickname for white rice and black beans) on the menu, and fried plantains served as a snack.