The streets of La Habana

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We were thrilled to find that Havana was just as we had imagined it. Classic cars line the streets, the buildings are colourful and crumbling, revolutionary slogans are painted on the walls.

We spent most of our time there walking around the Habana Vieja and Centro areas, stopping at food stalls for corn on the cob or churros. Life is lived on the street and there's always something going on – children playing baseball, a salsa band warming up, old men in Panama hats playing dominoes underneath a cloud of cigar smoke. Front doors and windows are left open and families sit outside their houses – getting a glimpse into Cuban life was fascinating.

A view of Havana

A classic car in Centro A flower market in Centro

Mechanics fixing a classic car

A view of Plaza Vieja

Beautifully restored buildings in Habana Vieja

Me in Havana A classroom on Obispo, Havana

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A Cuban food stall

Eating corn on the cob in Havana

A Che mural

One of our favourite discoveries – Havana has a Chinatown!

Chinatown in Havana

Where we stayed: Casa Don Leterio was the nicest casa we stayed in during our time in Cuba. Lovely decor, friendly hosts and the best location in Havana.

Where we ate: Jacqueline Fumero for cooked breakfasts; Cafe El Escorial for coffee and people-watching; Mama Ines for modern Cuban food; La Lluvia de Oro for good music and a fun atmosphere.

Where to get the best view: On the rooftop of the Iberostar Hotel (where you can also use the wifi) or at the Camera Obscura in Plaza Vieja.

I've also written a complete guide to planning a trip to Cuba for anyone headed there soon.