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Cuba Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Cuba

Cuba makes the world's finest cigars. In Havana, you can buy the real thing at Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás (a cigar factory founded in 1845) and La Casa del Habano Quinta (one of the best cigar shops). Beware that cigars from street vendors will probably be fakes or factory rejects.

How many cigars you can bring back from Cuba depends on the import rules of your country. For example, if you are heading back to the UK, you are allowed to bring in 50 cigars provided that you don't have other tobacco products. If you are going to the US, you are permitted to bring 100 cigars.

Fidel Castro's favourite brand was Cohiba, Ché Guevara favoured Montecristos, and, before he put the blockade in place, President Kennedy stocked up on H Upmanns.

Cuban rum is another great gift to buy. Havana Club is the most famous brand and makes a perfect gift. Again, how much you can bring back depends on the import rules of your country.

Shopping hours

Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1000-1200.

Nightlife in Cuba

Havana is renowned for its after-dark entertainment scene, and many bars have a house band playing Cuban classics. Salsa is big, but Reggaeton is positively bigger, even though the government has tried to limit songs that contain obscene language.

In Havana, the famous Tropicana Club ( stages nightly cabarets that are a throwback to the decadent, pre-Revolution days. The Cabaret Parisien at the Hotel Nacional is similar.

You can most certainly find at least one music venue in other cities. In Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city, excellent venues include Casa de la Trova (known as the oldest traditional music club in Cuba) and Casa de las Tradiciones.

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