Kosher Info: If you’re planning a trip to Cuba anytime soon and you prefer not to starve then I would suggest you plan your trip very carefully! Prawns, lobster and calamarimay look appetising but they are not very kosher!
You have two options:
1: Buy lots of Osem packet soups, Nutri-Grain bars and crackers, but although we didn’t get checked it may be a little risky at customs.
2. When you get there buy a small little slow cooker or as some may call it, a cholent pot!
Beleieve it or not, its almost impossible for tourists to buy fruit or vegetables and even less likely to find a semi-stocked supermarket. All American products are banned and you probably won’t find anything with a hechsher (apart from Manchester Beit Din Pasta for some odd reason). Buying a slow cooker is perfect, not too expensive and it can also be used to heat water. Prepare yourselves for lots of Pasta, Spaghetti, Pasta and even more spaghetti!
A good idea is to start a competition between your fellow travellers as to who can make the best dinner. This triggers competitiveness and will likely influence a larger variety of food – CAPITALISM woo hoo!!
Tourist Info: There is lots to see in Havana, but I wouldn’t recommend staying there for more then a couple of days since your so close to the beautiful Caribbean coast.
If you smoke, Cuba is the place for you! Smoking is allowed inside any public place including the famous cigar factories. Make sure that before you schlep half way around Havana looking for the cigar factory that actually exists, you must got to the Saratoga Hotel to buy your entry tickets.
Although buying Cuban cigars is a lot cheaper in Cuba then anywhere else it still isn’t THAT cheap. Ask your factory tour guide (quietly) if he/she will meet up with you after hours to get a better price but don’t pay more then $50 for a box of 25 and make sure it has all the correct stickers and stamps on the box!! The cigars that are offered in the street are likely to be fake. Cubans are good and fetch for over $800 in Ben-Gurion Airport’s duty free (I’ve checked).
Museums: Cuban Museum Guide
Cuba’s tourist office (including the Lonely Planet’s) description of their museums are entirely glamorized. The Museum of the Revolution is interesting but the exhibits are old, badly translated and very long!
The Chocolate Museum is not a museum! it’s is a cafe that serves types of chocolate and has some posters on the wall about the history of chocolate. Once you manage to squeeze past the coffee tables to get to the posters you then realize that you don’t speak Spanish and can’t understand a thing!
Car Museum: There are much better cars in the street so save your money!
In Cuba its all about Salsa, so a lesson or two would not do you any harm! There are many Salsa bars in Cuba, and if you are a fan then you should not miss a live performance at the Casa de Musica. There are two, one in town and one a little further out. Entry is around $10.