The 5 best places to feel 'La Alegría Cubana' in Havana

1) Arte Corte - Papito

Papito calls his hair salon and small museum an interactive monument. You can admire razors, old scissors and lots of other tools with a history while sitting in this one hundred-year-old barber’s chair. The street is called el Callejón de los Peluqueros. Papito’s passion and energy have helped create a trendy street, with various new businesses opening.

barber on the street in Havana

Aguiar no 10, entre Peña Pobre y Avenida de las Misiones, Habana Vieja

+53 7861 0202

2) Patio de la Rumba

Afro-Cuban religious and secular dance and drumming for three hours, on Saturdays from 3 till 6 pm. This is known as el Sábado de la Rumba, an event that is hosted by El Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba. Rumba, guaguancó and yambú. Great atmosphere with Cuban regulars, grandmothers, children, students, tourists, santeros, local neighbors. Listen to the rhythm of the congas and let the rhythm take you over. This is the real stuff.

Patio de la Rumba El Gran Palenque

at: El Gran Palenque, Calle 4 no 103, entre 5ta y Calzada, Vedado

+53 7836 9075

3) Salón de ensayo Benny Moré

The rehearsal studio of the production house EGREM is located in this popular street in Centro Habana. The door is always open so walk by and listen to the music of some excellent groups playing son, guaracha or another type of traditional music.

Neptuno no 960, entre Hospital y Aramburu, Centro Habana

4) Peña Obini Batá

A folkloric percussion group, all women, playing batá drums, chéqueres, tumbadoras, cajones in addition to the singing, reciting and dancing. They play on Fridays at the Yoruba Center and on Saturdays at Casa de Africa.

Peña Obini Batá at Casa Africa

5) Callejón de Hamel

El Callejón de Hamel is a community project related to Afro-Cuban culture inspired by the painter, sculptor and muralist Salvador González Escalona. His goal was to bring new life to Cayo Hueso. The result is that there are a lot of street paintings that evoke African art, sculptures and installations of contemporary art. The roofs are covered with many colors, poetry, images. Go on Sunday during the rumba.

Callejón de Hamel

Callejón de Hamel, entre Aramburu y Hospital, Centro Habana

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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Havana reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Havana's best-kept secrets.

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