Ernest Hemingway was a famous American writer that lived in Cuba during the 1940’s and 1950’s where he wrote his most famous novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. He is a Nobel Prize winning author and a recognisable figure from Cuba’s elaborate history. In any Lonely Planet guide or tourist handbook his name will be mentioned during the pages that depict Havana and places to visit.
Hemingway was known for frequenting two bars in Havana that have now become slight tourist attractions that play on his image and legacy. Most travel books will mention this and the fact that you can expect to thus pay more than you would in an average bar. For example in Havana mojitos are on top of every cocktail list (we’ll have a separate post on the mojitos of Cuba) and you would pay on average 3CUC (roughly €3) for one. In these bars however be expected to pay double that for your tipple of choice.
La Bodeguita Del Medio is situated in Old Havana along a charming cobbled street. This was the place where Hemingway drank his Mojitos and it has now become a big tourist attraction with guests allowed to sign the walls and even a gift shop next door. Food was available but we were in need of a cool mojito out of the heat of the day. I have to say this was hands down one of the best Mojitos we’d had in Havana (and trust me we’d tried a lot!). It was so nice to relax at the bar surrounded by history and watch the hustle and bustle of the street outside.
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita.”
El Floridita is located in Old Havana a short walk from the El Capitolio building. As mentioned in Hemingway’s quote it is famous for its daiquiris and its motto is “la cuna del daiquiri” (the cradle of the daiquiri). The exterior of the building is a vivid pink which fits right in with the bustling street full of life outside. Inside you will find a long bar and situated at the end is a life sized bronze statue of Ernest Hemingway himself. This bar has a charming old style feel with excellent live music and memorabilia decorating the walls. Despite the majority of the patrons being tourists it is an amazing bar to visit and sip on a daiquiri!
Darragh & Kate.