On our way to Vietnam we had a stopover in Moscow. Arriving at 10pm and leaving at 8pm the next day meant we had to make most of our little stay. The passport control took around 50min including waiting and questioning. Good thing we had a visa (yes, even for a less than 24h stay you need one!). It seemed that some people did not know that when they arrived… Anyway, so around 12am we arrived at the hotel in Moscow and 20mins later we sat in our Uber taxi to go to the first bar. We went to the Noor Bar where I had a super yummy Mint Julep cocktail (apparently invented in the late 19th century :) ). The music was good just the crowd was a little bit too casual for our mood that evening. So after finishing our cocktails we headed to a shisha place to get a little late night snack and around 2am we made our way to the Mendeleev Bar. The bar is a speak easy type cocktail bar which is hidden in a Chinese fast food place. Here I had a Vieux Carre which the bartender suggested – amazing taste (similar to an Old Fashioned with a bit of a cherry touch). I also totally fell in love with the interior design and atmosphere of the Mendeleev Bar. Around 3am we decided it’s time to get some sleep to be able to wake up early for the sightseeing the next day.

 

Noor Bar

Noor Bar. Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow.

Sherbet

Sherbet restaurant Moscow. Things to do at night in Moscow

Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

Mendeleev Bar

Mendeleev Bar. Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

Mendeleev Bar. Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

Pretty Moscow At Night

Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

Moscow by night. Things to do at night in Moscow

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National Hug Day

Happy National Hug Day

Wohoo, today is the day to hug all your friends! Who knows, maybe in a few or many years also strangers in the street start hugging each other

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Whether you will  prefer Cayo Santa Maria or Varadero largely depends on two things: (1) How much you enjoy parties and the company of lots of other tourists and (2) how much time you have planned for staying on the beach.

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(1) The Tourist Factor  Or How Much You Love Sharing Your Beach

While both, Varadero beach and the Cayo beaches, are incredibly beautiful, Varadero is much more crowded. Varadero is relatively famous and probably the most popular beach that is relatively close to Havana. Therefore there will always be other tourists. Also, younger people tend to go to Varadero rather than to the Cayos exactly because there is much more going on in Varadero. There are more night clubs and you will likely get to know other travellers without much effort. Hence, if you like going out and meet new people, Varadero is the beach you want. If you prefer a romantic couple getaway to a rather remote beach without loud music and lots of other people, choose one of the Cayos.

(2) The Time Factor

For the majority of tourists in Cuba, Havana is a must. If that holds for you too and you are not planning to stay at least a few days on a beach and time is limited, Varadero seems to be a good solution. It takes around two hours to get to Varadero and there are buses going from Havana to Varadero several times a day. There are even organised day trips from Havana to Varadero which bring you back to your hotel in Havana at night. It takes around 6 hours to go from Havana to the Cayo beaches but the bus schedule is not as straightforward. Hence, depending on whether you are taking a private bus operator or the state operator you need to plan a bit more time in to get to the Cayo beach. Therefore it makes sense to stay at least 3 nights over there to make it worth the trip.

Cuba Santa Maria

Hence, if you are a party animal and have limited time, go to Varadero. If you are on a romantic honeymoon and want to spend a few days on a beautiful beach, drive up to the Cayos.

The Cayo beaches also make perfect sense if you are planning to visit other cities in Cuba as well (and have a few days allocated for beach time), e.g. Trinidad where you could pass by on your way back from the Cayo to Havana.

We decided to spend 4 nights in Cayo Santa Maria – which was absolutely beautiful and quiet :) Photos of Cayo Santa Maria below!

Cuba White Sands Honeymoon Beach

Cuba White Sands Honeymoon Beach

Cuba Beach Cayo

Santa Maria Cuba Beach

Cuba White Sands Honeymoon Beach

Cayo Santa Maria Cuba

Cayo Santa maria

Cuba beach travel

Cuba Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Honeymoon

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