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Uncover the cultural heart of Havana

Havana is a wildly exuberant city where rhythms and melodies are ubiquitous, abstract art fourishes and museums milk the nation’s rich historical heritage.
Sunday rumba at Callejón de Hamel

Live music

1 LA CASA DE LA MÚSICA

One of Cuba’s best nightclubs and live-music venues, hosting all the big names from Bamboleo to Los Van Van. Of the city’s two Casas de La Música, the Centro Habana version is a little edgier than its Miramar counterpart – check out the listings to see who’s playing ((promociones.egrem.co.cu for listings; Calle Galiano; between Concordia & Neptuno, Centro Habana; admission from £3).

2 CALLEJÓN DE HAMEL

Aside from its funky street murals and psychedelic art shops, the main reason to come to Havana’s high temple of Afro-Cuban culture in Centro Habana is for the frenetic rumba music that kicks off every Sunday at around noon. For aficionados, this is about as raw and hypnotic as it gets, with interlocking drum patterns and lengthy rhythmic chants powerful enough to summon up the spirit of the orishas (Yoruba gods).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - October 2015
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