Havana named top upcoming destination by TripAdvisor

5th Dec 2013

Beyonce and Jay-Z are among the stars to be spotted on city breaks to Havana this year.

But you don't have to be a celebrity couple to enjoy the Cuban capital's charms.

The city's emergence as a major tourist destination has been recognised in TripAdvisor's annual Travellers' Choice Awards this week.

It was named the world's number one Destination on the Rise for 2013, based on the views of millions of travellers.

Havana has been enjoying a cultural renaissance lately, as it brushes off the cobwebs and pours resources into resorts and hotels without losing its original charm.

Like Beyonce and Jay-Z, you can soak up the destination's culture, romance and tropical sun's rays.

Many visitors love strolling amid the colonial-era cultural sites of Old Havana, with the distinctive architecture of Plaza Vieja (Old Square) highly recommended.

You may prefer to hot-step it to a salsa club or visit a factory producing legendary Cuban cigars.

Others may care to sip a rum-based mojito cocktail in one of author Ernest Hemingway's haunts.

Travellers can breathe in the energy which buzzes in and around Havana's historic city centre, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Havana overcame strong competition from La Fortuna de San Carlos in Costa Rica, Kathmandu in Nepal, and Jerusalem, to win the top spot.

The Destinations on the Rise awards identify 54 worldwide tourism hotspots that have seen the largest jump in positive traveller feedback and traveller interest during the year.

The awards also feature a South America section, awarded to Peru's Cusco. Nepal's Kathmandu won the Asian Destination on the Rise honour.

Lonely Planet, the world's biggest travel guide book publisher, is in no doubt about the Cuban capital's allure.

It says: "Havana is a one-off. Sitting pretty as the Caribbean's largest and most vivacious city, its romantic atmosphere and infectious energy are the stuff of legend."

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