Plaza de la Revolución, Havana - Stein Travel
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Plaza de la Revolución

Dominated by the imposing José Martí Memorial, the gigantic square has seen numerous political rallies, and the podium in front of the memorial is where important political figures like Fidel Castro have addressed more than a million Cubans on important occasions, such as 1 May and 26 July each year. At the foot of the memorial is a museum dedicated to José Martí, a national hero who would most likely have become Cuba's first president had he survived the Second War of Independence in 1895. It is possible to take the elevator to the top of the 138ft (42m) memorial, the highest structure in the city. Located behind the memorial are the closely guarded offices of Castro. Opposite the memorial, on the far side of the square, is the much-photographed Che Guevara image with the slogan Hasta la Victoria Siempre(Forever Onwards Towards Victory), that identifies the Ministry of the Interior building.

Information & Facts

Admission

Memorial: CUC$5

Language

The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in the main tourist spots.

Money

The official currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP), divided into 100 centavos, but the 'tourist' currency is the Peso Convertible (CUC), which replaces the US Dollar as currency in tourist related establishments like hotels, restaurants and so called 'dollar shops'. US Dollars are no longer accepted as payment, and a 10% commission or more is charged to exchange them, therefore the best currency to bring along is Euros, the British Pound or Canadian Dollars. The CUC is almost equal in value to the US Dollar. Some places only accept Cuban pesos and others only Pesos Convertible (usually tourist related establishments). Money should only be changed at official exchange bureaux or banks to avoid scams confusing the two currencies. Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted only in major cities and hotels as long as they haven't been issued by a US bank; Diners Club has limited acceptance, and American Express is not accepted anywhere on the island. Travellers cheques are less readily accepted than credit cards, but all major currencies are acceptable, except for US bank issued cheques. No US-issued credit or debit cards will work in ATMs, but those holding other cards issued in other countries should be able to get pesos at most major tourist destinations. Euro or Sterling travellers cheques are accepted at Cuban banks and Bureaux de Change.

Opening Times

Memorial: Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am to 5pm

Time

Local time is GMT -5 (GMT-4 from the second Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

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