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Cuba is no shopping paradise, the assortment in the shops is limited, although some large hotels like Havana Libre and Melia Cohiba have modern clothing shops.
For tourists the most important items to get are cigars, rum, coffee, music CD’s and some paintings or craftwork. For T-shirts, wooden handcraft, ceramics, and gadgets (often made of empty beer cans), go to the outdoor market on Tacon Avenue just outside Plaza de la Cathedral.
In the smaller shops like the ones on Obispo Street there is only limited access, and as a security measure you have to wait at the entrance until any clients that are inside finish shopping and leave. If you are carrying a handbag or a shopping bag you have to leave them at the desk against a receipt till you leave the shop.
Obispo Street is the main shopping area in the Old City, with several clothing stores and shoe stores, jewellers and watch shops.
Near Obispo Street you’ll find
HARRIS BROTHERS SUPERMARKET at Monserate (avenida de Belgica) corner O’Reilly Street, Havana Vieja. At the ground level are a cafeteria, and the food and beverage departments. At the first and second floors you find clothes, perfume, and shoes.
PALACIO DE LA ARTESENIA at Cuba Street 64 between Cuarteles and Pena Pobre Streets is a very nice place to shop: modern stores in a historical building selling shoes, clothes, perfume, T-shirts, and sports gear.
PLAZA CARLOS TERCERO at Avenida Salvador Allende between Arbol Seco and Retiro streets, Havana Centro is a large shopping mall with 3 floors, always crowded with people, sometimes with long queues at the shop entrances. The plaza has food shops, cafeteria, clothes, electronic consumer products, (VCR, TV etc.), and peso shops where you can buy all items for a fixed price of one or five peso. The plaza is a typical Cuban shopping experience.
Entrance to the ADIDAS shop
Carlos Tercero Shopping Mall
at the corner of Avenida de Italia and Neptuno Street in Havana Centro is a shopping centre with cheaper clothes.
A new big modern shopping mall TRASVAL opened this year (2009) and is situated at the square near SAN RAFAEL and GALIANO streets.
Big interest of the Cuban population. Many things for the 'Do it your self', paints, bicycles, barbecues, toys, HiFi, kitchenware etc. to Cuban standards a real shopping paradise.
The New Shopping Mall TRASVAL in Central Havana,
everything for the Do it Your Self.
The biggest and best-stocked supermarkets and shopping malls are located in the residential Miramar district, where you find all the embassies and the diplomats’ residences.
SUPERMERCADO 70 at 3rd Avenue and 70th Street, Miramar is one of the biggest supermarkets. It carries wealth of choices by Cuban standards, with a well-stocked food department and clothing shops.
SUPERMERCADO FLORES at 176th Street between 1st and 3rd Avenue, Miramar is another large food store, well stocked by Cuban standards.
LA PUNTILLA at corner Street A and 1st Avenue, Miramar is a large mall selling a wide variety of clothes, food, perfume and electronic consumer products.
MERCADO CUBALSE at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, Miramar is a classic mall with food and clothing departments.
CENTRO COMERCIAL PALCO at 5th Avenue and 188th Street, Miramar is one of the best-stocked supermarkets in the city, with more expensive and higher quality food items. For example, among their cheese products range you’ll find Italian Parmesan and French Roquefort (1.4 kg at 125 CUC). It’s a place where the average Cuban never shops: it’s too expensive. It appears that the orders and the buyers come from the embassies and the diplomatic corps.
LA MAISON at 16th Street Nº 701, between 7th and 9th Avenues is a nice mansion, with clothing, perfume and jewel shops, a swimming pool and an excellent restaurant where you can admire models showing off the latest clothes. This is a rather expensive place designed for tourists and business people.
CASA DE HABANO PARTAGAS
Industria Street, Nº 520, between Dragones and Barcelona streets,
Factory tour and complete cigar shop.
LA CASA DE TABACO Y RON
Corner Obispo and Monserate Streets,
RUM FUNDACION DISTILERIA HAVANA CLUB
Avenida de Puerto 262, between Sol and Muralla Streets
MUSEO DEL RON
Guided tours possible.
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