Part of Trinidad’s charm is that it’s a small city that has plenty of roads to wander, parks to sit in and architecture to admire. It also has its fair share of museums and things to do but if I’m honest my favourite thing was just sitting and watching the world go by.
I feel head over heels for Trinidad. We spent a good few days here so got to know it’s streets and it’s quirks more than the other places we had visited.
National Museum of the Fight Against Bandits
This museum is recognised more for it’s iconic tower that dominates the skyline as its highest viewpoint.
The museum itself does have some interesting exhibits around Cuba’s history with revolutions, in particular the events in the mountains between 1959 and 1965. The tower is what you want to go for though. Climb to the top and get some incredible views over the city.
Municipal Museum/Cantero Palace
Another great museum to visit is the Municipal Museum. The building it is housed in used to belong to Dr Cantero who acquired a sugar plantation after poisoning a slave trader and marrying his wife.
The museum is split over 4 rooms, in the first you can see furniture and decoration of the Cantero era and then you’re taken through exhibitions on the sugar industry, the fight for independence and a room on weapons and the port.
Much like the Bandit Museum the best thing about this museum is the views from its tower.
Church of the Holy Trinity
Located in the Plaza Mayor the church is part of the centre of town. Its construction was finished in 1892. The church contains a wooden statue of Jesus Christ called “The Lord of the True Cross” that dates back to 18th Century.
We were there just before Easter and happened to be in Trinidad for Palm Sunday. There was a large congregation with handmade palm leaf crosses. Stuart popped his head in but we kept to the edges and watched the church goers from the plaza.
Craft Markets and shops
Much like most of Cuba, Trinidad has its fair share of craft markets. You may feel these are a little touristy and full of the same things but they’re still great to walk round and anything you buy goes to help the people of Cuba.
I bought a beautiful embroidered tablecloth for 12 CUC (around £10) that had taken over 70 hours to embroider.
Trinidad is also full of small art shops that contain some wonderful paintings. It was quite hard to find one that I was looking for but eventually we opted for a canvas of two people dancing. I love bringing art work home, along with printed photos that we take they serve as a daily reminder of the adventures we have!
Casa de la Musica
The House of Music is an outdoor music venue that is really the heart of Trinidad. The steps that it’s located on are right next to the church, they’re filled with people using wifi and hanging out during the day. At night they turn into an outside arena with bars and live music so you can dance the night away.
We spent A LOT of time at these steps. They gave us a great sense of what living in Trinidad is like and allowed us to relax in our surroundings. We spent a few afternoons here with cans of Crystal and Buckenero and a few evenings listening to the music.
We spent so much time here that one of the barmen Haveier recognised us and personally bought us some drinks on our last night. He had a unique way of filling the seats of his bar by basically pointing at people, signalling 2 people and then showing them the chairs. He did this repeatedly until he could fill up all the seats. One heck of a guy.
Walk the streets
Trinidad is a photographers dream, the streets are cobbled, filled with colour and fairly quiet. You can spend your days just wandering round, discover the quiet spots and the courtyards, the small alleys and the wifi parks. Although I’m not one for the ‘just get lost’ mentality it was nice to not worry about where you end up.
We did venture into a slightly less touristy part of town in search of another church but ended up on the the side of a hill near a building site. Well out of my comfort zone I was much happier back in the centre of town but if you’re braver than me you’ll find the outskirts interesting.
My advice to you is to enjoy Trinidad. Don’t plan too much, don’t worry about seeing it all, just sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. There are great places to eat and drink (post to follow) and fantastic places to watch the world go by.
Trinidad stole my heart. It taught me how to sit back, relax and learn to discover a city inside and out. Most people will skip through Trinidad in a couple of days, extend that to 4 or 5 and you’ll really learn to love the city. I’d love to go back just to sit on those steps with a cold beer or mojito and soak up the sunshine.