Coppelia is a nationalised ice cream chain that has branches across Cuba, and the most famous one is in the Vedado district of Havana.
Unique architecture and people-watching
Set in a park underneath the famous TRYP Habana Libre hotel, the Vedado ice cream parlour sits in a modernist building constructed in 1966. It looks, and feels, like a spaceship rather than somewhere to hang out and eat an ice cream.
Such is the reputation of the company that the place always seems to be full, no matter what time of day. Families come for a treat; young couples romance away the day, and old couples come back to remember their first dates. It all makes for amazing people-watching for visitors.
A cultural institution in Cuba
If you want to get an idea of what to expect before you go to Cuba, then be sure to watch the film Strawberry and Chocolate. It’s a Cuban production in which Helados Coppelia features heavily, and it will give you a better idea of the importance of the ice cream parlour in the country.
It is estimated that the Havana branch serves 35,000 customers per day, and thousands more visit other shops across the country. In towns and cities large and small, there are bound to be people begging for an ice cream.
Tourists pay a premium, but it’s still a bargain
Keep your eye out for the distinctive logo on your travels, and make a point of stopping in. Cubans pay in pesos, but tourists are expected to pay in convertible pesos, which bumps up the prices. However, it’s still a bargain and a great way to cool down in the Cuban heat.
As if the novelty of having the government produce ice cream isn’t fascinating enough, there are lots of flavours to try. The ice cream is tasty, but it’s the social interactions that take place there that make Helados Coppelia such a unique spot to spend some time.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.