Santiago is the second city of Cuba, and the birthplace of the current government. Fidel Castro and others launched their revolutionary movement from here in 1953 with the attack to the garrison named "Cuartel Moncada".
There is a daily overnight train to/from Havana with stops in Camagüey and Santa Clara. This service is the Tren Francés on alternate days, which is more reliable and comfortable than other Cuban trains. There is a daytime train to Camagüey and Santa Clara on Thursdays and Sundays, returning on Mondays and Fridays. Local train service to Holguin has been suspended due to poor track conditions.
A place not to be missed for live, indigenous music in the city of Santiago de Cuba: La Casa de Trova. While tourists get inside fairly easily, many of the locals dance and listen in the streets below. Located near the plaza at the center of town just down the street from the Cathedral, across from the hotel.
If you want to learn Spanish during your stay in Santiago de Cuba you can take an Intensive Spanish course from one week up to four weeks. The classes are held 4 hours per day and give you the opportunity to improve your Spanish quickly during a short time period.
Babylon Idiomas offers a wide range of affordable and high quality Spanish courses for all levels with experienced native teachers. Cultural and social activities are included in the programme. The school is located in the heart of the city in the district "Reparto Sueño" close to the Céspedes Park. New students can start on any Monday of the year.
Sra. Vilma de los Milagros Román Jaén, Trinidad (General Portuondo) No. 159 (Entre Gallo (Diez de Octubre) y San Pio (Brig.H.Vázquez)), ☎ (53 - 22) 623315. Clean Casa, only one room, very friendly hosts, english spoken, air conditionCUC 25. edit
Dra. Irina Ramos, San Germán no. 641 (Entre Barnada y San Agustin), ☎ (53 - 22) 628591. In the city center, steps from Plaza de Marte and the center. Two air-conditioned rooms, hot water, safe area. Friendly and helpful family. English spoken.CUC 25. edit
Ing. Ruben Camara Pascual y Lic. Caridad Arafet Arafet, Jose A. Saco No. 515 (entre Reloj y San Agustin), ☎ (53 - 22) 620 305. Air Conditioned, Cold & Hot Water, Private Bathroom, Excellent Food, Security, and ComfortCUC 20. edit
Lic. Elma Barrera Peña, Rey Pelayo No. 6 e/ Carniceria y Calvario, CP90100, Santiago de Cuba, ☎ 53-22 675004. Excellent location, just 2 minutes walk from the main square. Big and clean room with air conditioner and private toilet, breakfast included. A casa hosted by an old lady Elma and her son David (who can speak English), both are very nice and helpful.CUC 15. edit