This post may contain affiliate links, meaning IC Caribbean gets a commission if you decide to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
In Havana, life passes between music, tradition, culture, national monuments and historical attractions of incalculable value. Cuban dances and songs infect each one of the children of this land and those who visit it; customs and traditions that remain intact join new national and international celebrations to amaze the visitor who seeks to travel to Havana and make it their destination in the Caribbean.
Havana, the Cuban capital, is located in the west of Cuba and although it is the smallest of all the provinces, its more than three million inhabitants make it the most populated on the entire island. In its 15 municipalities, particularly those of Playa, Plaza de la Revolución, Centro Habana, Habana del Este and La Habana Vieja (a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1982), the traveler will find innumerable sites of architectural, cultural and tourist interest.
Visiting Havana is something that can be done all year round. Its warm climate most of the year, with temperatures ranging between 20.0 °C and 29.8 °C, is the perfect incentive to explore the city. You can even plan your trips to Havana to attend events such as the famous International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, the International Ballet Festival of Havana, the International Book and Literature Fair, as well as world-class congresses and symposiums. that are held in the many spaces for conventions and events in Havana.
In the Cuban capital you will find a generous tourist offer, which is made up of national and international hotel chains with 2, 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, restaurants and cafeterias with the best of Cuban and international gastronomy to delight all palates. , travel agencies and first class transportation services.
What to do in Havana?
1. Old Havana
Stroll through Old Havana and fall madly in love with the Caribbean city. We advise you to allow yourself to be carried away by your eyes and ears and explore the streets of this unique neighbourhood. It is the best way to get to know the architectural jewels, reminiscences of a better time, such as the Capitol, the Museum of the Revolution or the Cathedral.
Make a stop along the way at the ‘Bodeguita del Medio’, a unique place where there are any, and have a mojito to the sound of live music. Perhaps the best thing about your walk will be the people you will meet along the way. Lovely people, the Cubans.
2. Views from Bacardi
If you want to admire the best panoramic views of Havana, those from which to appreciate the old structure of the buildings gnawed by the salubrious sea and the classic cars of the 50s, you will have to go up to the top floor of the Bacardí Building. The elevator will take you without problems to the attic of this Art Deco monument that you cannot miss on your visit to Havana.
3. Great Theater of Havana
Perhaps one of the things Cubans are most proud of is their National Ballet, which is based in the magnificent and opulent Gran Teatro de La Habana. You will be impressed by the main room and, of course, the facade of the building. Both still retain the splendor of a bygone era that will leave you speechless. International ballet stars such as Ana Pávlova or such important theater figures as the French mime Marcel Marceu have passed through the stage of this theater. Don’t miss the chance to see one of the best ballet companies in the world perform. Believe us, seeing a ballet show is one of the essential things to do in Havana.
4. Revolution Square
One of the historical places to see in Havana is the Plaza de la Revolución. Surrounded by mammoth gray buildings, this square is the strategic benchmark of the Cuban government. One of the cement walls that frame the square houses one of the most iconic images of Havana: the large mural in relief of Che Guevara with the written dedication “Hasta la victoria siempre”. Take the photo and get into a vintage car back to Old Havana.
5. The Malecon Havana
There is no better place in Havana to watch the sunset than the Malecón. The music of some improvised group begins to play on the seafront while the vintage cars slow down a bit. If you get hungry, there are a couple of paladares (private restaurants with exquisite atmosphere and food) that are highly recommended to sink your teeth into. To dine on lobster and enjoy the views of the boardwalk, we leave you the best restaurants to taste the exquisite Cuban food.
6. A Capitol in Havana
The enormous building of the Capitol of Havana, inspired among others by the United States Capitol, is one of the most outstanding architectural works of the city. Discover its elegant style with a visit to its interiors. The Capitol is open to the public. You can tour it both on your own and as part of an official guided tour. The official visit lasts one hour, is very detailed and highly recommended.
7. Visit Chinatown
Havana also has its Chinatown. Located behind the Capitol, a couple of blocks from it, is this small area where the Chinese community settled in the 19th century. Don’t miss the entrance arch on Calle Dragones and Calle Cuchillo. In the neighborhood you will see some Chinese shops, a tai chi and massage center, some restaurants.
8. Tour Havana in a Classic Car
It is one of the most gratifying experiences and one of those essential things to do in Havana. These impeccably preserved and very shiny convertible vintage cars give you a tour of the main tourist attractions of the city. You will find these cars ready to give you a ride in the most touristic points of the city such as the National Hotel, the Central Park, and in various points in Old Havana such as just behind the Plaza de la Catedral in the area that overlooks the bay.
9. Shopping on Obispo street
We left one of the most bourgeois areas of Havana to return to Old Havana, to the most commercial pedestrian street in the city. Obispo Street extends from the Plaza de Armas, where you will find numerous stalls selling old books, to practically the Central Park. Going through it is undoubtedly one of the things to do in Havana, yes or yes.
10. The Castle of the Three Kings of Morro and the Fortress of San Carlos
On the other side of the bay is what was the first Havana, built by the Spanish in the 16th century to defend the small settlement.
Facing the sea, is the Castillo de los Tres Reyes, which also has a lighthouse, and a little further inland from the bay, and built a little later (18th century), is the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. which houses a military museum.
At 9 pm, the Cannon Shot Ceremony is celebrated in the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. Extras dressed in military uniforms from the 18th century fire a cannon over the bay. It can also be seen from Old Havana on the other side of the bay.
Accommodation in Havana
Havana has more than 70 hotels, distributed throughout its northern area. From Miramar to Playas del Este, visitors can choose their accommodation according to their preference, from the cheapest to the highest standard and comfort.
In the same way you can choose the hotel of the hotel chain that you want, or if you prefer to stay in rental houses that also vary in prices depending on the tourist season (high or low) and the comfort and standard of the same.
Why travel to Havana at least once in your life?
Definitely visiting Havana is a great idea. It is a city that has a high demand and a good tourist offer, a place that is concerned with offering a varied agenda each year including fairs and festivals of all kinds, politics, gastronomy, music, literature, among others.
It is worth visiting the city because it still preserves different architectures respecting their building times. In addition, it still has fortresses, such as the Castillo del Morro, Castillo de la Real Fuerza and the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. Havana preserves the Spanish presence in its temples, in the Church of San Francisco de Asís, in the Havana Cathedral, in its squares, theaters and 19th century buildings.
A Havana that preserves its narrow streets with a special mix of neoclassical and baroque monuments, its old houses with balconies, declared a World Heritage Site. The island is so attractive that there will be no moment in which the traveler can regret being immersed in so much history and the impact of its people, which will remain engraved in the heart of each one of the visitors to this beautiful city.