Havana Cuba : The Ultimate Travel Guide

In this article, you will learn everything about Havana CubaYou will discover all the best places to stay in Havana, things to do, where to eat, how to get around and moreSo if you plan to travel to Havana, you will love this new guide.Let’s dive in
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Table of Contents

Havana has such a charm that it immediately bewitches you.

You only have to go there once to feel like coming back, sooner or later.

La Habana Vieja is certainly the district that will mark you the most: its picturesque alleys, its beautiful colonial squares, its exciting museums, its churches and cathedrals…

The whole forms a set of real postcards of Havana that will remain forever engraved in your memory.

With, of course, that ubiquitous Caribbean sunlight around every corner.

Not far from there the Malecón, this long walk along the seafront, will complete this enchantment, especially if you are there at sunset time when the colours are sublime.

The Vedado is above all the place to go dancing or partying.

The Rampa has the most lively bars and clubs in the capital, where the music is devilishly good: salsa, rumba, jazz resound everywhere and live! A pure joy.

The Centro Habana district is less touristy but don’t miss its visit to see the famous Capitolio, soak up the popular atmosphere there, and take a trip to the Barrio Chino.

The Miramar, very chic and residential, is well worth a visit, mainly for its charming museum dedicated to the musician Compay Segundo.

As for the architecture lovers, they will undoubtedly swoon in front of the superb buildings that are concentrated there.

Havana’s Unmissable Items

Dive into the heart of Habana Vieja, the most important colonial architectural ensemble in Latin America, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Discover the Plaza de Armas, the historic heart of the city and the Plaza de la Catedral, a superb colonial complex.

Stroll through the neighborhood to Plaza Vieja, where you will find a group of magnificent palaces.

Visit the Partagás factory and watch the workers making the cigars.

Spend a Sunday afternoon in the Callejón de Hamel, where you can wiggle your hips and listen to excellent rumba concerts in a very typical atmosphere.

Atmosphere guaranteed!

In the Vedado district, walk up the Rampa from the Malecón (Calle 23), the favourite street of the Habaneros, which is always very lively, day and night, and take off into the warm Havana nights.

Follow in Hemingway’s footsteps.

Visit his room at the Ambos Mundos Hotel, then enjoy a good cocktail in one of his two favourite bars and continue his drinking customs: the mojito at the Bodeguita del Medio and the Daïquiri at the Bar el Floridita (where you’ll take a photo next to Hemingway’s bust to end the pilgrimage).

Go to the cabaret to get your eyes full of rhinestones, kitsch and glitter.

Visit the Museum of the Revolution to better understand Cuba’s unique history and relive the revolution.

Stroll along the Malecón as the sun sets and creates shimmering reflections on the sea.

Take the opportunity to watch the Havanese sit on the walls and chat for hours.

Attend the cañonazo ceremony to watch the mythical 9 p.m. cannon shot.

Visit the Compay Segundo Museum in the home of the legendary artist from the Buena Vista Social Club.

Havana’s Districts

Havana developed from east to west.

The architecture therefore evolves significantly along the way, reflecting different periods and styles.

Habana Vieja north

Endowed with a very rich history, the old city, the entire Habana Vieja, has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.

It is home to countless monuments and buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

A considerable effort has been undertaken to restore the entire area and is continuing unabated.

It will therefore be particularly enjoyable for you to wander the streets of Habana Vieja, discover its superb monuments and visit its museums.

You will not stop admiring the beauty of its buildings and your digital camera may be saturated from the very first hours of your visit, because you will want to take pictures of everything! The northern part of Habana Vieja (Old Havana) stretches from the port where the Castillo del Morro fortress stands guard to the north of the bay to the picturesque Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas further south.

On its western slope, this area is bounded by the mythical Museum of the Revolution, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Granma Memorial.

La Habana Vieja south

The south of Old Havana is bounded by the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís and the Plaza Vieja to the north, by the Central Station to the south and by the Zulueta Avenue to the west.

As in the northern part of Habana Vieja, there is no lack of monuments and museums.

This area, however, concentrates a greater number of churches and convents, which are a reminder of the importance of the religious power that was omnipresent for several centuries in Havana.

It is also in this neighborhood that the illustrious Cuban historical figure José Martí was born; one can visit his birth house which has been turned into a museum.

Another national monument is the Havana Club Rum, whose headquarters are based in the Museo del Ron Havana Club.

You will enjoy discovering this museum if only for the tasting of old rum that closes the visit.

Centro Habana

The delimitation of this district is not always well defined, but it is accepted that Centro Habana includes everything west of the old walls, as far as Infanta Street, the border with the Vedado district.

To the north, it can be considered to extend as far as the Malecón and to the south as far as the train station.

This neighborhood is an essential stop for all those who want to immerse themselves in the daily life and realities of the Habaneros.

Superb colonial buildings, mostly decayed, welcome the most popular families.

Few tourist sites in itself, except for the Chino barrio, which is only Chinese by name (apart from its arch and its few Chinese restaurants), and the Malecón, a famous waterfront running 8 km along the north of the city.

El Vedado

The Vedado was a neighborhood of well-to-do families in Havana at the beginning of the revolution and is now a modern district of Havana.

It is essentially residential, although there is a lot of activity, day and night.

Calle 23, also known as the Rampa, has become one of the most lively avenues in the capital: bars, cabarets and nightclubs abound.

The urban plan of the Vedado, designed in a checkerboard pattern and articulated around vast orthogonal arteries, is directly inspired by the North American model.

The Vedado’s openness to the ocean and the Malecón, which runs for several kilometres along its northern edge, gives the Vedado more perspective and ventilation.

Further south, beyond Calzada de Zapata, is the “Nuevo Vedado” where many of Havana’s monuments and museums are concentrated, including the Plaza de la Revolución, the José Martí Memorial and the Colón Cemetery.

From the Vedado, it is very easy to reach Old Havana, which is only 5 km along the Malecón.

The casas particulares are legion there, especially in front of the university or on Calle 21 between Calle J and Calle O.

Miramar

The Miramar is the most posh neighbourhood in Havana and therefore in Cuba.

It is characteristic of the period of the neocolonial republic (1902-1958).

As for the Vedado, the architecture of its streets is very close to that of the streets of North America, because they all intersect at right angles and are not named but numbered.

The embassies and residences there make it a very chic area outside the downtown core.

Geographically, the Miramar is bordered to the east by the Almendares River, to the west by the Palacio de Congresos and to the north by the coast.

To the south, the Miramar is more or less bordered by Avenida 7ma and Avenida 19.

As far as rooms in the Miramar are concerned, the prices are the highest in the whole island, although this area is mainly residential: count 35 CUC minimum.

Not to mention the large taxi budget you will need to get to the centre of Havana.

You won’t find any local shops either.

Toponymy of the streets of Havana

The first survey of the town was carried out by decree in 1763 by the Count of Ricla, who then delimited four districts. At the same time, the streets were named and the houses numbered. In Havana, as elsewhere, most of the names have been borrowed from illustrious people. See below for details on the origin of some of the names.
w Aguacate (lawyer). There grew a generous avocado tree with tasty fruit, unfortunately shot down in 1837.
w Aguiar. From Don Luis José de Aguiar, Royal Councillor and illustrious citizen of the city.
w Amargura (bitterness). During Lent, the Passion procession left the Franciscan residence every evening and went to the Church of Cristo, where the faithful did penance.
w Avenida de los Presidentes (Avenue of the Presidents), or Calle G, one of the main arteries of the Vedado district. All along the avenue, statues of the presidents of the Republic were erected by them and then unblocked after the victory of the revolution.
w Baratillo (flea market). This is where the first retail outlets were located.

w Callejón de Justiz. This alley owes nothing to justice, but to the residence of the Marquis de Justiz y Santa María, at the corner of Baratillo.
w Callejón del Chorro (water jet alley). Fountain where the Havanese used to get water.
w Callejón de San Juan de Dios. One of the walls of the Hospital San Juan de Diós overlooked this alley.
w Calzada de San Lázaro (Saint Lazarus Causeway). This paved street led to the Hospital de San Lázaro, built in 1746.
w Camino Militar (Military Way). It linked the city directly to the Castle of Príncipe.
w Capdevila. The name of the Spanish soldier who defended the medical students, who were shot in 1871 by decision of the Council of War.
w Cárcel (prison). One of the walls of the enormous prison that occupied the present Parque de los Mártires overlooked this street.
w Carlos Tercero (Charles III). This wide avenue, built in 1835, was the site of the statue of Carlos III a year later. It kept this name until 1974, when it was renamed Salvador Allende in homage to the assassinated Chilean president.
w Compostela. From Bishop Don Diego Evelino de Compostela, who had his house built there at number 155.
w Cuarteles (barracks). Its two extremities were bounded by the San Telmo barracks and the Artillery barracks.
w Cuba. This homonymous street of the country still gathers a large number of historical buildings, cultural institutions and public services.
w Desamparados (abandoned). It ran along the wall of the southern zone, the loneliest part of the city.
w Empedrado (paved). This is the first cobbled street in Havana, and it is believed to have been paved before 1770. It connects the cathedral to the San Juan de Diós square.
w Galiano. In reference to Don Martín Galiano, the Minister of Fortifications, who had a bridge erected, which was named after him and which was destroyed in 1839.
w Lamparilla. A devotee of souls used to light a lantern there every night, in his room, in the house on the corner of Habana Street… It was on this same street that the vacuum cleaner dealer and his capricious daughter of Our Agent in Havana, Graham Greene, lived.
w Luz (light). No more luminous than any other, but this is where Don José Cipriano de La Luz, General Councillor of the Postal Service and, as such, an illustrious figure in the city, lived. Located between Cuba and Damascus, it is home to beautiful colonial houses with tiled roofs. You can also see the Art Deco buildings and the housing of the médico de la familia (the local family doctor), a post-modern glass construction.
w Mercaderes (merchants). Before the revolution, when private trade was allowed .
w Morro. From this street, before the royal prisons were built, you could see the Morro castle.
w Muralla (wall). The gate of the royal wall was opened here in 1721.
w Neptuno (Neptune). Named after the Neptune fountain, once located on Isabel II’s promenade. Today it is located on the Malecón River, opposite Old Havana.
w Obispo (Bishop). Attended by the bishop of the city at the time the streets were baptized.
w Obrapía (pious work). The most illustrious of its inhabitants, Martín Calvo de Arieta – commander of the cavalry companies – included in his will a sum of 5,000 pesos (in 1679, a colossal fortune!) which was to be used to provide the dowry for five orphan girls each year.

w Oficios (trades). It was in this street that the craftsmen’s stalls were concentrated. In 1584, when Havana had only four streets, this was the main one.
w O’Reilly. General O’Reilly was the first to enter Havana through this street after the English surrendered the city to the Spanish crown in 1763.
w Peña Pobre (poor hill). From here one could see the loma del Angel (Angel Hill), which itself had been named Peña Pobre.
w Refugio (refuge). In the 19th century, Captain General Mariano Rocafort, surprised by a big storm, took refuge in the apartments of a mulatto widow. The sun had long since reappeared while he was still there.
w San Ignacio. This was the name of the Jesuit college and the church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, which later became the seminary and the cathedral. It was formerly known as Calle Ciénaga (Swamp).
w Tejadillo (small roof). In this street there was a house with a small tile roof, which was to serve as an example to its neighbours with its (too) modest cow dung covering.
w Teniente Rey (Lieutenant Rey). Nothing to do with the king… At the corner of La Habana, lived the lieutenant of a governor of the island named Felix de Rey.
w Zapata. In homage not to the famous Mexican revolutionary, but to Dr. Salvador José Zapata who donated his property (8 houses) to contribute to the education of Cuban youth.

The Malecón, the backbone of Havana

Havana has a very singular relationship with the ocean. Its Malecón, a seaside avenue and a landmark, has become one of the cult images of the Cuban capital. A place of passage and meetings, it stretches over 8 km between the districts of Centro Habana, Vedado and Miramar. Originally turned towards the open sea, Havana, and the whole island, knows what it owes to the ocean. This long dike seems to pay homage to it. Nothing excessive indeed in this wall of a few meters, which we knew how to make modest. At dawn or at dusk, the sun plays its most beautiful tricks: magic guaranteed. Indeed, it is difficult to resist the charm of such a walk, facing the Florida Strait. The exceptional panorama, the proximity of the waves and the beauty of the old colonial houses and palaces worn out by time are imprinted permanently in the depths of the retina. Continuing eastward towards the Habana Vieja, you will invariably come across the port and its prodigious bay, whose entrance is as narrow as its waters are deep.

Best time to visit Havana

On average, the hottest months in Havana are April, May, June, July, August, September and October.
The rainiest months in this city are May, June, July, August and September.
The most favorable months for swimming in Havana are April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November

When to go to Havana?
Havana welcomes tourists all year round, as its tropical climate gives it temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C. The lowest temperature is 18°C, so you will never feel cold in this city. Of course, the dry season is the best time to visit Havana, which is between December and May.

If you want to enjoy all that the Cuban capital has to offer, avoid the months of June to October as much as possible, as hurricanes can make their appearance. However, during the rainy season, hotels are cheaper and you will find more tours and organized trips.

Transtour Guide

Havana is for Cubans like the heart of the motherland. It unquestionably represents the pure essence of Cubanness; the vestiges of a millenary process of transculturation of all races, religions, traditions and customs that took root in every corner of Cuba.

Almost 500 years after its foundation, it is presented as a city that, contradictorily, the passing of time makes it more attractive, mysterious and hospitable.
It is considered the most important cultural square in the country, prodigious in artistic manifestations and events, both national and international, theaters, museums, galleries, cinemas and public spaces that make up the entire infrastructure of the Cuban cultural system.

Every corner of the city has a unique charm that characterizes it. The Historical Center and its walled streets give evidence of the permanence of a heritage that has not been forgotten by the years and that has been jealously preserved by its inhabitants and residents. The Vedado neighborhood and La Rampa represent that modern and lively Havana, young, very busy; and the Malecón that gives the most romantic sunset of the city. The Miramar neighborhood and its captivating 5th Avenue transport the city to a more aristocratic and renown environment, converging between the municipalities of Marianao and La Lisa, which are the expression of the capital’s working class neighborhoods, but with a great artistic feeling. And then there are the Playas del Este, which bring that tropical and Caribbean touch to a city that has everything, also merged in the municipalities of Guanabacoa and Regla, which provide the maximum expression of tradition and religious syncretism of Havana.

As the Historian of the City of Havana Eusebio Leal Spengler said, “Havana is the city of the primary university, the cradle of great talent in the sciences and the arts. It is the city that encumbered the rebelliousness and discontent of the workers and students and of all those who believed in the dignity and greatness of Cuba. It was the birthplace of José Martí. It is the city of the student, political and revolutionary execution of Fidel Castro and the Centennial Generation, of the glorious militia, of the heroic resistance. There, more or less, is the pearl and the portrait of Havana that we love

Best things to do in Havana Vieja

It is the municipality that represents the oldest part of Havana province.

It was founded by the Spanish on November 16, 1519 with the name of Villa de San Cristóbal de La Habana.

It’s one of the most ancient cities erected by the Europeans in the western hemisphere.

The colonial period, which lasted almost 400 years, provided this area with the great number of buildings, fortifications, squares and monuments that distinguish it today, and which led UNESCO to declare the Historical Center of Old Havana as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1982.

The squares of the Historical Center

The Plaza de Armas

It is the main point of the city of Havana.

Its layout evokes that of the fortified squares of medieval Europe.

In its perimeter were the headquarters of the civil and military authorities in colonial times, and the parish church of the City.

The Cathedral Square

It was the last of the main squares to be formed.

In the second half of the 16th century, some of the residents built their homes there, calling it “de la Ciénaga” (from the marsh) because the waters that ran through the village reached it and flowed into the sea, flooding it with the tides.

St. Francis Square

It owes its name to the Franciscan convent located here since the beginning of the 16th century.

The inlet where it is located was filled in in 1628 to form the square, next to the Customs House, evidence of the growth of the village and the increase of its population.

The Christ Square

It takes its name from the church of Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje, where traditionally seafarers went when leaving or returning, to ask or thank for protection against the eventualities that occurred during the voyages.

The Old Square

Its creation was ordered in 1587, but it was not until the second half of the 17th century that it became popular.

Initially called Plaza Nueva, it was changed to Plaza Vieja when the Plaza del Cristo was built.

Hotel Inglaterra

It constitutes the second oldest hotel of Cuba and it was inaugurated in 1875.

Its neoclassical facade contrasts with its interior, which recreates the atmosphere of the colonial period, with elements that give it a touch of originality such as the mosaics from Alicante and fences brought especially from Seville, Spain.

Its rooms and recreation spaces received a long list of personalities of the time, linked to the world of art, sport and politics, including actresses Sara Bernhardt, María Félix, the famous dancer Anna Pavlova, poets Rubén Darío and Julián del Casal, singer Enrico Caruso, among many others.

The hotel has held the title of National Monument since 1981 due to its high patrimonial value.

  • Paseo del Prado, No. 416 esq. San Rafael, Havana.
  • Tel.- (53) 78608596

Hotel Ambos Mundos

With an eclectic architecture from the 1920s, the Ambos Mundos Hotel is centrally located, a few steps from the Plaza de Arma and the Cathedral.

Here you can visit the room where the Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway stayed during the 1930s, which is preserved as a small museum that treasures several of his belongings.

You can taste the American novelist’s favourite dishes in the Plaza de Armas restaurant, and on the top floor the Roof Garden gives you one of the best views of the Historical Centre of the city.

  • Obispo, Mercaderes Square, Old Havana
  • Tel.-(53) 7860 9530

 

Church of the Holy Spirit

Cuba between Acosta and Jesus Maria. Old Havana.

It is one of the oldest churches in Havana. The original building was erected in 1638 as a chapel for free blacks.

Around 1661, the town’s parish church was established.

In 1773 it was declared the only church in Havana with the right to provide protection to those persecuted by the authorities.

Other elements of interest in this temple are the funerary crypts, such as the tomb of Bishop Jerónimo Valdés found in 1936.

Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso

The most important of its spaces is the García Lorca hall, formerly known as the Tacón theatre.

Active since 1838, they have been moving companies and figures of universal art around the world.

It has a baroque style and capacity for 1500 people.

It was created by Belgian architect Paul Beleu.

Since 1985 it is the headquarters of the National Ballet of Cuba.

In 2015, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba agreed, on an exceptional basis and in recognition of Alicia Alonso’s contributions to Cuban and universal culture, to name the current Gran Teatro de La Habana “Alicia Alonso”.

Paseo de Martí No.458 between San Rafael and San Martín, Centro Habana

Tel.- (53) 78613077

Church of the Holy Guardian Angel

This church is known as the Church of the Angel.

Two of Havana’s most illustrious sons were baptized here: Félix Varela and José Martí, Apostle and Hero of the Cuban Independence.

In addition, this church is incorporated to the literature when serving as scene to the great Cuban novel of the 19th century Cecilia Valdés or the Loma del Ángel, of the famous literary Cirilo Villaverde.

Havana is included among the most significant architectural works of the city.

Compostela, between Cuarteles and Chacón

City Museum

Calle Tacón between Obispo and O ́Reilly

It was inaugurated in 1791 by Captain General Don Luis de las Casas y Aragorri.

It served as the seat of governments: the Spanish colonial, the American comptroller and the Republican until 1920.

It also housed the Public Prison, was the headquarters of the Ocina del Historiador de la Ciudad and served as the Mayor’s Office of Havana until 1968 when it became the City Museum.

Today it has several exhibition halls dedicated to the history of the Cuban nation, with environments that recall stately times and the charm of remarkable collections that enhance the national heritage.

Museum of the Revolution

It is located in what used to be the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Cuba, and shows the most important events and processes that have taken place in the country since its first settlers until today.

Outside the Museum is the Granma Memorial, which houses valuable historical pieces linked to the war of liberation of the Cuban people in defense of their sovereignty and independence.

Refugio Street between Zulueta and Monserrate.

Grand Hotel Kempinsky Apple

The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinsky is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the heart of Old Havana, with direct views of the Capitol and the Gran Teatro de La Habana.

It was originally built between 1894 and 1917 as the first European-style shopping mall in Cuba.

Nowadays it is one of the best hotels in Havana not only because of its excellent service and comfort, but also because of the primacy of being located in one of the most touristic areas of the city.

  • San Rafael Street, between Monserrate and Zulueta Habana Vieja.
    Tel: (53) 78699100

National Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum was created in 1913, and had its headquarters in 1954 when the building was built as the Palace of Fine Arts.

It consists of two buildings dedicated to museum use.

The Palace was transformed into the headquarters of the Cuban art collections, while the former Asturian Centre hosted the universal ones.

The exhibition spaces can be visited sequentially or by free choice.

Trocadero Street between Zulueta and Monserrate.

Martí Theatre

The Martí Theatre, formerly known as Irijoa, achieved great popularity for its programme of plays by the Cuban bufo theatre and its central location, to which its appropriate design and technology solutions also contributed.

In 1900 he was renamed with a name that would dignify him: Matí.

In 2014, the emblematic coliseum reopened its doors, coming back to life after 40 years of closure.

Dragones No.56 e/ Zulueta, Old Havana, Havana Tel: (53) 78667153

San José Warehouse Fair

It is a space for the sale of Cuban crafts, restored and converted into a cultural and commercial complex.

An exponent of the historical-industrial heritage, this place is home to the largest handicraft fair in the city, in addition to other services such as currency exchange, restrooms, cafeterias, and telephone points.

Ave. del Puerto and Cuba, at the nal of Alameda de Paula

La Bodeguita del Medio

It is one of the best known restaurants in Havana and internationally.

La Bodeguita del Medio owes its name to the charismatic editor Felito Ayon who popularized the name of the place by recommending it to acquaintances and friends.

Its spaces have been visited by renowned writers, artists and politicians.

All of them have left their mark on the walls of the premises through graffiti, photos, signatures or memorabilia.

It’s one of the most touristy places in Havana and a must visit to taste the best Cuban mojito

Empedrado Street between San Ignacio and Cuba.

Tel:(53) 78671374 – 78671375

The Floridita

More than 190 years of history give prestige to this place that opened its doors for the first time in 1817 with the name of La Piña de Plata, shortly after that it was known as La Florida and later on it was baptized as El Floridita.

It is the birthplace of the daiquiri and retains its Regency style decoration from the 1950s.

Selected visitors have left their mark on the famous place, but there is no doubt that the American writer Ernest Hemingway was the one who would give it a stamp of transcendence.

In 1992 he was recognized as Best of the Best Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Gastronomic Sciences, as the King of Daiquiri.

  • Obispo Street and Monserrate.
  • Tel:(53) 78671300 – 78671301

The Capitol

Inaugurated on May 20, 1929, it is an architectural icon of Havana of great majesty.

The building that marks km zero of the Cuban road network has a dome that, because of its proportions and silhouettes, reminds one of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and also resembles Washington’s Capitol.

It was the seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate until 1959.

In 1940 the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba was promulgated and it was the seat of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Since 2010 it was declared

Prado, Industria, Dragones and San José streets.

 

Mercaderes Street

It’s one of the busiest streets in Old Havana.

Cobblestone, narrow and car-free, Mercaderes runs parallel to the Avenida del Puerto, linking the Plaza de la Catedral with the beautiful Plaza Vieja.

It is a narrow street that preserves the air of the Spanish colonial period.

It owes its name to the number of merchandise stores, where the most precious fabrics of wool, linen, silk, silver and gold among other goods were found.

This important road crosses by a side of our first university, in the convent of San Juan de Letrán, the bottom of the Palace of the General Captains, the Artistic and Literary Lyceum of Havana, the House of the Pious Work and the first Coffee of the capital, the one of Tavern, dedicated today to the singer Benny Moré, among other places of great historical interest.

Obispo Street

This important artery had its origin in the 16th century, shortly after the foundation of the town of San Cristóbal de La Habana, around 1519.

It is located south of the Plaza de Armas and next to the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales.

It starts on Avenida del Puerto and goes up to Monserrate Street.

Its name is due to the fact that the bishops lived in it at different times, Friar

Jerónimo de Lara and Pedro Agustín Morell from Santa Cruz. This street (now only pedestrian) has always had a commercial function, establishing in it fashion houses and sweet shops, the most lively cafes and some apothecaries, adding little by little other services. Since its beginnings it has been one of the busiest arteries in Havana.

 

Paseo del Prado

It was built in 1772 under the colonial rule of the Marquis de la Torre.

It emerged as a result of the growth of the city, which was already exceeding the limits imposed by the walls.

With about 1 km long the New Prado became the center of social life in Havana.

Over time, elegant mansions, recreational societies, hotels and theatres sprang up around it.

It consists of an avenue decorated with stone and marble benches, artistic iron street lights and bronze lions that guard it.

 

The Templete

Since the foundation of the Villa de San Cristóbal de La Habana in 1519, it is said that the foundational celebrations coincided with those of Santiago Apostle on July 25, so the Bishop could not attend the celebrations in Havana.

One fine, undetermined day, the city set its festivities for November 16, and by force of tradition, the Havana residents go to the Templete, the founding site, to walk around a legendary ceiba tree three times and ask the patron saint for an equal number of wishes.

The Knight of Paris

José María López Lledín, a Galician consecrated man, or “El Caballero de París”, as everybody knew him.

He was a Spanish immigrant who came to Cuba in search of fortune like many others.

He worked in different activities, until he lost his mental balance after being in prison according to several versions.

His figure was immortalized in a metal sculpture outside the Convent of “San Francisco de Asís”.

It is said that he wandered the streets for more than 40 years, his distinguished demeanor and exquisite manners despite his dementia earned him his popularity and the love of all Cubans.

José Martí’s Birthplace Museum

Cuban National Monument.

A museum where the life of the Cuban National Hero, José Martí, is presented and where part of his belongings are kept.

Located on the street, in Old Havana, in the house where the hero was born on January 28, 1853.

Leonor Pérez (former Paula) # 314 between Picota and Zulueta. Havana
Tel: (53) 78613778

 

Restaurant Café del Oriente

Elegant and renowned restaurant in an Art Deco style building that delights visitors every day with its exquisite dishes.

Gourmet cuisine that prides itself on being one of the most luxurious places in Havana, located in the beautiful Plaza de San Francisco de Asís

Leisure # 112 between Amargura and Lamparilla.

 

Chocolate House Museum

On the corner of Mercaderes and Amargura streets, in the Casa de la Cruz Verde, the residence of the illustrious Count of Lagunilla in the 18th century, there is an exhibition that offers a journey through the history of cocoa, its production and commercialization.

In this beautiful space, visitors can also sweeten their palate with a careful selection of chocolates in a variety of ways: in tablet form, shaken, white, black, soft, thick, sweet, bitter, scented and even spicy.

San Ignacio e/ Amargura and Teniente Rey. Havana Tel: (53) 78666431

Iberostar Grand Packard Hotel

Luxury hotel located in the emblematic Paseo del Prado, near such iconic buildings as the Velasco Palace or the National Capitol, with 321 rooms and suites to rest, is the ideal starting point to tour the Historical Center of Havana

Prado # 51 between Genios and Capdevila Tel: (53) 7 8232100

 

Sloppy Joe’s Bar

Inaugurated in 1917 by a Galician immigrant, it was one of the most famous bars in Havana in the first half of the 20th century during the period that the Dry Law was proclaimed in the United States (1920-1933) and Cuba became the centre of the exodus of American merchants dedicated to the trafficking of alcoholic beverages and a refuge for film stars such as Ernest Hemingway, Noël Coward, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy or Clark Gable.

Zulueta # 252 e/Animas y Virtudes. Havana Tel: (53) 7 8667157

 

Park March 13

In the 13 de Marzo Park is a replica of the equestrian statue of José Martí, sculpted by the American artist Anna Hyatt Huntington.

The sculpture is the only one known to reflect the figure of the National Hero at the time of his death in the battle of Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895.

Havana’s Malecón

North coast of Havana, from Castillo de la Punta to Torreón de la Chorrera.

The Malecón is a suggestive promenade of about eight kilometers long located in Havana.

This enormous walk is also one of the most authentic and famous avenues in Cuba.

This is one of the favourite meeting points for lovers, poets, troubadours, locusts and fishermen.

It enjoys a particularly passionate atmosphere during the sunset, as this is where one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island can be seen.

During the summer nights it acquires an extraordinary atmosphere thanks to the carnival, where races and customs are mixed with carriage rides and tireless comparsas.

A great one is where the traditional sound of drums is mixed with modern salsa and reggaeton songs.

Rum Museum

The Havana Club Rum Museum offers visitors the opportunity to experience first-hand the rum-making process, as well as an idea of the origins of Cuba’s most popular spirit.

A visit to the museum is not simply a trip back to the origins of Cuba’s most famous drink.

The museum offers a real-time experience of the rum-making process, as well as a taste of true Cuban culture.

  • Avenida del Puerto corner Sol, Havana

Best things to see in East Havana

East Havana is a destination of excellence that has a coastal area of about 25 kilometers, from the bay to Rincon de Guanabo, which is characterized by a cliff coast interrupted by a wide strip of sandy beaches that are the best in Havana, also are the towns of Regla and Guanabacoa, rich in history and traditions, as well as the fortifications of the Morro and La Cabaña which provide the welcome to those who come from the other side of the bay.

Castle of the Three Kings of El Morro and La Cabaña Fortress

The Morro Castle and the San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress make up the Morro-Cabaña Historical-Military Park.

El Morro was built after the passage through Havana of the English pirate Sir Francis Drake, on a large stone that was known as El Morro.

It is one of the most emblematic works of the city.

Morro-Cabaña Historical Military Park

La Cabañala

most impressive fortress of the Spanish colonial empire in America, was built along

to the Morro, in the same place from where the English fired their weapons at the city.

Even today, it impresses with its 18th-century walls.

It currently houses the most important collection of antique weapons in the country.

Today it is the scene of one of the city’s traditional ceremonies: the famous nine o’clock gunshot.

The Christ of Havana

  • Casablanca, Rule

It’s a majestic and colossal statue located to the entry of the Port of Havana, between the strength of San Carlos de la Cabaña and the town of Casablanca.

Inaugurated on December 25, 1958, The Christ of Havana is one of several in the world, made in Italy and by the work of the Cuban sculptor Gilma Madera.

Its slender figure of 20 meters high and a pedestal of 3, observes the city from a viewpoint where you can appreciate the most beautiful views of Havana, especially its old part and the port.

Guanabacoa

Founded in 1743 and known as “La Villa de Pepe Antonio”.

It housed settlements of Africans and later of Creole descendants of black slaves, who established the customs and cults that contributed to popular culture with the syncretism between the Catholic and African religions;

For example, the practitioners of Santeria or Regla de Ocha and the cult of Palo Monte, as well as the secret societies of Abacua scattered throughout the municipality.

Among its traditions are the Patron Saint Festivities of “La Tutelar”, “La Guadalupe”, “La Virgen de los Dolores”, the Pilgrimage to the Obelisk of the Martyrs of La Hata, and is home to Wemilere, a festival of African roots.

It is also the birthplace of three important Cuban musicians of the 20th century: pianist and composer Ernesto Lecuona, singer Rita Montaner and singer and composer Ignacio Villa, Bola de Nieve.

Municipal Museum of Guanabacoa

  • Marti Street between Versailles and San Antonio
  • Phone: (53) 77979117

The museum stores objects of exceptional historical value, like the tribune of the Artistic and Literary Lyceum of Guanabacoa, where José Martí, in 1879, pronounced his first speech in Cuba.

It also has the belongings of the most outstanding artists of the city like Rita Montaner, Ignacio Villa “Bola de Nieve”, Ernesto Lecuona and Juan Arrondo, as well as Cuban paintings of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Although the collection that best characterizes it is that of popular religious expressions of African origin.

Regla

Formed by the communities of Regla and Casablanca, this municipality is called Nuestra Señora de Regla.

Religion, customs and traditions characterize the humble people who venerate the Virgin of Regla above all things.

The famous comparsa (dance company) Los Guaracheros de Regla, heir to the dance tradition of the municipality, is located here.

Every year, when the day of the Virgen de Regla or Yemayá is commemorated in the Afro-Cuban religion.

Thousands of people from all over the country gather at this place to venerate the image that protects them and that gave name and rise to this mystical place.

Iglesia de Nuestra señora de Regla

  • Santuario Street, No.11

The church, now a National Sanctuary, was built in 1811 and completed in 1818.

It is a simple, rather humble temple.

Nor is there any ostentation in the black virgin, symbol and idol of the populated overseas, sworn in 1708 as the Patron Saint of the Bay, at whose feet the key to San Cristobal de La Habana was placed.

She wears a simple blue dress, adorned with white lace that only shows her face.

The veneration felt for her by the Havanese and Cubans in general is as great and deep as her ancient and interesting history.

Cojímar

With an architectural and natural ensemble representative of the fishermen’s way of life, this village emerged around the Torreón de Cojímar in the mid-seventeenth century.

It was here that the American novelist Ernest Hemingway developed his love of fishing and set his novel The Old Man and the Sea in this small town east of the capital.

The Tower of Cojímar is an old Spanish fort built in the emergence as an extension of the defenses of Havana, responsible for safeguarding the surrounding coast in that area, its founding date is supposed to have been July 15, 1649.

Ernest Hemingway Museum

  • Vigia and Steinhart Street, Vigia Farm, San Francisco de Paula.
  • Phone: (53) 76910809

It was the place of residence in Cuba of the famous American novelist, from 1940 to 1960, one year before his death.

Known as Finca Vigia, this property is located in the town of San Francisco de Paula, 15 km from the center of the city of Havana.

The property became a museum on July 21, 1962 and is considered the first institution created in the world to divulge the life and work of the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

This sort of small ecological reserve, due to its abundant vegetation, preserves the house, the bungalow, the tower, the swimming pool and the Pilar yacht.

The Virgin of the Way

Located in the Calzadas de Luyanó, San Miguel del Padrón and the Carretera Central, the place is a wide esplanade, with parks, grass and trees, presided over by a roundabout that shelters a sculpture.

The gura is a woman with clothes and a veil in the wind, who gives us an image of movement inviting us to follow her on her walk towards safe paths with the compass rose in her hand.

This bronze statue, 180×200 cm, is the work of the famous Havana sculptor Rita Longa and is one of the most beautiful places in the town

Playas del este

The Playas del Este, very close to the center of the Cuban capital, is a unique place to rest and enjoy the charms of the tropics.

From Bacuranao to Brisas del Mar, there is a coastline of sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters that exceed 15 kilometers, although the best ones are Santa María del Mar and Guanabo.

Easily accessible, they have hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, villages and tourist facilities of all kinds for the enjoyment of visitors

Residencial Marina Tarará

Tarará, Havana

As an attractive natural paradise for the enjoyment of the family, Residencial Tarará offers

today offers varied accommodation in its dozens of comfortable houses.

Located in the tourist circuit of Havana’s eastern beaches, it has recreational areas such as the Clubhouse and the La Sirenita nightclub.

Hotel Marazul

Avenida Banderas y Las Terrazas, Santa María del Mar, Havana Tel: (53)77971371

This accommodation is a 5 minute walk from the beach.

The MarAzul Hotel is an all-inclusive resort for adults only (over 18 years old) located in the eastern beaches of Havana, just 25 minutes from Havana’s international airport.

The complex enjoys a privileged location, right in front of the spectacular eastern beaches and only 20 minutes from Old Havana, which is home to an international cultural heritage.

Free transfer service is offered from the establishment to Old Havana.

Hotel Mirador del Mar

  • Calle 11 e/ 1era y 3era, Santa María del Mar, La Habana
  • Tel: (53) 7971085

The Hotel Islazul Mirador del Mar is located in the east of Havana City, in the hills of

Santa María Del Mar and offers its guests air-conditioned rooms, distributed in houses with one and up to 6 rooms and 3 small hotels with 7, 10 and 12 independent rooms.

Club Atlántico Hotel

  • Las Terrazas Avenue, Santa María del Mar, Havana
  • Tel: (53) 7 971085

Located on the first line of the beach and with attractive entertainment programs, the Hotel Atlántico is perfect to enjoy the sea with the family.

My Little Coral House

  • Ave. las Banderas and the Southern Terraces, Santa Maria del Mar
  • Tel: (53) 7971602

Mi Casita de Coral is a shady and charming terrace that invites to intimate and relaxed meals.

Delicious rice and seafood dishes at reasonable prices.

They serve breakfast, menu of the day and have vegan options.

If you go at night, the magic effect of their terrace is double.

Villa Playa Hermosa

  • 5ta Ave.
  • e/ 472 y 474, Guanabo, La Habana Tel: (53) 77962774

Villa Playa Hermosa is located about 55 minutes from Havana in the eastern beach area of the capital.

This economical hotel offers excellent low-cost villa-style accommodation and spacious rooms right on the main beachfront.

Hotel Bravo Club Arenal

The Hotel Bravo Club Arenal is located in the area of the Playas del Este (East Beaches of Havana) right in Santa Maria del Mar, a beach with crystal clear waters surrounded by the waters of the wonderful Laguna de Itabo.

With abundant vegetation, including red mangroves and beach berries.

Club Arenal, a 4-star facility, is located 27 kilometers from the city of Havana.

Best things to see in Havana Centro

The Vedado

With an eminently residential development that began in the second half of the 19th century, the neighborhood of El Vedado, in the municipality of Plaza de la Revolución, is rich in buildings from various periods and architectural styles, ranging from the oldest wooden houses, neoclassical villas and residences, eclectic and art deco examples, to multi-family buildings.

Listed streets with letters, abundant parks, fences and gardens identify this area, considered the economic and nancial center of the capital of Cuba.

In this neighborhood are located the two highest buildings in the country, the FOCSA and the Hotel Habana Libre.

Christopher Columbus Necropolis

  • Calzada de Zapata and 12th Street, El Vedado

It was declared a National Monument in 1987, and its 57 hectares contain a large number of sculptural and architectural works, which is why many specialists place it as the third most important in the world, preceded only by Staglieno in Genoa, Italy and Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain.

The largest cemetery in the Americas is rectangular in shape like a Roman-Byzantine camp, with sidewalks, streets and roads listed for easy access by visitors.

Plaza de la Revolución José Martí

  • Independence Avenue and May 20

The construction of this square began in the early 1940s, and was completely completed after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, to become the scene of the main acts and events of the country.

It is presided over by the monument to José Martí, the highest point in Havana, with a height of 112.75 m to the top tower and 144.99 m to the lighthouses and flags.

In the base area is the José Martí Memorial, a star-shaped historical-cultural center, inaugurated on January 27, 1996, where texts and images about the personal history of the Apostle, and others related to the construction of the square, are displayed.

José Martí National Library of Cuba

  • Independence Avenue and May 20.

This library, founded in October 1901, is located near the Plaza de la Revolución.

It is the depository of the country’s documentary, bibliographic, artistic and sound heritage treasure, as well as the most representative of universal culture.

The cover is the work of Spanish architect Calixto de Loire; and the reliefs and Carrara marble sculptures are by Cuban José Villalta de Saavedra.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

  • O Street and 21, El Vedado.

Cuba’s flagship hotel, opened in the year 1930, is distinguished by its elegant eclectic architecture, excellent service and an extensive record of famous visitors.

Proclaimed a National Monument in 1998, it is located on the coastal outcrop of Punta Brava, on the hill of Taganana, with a privileged position from where the Havana seafront can be seen.

Throughout its history it has received various national and international awards recognizing the quality and excellence of its services.

Havana University

  • Aróstegui Hill, El Vedado

On January 5, 1728, it was founded by the Dominican friars of the Royal and Pontifical University of San Gerónimo of Havana, in the convent of San Juan de Letrán, in Old Havana.

In 1850 it changes its name to Real y Literaria Universidad de la Habana and in

1902 the university is moved to Aróstegui hill in El Vedado.

The oldest study center in Cuba is also related to important historical events such as the foundation of the University Student Federation and the student struggles.

It has the Central Library and the Felipe Poey Natural History Museum, among other institutions.

National Museum of Decorative Arts

  • 17 Street corner D, El Vedado

Inaugurated on 24 July 1964, it houses more than thirty-three thousand works of high artistic and historical value from the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI and Napoleon III, as well as oriental pieces from the 16th to 20th centuries.

There are also works from the important French manufactures Sévres, Paris, Chantilly and Limoges, and from the English ones, Derby, Chelsea, Wedgwood, Worcester and Staffordshire.

FOCSA Edition

  • 17e/ M y N Streets, El Vedado

Inaugurated in 1956, this building is considered one of the seven wonders of Cuban civil engineering.

It awakened a sensation in the Cuban population because of its technological novelty and marked the beginning of the era of the Havana highlands buildings.

It was the second building of its kind in the world, it has a height of 121 m, and consists of 39 levels with 373 apartments.

It currently houses a parking lot, ocinas, television studios, a shopping center, the restaurants La Torre (on the 33rd floor) and El Emperador, and the radio stations COCO and Metropolitana.

Havana Carnival

It is held every summer where picturesque floats and parades are launched along the Malecón Habanero.

The ceremony is one of the oldest traditions of the country, which has its roots in past centuries during the Corpus Christi and Epiphany celebrations, when black slaves organized collective dances and marches.

It is a tradition revered by the people of the capital who help preserve the nation’s cultural heritage.

Cuban National Theater

  • Zapata and 39, Plaza de la Revolución

It has two large halls:

Covarrubias, named after Francisco Covarrubias, a playwright who is considered the founder of Cuban theater, and the Avellaneda, named after the most exalted female figure in 19th century Cuban romantic literature: Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda.

It is one of the few theaters of the continent that possesses a collection of works of art in interiors, between which they guran some pieces of important Cuban artists of the tradition of forefront; and the gardens shelter sculptural and ceramic facilities of out-standing national creators.

The singing café Mi Habana and the piano bar Delirio Habanero are located within the theater’s facilities.

Havana Café

  • Paseo Avenue, 3rd corner, Vedado Tel: (53) 78333636

It is one of the most coveted spaces to enjoy the best traditional Cuban music together with a dance show that recreates the most native Cuban rhythms.

The place recreates the atmosphere of Havana in the 1940s with an emphasis on the Havana high society clubs of the time.

Casa de las Americas

  • 3rd and G Street, El Vedado

Founded in 1959 by Haydée Santamaría, and currently presided over by Roberto Fernández Retamar, Casa de las Américas disseminates, researches, sponsors, awards and publishes the work of writers, visual artists, musicians, theater artists and scholars of literature, arts and social sciences in the continent.

In addition to organizing the prestigious Casa de las Américas Literary Award, the institution has, among other departments, the Center for Literary Research, the José Antonio Echeverría Library, the Center for Caribbean Studies, the Casa de las Américas magazine and the Editorial Fund.

Napoleonic Museum

  • San Miguel Street # 1159, % Ronda y Masón, Square

The Napoleonic Museum of Havana treasures a surprising collection that shows representative pieces of the period from the French Revolution to the Second Empire, mainly related to the Emperor Napoleon I.

It is in a building of great value that is inspired in an Orentinean palace of the Renaissance, baptized as La Dolce Dimora by its owner, the Cuban-Italian politician Orestes Ferrara, who ordered its construction to the architects Evelio Govantes and Felix Cabarrocas.

Dance Museum

  • Street line # 251 corner to G Street, Vedado

Its rooms exhibit collections of documents, costumes, photos, paintings, engravings from the Tacón Theater ( Gran Teatro de La Habana), pieces that date from the 16th century to the present, mostly from the personal collection of the famous Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso that were donated to the museum.

Sports City

  • Vía Blanca and Rancho Boyeros Avenue, Cerro

It is the most important sports facility in Cuba, a representative example of the architecture

on the island.

A large number of national and international sporting events have been held here, as well as artistic activities of all kinds.

Latin American Stadium

  • Patria and Pedroso, Cerro

It was built in 1946 and is the largest and most important sports facility for the practice of baseball in Cuba.

In his galleries you can observe cards and commemorative busts of famous Cuban baseball players.

It serves as headquarters of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame.

Art Factory “FAC”

  • Calle 26 between 11 and 13, Vedado Tel.

It is an excellent place in the Havana Vedado to enjoy art in its different manifestations.

It has transitory exhibition rooms of Cuban artists of the plastic arts, small theaters, cinema, interactive spaces to enjoy the good music of different genres, as well as gastronomic and cocktail offers.

Havana WestWest Havana

Miramar

It has distinguished itself through the years as the most elegant neighborhood in Havana; its life is developed around the Fifth Avenue, wide and tree-lined avenue surrounded by splendid houses of the beginning of the 20th century and luxury hotels. Most of the embassies are located in this area, as well as facilities such as the Maqueta de La Habana and the Acuario Nacional.

Convention Centre

11 and 13 146th Street, Rpto. Cubanacan, Playa

It is Cuba’s main meeting centre, inaugurated in 1979, occupying an area of 60,000 m2. It has several air-conditioned, modernly equipped rooms with simultaneous interpretation and advanced technology in audiovisual media. It also has other multipurpose rooms and auditoriums, which guarantees the success of the events. Located in one of the most beautiful residential areas of the city, it also houses the Hotel Palco, a 4-star executive hotel.

Memorial to the complaint

Ave. 5ta e/ 110 y 1|2, Playa Tel.- (53) 7 2065609

It is a unique contemporary museum of its kind in Cuba that relies on new technologies to propose an interactive tour of the crucial moments in Cuba’s history since 1959, in an enjoyable way

The campus, open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., is located at 5ta. It has six rooms: The CIA and other intelligence services, The media war, State Terrorism, Political manipulation of the migration issue, The economic war, and Our strength is the strength of the people, where visitors can approach monographs, documents, testimonies, multimedia that show the struggle of the Cuban people against U.S. imperialism after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution

Cuban National Aquarium

62nd Street and 1st A. Miramar, Havana, Cuba Tel: (53) 72025871

At the Nations Aquarium a variety of marine species and specimens are exhibited, all of which are alive in their natural habitat as a result of technical scientific activity. Another of its attractions are the didactic and recreational shows with Delnes and Sea Lions. It has the restaurant “El Gran Azul”, where you can taste a tasty Mediterranean dinner and enjoy an underwater show in unison with delnes.

Higher Institute of Art

120th Street, 9th and 13th Ave.

The Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) is the
main center of artistic education in Cuba and one of the architectural jewels of Havana. The impressive group of buildings was conceived by a prestigious team of architects as an art school that would train students from all walks of life. The project was conceived as an island or city of creation where young Cubans could become great musicians, dancers, actors or plastic artists.

Model of Havana

Calle 28 No.113, % Avenida 1ra y 3ra, Miramar Tel.-(53) 72027303

Modern pavilion that represents in miniature, the city of Havana at a scale of 1:1000. It is one of the largest models of its kind in the world. It has tiny details of constructions, streets and walks, monuments, squares, parks and sculptures, industrial and rural areas, of the whole Havana coast and its beaches.

Don Cangrejo Restaurant

Ave. 1ra. e/ 16 y 18, Playa, La Habana, Cuba, Tel: (53) 7204 3837

It is located on the Havana coast in the residential neighborhood of Miramar. It’s a restaurant specializing in fish and seafood and is distinguished by its party room with capacity for 500 people, with live performances of top-level groups of Cuban music

Green Tile House

Calle 2 % 3ra y 5ta, Miramar

It is located at the entrance of Fifth Avenue, receiving passers-by who arrive at the tunnel exit. This house has become a center for the promotion of modern and contemporary architecture, urbanism and interior design. Its exaggeratedly sloping roofs covered with green tiles are its most outstanding attributes, which distinguish it in an environment characterized by large mansions.

Hotel Comodoro

3rd Avenue and 84th Street, Beach Tel.

It is located in the residential area of Miramar. It is a privileged facility due to a strip of private beach in a pleasant environment in the western part of the city. Ideal hotel for business men, family tourism, events and incentive groups, long stays and circuits. In its exterior areas it has a Shopping Center, pharmacies and cafeterias. It is a good combination of a beach hotel and a city hotel.

Meliá Habana Hotel

Avenida 3ra % Calle 76 y 80, Playa, Havana, Cuba. Tel.-(53) 72048500

It is a modern urban hotel, category 5 stars, located by the sea, in front of the Miramar Business Center and next to the Havana Convention Center. A different hotel that mixes nature and comfort. It stands out for its tropical lobby, open areas, the largest swimming pool in the city and exclusive section The Level. Recommended for business trips, incentives, weddings and honeymoons.

Marina Hemingway

248th Street and 5th Ave. Santa Fe, Playa

It was built between 1956-1957, on some 600,000 m2 gained to the sea by deepening 4 navigation channels. The facility is designed for the development of

Restaurant La Cecilia

Ave. 5ta e/ 110 y 112, Miramar Tel.-(53) 72041562

It is a place that transports you to the Havana of the 1950s. Its excellent traditional cuisine and updated wine cellar is very attractive. It has excellent traditional cuisine and an updated wine cellar that is very attractive.

the hotel activity and offers services to sport and leisure boats. The flagship centre of the island’s nautical activities can assimilate up to 400 boats, with facilities for life on board. It is the setting for the world famous Ernest Hemingway marlin fishing tournament.

Dos Gardenias Tourist Complex

Ave. 7ma. esq. 26, Miramar, Playa Tel.-(53) 72069530

It is located in the Reparto La Sierra, in the central district of Miramar. It owes its name to the bolero composed by the outstanding composer and musician Isolina Carrillo. In his spaces one enjoys agreeable and varied food, good Cuban traditional music and shows of important Cuban artists.

Fusterland

Jaimanitas neighborhood, Playa.

Creative project created by the Cuban ceramist, drawer, painter and engraver José Antonio Rodríguez Fuster who has revived the facades of more than 80 buildings in the Jaimanitas neighborhood. Walking through its quiet streets is a surreal and psychedelic experience. Fuster has turned his neighborhood into a masterpiece of intricate tiles, kaleidoscopic colors and extravagant street art, in a kind of Cuban-style Park Güell that is absolutely fascinating.

El Aljibe Restaurant

Ave. 7ma e/ 24 y 26, Miramar Tel: (53)

Only 10 minutes from Martí International Airport, this spacious and comfortable hotel promises a pleasant stay to the visitor among the captivating mix of modern architectural lines and the purest colonial neoclassicism. Close to the Convention Center makes it a comfortable accommodation for the tourism of events and congresses.

Cabaret Tropicana

Calle 72 % 41 y 45, Marianao Tel.- (53) 72671718

It’s a famous Cuban cabaret, identified by the great arch and known as a paradise under the stars, since it was built outdoors in 1939 in a forested area of Marianao, which makes it completely different from traditional ones. It has been the scene of prestigious

Casa de la Música de Miramar

20 Street, corner with 35th Avenue, Miramar Tel: (53) 7 2026147

Cultural Center belonging to the Empresa de Grabaciones y Ediciones Musicales (EGREM), the oldest record company in Cuba. It is an ideal place to enjoy live the most varied Cuban music. Place of obliged visit for all that wants to dance to fullness the Cuban rhythms from 5 in the afternoon up to well entered the night.

Hotel PALCO

146 Street between 11 and 13
Tel: (53) 7 2047235
Email: [email protected]hpalco.palco.cu

Perfect place to enjoy the pleasure of holidays as well as the comfort of business trips. With more than 50 years of history at its feet, this accommodation is synonymous with Cuban hospitality tradition and essence. A neo-republican architectural jewel that has been totally modernized and converted into a hotel

Cuban and foreign figures such as Josephine Baker, Nat King Cole, Bola de Nieve and Rita Montaner, have among their symbols the sculpture of a dancer made by the Cuban artist Rita Longa in 1950 and the fountain of the muses, by the Italian Aldo Gamba, installed since 1952 at the entrance of the cabaret.

In 1992 the American Academy of the Restaurant Industry gave him the Best of the Five Stars Diamond Award for the best cabaret in America.

Other Sites of InterestThe Willow

Calle 9na. No. 12015 between 120 and 130, Playa Tel: 72047114

It is a Cultural Center that enjoys the preference of the lovers of the good contemporary Cuban music. It is divided into two areas: an outdoor area and an indoor room with a small stage. This concert hall has become the paradigm of good live music without labels. Emerging and established figures of pop, rock, kizomba, bachata and Cuban salsa are on stage every day of the week.

Literacy Museum

Calle 29-E # 8610 e/ 86 y 102, Ciudad Libertad, Marianao Tel: (53) 72608054

This institution recounts the passages from the 1961 epic about the Literacy Campaign, which culminated in more than 700,000 people becoming literate, eradicating illiteracy in Cuba. It preserves all the materials and objects related to this feat that marked our country as the first territory free of illiteracy in the United States.

Havana Zoo

Ave. 26 e/47 and Santa Teresa, Reparto Aldecoa,Plaza

The Havana Zoo, or Zoo of 26 with an extension of 24 hectares, has more than 164 species of monkeys, reptiles, birds, cats and mammals. Among the most significant things of the beautiful Havana Zoo are the main entrance, the monumental representation of the group of three bronze deer, the work of the prominent Cuban sculptor Rita Longa and inside a lake with the representation of the Island of Cuba.

Lenin Park

100th Street and Cortina de la presa, Arrollo Naranjo.

They call it the lung of Havana and it was founded on April 22, 1972 by then Cuban president Fidel Castro under the inspirational force of Celia Sanchez. This formidable green expanse, located about 25 km south of the city, has an amusement park, swimming pools, restaurants of different types and prices, in addition to offering the possibility of participating in a Cuban rodeo, rowing in a boat on the lake, riding a water bike, horseback riding or enjoying a family with nature.

National Botanical Garden

Carretera del Rocío, km 3 1/2, Arrollo Naranjo.

About 25 km away from the city, there is this wonderful natural environment, where about 400 species of plants are exposed in an area of about 600 hectares. The garden was conceived for the nes of a modern institution of public use in which a great collection of live plants is shown, classified and scientifically ordered with educational, scientific, recreational and conservationist nes.

Sanctuary of Saint Lazarus

Calzada de San Antonio, km 23. Santiago de las Vegas

Every December 17th, the believers go on pilgrimage from the most different places in Cuba to the Shrine of Saint Lazarus on the corner, on the outskirts of the capital. According to estimates, the pilgrimage exceeds 15,000 attendees, which causes the ocial closure of the access roads and the traffic jams of the wide avenues that lead to the area. According to the research, many families save throughout the year to make offerings to Saint Lazarus, while others go there to pray and meditate their sorrows in front of the great statue of the saint.

ExpoCuba Exhibition Center

Calle 9na. No. 12015 between 120 and 130, Playa Tel.-72047114

The EXPOCUBA exhibition center is the largest exhibition center in Cuba. It is located on Carretera del Rocio, at km 3 1⁄2, in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo. It is about 25 km southeast of downtown Havana. It has an area of 600,000 m2, of which 25,000 m2 net exhibition area and 25 pavilions for exhibitions.

John Lennon Park

17 Street between 6 and 8, Vedado

Habanero Park that houses the statue of Lennon sitting on one of its benches, the sculpture was made by the sculptor Villa Soberon, also author of the sculpture of the Knight of Paris in Old Havana.

Salon Rosé de la Tropical

41 Ave. between 44 and 46.
Tel: (53)72064799 / (53) 72061282

Although, ocially, the name of this great dance floor is Salón Rosado de La Tropical Benny Moré, everyone in Havana knows it as La Tropical. This corner has achieved international fame because it has been recognized as “the palace of the dancers” and “the most musical in Latin America”. Every Friday and Saturday they open their doors at 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., and on Sundays, in the morning, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Admission prices vary according to the group in concert, music and dance.

Jazz Club

The Fox and the Raven

No. 12015 between N and W, Vedado Tel: (53)72047114

Cozy nightclub to enjoy good jazz. Thematic club, dedicated body and soul to Cuban jazz for more than twenty years and located in La Rampa.

Cabaret Parisien

Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Vedado

In Cabaret Parisien you will enjoy a great “Cuban, Cuban” show that shows the fusion of the Indo-American, Hispanic and African cultures, the same that gave birth to the Cuban culture.

You can visit the Parisien Cabaret every day from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The show starts at 10:00 p.m. and from 12:00 you can learn to dance.

Coppelia Ice Cream Shop

23rd Street between L and K, Vedado

The cathedral of Cuban ice cream. This is where the famous film by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (Titón), Strawberry and Chocolate, was shot.

No matter the time of day, you will always find rows of ice cream lovers on the sidewalks of these streets. If you come on vacation to Cuba, don’t miss this opportunity to share a table and learn more about life in Havana. You can visit this busy ice-cream parlor any day of the week, except Mondays.

Events in Havana

January

  • January 1st: At midnight on December 31st, the triumph of the revolution is celebrated.
  • 7 January to 4 February: Winter ballet festival called Pro Danza Center.
  • January 8th to 19th: Cubadanza, winter Cuban dance festival, at the Contemporary Dance Company.
  • January 28th. Anniversary of Jose Marti.

February

  • International Book Fair at Fuerte de San Carlos de la Cabaña.
  • February 24th. Anniversary of the attack on the presidential palace.
  • Festival Del Habano

March

  • Havana Biennial 

April

  • April 19th. Bay of Pigs Victory Celebration.
  • La Huella de España, Spanish dance festival, in several places and organized by the Spanish Embassy.

May

  • May: the International Festival of Guitar of Havana takes place in several places of the city of Havana.
  • May 1st: Fiesta del Trabajo, includes a popular parade in the Plaza de la Revolución, with a speech by Fidel Castro or some of his collaborators.
  • May Cubadisco

June

  • Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament

July

  • July 25th, 26th and 27th. The attack on the Moncada Barracks is commemorated with a political speech and a musical and dance show in the evening.
  • Havana Carnival, mid July-mid August, all over the city.
  • Cuballet de Verano, summer ballet festival, at Pro Danza Centre.
  • Cubadanza, summer Cuban dance festival, at the Contemporary Dance Company.

September

  • Havana Theater Festival

October

  • Festival of Contemporary Music of Havana, in UNEAC and other places of the city.
  • Latin American and Caribbean Music Meeting, at Casa de Las Américas. 
  • Oct 10th Commemoration of the beginning of the first war of independence
  • Havana International Ballet Festival, at Gran Teatro Internacional

November

  • Marathon Maracuba Marhabana 
  • Havana International Fair
  • Celebrations for the Foundation of the City
  • Havana Contemporary Music Festival

December

  • Festival of the New Latin American Cinema, in several theatres of the city.
  • International Crafts Fair
  • International Jazz Festival, at the Casa de la Cultura de Plaza, La Zorra y el Cuervo, Jazz Caffé, and other venues of the city.

Useful Information

Banking Services – Casa de Cambio Cadeca

OLD HAVANA

BANDEC 9091, Cuba and Teniente Rey
Cuba and O ́Reilly
Banco Popular de Ahorro 2642, Cuba and O ́Reilly BANDEC 2661, Amargura y Mercaderes
Banco Popular de Ahorro 2672, Prado 307 Banco Metropolitano 9075, San José and Monserrate
Banco Popular de Ahorro 2632, Monte y Carmen CADECA, Obispo and Habana

HAVANA CENTER

Banco Popular de Ahorro2552, Infanta and San José Banco Metropolitano 2581, Galiano and San José Banco Metropolitano 2591, Zanja and Belascoain
Banco Metropolitano 2581, Galiano and Reina
Banco Popular de Ahorro 2542, Belascoain and San José Banco Popular de Ahorro 3052, Infanta and Manglar CADECA 3103, Neptuno and Consulate

EAST HAVANA

Villa Panamericana Edif. 46 calle 5ta y 78 Ave. 5ta e/ 476 y 478, Guanabo
Banco Metropolitano 272, Building 48 and Shopping Center, Reparto Camilo Cienfuegos

Beach

Market 3era and 70
5th and 42nd Market
Agromercado of 19 and 78
Marina Hemingway. Ave 5ta and 248

CLOSE

Ciudad Deportiva, Colón street between Vía Blanca and Velarde

PLAZA

National Hotel. 21 O Street, Vedado
23rd and P Streets
Edicio FOCSA Calle M between 17 and 19, Vedado Calle Línea y Paseo

23rd and J Streets, Vedado
Bus Terminal. Boyeros and 20 de May

BOYEROS

Agromercado de Santiago de las Vegas, Calle 17 esq. a 2
Terminal # 3 Dutty Free, José Martí International Airport

BANKING SERVICES ATMS

BEACH

31st and 42nd Street
5th and 84th Ave.
3rd Street between 78 and 80 Ave. 5th and 112
1st and O Street

HAVANA CENTER

Eagle and Dragons Zanja and Belascoaín Belascoaín and San Lázaro Galiano and Reina

PLAZA

Línea y M Street
23rd and P Streets
55 17th Street, FOCSA Línea y Paseo
26th Street and 37th Street. New Vedado
Ayestaran and 19 de Mayo Hotel Nacional, 23rd and O streets

EAST HAVANA

Ave. 5ta e/ 478 y 480 Guanabo
78th Ave. and 5th D
Panamerican Village

OLD HAVANA

Cuba and Lieutenant King
Cuba and O ́Reilly
Obispo e/ Villegas and Aguacate Obispo e/ Habana and Aguiar Prado and Animas
Calzada de Monte and Carmen

GUANABACOA

66 Marti Street, corner of Versailles, The Big Stone

HEALTH SERVICES

International Retinosis Center

Pigmentary “Camilo Cienfuegos”

151 L Street, corner to 13, Vedado. Tel: (53)78325554/ 55

Placental Histotherapy Center.

Calle 18 e/ 43 y 45, No. 4306, Playa Tel: (53) 72042524/ 2704

International Health Centre “La

Meadow”

230 Street between 15 A and 17, Beach. Phone: (53) 72737467-76

Cira Garcia Central Clinic”

20 Street No. 4101, corner to 41 Ave., Beach Tel:(53) 72042811

International Centre for Restoration

Neurological (CIREN)

Ave. 25 No. 15805 e/158 and 160, Playa. Tel: (53)72716999/ 2736003 www.ciren.cu

CAR RENTAL AGENCIES

Old Havana

Cubacar Iberostar Central Park

Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta Tel.-(53) 78666507

Hotel Sevilla

Trocadero # 55 between Prado and Zulueta Tel.-(53) 78669156

Cruise Terminal

Ave. del Puerto Tel.-(53) 78660284

AUSA Business Center

Desamparados No.166 e/ Habana y Compostela Tel.-(53) 78637130

Plaza Hotel

Ignacio Agramonte No. 267 Tel.-(53) 78668915

REX- Hotel Triton.

Ave. 3ra e/ 70 y 78, Playa. Tel.-(53) 72040951

REX- José Martí International Airport.

Terminals 2 and 3. Boyeros Ave. Tel: (53) 72664874

PLAZA

REX Malecón

N Street and Malecón, Vedado Tel.-(53) 78367788

Hotel Cohiba

Paseo Ave. and 3rd, Vedado Tel.-(53) 78364748

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

21 y O Street, Vedado Tel.-(53) 78365910

Viazul Terminal

Ave. 26 and Zoo, Nuevo Vedado Tel.-(53) 78813899

Havanautos

3rd and Paseo. Vedado. Tel: (53) 78332164

Edicio Focsa

M Street / 17 Y 19, Vedado. Tel.-(53) 78309288

Transgaviota

1st and B, Vedado. Tel.-(53) 78330387

BEACH

Hotel Comodoro

84th Street and 3rd Ave.
Tel.-(53) 72041706

Hotel Copacabana

Calle 1ra. y 44 Tel.-(53) 72040621

Meliá Habana Hotel

Calle 3ra y 82 Tel.-(53) 72043236

Two Gardenias

Ave. 7ma y 26 Tel.-(53) 2043635

Hotel Occidental Miramar

5ta. Ave. e/ 72 y 74 Tel.-(53) 72046453

Marina Hemingway

5ta. Ave. y 248, Santa Fe Tel.-(53) 72041707

Hotel El Bosque

49th Street, A-28 Kohly, Tel: (53) 72043499

TRAVEL AGENCIES

Cubanacan Travel

Calle 68 between 5ta y 5ta A. Playa Tel:(53)72041658

Havanatur Tur & Travel Agency

Calle 6 No. 117 e/ 1ra y 3ra, Miramar Tel: (53)72041974

Paradiso Agency

Calle 19 No. 560 esq. a C, Vedado Tel: (53) 78329538

Cubatur Agency

23 Street, corner to L, Vedado Tel: (53) 78333569

San Cristobal Agency

Ocios, No.110, Old Havana Tel: (53) 78619171-72

Gaviota Tour Agency

Ave. 49 No. 3620 e/ 36 y 49, Playa Tel: (53) 72047683

Specialty Stores Tobacco, Rum and Coffee

PLAZA

Casa del Tabaco El Espiral

Paseo Street between 17 and 19, Vedado. Phone: (53) 7553270

Casa del Habano Hotel Nacional

21 O Street, Vedado. Phone: (53) 78335722

Casa del Habano Habana Libre

Hotel Habana Libre, 25 Street, L, Vedado Tel: (53) 78346111

Casa Habano International Cohiba

Hotel Melia Cohíba, Calle Paseo between 3rd and 1st Tel: (53) 78344638

OLD HAVANA

Casa del Habano Partagás

Industria # 520 e/ Dragones y Barcelona Tel: (53) 7866-80-60 / 7862-37-72

Tobacco Shop

Prado S/N Esq. Trocadero Tel: (53) 7866-87-96

Coffee House

Baratillo # 59 e/ Obispo y Justiz Tel: (53) 7866-80-61

Floridita Rum and Tobacco House

Bishop S/N e/ Monserrate y Bernaza Tel: (53) 7866-89-11

La Vega

Cuba # 64 between Peña Pobre and Cuarteles Tel: (53) 7866-83-60 / 866-80-72

Cohiba Atmosphere Store

Hotel Manzana Kempinski Monserrate between San Rafael and Neptuno

Beach

Casa Habano Robaina

Hotel Meliá Habana Ave. 3ra between 76 and 80 Tel:(53) 72044289

Comodoro Galleries

Calle 3ra e/ 82 y 84 Tel:(53) 72043337

Casa del Habano Dos Gardenias

Calle 7ma esquina a 26, Miramar Tel: (53) 72069530

Meliá Hotel Meliá Habana Varieties

Ave3ra e/ 76 y 80 Tel:(53) 72048500

Comodoro Hotel Comodoro Gallery

Ave 3ra y 84, Miramar Tel: )53) 72046177

Casa del Habano 5th and 16th

5ta Ave No.1407 esq a16, Miramar, Tel.: (53) 72047975

HAVANA CENTER

Romeo and Juliet

Belascoain corner of Peñalver Tel: (53) 7870-47-97

TRAVEL TIPS

What to bring in your suitcase ?

Due to the predominant tropical climate, you should include in your luggage:

  • Swimming suit and sandals
  • Light clothing, especially in the summer
  • Light colored clothes and cotton fabrics, flannels, shorts
  • If you travel in the winter season, a Lightweight jackets or a wool sweater can be sufficient, mainly, for the nights; and closed shoes, but comfortable.
  • Accessories such as sunglasses, hats and sunscreen.
  • If you have indicated some medicine or specific health treatment, you should take it with you during the trip.

You must also remember:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, particularly if you visit the eastern region of Cuba where the climate is usually warmer. Although tap water can be drunk, it is recommended that you buy bottled water.
  • Some establishments accept credit cards, but ideally you should always carry money
    in cash to make any payments.
  • If you want to buy traditional products such as rum, coffee, tobacco and music, choose the specialized or authorized shops and establishments for their sale. That is the only way you can be sure of acquiring authentic quality merchandise. Never make this type of purchase in the street or from unknown subjects.
  • Exchange coins only in the Exchange Houses (Cadecas), distributed in all the cities or towns, as well as in the Banks destined to such purposes.
  • Use lotions to protect yourself from insect bites.
  • If you have any symptoms of intoxication or discomfort, go immediately to the health services available to tourists
    in hotels and international clinics.
  • Most services in Cuba do not include tipping. This is accepted if you wish to offer it.
  • If you wish to travel with your dogs and cats, they must be vaccinated against rabies and you present the updated Veterinary Certificate of the country of origin. Time zones:
    Standard time: UTC/GMT -5 hours.

Cuba adopts a summer timetable between the months of March and October with one hour in advance.

Type of current in Cuba

Note that it is 110/220 and 60 Hz frequency. Generally, plugs are flat-pinned, so you may need an adapter for certain electrical devices.

Units of measurement

The international system of measurement governs.

 

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS HAVANA

Old Havana

Obispo # 524 between Bernaza and Villegas Tel: (53) 7 801 4333 Terminal de Cruceros Plaza

Habana Libre Hotel

Street L w/ 23 Y 25
Tel: (53) 7 832 9288 Beach
Ave. 5ta y 112, Miramar Tel: (53) 7 204 7036

Eastern Beaches

Ave 5ta between 468 and 470, Guanabo
Tel: (53) 7 796 6868
Ave. Las Terrazas and 10th Street, Santa María del Mar
Tel: (53) 7 796 1111
International Airport “Jose Martí” Tel: 853) 7 642 6101. Terminal 2 and 3
Expocuba. Pabelulórinsmdeo T
Tel: (53) 7 697 4396 / 697 4397

Republic of Cuba.

Havana is a synthesis of all Cuba, capital of the island and one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America.

The charm of the “Pearl of the Caribbean” continues to act, whoever knows it returns enriched and conquered.

Renewed, it offers everything imaginable in terms of colonial architecture.

Its most important neighborhoods, Old Havana, Vedado, Miramar, Centro Havana and the Malecón will make you enjoy the memories of the old architecture.

Havana is the tropical splendor, which gathers the best of Spain, the best of Africa and the best of the Antilles. Havana, with its old American cars, its hustle and bustle, its bare buildings, its history, its people and its rhythms leaves no one indifferent.

 

POPULATION

More than 2,200,000 inhabitants.

BRIEF HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION

It is one of the cities with more historical tradition in the New World.

It was founded in 1515 by Diego Velázquez, with the name of San Cristóbal de la Habana in a place of the southern coast, near the current population of Surgidero de Batabano, a few years later towards 1519, his inhabitants moved to the northern part of the island.

Due to its privileged situation it became an important point in the route between America and the Peninsula and for this reason it frequently attracted pirate attacks.

In order to defend it, a defensive system based on fortresses was built in the 15th century and completed in the 17th century.

In 1592 it was declared a city by Philip II and in 1607 it became the capital of the island by Royal Decree, an honor that was held until then by Santiago de Cuba.

In 1762 it was conquered by the English and was returned to Spain by the peace of Paris (1763), in exchange for the territory of Florida.

During the 18th century it began its economic growth that continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1898, taking as a pretext the bombing of the battleship Mane, in its port, the United States declared war on Spain and on 1 January 1899 the island proclaimed its independence under American occupation.

The city acquired a modern physiognomy and until the communist revolution it was a paradise for American tourism.

Since 1959 it became one of the revolutionary centers of Latin America and Africa.

The fall of communism in the USSR and the American Blockade give it an uncertain future.

HOLIDAYS

  • 1 January Commemoration of the Triumph of the Revolution.
  • May 1st Workers’ Day.
  • 26 July: National Day of Rebellion.
  • October 10 Commemoration of the beginning of the Wars of Independence
  • November 16 Anniversary of the Foundation of San Cristóbal de la Habana
  • For other holidays, please refer to the country profile.

Events

  • June : Festival of Golden Boleros of Havana.
  • July : Carnival festivities.
  • August : Havana Theater Festival.
  • October : International Ballet Festival and Lyric Art Festival.

 

WEATHER

  • Warm subtropical.
  • Rains from May to October.

 

 

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES PER MONTH, AND RECOMMENDED CLOTHING

Months

Day Temp.

Night

Temp.

Daylight

Raining Days

Water Temperature

Clothing

January

26

18

6

6

25

V/T

February

27

18

6

4

24

T

March

28

19

7

4

24

T

April

29

21

7

4

26

T

May

30

22

8

7

27

T

June

31

23

6

10

27

T

July

31

24

6

9

28

T

August

32

24

6

10

28

T

September

31

24

5

11

28

T

October

29

23

5

11

28

T

November

27

21

5

7

27

T

December

26

19

5

6

27

V/T

 

Day and night temperatures are the monthly average of the last 25 years.

Rainfall and sunshine reflect numerically the average of the same, for each month, in the last years.

Clothing notes reflect the type of clothing to be worn.

These indications are merely indicative, and you should always take into account any information you may have regarding the weather in the area in the days prior to your trip, and the altitude of the places you plan to visit.

The codes used indicate :

V = Use summer clothing.

T = Use summer clothes, but adapted to tropical climates with strong sunshine and skin perspiration. Lightweight, pale or white garments with long sleeves and legs are recommended. The use of head protection, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also recommended.

SHOPPING

MAIN ITEMS TO BE PURCHASED:

Guayaberas, antiques, carvings, cigars and rum.

MAIN SHOPPING AREAS :

From Havana it is essential to bring the world famous Havana cigars and the excellent rum, but you can also buy popular crafts, musical instruments -maracas, bongoes, güiros, tumbadora-, paintings and Santeria objects.

In the Crafts Palace (Cuba 64, corner of Tacón) the building was the old Pedroso Palace. Nearby, between the Cathedral and the Port, there is a popular handicraft market.

In La Travesía (O’Reilly corner Monserrat) there is an Afro-Cuban handicraft market. In the Manzana de Gómez (San Rafael corner Agramonte) there is a group of European-style shops to buy souvenirs.

In the Maison in the Miramar neighborhood you can find antiques, fashion and jewelry. A curious visit is to the Botica de Santa Catalina (Obispo corner Mercaderes) to buy herbs and medicinal plants from the world famous Cuban pharmacopoeia.

The Area of Self-employed Women (Máximo Gómez corner Suárez) is a flea market where among many other things you can find music and woodwork.

In Old Havana, the Casa del Ron (Obispo 527) offers the best and most select types of rum on the island.

And, in the Partagas Factory (Industria 520 corner Barcelona and Dragones) is the right place to know the process of manufacturing the famous cigars… and of course a good place to buy them.

In all the hotels of the city there are shops and, several commercial centers offer all type of stores in their facilities

Antiques, fashion, jewelry and gifts In La Maison, Avda. 7ª y 16. Miramar.

Rum At La Casa del Ron, c/ Obispo, 527 y Bernaza. Old Havana.

Havana Club. San Pedro No 262. Tel: 7 624 108.

Handicrafts, paintings and silk screen printing. In La Casona, c/Muralla, 107 esq. San Ignacio. Old Havana.

Experimental Graphics Workshop. Callejón del Chorro No 6 Old Havana. Tel: 7 862 0979. Art Gallery. Brabados and painting.

Tourist souvenirs In Manzana de Gómez, a group of shops where you can also buy everyday objects.

Cigars In the Partagas Factory, calle Industria e. Barcelona y Dragones, one of the most prestigious in the country.

Real Factories Factory Shop. Industria No 520. Tel: 7 826 0086. The oldest cigar factory in Havana.

Afro-Cuban Art and Craftsmanship In La Travesía, O’Reilly Street, Montserrat. There are very interesting exhibitions.

Silver and coral jewelry, Cuban music records and memories In the Palace of Crafts, Palacio Pedroso. 64 Cuba Street. Old Havana.

And, also: Area of Own Account Sellers. Máximo Gómez No 259 at Suárez. Permanent Market. Old books, leather belts, Santeria articles, etc.

Handicraft Fair (Old Havana). Open-air craft market. Old Havana Heel. Paintings, guayaberas, wood carvings, Che Guevara souvenirs, a little bit of everything.

Handicrafts Fair (Vedado). Vedado boardwalk. Practically the same as in the Old Havana Market. Here, also stamps, coins, bank notes, etc.

Cuban Fund for Cultural Goods. Wall 107 corner of San Ignacio Habano Vieja
Tel: 7 862 2633. Government Store. Handicrafts. For every purchase they give a receipt to avoid problems at the exit customs.

Galleries of Paseo. Street 1 & Paseo. Commercial gallery with “brand” shops.

ICAIC promotions. 23rd & L Vedado Streets. Tel: 7 832 9430. Fabulous sale of Cuban film posters.

FIXED PRICE OR “BARGAINING” :

In Intur stores the price is fixed. Bargaining is allowed in the flea markets.

 

GASTRONOMY

TYPICAL DISHES :

The joy, the explosion of flavours and the welcome typical of Cubans is also reflected in the colourful, sensual and mestizo food of this “pearl of the Antilles”.

Its variation is due to the fusion of cultures, presided by the Spanish (with the well-known Jewish and Arab component) and the African, but also the arrival of Chinese, Europeans…

preceded by the culture of the aboriginal “Tainos” who populated the island when Columbus arrived.

  • The Congri Rice cooked with red beans.
  • El Ajiaco Masses of pork with potatoes, yucca, plantain, malanga, corn and pumpkin.
  • Futú Fried bananas, grains and aromatic herbs. Dish of African origin.

 

LIST OF RESTAURANTS :

The restaurants in Cuba, like, on the other hand, any other business that goes out of the sphere of the craftsmen, are state exploitations.

Some activities related to the restoration and the hotel trade are excluded.

In the restoration section, there are the so-called “paladares”, small restaurants in private houses operated by the owners of the house.

They are one of the best options for eating in Havana.

Decameron. Line No 753 Vedado. Tel: 7 832 2444. Italian. Average prices. Vegetarian options and wine acceptable.

El Paseo. Neptune NH Central Park. Tel: 7 860 6627. Gourmet menu at international levels. Expensive.

Le Chansonnier. Calle J No 257 Vedado. Tel: 7 832 1576. Vedado area palate located in a nice little villa. French cuisine. Gay/lesbian atmosphere.

Palate Doña Blanquita. Prado No 158. Caribbean cuisine. Average prices. A nice place to enjoy the typical dishes of the island.

Paladar El Helecho. Calle 6 No 203 Vedado. Tel: 07 831 3552. Good Cuban cuisine. Pleasant service, generous portions and acceptable prices.

Paladar La Guarida. Concordia No 418 Centro Habana. Tel: 7 264 4940. Located in a small palace. Original dishes. Expensive. Reservations required.

Mirador de la Bahía Restaurant. Obispo No 61. On the fifth floor of the National Museum of Natural History. The food is simply acceptable. Economical.

Tien-Tan Restaurant. Cuchillo No 17 Centro Habana. Tel: 7 861 5478. Chinese. Economical. They will add 20% to the amount of the invoice for service.

Trattoria Maraka’s. 260 O Street, Vedado. Tel: 7 833 3740. Italian. Authentic olive oil and mozzarella. Economical.

Three Chinitos. Dragons No 355 Centro Habana. Tel: 7 863 3388. Down, Chinese; up, Italian. Average prices.

El Floridita, Montserrate, 557, esq. Tel. 631060. Open from 12:00 to 24:00. Specialty: seafood. It is an excellent and expensive restaurant.

El Tocororo, c/18 and 3ª Miramar. Beach. Tel. 332209. Speciality: seafood. It is considered the best restaurant in town. Expensive.

La Bodequita del Medio, c/ Empedrado, 207. Tel. 624498. Open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and from 6:30 pm to 1:00 am. Specialty: Creole menu. The kitchen is of very good quality and the prices are moderate.

La Divina Pastora, Morro-Cabaña Tourist Complex. Tel. 623886. Specialities: fish, seafood and tasting menu of Creole cuisine. Moderate prices.

1830, Malecón 1252 esq a 20. El Vedado Plaza. Tel. 34504. Specialty: International cuisine. Moderate prices.

La Rueda, El Chico. Ctra. del Guajay. Tel. 0-687, ext. 25. Specialty: oca. Moderate prices.

Yang-Tse, 23rd Street, 1516, corner 26, Vedado. Tel. 303078. Specialty: Asian cuisine. Moderate prices.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

MUSEUMS AND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS :

In Old Havana:

City Museum

Plaza de Armas. Tels. 612776 y 615062.

If we visit it we will be able to make us an idea of the history of the city, from its origins to our days.

The most important rooms are those destined to the conservation of objects of the different wars for the independence.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

Plaza de Armas

very similar to any Spanish square, is the oldest in Old Havana.

It is surrounded by traditional cafes and buildings of important historical value: The Templete neoclásico, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, of sober baroque style, is one of the most important architectural monuments of Havana, at present the historical Museum of the city, the Palacio del Segundo Cabo o de la Intendencia, located in the North side of the Plaza de Armas in O’Reilly street, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a fortress built to protect the city from pirate attacks, at present here is located the Museum of the Arms, in which we can observe the evolution of the arms from the antiquity to our days and the Palacio de los Condes de Santovenia.

The Cathedral, the Convent and the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asís, are other monuments of obliged visit.

In the center of Old Havana there are the Convent of Santa Clara and the Birthplace of José Martí.

Across the bay are the two most important fortresses of the colonial era, the Castle of the Three Kings of Morro and the Fortress San Carlos de la Cabaña.

Calle del Obispo, its first hundred meters have recovered the colonial style.

Plaza de la Catedral, surrounded by buildings of great value: the old public baths, the Palace of the Marquises of Aguas Claras, particularly beautiful, the house of Lombillo, currently the Museum of Education, the house of the Marquis of Arcos, considered the best colonial mansion in Havana and the Museum of Colonial Art, known for its collection of stained glass windows, in which the life and customs of Cuban colonial life are represented.

Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Palacio Pedroso, restored colonial building occupied by a craft center.

Castillo de La Punta, Spanish fortress that protected one of the banks of the entrance channel to the bay from pirate attacks, its position was very strategic.

Paseo del Prado, is a wide boulevard flanked by beautiful Havana buildings.

Murallas, built to protect Havana from corsair and pirate attacks. Nowadays only remains of them remain. In the zone where they were constructed nowadays we find the Museum of the Revolution and that of the Fine arts, separated by the Memorial Granma, where we can visit the ship in which Fidel came to Cuba in 1956 to initiate the revolution. In the first one we will find a complete sample of the revolutionary struggles from the last century up to the beginning of 1959.

El Capitolio, inspired by the one in Washington was inaugurated in 1929, its dome of more than 90 meters high dominates the whole city. It currently houses the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the National Museum of Natural History, where specimens of Cuban and other countries’ most representative flora and fauna are exhibited.

In New Havana:

The Malecón, a long coastal avenue 7 km. wide, which goes from the Castillo de la Punta to the mouth of the Almendares River. This is where the Havana Carnivals are held.

El Vedado, the economic center of Havana. The most important building in the area is the Hotel Nacional, which was inaugurated in 1930 and is part of the history of the city.

La Rampa, is the neuralgic center of the city, is full of shops, restaurants, cinemas, aviation companies offices, hotels, etc.

The University, located in the centre of El Vedado.

Its main feature is the enormous staircase presided over by the statue of the Alma Mater.

Next to it we will find the Anthropological Museum Montané, where we will be able to observe an interesting collection of Cuban pre-Columbian archaeological remains.

It is open from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00.

Plaza de la Revolución, where more than one million people dig.

It is presided over by the monument to José Martí and the large 142-metre high obelisk.

Also located here are the National Theatre and the ministries of the Armed Forces and the Interior, with a huge portrait of Che Guevara.

Miramar, the Malecón, extends along the elegant 5th Avenue, the axis of the residential district of Miramar.

 

DAYTIME ENTERTAINMENT AND AMUSEMENTS:

Art galleries:

  • Cervando Cabrera Moreno, Avda. 5 esq. 68. Miramar.
  • Imago Gallery, Prado and San José streets. Old Havana.
  • Luz y Oficios Gallery, Oficios street, luz corner. Old Havana.
  • House of the Miniature, Tacón Street, corner paved. Old Havana.
  • House of the Czech Culture, 23rd street between N and O. Vedado.

Coffee shops:

  • Coppelia, 33 sq. to L., El Vedado. Excellent ice creams are served. A must see.
  • La Casa del Café con Leche, c/Obispo. Main Square. Recently restored. Its terrace overlooks the Plaza de Armas.
  • El Mirador, El Morro-Cabaña. Considered the most pleasant terrace in the city.
  • Bar Colonial, Hotel Inglaterra. Pº del Prado, 416. Of colonial style, one has the sensation of being in Havana at the beginning of the century.

For the children:

  • Lenin Park. 100th street and Cortina de la Presa. Tel. 443026. Here you can find all kinds of entertainment: aquarium, riding school, amusement park, open air cinema and an area for children’s parties.
  • Guiñol Theatre, c/M and 19. Vedado. Tel. 326262. Puppet theatre for children.
  • You can also enjoy its wonderful beaches and go fishing or diving.

ENTERTAINMENT AND NIGHTLIFE:

Music and cocktails are the fundamental ingredients of the Cuban night.

The party can start with a visit to Tropicana, “a paradise under the stars”, the most famous cabaret in the city, which opened its doors in 1939 and presents every night a great show of Cuban music.

Traditional music can be heard at La Casa de la Troya (San Lázaro, 66), near Maceo Park, where the real son is played.

To listen to boleros and guarachas, a good choice is the Benny Moré Hall.

Los Jardines de 1830, on the Malecón, in one of the most pleasant corners for dancing under the stars.

In the “Gato Tuerto”, Cuban boleros and in the “Bar Delirio Cubano” (altos of the National Theater) Cuban music on Thursdays and Saturdays with performances of the group “Los tres de La Habana”.

The complex of the restaurant “La Cecilia” (Miramar) on weekends live performances of fashionable Cuban groups.

The “Macumba” discotheque in the La Giraldilla tourist complex, “salsa and show nights” every day of the week.

The Havana Café (Hotel Meliá Cohiba) offers live music and the best daikiris of the Caribbean.

On the 25th floor of the Hotel Habana Libre the Turquino cabaret runs until dawn, and has beautiful views of the city.

Musical magazines, full of Cuban rhythm can be seen at Le Parisien (Hotel Nacional), another very busy place is the “Club de la Zona”; and the “Cuervo” is a sanctuary of Latin jazz (23rd street).

Bodeguita del Medio, which has been in fashion for more than five decades

El Floridita is one of the most renowned places of the mythical Havana times, and its name is linked to Hemingway.

This is just a small sample.

In this Caribbean city there are many more for all tastes and for all those who want to enjoy themselves there.

In 1945, the “feeling” was born, it is the musical style that represents the feeling and the emotion.

Music and cocktails are the kings of the Havana night.

This we can taste in:

Tropicana

72nd and 43rd streets, 4504, Marianao.

Tel. 205144.

It is the most famous cabaret, where every night a great show based on Cuban music is presented. Reservations are recommended.

Pico Blanco

 St. John’s Hotel. c/ O, e. 33 y 25. El Vedado.

Tel. 329531.

Every night there is romantic music and live boleros from the forties.

Papa’s – Marina Hemingway

Intercanal 3. c/ 248 y 5ª Avda. Tel. 331150.

Musical performances until the early hours of the morning.

La Maison

c/ 16,701 esq. 7ª. Miramar. Tel. 331550.

Select store where every night there are fashion shows, followed by musical performances.

Jardines del 1830

Malecón, 1252 esq. c/ 20

El Vedado. Tel. 34504. Every day there is a dance in its Japanese gardens.

Buccaneer galleon

Morro Cabaña. Tel. 338600. Floating discotheque.

Habana Club discotheque

Hotel Comodoro. c/ 3ª y 84. Tel. 225551. Modern music with Cuban touches.

Theatres

Gran Teatro de La Habana

Prado and San Rafael streets. Tel. 613078. Performances by the National Ballet of Cuba.

Martí Theater, Dragones Street, Zulueta corner.

National Theatre of Cuba, Avda.

Paseo and Calle 39. (Revolution Square Front). Tel. 697011. Theater and various shows.

Hubert de Blank Theater, Calzada Street between A and B. Vedado. Tel. 301011.

Karl Marx Theatre, Avda. 1ra. and calle 10. Tel. 23511.

Cinemas:

Cinema has a lot of tradition in Cuba. There are interesting cycles of Cuban and international cinema.

Charles Chaplin, 23rd Street, 10th and 12th Streets.

La Rampa, 23rd street between O and P. Vedado.

Payret, Paseo del Prado and San José, next to the Central Park.

Acapulco, 26th Street between 35 and 37. Nuevo Vedado.

Cultural and recreational activities can be found in the Havana Tourist and Commercial Guide and in the newspaper Granma on Saturdays.

RESERVATION AND PURCHASE OF TICKETS FOR SHOWS :

Ask at the hotel reception.

How to get around in Havana

FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CITY:

The international airport José Martí is located 17 km from Havana. There are taxi and bus services.

MARITIME TRANSPORT :

The port of Havana receives cruises by the Caribbean and can be arrived in private boats, previous authorization of the authorities, requested in due time.

It is also possible to take a ride on a yacht, the tours last two or three hours.

RAILWAY / SUBWAY TRANSPORT :

Havana is connected by train with the main cities of the island.

The Central Railway Station is located in the streets Factoría and Eguido.

There are two types of trains: the special ones with air conditioning and preference of passage and the regular ones.

TRANSPORT BY COACH :

The Central Station of National Buses is located 100 m. from the Revolution Square. Buses leave every day for all points in the country.

There are two types of buses for national journeys: regular and special.

City buses are very cheap, but they are always full. They operate from 06;00 h.

ROAD NETWORK :

The road surface is generally correct.

If you travel from the eastern provinces, you must go by the Southern National Highway or the Central Highway.

If you come from Varadero or Matanzas, go by the Via Blanca. From west take the Pinar del Río-Havana Highway.

INTERURBAN TRANSPORT WITH THE SURROUNDINGS :

The traveler can move from one province to another by bus, plane or train.

The tickets can be bought in the stations, airports, reservation offices and tourist office.

TAXIS :

There is a taxi service for tourists, which can be booked at the hotel’s tourist office.

They can be rented by the hour or by the day.

It is recommended to book in advance if you are renting to visit other cities.

We can also call them from anywhere in the city.

The payment is made with foreign currency.

For short routes they have a taximeter.

There is another service of public taxis much more economic that can be stopped in the middle of the street.

These are identified by a banner in the top of the same ones with the word “taxi”, but it is very difficult to be able to obtain one, for this motive it is advised to take those destined to the tourists.

Taxi ranks are called “piqueras”.

RENTAL CARS (which we recommend you book in advance) :

It is the most recommended system to move around the country, can be booked at hotels and paid in foreign currency.

You can find rental offices at the José Martí International Airport, tel. 0-6833007,

at the Capri Hotel, tel. 333484,

at the Marazul Hotel, tel. 333484,

at the Tritón Hotel, tel. 332921 and at the Habana Riviera Hotel.

In order not to have problems with gasoline, it is advisable to present the coupons that are sold in the rental agencies, also it is necessary to calculate the distances well, because the gas stations are very few.

PHONES

Automatic service is very poor.

Havana has cabins.

To call Spain it is better to do it from the hotel, through an operator.

You must give exactly all the codes so that you do not have any kind of problem.

MEDIA

The newspapers are one-sided and partisan, pure propaganda. Granma and Sierra Maestra, among others, are free in the hotels. Radio and television are state-run.

CIVIL SECURITY

Havana is, in general, a quiet city with little crime, but the possibility of getting dollars has made car theft and tugging at tourists commonplace.

SPANISH DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION

TYPE :
Embassy.

ADDRESS :
Jail, 51 (corner to Zulueta)

LOCALITY :
Havana – 10100
P.O. Box: 845

TELEPHONE / FAX :
866 80 25/26/31 y 866 02 50/51
Fax: 866 80 06

General Consulate of Spain
2 Zulueta Street, corner of Cárcel
P.O. Box 702.
Havana City -10100
Fax: 866 80 15

TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE

CENTRAL ADDRESS :

International Tourism Company. Cubatur.
Street, 23 No 156
Between N and O. Vedado.
LOCALITY :
Havana.
TELEPHONE / FAX :
324521 / 511212.
SCHEDULE OF ATTENTION :
From Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 12:30 and from 13:30 to 17:30 The working Saturdays (two alternates per month), have the same schedule.
LANGUAGE OF ATTENTION :
Spanish and English.

CENTRAL ADDRESS :
Infotur
5th Avenue, corner 112
Miramar, Beach
LOCALITY :
Havana.
CENTRAL ADDRESS :
Infotur
C/Obispo, 358, corner of C/Habana and C/Compostela.
Old Havana
LOCALITY :
Havana.

Ministry of Tourism:
Street 19, 710
Phone: 334 318
Tourist Office:
303, 28th Street. (Miramar)
Phone: 204 0624
Fax: 204 8164
Transtur: Tel: 204 5532

MAIN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

WITHIN THE CITY :

Please refer to the section on museums and sightseeing.

IN THE SURROUNDINGS OF THE CITY :

Lenin National Park, it is recommended to make the trip by taxi, the journey takes about 20 minutes. Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Zoo, located near the airport, open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

San Francisco de Paula, located 8 km. from the capital, where we can visit the Ernrest Hemingway Memorial Museum.

Alamar, satellite city to 18 km. of Havana. It is located next to the sea.

Santa María del Rosario, 16 km. from Havana. We can visit a church of the 18th century.

Caves of the Priest, we can accede to them taking the first train and then a taxi.

Lenin school, to 20 km from Havana. It’s one of the most modern schools of Cuba. The students work and study at the same time.

Bejucal, 31 km away, is known for the Charangas festival.

El Trópico, a seaside resort 60 km. from Havana.

ORGANIZED VISITS TO THE CITY AND SURROUNDINGS :

You can go on wonderful organized excursions in the city or in the surroundings. Among others:

One day excursion in Havana.

Tour of the Alamar housing plan. Visit to the Castle of the Three Kings of the Morro. Tour of Colonial Havana. Visit to La Mina bar. Free time. Lunch. Visit to Modern Havana.

Panoramic walk through the city.

Visit to the main streets, museums and monuments of the historical center of the city. Visit to the Revolution Square and the Colon Cemetery.

Cuban Party.

Departure to Guanabito Farm. The day will consist of a walk through the plantations, a cow milking competition, a cockfight, horseback riding, a Creole party and a meal of roast pork.

Guamá.

Boat trip to Laguna del Tesoro, visit to the pottery workshop, lunch in the tourist area and visits to Playa Larga and the crocodile farm.

Varadero

On arrival, free time to enjoy the beach. Lunch and tour of the city.

Marina Hemingway.

About 20 minutes from Havana. It is an ideal place to moor the yachts. Every year two important tournaments are held, in May and June: the International Tournament of Fishing of the Needle “Ernest Hemingway” and in August and September: the Tournament of the Castero. It is a very well equipped tourist centre.

Cayo Largo.

It can be reached by plane. Upon arrival, a boat trip is made to Playa Sirena, followed by lunch and free time to enjoy the beach.

EVERYDAY LIFE

In this country there are two very different ways of life, that of the Cuban and that of the tourist. For the tourist everything is possible, everything is easy, but for the Cuban who lives very special moments, life is hard. However, the difficulties don’t end with the cheerful character of the Cuban and his hedonistic sense of life, always ready to enjoy the good times.

TO KEEP IN MIND :

In Old Havana and Central Havana the streets have names, but in the rest of the city they are indicated as in the United States with letters and numbers.

The Afro-Cuban rites and beliefs are very present in the daily life.

American Express cards, credit cards and traveler’s checks issued by U.S. banks or their branches are not accepted.

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS

SPANISH EMBASSY :
338025.
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER :
324521.
TAXIS :
791940.
POLICE :
323520.
FIREFIGHTERS:
79-8541 to 49.
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES :
332 658
TOURIST ASSISTANCE:
625519.
José Martí International Airport:
Tel: 264 622 / 264 133
Car Rental
Cubacar: Phone: 204 2104
Havanautos: Tel: 204 0646

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