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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Havana

Best Places to Visit in Havana

History goes hand in hand with Havana. The name Havana evokes images of Spanish conquerors, revolutionary heroes and literary figures basking on these once sun-drenched shores. Today, the fascinating history of the Cuban capital awaits on the cobbled streets of Old Havana. In beautiful Cuban Baroque architecture; in historic castles, museums, legendary restaurants and lively squares.

A feast for the senses, Havana is a city to visit with many cultural attractions and unique activities. Listen to live rumba music on a street corner, feast at the restaurant where Hemingway once dined, or breathe in the salty air along the famous Malecón.

But perhaps the best thing about visiting Havana is its people. Friendly and outgoing locals are proud of the culturally rich Caribbean city and happy to share its historical treasures and many hidden gems. See the highlights in and around the city with our list of the Best Places to Visit in Havana and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Havana

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Havana:

1. Old Havana (Habana Vieja)

Cuban Old Havana, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, reflects the magic of the past. Elegant neoclassical and baroque buildings abut cobbled squares and narrow streets, many of which have been lovingly restored to their former beauty.

If you are wondering what to do in Old Havana, start your sightseeing tour in one of the popular squares: Plaza Vieja and Plaza de Armas. The latter is home to the Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) and the magnificent Palacio de Los Capitanes, home to delightful tree-lined courtyards. Other highlights of Old Havana include the magnificent Catedral de San Cristobal, Cuban Baroque celebrations, and the fortified Castillo de la Real Fuerza (an impressive military fortress).

Take a walk along Calle Obispo to feel the lively atmosphere of Havana. During the day, you can browse the shops and art galleries and admire the colorful Cuban Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. Live music at night draws you into lively restaurants and entertainment venues. Here you will also find the famous restaurant El Floridita, which is a must-see on most tourists’ lists.

After immersing yourself in all the history of this fascinating region, climb the 35-meter Obscura tower for sweeping views of these ancient jewels. Finally, if you’re looking for a place to eat in Havana, La Bodeguita del Medio, a former Hemingway hangout, offers delicious seafood and ice-cold drinks.

2. The Malecón

A stroll down El Malecon at sunset is a great way to soak up the feel of this evocative city and see some sights along the way. Havana’s famous seaside boulevard is about 7 km from Habana Vieja (Old Havana) to the Vedado and Plaza districts. Facing the boulevard is a colorful collection of well-preserved 20th-century buildings, from Art Deco to Neo-Moorish. They took beautiful pictures in the golden light of the setting sun.

The Malecón is also a great place to meet locals. Fishermen come here to fish, and families and young couples stroll along the beach, enjoying the fresh air and sea breeze. Those looking to unwind their weary feet should stop at the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba, a World Heritage Site and National Monument, home to many fascinating former guests, including Frank Sinatra, Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich and Marlon Brando.

3. El Capitolio (National Capitol Building)

Havana visitors to Washington DC may have seen the beautiful El Capitolio, which opened in 1929. Rising from the city skyline, the imposing structure resembles the United States Capitol, but it is the Parisian pantheon that is said to have inspired its distinctive dome. A mix of neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles, the building served as the seat of government until the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

For a small fee, you can take a guided tour of the recently restored building with headphones in your chosen language. Highlights include grand corridors, beautifully inlaid marble floors, and a massive dome.

In the dome is a replica of the bronze statue of Mercury, originally created by the 16th-century Florentine sculptor Giambologna. Under the dome is a replica of a 24-carat diamond. Allegedly, this marks the point of measurement for all highway distances between Havana and other Cuban destinations. For those wandering around Havana, El Capitolio remains a stunning landmark. Its enormous dome can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.

Address: Paseo de Marti, (Prado) Havana

4. Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana

The massive Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, also known as Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana, sits atop La Cabana hill, about a 15-minute walk from El Morro in the Parque Historico Militar. When it was built in the 1770s, it was the largest and most expensive fort ever built by the Spanish. After the British invasion, the Spaniards began to build this imposing fort lining the entrance to Havana Bay.

La Cabana was used as a military prison during the Batista regime and later became Che Guevara’s headquarters after the revolution. Today, the castle houses some museums. Most impressive is the Museo de Comandancia del Che, where Che Guevara’s office preserves what it looked like during this period. Some personal items are also on display.

During the day, the castle offers magnificent views of the city and the sea. If you’re looking for something to do at night in Havana, come here for the Ceremonia del Cañonazo, where the actors dress in 19th-century costumes and hold a cannonball ceremony every evening at 9 PM.

5. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Spreading over two buildings, Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) is a must-see for art lovers. Designed by Manuel Bustos in the 1920s, the restored Palacio del Centro Asturiano houses works by European masters and more than 600 ancient artworks from Egypt to Roman times.

Built in 1959, the Rationalist Palacio de Bellas Artes building is dedicated to Cuban art from the 17th century to the present. Here you can admire an impressive collection of paintings, prints and sculptures. The unique marble sculpture “Shape, Space, Light” at the entrance of the museum is one of the highlights.

address:

6. Paseo del Prado

Considered by many to be the most beautiful street in Havana, the tree-lined Prado surrounding Old Havana is well worth a leisurely stroll. The terrazzo, marble benches, bronze lions and iron utility poles give it the feel of the grand boulevard of a bygone era, in fact, the street was once home to some of Havana’s wealthiest families.

Elegant old cinemas, mansions, and 19th- and 20th-century hotels, many of which have been lovingly restored, line the street. Highlights include the Moorish-inspired Seville hotel, Dr. Palacio de Los Matrimonios, home of Carlos Finlay and Havana’s most famous wedding chapel.

7. Gran Teatro de La Habana

You might not expect to find one of the world’s largest opera houses in the middle of the Caribbean, but the magnificent Havana Theater is just that. Designed by Belgian architect Paul Belau and overlooking Central Park, the theater was built in 1915 as part of a larger complex. Art lovers will marvel at the beautiful Baroque façade, which includes four stunning sculptures by master Giuseppe Moretti.

Over the years, the Gran Teatro de La Habana has hosted several performances by some of the world’s most famous celebrities. Today the theater is home to the Cuban National Ballet and Opera. While you’re here, try to catch a show and truly appreciate its grandeur and great acoustics. Guided tours are also available.

Address: Prado e/San Jose and San Rafael

8. Museo Napoleonico

Near the impressive University of La Havana (University of Havana), the Napoleon Museum in Havana displays the private collection of Julio Lobo, a collector of all things Napoleonic. Lobo recruits people to find and buy Napoleon memorabilia and memorabilia for his personal collection. When Lobo left Cuba in 1959, his collection was acquired by the Cuban government and is now housed in a beautiful Florentine palazzo-style building.

On display are Napoleon’s personal items, including one of his teeth and a lock of his hair. The Napoleon Museum also includes Napoleon’s death mask, related themes, an arsenal of weapons, and two portraits of famous French military leaders by Andrea Appiani and Antoine Gros. In total, the collection includes more than 7,000 items. It has one of the best collections of Napoleonic artifacts outside of Europe.

Address: San Miguel 1159

9. Plaza de la Revolución (José Martí Memorial)

Revolution Square (Revolution Square), formerly a pre-revolutionary town square, deserves a short break due to its historical significance. Pope John Paul II, during a visit to Cuba in 1998, held mass in this famous square, where more than a million people gathered to listen to Castro’s speech.

Facing the square is the Jose Martí monument, with a 109-meter gray tower and white marble statues of Cuban national heroes. Here you can browse the small museums or take the elevator up to the tower for panoramic views of the city. Government buildings surround the square, including the Ministry of the Interior building decorated with the iconic image of Che Guevara.

Address: Paseo y Calle 39

10. Museo de la Revolución

The Museo de la Revolución (Museo de la Revolución), located in the former presidential palace, is worth seeing, albeit from the outside. The former presidential palace was designed by Belgian architect Paul Belau and was built in the early 20th century in a luxurious version of neoclassical architecture.

Those who dare to enter will see many revolutionary demonstrations of Cuba’s struggle for independence. The life-size wax figures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos are striking. Behind the museum is an interesting display of the Gramma yacht. It was the same ship that brought Fidel Castro and his gang from Mexico to Cuba. Also on display is a plane shot down in the unfortunate Bay of Pigs invasion.

Conclusion:

Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Havana. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Havana, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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