Old Havana

Old-Havana at a glance
City
Havanna
District
Old-Havana
Old Havana location map
Old Havana Cuba tourist guide

Top Sights

  • Walking through the lively streets of the historic center of Havana - Old Havana (Habana Vieja)
  • Visit the oldest historic buildings from the Spanish colonial era
  • Visit the favourite bars of Hemingway and tale a Mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio or a Daiquiri in the Floridita
Cuba Old-Havana private accommodation Havana

If you are looking for a familiar (local) experience - and a much lower price range - then you need to look out for private houses in Havana - the casas particulares. A casa particular in Havana is a clean and cozy lodging with good, friendly service. The owners of these private lodgings will do everything they can to make clients happy. There are many casas particulares in Old Havana located in really beautiful old buildings with a stunning architecture.
 
For those wishing to see the city from inside without spending a lot of money, a casas particular is the number one choice.
Accommodation offers in Havanna

Photo Gallery

  • Parque Central - Old Havana Cuba sights
    The Central Park - Parque Central
  • Facades in Old Habana - Fotos and recommendations for traveler
    Colorful houses in Old Havana
  • The Museum of Fine Arts - Old Havana sights
    Worth a visit - The Museum of Fine Arts
  • Folkloric dressed girl in the streets of Old Havana Cuba
    Folkloric dressed girl
  • Port of Old Havana with Russian Orthodox Church
    Port of Old Havana with Russian Orthodox Church
  • View from Casa Blanca towards Old-Havana Cuba with cruise ship
    View from Casa Blanca towards Old-Havana Cuba
  • Plaza San Francisco - sight seein in Old-Havana
    San Francisco square
  • Lonja de Comercio building - Old-Havana sights
    Historic building by the Plaza San Francisco square
  • Historic building - Casa de Cambio - Old-Havana Cuba
    Historic building - Casa de Cambio
  • Pub Plaza Vieja - Old Havana Cuba
    Pub Plaza Vieja Cuba
  • Spanish Fortress Cuba Old Havana - Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    The oldest Spanish fortress in Havana
  • Dressed dog in Old Havana - street life and tourism
    Dressed dog in Old Havana
  • Street artists Old Havana Cuba
    There is always something going on in Old-Havana
  • Pub in Oldf Havana Cuba
    Nice Pub in Old Havana
  • Port Havana
    Port in Old Havana by the Plaza San Francisco Square
Tourism Old-Havana

Culture |
History |
Nightlife |

Old-Havana (Habana Vieja) district is the historic center of Havana. It is considered the richest colonial architecture in Latin America, and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

The "old town" (ciudad vieja), as it is called, is an amazing mix of old buildings, old squares and streets full of noise and music. It’s whirlwind of sights and sounds not to be missed.

Habana Vieja is a center of constant activity, preferred by tourists and Cubans.

Here you find the beautiful old buildings and squares like the Cathedral of Havana, the Plaza de Armas, the castle Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Plaza Vieja, the Plaza San Francisco and the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales.

There is so much to discover... Take your time! Within one day you can see the most important sights, but you need at least 3 days to see all the beautiful and interesting places - including museums, galleries, bars  and restaurants of Old-Havana.

To enjoy this environment and to experience it properly you need to walk through its vibrant streets.
Walking is undoubtedly the best way to explore this fascinating part of Havana. Let your curiosity run wild! Dive into the glorious past of Old Havana.


Sights in Old-Havana

Sights in Old Havana Cuba
As a World Heritage City, Old-Havana is interesting in all its aspects. On your way through this district you will see a lot of interesting things - sights and attractions are everywhere!
 
Many actual buildings are genuine works of art, often decaying and in very poor conditions. Currently, a lot of houses are being restored, to preserve the architectural heritage of Havana.
 
Havana Vieja is full of architectural gems with many different styles like, Colonial, Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Noveau, Art Deco and Eclectic.
Habana Vieja is too big for one day.
 
There are just too many things to see! Take your time and dive into this unique place with its many many attractions.
 
It's difficult to find a more photogenic place in Cuba. Don't miss our nightlife guide for Habana Vieja - Old Havana.

Cathedral square and surroundings

( Plaza de la Catedral )
Plaza de la Catedral
Plaza de la Cathedral square - Old Havana best sights

This square houses the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Habana. This church was completed in 1787 and is the epitome of Cuban Baroque. It housed the remains of Christopher Columbus until brought to Sevilla in 1898.

More interesting places in the Plaza de la Cathedral:

  • Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras
  • Palacio de los Condes de Casa Bayona (now called Museum of Colonial Art)
  • Palacio del Marqués de Arcos (Office of the Historian of Havana)
  • Wilfredo Lam Center (Cafetería & Exhibition Centre)

The Temple

( El Templete )
Plaza de Armas
Temple - Old Havana Cuba sights

A small temple built in 1827 to commemorate the first Mass celebrated in 1519. The paintings of the event are the work of the painter Jean BabtisteVermay.

Old Castle of the Royal Spanish Forces

( Castillo de la Fuerza Real )
Plaza de Armas
Old Spanish Fortress in Old Havana Cuba

It is the first fort built in Cuba and one of the oldest in America. The figurine that adorns the tower is a copy of "La Giraldilla" - the symbol of the city that you find printed on the "Havana Club" bottles.

The Old Square

( Plaza Vieja )
Plaza Vieja
Plaza Vieja square Old Havana - what to see

The "Plaza Vieja" square is now one of the most beautiful places in Old-Havana. All the houses are now renovated and look like new. 

Sights in Old-Havana - around the "Plaza Vieja" square:

  • Camera Obscura ("Cámara Oscura")
  • Cuba Photo Library ("Fototeca de Cuba")
  • Casona Museum of Art Cards ("Museo de Naipes Casone de Arte")
  • Cultural Center "Pablo de la Torriente Brau"

Shopping street

( Obispo )
Calle Obispo
Old Havanna main street - Calle Obisopo

"Obispo" is one of the main streets of Old Havana and possibly the most popular. This street is full of shops and galleries to visit. By day, it’s always a little bit crowded.

Things to see in Obispo:

  • Numismatic Museum ("Museo Numismático")
  • Mural Painting Museum ("Museo de Pintura Mural")
  • Gold Museum ("Museo de Orfebrería")

San Francisco Square

( Plaza de San Francisco )
Plaza San Francisco
Best sights Old Havana - Plaza San Francisco

Visit the "San Francisco" church and have a look on the surroundings.

Sights in the surroundings of the San Francisco Square:

  • Fountain "Fuente de los Leones"
  • Statue of the "Gentlemen from Paris" ("Caballero de París")
  • Church of St. Francis of Assisi
  • "Lonja de Comercio" building
  • Car Mambi (name of the Cubans in the Independent War against Spain)

Palace of the Spanish General Captains

( Palacio de los Capitanes Generales )
Plaza de los Capitanes Generales
House of the Spanish general captains in Old Havana

This robust Baroque building has been home to the Spanish captains, home of American military governors and Presidential Place. Today it is the museum of the city.

Bacardi building

( Edificio Bacardí )
Esquina Avenida Bélgica y Calle San Juan de Dios
Bacardi Building Old Havana sights

This wonderful building was built in 1930 by the Bacardi Company S.A. and is a jewel of Art Deco. Now it is an office building, with a small bar in the lobby.

Museum of the Revolution

( Museo de la Revolución )
"Calle Refugio" No.1º
Museum of the Revolution Cuba Havana

If you are interested in the Cuban Revolution, than you can't miss this gem. In the Museum of the Revolution you find the most important and interesting pieces of the fight for the victory of Fidel Castro and his men.

Museum of Fine Arts

( Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes )
"Centro Asturiano" ("Calle Agramonte" and "San Rafael") & "Palacio de Bellas Artes" ("Calle Trocadero" between "Agramonte" and "Av. de las Misiones")
Museum of Fine Arts in Havana Cuba

This majestic museum was built in 1926 and is occupying two buildings. The Universal Art collection houses in the former "Centro Asturiano" and shows pieces from the time of 500 BC  up until today.

The other building is the "Palacio de Bellas Artes", which displays a rich collection of Cuban Art - diverse and magnificent works from the period of the 18th Century until the 20th century. You will find pieces from Cuban artists such as Amelia Pelaez, Rene Portocarrero, William Collazo, Wilfredo Lam and many more.

Christ square

( Plaza de Cristo )
Plaza de Cristo

Sights around the "Plaza Cristo" square:

  • Parish of Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje
  • Havana Pharmacy Museum ("Museo de Farmacia Habanera")

Central Park

( Parque Central )
Opposite to the "Hotel Inglaterra" near the "Capitolio"

This is the most prestigious dance school in Cuba and one of the largest in the world. 4350 carefully selected students are trained here to become later part of the National Ballet. Enthusiasts can go there to get information about courses and workshops.

Accommodation in Old-Havana

Cuba Old-Havana private accommodation

If you are looking for a familiar (local) experience - and a much lower price range - then you need to look out for private houses in Havana - the casas particulares. A casa particular in Havana is a clean and cozy lodging with good, friendly service. The owners of these private lodgings will do everything they can to make clients happy. There are many casas particulares in Old Havana located in really beautiful old buildings with a stunning architecture.
 
For those wishing to see the city from inside without spending a lot of money, a casas particular is the number one choice.

Fun, Leisure and Sports in Old-Havana

Take a tour with an old American car through Havana

What to do in Old Havana Cuba - vintage cars rental Grancar

In Havana you have the chance to rent a vintage car for a reasonable price (about 30 CUC / hour with driver).

Rent a red Cadillac to explore this unique place!

Normally 3 people are admitted, so the price is very affordable.


Restaurants & Paladares

Old Havana restaurants Cuba

Restaurants

La Rosalia de Castro
Actually, a center for Spanish culture, this aged building also has a highly recommended restaurant on the second floor. The menu offers everything from soups, omelette's along with fish and meat dishes. The portions are gigantic!
Los Nardos
Restaurant opposite to the "Capitolio". Excellent price ratio - large portions. The menu in the Old-Havana restaurants "Los Nardos" offers international dishes. It's very popular with Cubans and tourists. A meal costs about 10-15 CUC.

Paladares

Paladar "Doña Eutemia"
Strategically located at the "Plaza de la Catedral" in the heart of the old town. The host is very friendly and takes care of all guests. The menu offers very good Cuban food (try "Tamales"), fish and seafood.
Paladar "La Mulata del Sabor"
Paladar "La Mulata del Sabor" This paladar restaurant in Havana is located at the "Plaza Vieja" and together with the excellent food from Cuban cuisine, the likable owner, Justina is a big attraction. Specialty of the house: "pollo" - chicken.

Clubs & discotheques

Nightlife Old Havana - Bars and clubs
Between the "Floridita", at the western end of the main street "Obispo" and the waterfront "Malecón" you will find many historic bars, that attract their clients with a beautiful ancient decoration and often with wide airy terraces.
Live bands you'll find on every corner. Only your music taste decides, which one you like.
 
The old town is ideal for a stroll through the bars and to enjoy the (mostly traditional Cuban) live music. However, most of the large discotheques and clubs can be found in Havana Vedado district.

Bars

Pub "Cervezería Taberna de la Muralla"
Beer garden in the front of a small and stylish brewery. The beers are served in very original XXL glass tubes. This place is located on one of the most beautiful squares of Havana - the "Plaza Vieja".
Bar "Monserrat"
Traditional bar, just meters from Hemingway's "Floridita" away. The old wooden furniture, the nice staff and good drinks accompanied by Cuban sounds (often live), make this location a highlight of the bar culture in Old-Havana.
Bodeguita del Medio
Probably the best known Cuban Bar - here Ernest Hemingway got his beloved "Mojitos". A place full of history - the walls tell volumes about it. May be a little too touristy, but worth a look - and a Mojito for sure!
Floridita
The "Floridita" bar in Havana can be found at the beginning of the shopping street "Calle Obispo", and is another "must" for Hemingway fans: a statue that shows the famous writer standing at the bar and plenty of photographs give the "Floridita" a very special atmosphere. It's a mix of a bar and a museum.

Nightclubs

"Casa de la Cultura"
Every night (unless it's raining) you can see live dances and hear the music of Afro-Cuban "Yoruba" culture. Dance classes are also offered.
"Casa de la Trova"
Lovers of sun ballads will find their Mecca here. Very Romantic!
Tourism
Cuba Old-Havana sights
Sights
  • Cathedral square and surroundings
  • The Temple
  • Old Castle of the Royal Spanish Forces
  • The Old Square
  • Shopping street
  • San Francisco Square
  • Palace of the Spanish General Captains
  • Bacardi building
  • Museum of the Revolution
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Christ square
  • Central Park
Cuba Old-Havana activities
Fun & Leisure
  • Take a tour with an old American car through Havana
Cuba Old-Havana public pools
Public pools
  • Hotel Saratoga - roof terrace
  • Hotel Sevilla - in the garden
Accommodation
Cuba Old-Havana hotels
Hotels
  • "Hotel Ambos Mundos"
  • "Hotel Sevilla"
  • "Hotel Plaza"
  • "Hotel Inglaterra"
  • "Hotel Sevilla"
  • "Hotel Florida"
Useful informations
Cuba Old-Havana Tourist Office
Tourist Office
  • Infotur "Calle Obispo" - 100 m near the "Floridita"
Cuba Old-Havana Money Exchange
Money Exchange
  • Cadeca "Calle Obispo" (ATM's)
Cuba Old-Havana Internet
Internet
  • "Telepunto" Calle Obispo
Cuba Old-Havana Shopping
Shopping
  • Shopping street "Calle Obispo"
  • Shops oposite to the "Museo de Bellas Artes"
Cuba Old-Havana Hospital
Hospital
  • "Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras" (Centro Habana - "Calle Neptuno" / "Calle Marquez Gonzalez")
  • for foreigners in Havana (if not an emergency): "Clinica Central" - "calle 20 nº4101" / Ecke "Avenida 41" ("Playa" municipality)
Transport
Cuba Old-Havana Car Rental
Car Rental
  • + "Hotel Saratoga"
  • + "Hotel Sevilla"
  • + In the harbor at the "Terminal de cruceros" (where the cruise ships are)
  • + "Gran car" company - Old American cars with driver (can be found often in the front of the "Capitolio")
Gastronomy
Cuba Old-Havana Restaurants
Restaurants
  • La Rosalia de Castro
  • Los Nardos
Cuba Old-Havana Paladares
Paladares
  • Paladar "Doña Eutemia"
  • Paladar "La Mulata del Sabor"
Nightlife
Cuba Old-Havana Bars
Bars
  • Pub "Cervezería Taberna de la Muralla"
  • Bar "Monserrat"
  • Bodeguita del Medio
  • Floridita
Cuba Old-Havana Nightclubs
Nightclubs
  • "Casa de la Cultura"
  • "Casa de la Trova"

Plaza de la Catedral

El Templete

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

Plaza Vieja

Calle Obispo

Plaza de San Francisco

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

Plaza de Armas

Edificio Bacardí

Plaza de Cristo