Havana Attractions

With a rich and fascinating history, Havana's sightseeing is centred around its varied architecture, with everything from museums and churches to colonial forts and elaborate city squares. With friendly and colourful people juxtaposed by elegantly dilapidated buildings and occasionally derelict streets, there's nothing quite like Havana.

Just breathing in the scents and watching the vintage cars roll down the streets makes for a great day of sightseeing, but head into the historic old town, La Habana Vieja, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to explore the magnificent colonial architecture. Take in the sights and sounds as you stroll down the Calle Obispo as this pedestrian boulevard takes you through the streets, past the Parque Central and to some of the more hidden away gems of the La Habana Vieja. You can get the best view of Havana from the Camera Obscura, which provides a 360-degree look from atop the Plaza Vieja. A stroll along El Malecon is also a must.

Havana is special for visitors simply because it still feels so authentic, with a distinct character and little of the tacky tourist developments that have overrun many other Caribbean destinations. That said, you'll find plenty of places claiming to be significant to Ernest Hemingway, few of which actually are. Fans of the famous author can visit the Ernest Hemingway Museum on the outskirts of town, set in his lovely old residence.

Visit the cigar factories and rum distilleries to sample some world-famous Cuban exports, and visit the Plaza de la Revolución to imagine the historic speeches of political figures like Fidel Castro. The Museo de la Revolución is also a must for history buffs. And after a long day of sightseeing in the city, head to the nearby beaches, most of which are located no more than 20 minutes away, to soak up some Caribbean sun and sip on a rum cocktail.

Museo de la Ciudad, Havana

Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City)

Built in 1791, the stately Baroque residence of Cuba's colonial governors and former Presidential Palace, the Palace of the Captains General, stands as an impressive sight on the Plaza de Armas and is now the repository for the city's primary museum collections. The building...  see full details

Partagas Cigar factory

Cigar Factories

Even non-smokers have to agree that a visit to Cuba would not be complete without investigating the island's most famous export: cigars. The art of cigar-making in Cuba is old and a source of national pride. The three main factories in Havana offer...  see full details

Revolution Plaza

Plaza de la Revolución

The Plaza de la Revolucion is a famous landmark in Havana. The gigantic square, which is dominated by the imposing José Martí Memorial, has provided the setting for numerous political rallies, and the podium in front of the memorial is where important political figures,...  see full details

Bellas Artes Museum

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

The Bellas Artes Museum was founded in 1913 and is now split into two buildings, both architecturally interesting and impressive, housing International and Cuban art respectively. Both fine art collections are worthy of detailed exploration and should delight any visitor interested in art. The Colección...  see full details

Revolution Museum

Museo de la Revolución

Formerly the Presidential Palace and headquarters of the Cuban government, this impressive building now houses documents, photographs and artefacts pertaining to the Cuban Revolution. The museum provides an excellent introduction to Cuba's historical struggle for independence - there are even blood-stained and bullet-riddled uniforms on...  see full details

Capitolio, Havana

Capitolio Nacional

One of Havana's grandest pieces of architecture, the Capitolio is an important landmark and one of Centro Habana's major touristic sights. It was designed to resemble the US Capitol in Washington DC, and the similarity is obvious. A monumental stone stairway leads to the...  see full details

Old Havana

Habana Vieja (Old Havana)

Old Havana (Habana Vieja) is a very special area in Cuba which delights travellers and locals alike. This historic section of Cuba's capital was founded in 1519 and for centuries was an important naval port of colonial Spain. Being in such a strategic position,...  see full details

Hemingway's typewriter at Finca Vigia

Ernest Hemingway Museum

Ernest Hemingway may be an American by birth, but Cubans have adopted this rambunctious writer/adventurer as their own - especially in Havana, where you'll find memorials to his apartments, regular haunts, and even favourite drinks. Hemingway was a keen fisherman (and a keen drinker)...  see full details

El Malecon

El Malécon

A five-mile (8km) esplanade, roadway and seawall, running between the harbour in Old Havana and the historically Russian area of Vedado, a stroll along El Malécon is the perfect way to start any Havana adventure. The two-hour walk, described by many as a cross-section...  see full details