Havana is the capital city of Cuba, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. If you’re planning to visit Havana for three days, there’s a lot you can see and do in this amazing city. In this guide, we’ll provide you with travel tips, highlight the most important places to see, suggest routes to take, recommend places to sleep and eat, and even suggest some free tours you can take. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Havana!
Travel Tips in Havana
- Make sure you bring comfortable shoes since most of Havana’s streets are made of cobblestones and can be uneven.
- Carry cash with you since not all places accept credit cards.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you to avoid pickpocketing.
- Download offline maps of Havana so that you can navigate easily without internet connection.
- Learn some basic Spanish phrases since many locals don’t speak English.
- Try the local cuisine and drinks, especially mojitos and daiquiris.
- Respect the culture and customs of the locals.
What to See in Havana
Havana has many beautiful and historic sites to see. Here are some of the most important places that you shouldn’t miss:
- Old Havana: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the heart of Havana and is home to many historic buildings and plazas. Take a stroll through the colorful streets and admire the beautiful architecture.
- El Capitolio: This magnificent building was the seat of government in Cuba until the Cuban Revolution. Today, it houses the Cuban Academy of Sciences.
- Plaza de la Revolución: This iconic plaza is home to the José Martí Memorial, which honors Cuba’s national hero. It’s also the site of many political rallies and speeches.
- Museum of the Revolution: Located in the former Presidential Palace, this museum showcases the history of the Cuban Revolution.
- Cathedral of Havana: This beautiful cathedral was built in the 18th century and is a masterpiece of Cuban Baroque architecture.
- Malecón: This seaside promenade stretches for 8 kilometers along the coast and offers stunning views of the sea and the city.
- Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña: This 18th-century fortress is one of the largest in the Americas and offers amazing views of Havana and the sea.
Routes in Havana
Here are some suggested routes you can take to see the best of Havana:
- Route 1: Old Havana: Start at the Plaza de Armas and visit the Cathedral of Havana, the Museum of the Revolution, and the Plaza Vieja. Then, walk along the Malecón and end at the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta.
- Route 2: Vedado: Start at the Plaza de la Revolución and visit the John Lennon Park, the University of Havana, and the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Then, walk along the Malecón and end at the Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro.
- Route 3: Modern Havana: Start at the El Capitolio and visit the Gran Teatro de La Habana, the Bacardi Building, and the Central Park. Then, walk along the Paseo del Prado and end at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Where to Sleep in Havana
There are many options for accommodations in Havana, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some suggestions:
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba: This iconic hotel is located in Vedado and has hosted many famous guests throughout its history. It has stunning views of the sea and the city.
- Hotel Saratoga: Located in Old Havana, this luxurious hotel has a rooftop pool and bar with amazing views of the city.
- Casa Particular: These are private homes that rent out rooms to tourists. They offer an authentic Cuban experience and are usually more affordable than hotels. You can find many casa particulares on Airbnb or Booking.com.
- Hostel La Rampa: This budget-friendly hostel is located in Vedado and offers private and shared rooms.
Where to Eat in Havana
Havana has a vibrant food scene with many restaurants offering traditional Cuban cuisine as well as international dishes. Here are some recommendations:
- Paladar La Guarida: This famous restaurant is located in a beautiful old mansion in Centro Havana and is known for its delicious food and stunning rooftop views.
- La Bodeguita del Medio: This historic restaurant in Old Havana is famous for its mojitos and its connection to Ernest Hemingway.
- El Chanchullero: This trendy restaurant in Centro Havana offers delicious tapas and cocktails in a cozy atmosphere.
- Doña Eutimia: This charming restaurant in Old Havana offers traditional Cuban dishes in a homey atmosphere.
- La Casa del Habano: This cigar lounge in Vedado offers an extensive selection of Cuban cigars as well as cocktails and light bites.
Free Tours in Havana
If you’re on a budget, there are many free tours you can take in Havana that will give you a great overview of the city’s history and culture. Here are some suggestions:
- Havana Free Walking Tour: This tour takes you through Old Havana and includes visits to many historic sites.
- Free Havana Tour: This tour covers the history of Havana from colonial times to the present day and includes visits to many important landmarks.
- Ernest Hemingway Free Tour: This tour takes you to the places in Havana where Ernest Hemingway lived and worked.
- Callejon de Hamel: This vibrant alley in Centro Havana is home to many colorful murals and Afro-Cuban art. You can visit it for free and learn about the history and culture of this neighborhood.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Havana safe? Havana is generally safe, but you should be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you to avoid pickpocketing.
- Do I need a visa to visit Havana? It depends on your country of origin. Check with the Cuban embassy in your country to see if you need a visa.
- Can I use US dollars in Havana? No, you need to exchange your US dollars for Cuban pesos or another foreign currency.
- hat’s the best time to visit Havana? The best time to visit Havana is between November and April when the weather is dry and mild.
- Can I use my credit card in Havana? Some places accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry cash with you.
- Is it easy to get around Havana? Yes, you can take taxis, buses, or walk to get around Havana. Taxis are generally affordable, and buses are cheap but can be crowded.