About Havana

Havana is an unparalleled city rich in culture, history and tradition. It is proud of its preserved architectural heritage and colonial past. The famous Habana Vieja (Old Havana), where the city began more than five centuries ago, is one of the best preserved architectural designs in the Americas. Its historic urban center, cobblestone plazas, and surrounding fortifications were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Today you’ll see a mix of structures from the Baroque and Neoclassical eras as well as conventional modern buildings.

As the nation’s capital, it is by far the most populated city even though it is the smallest province. The blend of African and Spanish heritage makes it one of the most unique cities in Latin America.

These influences have given Havana a strong foundation of art, literature, ballet, sports, and science. It is a fountain of inspiration for poets and musicians alike. Visitors can feel the hopeful energy and inspiration in the city as entrepreneurs yearn to share their local food, art, and customs.

From history, culture, and nightlife, Havana has it all. Places like the famous Tropicana Cabaret, La Bodeguita del Medio, Gran Teatro de La Habana, and the Plaza de la Revolución make this city a must see when discovering Cuba and all its splendor.

Havana has a series of beaches spread out along the Via Blanca highway east of the city. If you’re driving from Havana to Matanzas, pull off at one of the pristine to enjoy the white sand beaches.

Landmarks

  • Castillo del Morro - Formally known as Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro, this picturesque fortress guards the entrance to Havana bay and offers a splendid view of the city.
  • El Malecón - The promenade that runs along the sea on the northern shore of Havana. Known as a local hang out spot, you’ll find many Cubans here enjoying each other’s company and the fresh ocean air, especially closer to sunset.
  • Tropicana - Also known as “Paradise Under the Stars,” this popular outdoor venue dates back to 1939, and served as the center of Cuba’s jet-set nightlife during the 1940s and 1950s. Celebrities such as Nat King Cole performed at this famous cabaret.
  • Finca Vigia – “Lookout Farm” was Ernest Hemingway’s house where he lived and wrote most of his work.
  • Museo de la Revolución – This museum is dedicated to the Cuban Revolution. The building was the former Presidential Palace and the interior was decorated by the world-famous Tiffany’s of New York.
  • El Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón - A cemetery named after Christopher Columbus and noted by its beauty with architectural styles ranging from the Renaissance to Classical and Art Deco periods.
  • El Capitolo – The national capital building was styled after the U.S. Capitol and completed in 1929. This emblematic structure stood as the house of Congress until the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Quick Facts

  • Birthplace of the mojito
  • Nickname “Ciudad de la Columnas” (City of Columns)
  • Home to Parque John Lennon, a public park honoring John Lennon