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What to see in Havana

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 its friendly residents 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 make for a great day out. But heading into the historic old town of La Habana Vieja is a must, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site and its magnificent colonial buildings ripe for exploration. Tourists can take in the sights and sounds as they stroll down the Calle Obispo, a pedestrian boulevard meanders through the streets, past the Parque Central and to some of the more hidden gems of Old Havana. The best view of the city is from the Camera Obscura, which provides a 360-degree look from atop the Plaza Vieja, while travellers are encouraged to take a stroll along the pretty pier.

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 such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The Museo de la Revolución is also a major stop for history buffs. Fans of Ernest Hemingway can visit the museum dedicated to him on the outskirts of town, set in his lovely old residence where he wrote a few of his best books.

Havana is special for visitors simply because it feels so authentic, with a distinct character and little of the tacky tourist developments that overrun many other Caribbean destinations. After a long day of sightseeing in the city, travellers can 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.

Capitolio Nacional

One of Havana's grandest pieces of architecture, the Capitolio is an important landmark and one of Centro Habana's major sights. A monumental stone stairway leads to the vast domed…

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Cigar Factories

The art of cigar-making in Cuba is a source of national pride. The main factories in Havana offer tours that showcase how cigars are still rolled by hand. Visitors will discover…

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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…

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Ernest Hemingway Museum

Cubans have adopted the rambunctious writer Ernest Hemingway as their own, especially in Havana where you'll find memorials to his apartments, regular haunts and favourite beverages.…

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Habana Vieja (Old Havana)

Old Havana (Habana Vieja) is the historic section of Cuba's capital, its ruined defensive walls still attempting to fence in the district. During the years of Prohibition in the…

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Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City)

The grand Baroque residence of Cuba's former colonial governors, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, was built in 1791 and now houses Havana's primary museum collection. Known…

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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.…

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Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

The Bellas Artes Museum was founded in 1913 and is split into two buildings, one housing international art and the other Cuban art. Both collections should delight any visitor…

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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…

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