The Caribbean’s largest and most vibrant city, Havana has become both Cuban legend and iconic Cuba.
Havana manifests Cuba’s compelling yet oddly ineffable essence that can be found in its vivacious modern Latino culture, grandiose colonial palaces, and revolutionary marketing. Havana might be a cacophony of contradictions, but this complex culture has evolved from hundreds of years of riotous history now written into its streets and architecture.
Throughout the windfalls of its tumultuous history, the people of Havana have been known to live passionately. Havana has withstood the sweeps of history with the passing of indigenous villages, pirates seeking ports and refuge, ships laden with New World gold heading to Spain, ships laden with African slaves heading to Cuban plantations, communist revolutions, and gamblers seeking a Caribbean gambling mecca. It’s a city of color where colonial development meets Caribbean glamour, and it will all inspire the imagination.
What to See in Havana
Havana has much to offer for those of any interests. For those interested in history, visitors can see the arresting site of Havana’s cathedral, Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana, whose construction was first initiated by Jesuits in 1748. The remains of explorer Christopher Columbus were initially interred here in 1795 until they were transferred to Spain’s Seville Cathedral in 1898. Although the cathedral is a work of art in its own right, visitors can explore Cuba’s burgeoning art culture at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which houses an impressive Spanish collection as well as international art dating from 500 BC to present day.
If visitors are looking to simply appreciate Havana at a leisurely pace, walking along the distinguished Malecón will provide them with panoramic views and an authentic cultural experience. The Malecón, an 8km long beachfront boulevard, was originally designed in the early 19th century and has become a dynamic meeting place for the city’s inhabitants. As the sea wall has developed throughout the century, the architecture lining the thoroughfare has become increasingly eclectic; you can witness Havana’s evolving culture through its fusion of art nouveau, neoclassicism, and modern industrial architecture. There’s nothing like experiencing the waves crashing against the sea wall in a resounding greeting to the city.
With so many streets, so many diverse cultural hotspots, and so much beautiful coastline, Havana remains a city where there’s always another adventure around the corner. Discover for yourself why Ernest Hemingway found himself inspired by the vibrant physicality, the pulsating life, of Havana.
Havana's the starting point for the majority of our Cuba adventure travel tours, giving you ample time to explore the treasures Havana has to offer in the fullest.