Havana Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to do in Havana, Cuba

Take a Classic Car Ride by Hyunwon Jang via Unsplash
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Havana Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Havana, Cuba

Cuba is a fascinating country and has topped may tourists bucket list, and for all good reasons. Visitors mostly flock the city Havana, which quite high-charged destination that simmers with classic cars, salsa, and cocktails.

Best Things to do in Havana photo by Persnickety Prints via Unsplash
Best Things to do in Havana photo by Persnickety Prints via Unsplash

Havana is divided into Centro Habana, Vedado, and La Habana Vieja or Old Havana. Below is your guide to top 15 things to do in Havana.

Take a Classic Car Ride

Take a Classic Car Ride by Hyunwon Jang via Unsplash
Take a Classic Car Ride by Hyunwon Jang via Unsplash
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Arguably the number one thing travelers do in Havana is to take a ride in one of Cuban 1950s colorful cars. The car ride will take you around the city for a full day tour if you like and through the streets of Havana to the forest and along the famous Malecon. Although the majority of cars are expensive to hire because they are owned by bigger companies, you can still find cheaper ones owned privately.

Enjoy a “Cubata” on Ambos Mundos Hotel Rooftop

Ambos Mundos Hotel photo by Carissa Shale via Facebook
Ambos Mundos Hotel photo by Carissa Shale via Facebook

Ambos Mundos Hotel is one of the signature hotels in Havana. It is also at this spot that Hemingway would come and enjoy a drink while writing.

The rooftop can be accessed by an elevator and once you are top here, you will be welcomed by a breathtaking view of Havana Vieja. Order your favorite drink, or if you can remember Hemingway’s favorite drink, and enjoy it in the warm Havana sun.

Stroll the streets of Havana Vieja

Old Building in Havana Vieja, Cuba
Old Building in Havana Vieja, Cuba

Havana Vieja or Old Havana is not as the name suggests, the place has undergone massive renovations and is filled with lots of tourist facilities including hotels and landmarks. You can see the almost-replica of U.S. Capitol building as you walk around the streets. There are also numerous restaurants and souvenir shops.

Tour the Cigar Factory

Havana Cigar Factory
Havana Cigar Factory

Get up close with the production of the world’s famous cigars. The factory responsible is called the Partagras and is among the oldest and largest factories in the city of Havana. It is here that they roll popular brands such as Romeo and Juliet and Cohiba.

You will be taught how to make one using different proportions of tobacco leaves and scent. Cuban cigars can be bought from shops all over Havana, as well as illegally in the streets.

Visit Craft and Fruit Market

Havana Fruit Shops
Havana Fruit Shops

If you want some fresh fruits, there are lots of fruit markets in Havana to meet your urges. Among the most common fruits includes watermelons, mangoes, and bananas. The currency used in fruits markets is dominantly Cuban pesos and not Cuban Convertibles as used in other places – 15 pesos = 1 CUC.

The craft markets include lots of little souvenir shops with impressive pieces to commemorate your stay in Havana. One of the biggest craft markets is found in La Rampa.

Check out the Cuban Missile Crisis Tunnels

Who can forget the Bay of Pigs? You can now relieve one of the most talked about the humanitarian crisis in history by walking through the tunnels of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The tunnels run through under the Hotel Nacional.

Enjoy Cocktails

Havana Cocktails
Havana Cocktails

Upon arriving in Havana, you will immediately realize that much of life there revolves around mingling and salsa. The two combinations make for a perfect rum environment, and lucky for you Hotel Nacional de Cuba offers one of the best mojitos while La Floridita the best margarita you will ever taste.

If you are a beer lover, head over to Factoria Microbrewery at Plaza Vieja to enjoy at the nice bear as you watch the distillery process.

Check out Plaza de San Francisco

Plaza San Francisco is among the most beautiful squares to stroll around in the city of Havana. You can find it in Havana Harbor, where you will see lots of passenger cruise ships approaching the harbor. Plaza de San Francisco houses a middle-age basilica, Havana stock exchange, cafés, and a giant tower.

Watch a Tropicana Show

To get immersed into real Cuban culture, visit the Tropicana and enjoy the show which includes dances, and plays.

The show tickets are sold like hotcakes so it is advisable to buy the tickets in advance. You will be offered a complimentary cigar upon entering the show and a bottle of rum. Visitors can also order dinner and after the show, climb on stage and show their salsa moves.

See Old Mansions in Vedado

Mansion in Havana
Mansion in Havana

The mansions along the streets in Vedado are quite old but the architecture is still impressive. But the appearance doesn’t give anything away as to what kind of people used to live here pre-revolution. Word has it the mansions used to belong to mafia mobs from the United States, plantation owners and also the Bacardi family.

Head Over to Plazas of Revolution

Plaza de la Revolucion Havana
Plaza de la Revolucion Havana

There are four different plazas spread across Havana which are dedications to the revolution leaders. You can hire a taxi to visit each one of them or book a tour bus. Operators such as Havana Tour Bus will take you to all of the four plazas for just 5 Cuban Convertibles.

Beach in Cuba
Beach in Cuba

Visit Santa Maria Beach

Escape the bustles of Havana by taking a bus to Santa Maria Beach. The Habana Bus Tour plies this route and costs only 5 CUC. Relax on the white beaches with crystal blue waters in front of you. There are numerous resorts lining the beach where you can order some delicious meals including freshly made libations.

Explore Caves and Tobacco Fields in Vinales

Vinales Tobaco Fields in Cuba
Vinales Tobaco Fields in Cuba

Visit Vinales to see the largest tobacco fields in Havana and learn about the history of the place. Explore some cools caves with jungles close to the water.

Check out the Plaza de Arms

Plaza de Armas in Havana
Plaza de Armas in Havana

Plaza de Arms is the oldest square in Havana and it features beautiful gardens and striking royal palms that surround the statue of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the father of independence in Cuba.

Sunset in Havana
Sunset in Havana

Enjoy Sunset at Iberostar Grand Packard

One of the newest additions in Havana, the Iberostar is one of the lushest hotels that also offer the best sunset view. Sip a cocktail on the 6th floor of the hotel as you take in the gorgeous sunset view.

Havana Travel and Tour Packages

Do you have other recommended fun and interesting things to do in Havana? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.

Find Hotels in Havana, Cuba according to your budget via Agoda.

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