After decades of being isolated from different parts of the world, Cuba now draws in tourists from all over the world with its aura of mystery. These top attractions in Havana are just the way to dive into the deep history and rich culture of the country.
Everyone, including myself, has heard countless tales of the fascinating history of Cuba's capital, Havana. After being shut off for years, you can now live to see the history first hand before the distinctive evidence of the past disappears for good.
Whether planning a month-long adventure or stopping in for 24 hours in Havana, you will fall in love with what this city has to offer!
Attractions in Havana: Old Havana
To begin our journey of the top attractions in Havana, let's take an adventure through Havana's birthplace. Known as the number one place to see in Havana, you have to make sure to stop by or spend the night in one of the amazing Havana Airbnbs.
If not for the beautifully preserved buildings illustrating the colonial architecture of the past, the narrow streets offer small pockets of joy from delicious local restaurants to historic landmarks.
This area is a perfect place to spend a day exploring the city and trying some of the affordable foods in Havana. Walking around to take in the open squares filled with city life and jubilant music, you will find yourself imagining yourself hundreds of years ago in the shoes of the historic figures.
You will notice, swerving through the narrow streets, beautifully preserved old cars. Be sure to hit the Plaza de Revolution while in the area. Constructed in the 1920s by Jean-Claude Forestier, this gigantic Plaza de Revolution is a site you do not want to miss.
Carefully created in 1975 by artist Jose Fuster, Fusterlandia is a breath-taking array of his lifetime work displayed in numerous colorful mosaics. Known for his childlike style (crude shapes and bright colors), Fuster's work has often been compared to that of Picasso.
Over the course of a decade, his unique art was spread throughout the neighborhood spanning from doctor's offices, bus stops, fountains, and benches displaying Fuster's whimsical imagination.
Fusterlandia illustrates artist Jose Fuster's magical, colorful, and dream-like house covered entirely with ceramic and tile mosaics. You will feel as if you have been transported into a different realm overwhelmed by joy and happiness.
For history buffs, El Morro is a must-see. Originally built in the 1500s to guard the entrance to Havana bay, El Morro is a massive central defense fortress.
As defined in Spanish, Morro means a rock that is visible from the sea, and this castle undoubtedly fits that to a tee. Make sure to visit an ideal vantage point sitting high above the river which could potentially display the shipping movements in the harbor.
A quick walkthrough El Morro and you will find yourself at a picturesque lighthouse. Stay long enough and you might be lucky to witness the 8:45 pm cannon firing ceremony.
Eat at a Paladar
This one is not quite a destination but something to look for when in Havana. One unique Havana experience is eating at a paladar.
A paladar is an in-house restaurant that is known to provide exceptional, quintessential personal eating services. You can these popular eateries all over Havana, sprinkled along the winding narrow roads.
This type of restaurant tends to be quite quaint to ensure a personalized eating experience. Thus, make sure to make a reservation far in advance as they tend to either have a long wait or require a reservation. Once you finally get inside, you will quickly realize how it was worth it. The owners might even treat you to either a mojito or one of the famous Cuban cigars with a glass of rum.
Named after Christopher Columbus, el Cementario de Cristóbal Colón boasts over 800,000 graves.
This cemetery is not your average cemetery. Many of the graves are beautifully sculpted and maintained by generations of wealthy Cuban families. The Colon Cemetery is set up similar to a city where different quarters are designated for different groups of people.
With over 140 acres available, you will find all sorts of grave markers varying from bishops to famous baseball players.
Whether popping into Havana for a day excursion on a cruise or staying for an extended vacation, Havana offers a unique adventure for everyone to experience.
History buffs and food-lovers alike enjoy knowing that Cuba's isolation days are over. Head over to Havana to catch glimpses of the side of Cuba you and people from around the world have been deprived of for decades.