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Museum Guide for Havana

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The Cuban capital has an abundance of museums and art galleries to explore. Whether you’re interested in Cuba’s recent revolutionary history, or its period as a Spanish colony and the subsequent wars of independence, there are museums here to suit all tastes. Similarly there are various galleries and other cultural offerings to discover, which showcase the best of Cuban art and culture.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover

15 Places

8 City Tips

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15 Places

Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion)

History Museums

Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad)

History Museums

Camera Obscura

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museo Napoleonico

Speciality Museums

Miniature Havana (Maqueta de la Habana)

Points of Interest & Landmarks

El Cristo de La Habana

Points of Interest & Landmarks

El Morro

Historic Sites

National Museum of Fine Arts

Art Museums

Museo del Ron Havana Club

Speciality Museums

House of Jose Marti (Casa Natal De Jose Marti)

Historic Sites

Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)

Cemeteries, Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods

Museo del Chocolate

Speciality Museums

Fabrica de Arte Cubano

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museo Hemingway Finca Vigia

Historic Sites

Museo Abel Santamaria (Abel Santamaria Museum)

Speciality Museums

Eleanor R's City Tips

  • Leave the tourist hub of Habana Vieja, and explore the city's other districts like Centro Habana, Vedado, Miramar, and Playa.
  • Havana's temperatures are very hot in the summer months. Dress sensibly; wear a hat, sunglasses, and carry a bottle of water.
  • Listen out for the daily "cañonazo:" the cannon blast, which happens every night at 9pm at the Parque Histórico Militar Morro-Cabaña (on the other side of the Bay of Havana). You can visit the old fortress to witness this traditional ceremony in person, and get a panoramic view of the city.
  • Most museums are closed on Mondays. Check local information or guide books before visiting.
  • Habana Vieja can easily be explored on foot. For a journey in a state-owned taxi — to other parts of the city like Vedado or Miramar — it's best to negotiate and agree on a price before setting off.
  • Stay in a government licensed Casa particular, instead of a hotel. It's the best way to experience Cuban culture and get to know Cubans.
  • Whilst in Havana, have a day at the beach. The beaches to the East of the city, "Playas del Este," are beautiful and worth the short trip. You can catch a bus here from Parque Central.
  • You often have to pay an additional amount, on top of the ticket price, if you want to use your camera in certain museums.
  • Save
    Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion)
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Havana's most famous museum is located in the former presidential palace of the 1950's dictator Fulgencio Batista. Following the 1959 Revolution, it was converted into a museum to hold artifacts and tell the story of the Revolution which removed Batista from power.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • You have to leave all bulky bags in the museum's cloakroom, so remember to take your camera and a bottle of water into the museum with you. (The museum can get very hot in summer months.)
    • The museum has several floors, be prepared to stay for a few hours if you want to see it all. Or alternatively pick one of the sections to visit: the part dedicated to the Revolution (1953-1959), life in post-Revolutionary Cuba (1959- to present day), or the section outside which has vehicles related to the Revolution including the Granma Yacht (which brought Fidel Castro and his troops to Cuba, from Mexico, at the start of the Revolution).
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • This is a must see, although slightly one sided version of events as expected 20/06/2018
    • As revolutionary as any other museum!! 20/06/2018
    • Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion)
    Address:
    Calle Refugio 1
    entre Monserrate y Zulueta
    Havana 10600
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 624091
    Other:
  • Save
    Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad)
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Located on the west side of the Plaza de Armas, Havana's oldest square, the Museum of the City is housed in the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, which dates from the 1770s. It was originally the residence of Spanish captain generals, in colonial times, and later the base of US military governors. Here, the artifacts on display range from period furniture to military uniforms, telling the story of Havana's colorful history.

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Look out for the peacocks that reside in the museum's courtyard, and the marble statue of Christopher Columbus.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #65 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • Lovely building 22/03/2018
    • Art Tour to Cuba 11/09/2017
    • Museum of the City (Museo de la Ciudad)
    Address:
    Calle Tacon
    Plaza de Armas
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8616130
  • Save
    Camera Obscura
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Located in Plaza Vieja and said to be the only camera obscura in Latin America, from the roof of the Gomez Villa building, you can see the whole of Habana Vieja through the 360-degree-rotating telescopic lens located in the building's tower. The presentation is quite short, but is worth the visit to get a great view of Habana Vieja and the Bay of Havana.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Remember to take your camera to capture panoramic shots of the city from the roof.
    • The guide normally delivers the commentary in Spanish and then in English.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Well worth the entry fee 31/05/2018
    • Good view from the rooftop. 01/05/2018
    • Camera Obscura
    Address:
    Corner of Plaza Vieja
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8664461
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Napoleonico
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Easily one of Havana's best museums, the Museo Napoleonico contains about 7000 objects associated with the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. The collection was amassed by Julio Lobo and Orestes Ferrera, and is housed in Ferrara's former residence, the Villa Fiorentina, a beautiful and vast Renaissance-style mansion built in the 1920s.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The museum is next to the University of Havana, and also a short walk from the Hotel Habana Libre.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • If you are into Napoleon it is a must 11/04/2018
    • Great History of Napoleon 01/04/2018
    • Museo Napoleonico
    Phone:
    8791460 / 8791412
    Other:
  • Save
    Miniature Havana (Maqueta de la Habana)
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    It's worth the trip to Miramar to see this 1:1000 scale model of the city of Havana. Originally created for urban planning, it's now a tourist attraction. Notice the model is also helpfully color coded, according to which historical period a building is from.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you don't want to travel to Miramar, there is another model of the city located in Habana Vieja (Mercaderes # 114). Although it is just of Habana Vieja, it's also impressive in its detail.
    • After visiting the Maqueta in Miramar, stop by Café Fortuna (3ra between 28 and 26). This state run café has a vintage atmosphere, adorned with antiques and wallpapered with copies of old newspapers. The choice of seating includes the boot of a car, a bathtub and old furniture. The delicious specialties are alcohol-infused hot drinks and tapas.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #70 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • wow just wow!! 08/07/2017
    • Remarkable 08/03/2017
    • Miniature Havana (Maqueta de la Habana)
    Address:
    Calle 28
    Between Avenidas 1 and 3, Miramar
    Havana
    Cuba
  • Save
    El Cristo de La Habana
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    El Cristo de La Habana, was commissioned in 1953 and is the work of Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera. From this viewpoint, you can get panoramic views of the city.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Take the "lanchita" (ferry) across the Bay of Havana, from the port in Habana Vieja, to the small town of Casablanca. From here you can walk up to the statue of El Cristo de La Habana.
    • Passenger ferries to Casablanca depart from Muelle Luz, on the corner of San Pedro and Santa Clara in Habana Vieja, approximately every 15 mins. From here you can also get the ferry to Regla.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Incredible statue and view of the city 19/06/2018
    • astonishing view 18/06/2018
    • El Cristo de La Habana
    Address:
    Casa Blanca
    Havana
    Cuba
  • Save
    El Morro
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    The Parque Histórico Militar Morro-Cabaña site can be visited during the day, or at night, depending on what you want to see. Irrespective of when you visit however, there are spectacular views of the city and the sea to enjoy. The site is divided into two parts, the Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro and the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña. The Castillo is the part with the lighthouse, which can be climbed, and also houses a maritime museum. The Fortaleza has two museums, one which contains arms related to the fort's history, and another with Che Guevara artifacts.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Entrance to the site is cheaper during the day than in the evening. (Prices are increased for the influx of people who come to see the 9pm "cañonazo.")
    • The daily "cañonazo" ceremony takes place here, at the Fortaleza, every evening at 9pm.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wish we had more time 19/06/2018
    • Bird's Eye View of Havana 18/06/2018
    • El Morro
    Address:
    Parque Morro
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 5 4112751
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    National Museum of Fine Arts
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Set across two sites, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes has one location dedicated to Cuban Art (Trocadero between Agramonte & Av de las Misiones), and another to International Art (Centro Asturiano by Parque Central, on the way to Obispo). The International site has art from 500 BC to present day, while the Cuban site features a mixture of traditional portraits to modern pieces, displayed in chronological order across three floors. Look out for the works of artists like Wilfredo Lam and Raúl Martínez.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • You can buy a ticket which includes entrance to both sites, but this must be used on the same day. Note that both sites are large and you could easily spend the whole day looking around them!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Cuban art 12/06/2018
    • I was disappointed 03/06/2018
    • National Museum of Fine Arts
    Address:
    Calle Trocadero e/ Zulueta y Monserrate
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8621643
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 14:00
    Tue - Sat
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Save
    Museo del Ron Havana Club
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    Rum is obviously one of the products that Cuba is most famous for. At the Museo del Ron, you can learn about the rum-making process from its beginnings as freshly-cut sugar cane to its distillery, and then the different aging processes.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • The museum offers trilingual guided tours, alternating between Spanish, English, and French.
    • On site there is a bar and a shop. (Note that the prices in the shop may be more expensive than in other locations.)
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • Rum and Cigars 19/06/2018
    • interesting 19/06/2018
    • Museo del Ron Havana Club
    Address:
    Avenida del Puerto 262, esq. Sol, Habana Vieja Cuba
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8618051
    Price range:
    USD 7 - USD 7
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    09:00 - 05:00
    Fri - Sun
    09:00 - 04:30
    Other:
  • Save
    House of Jose Marti (Casa Natal De Jose Marti)
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    It's hard to escape the figure of José Martí whilst in Cuba: There are statues of him everywhere, with most towns featuring a Plaza Martí of some size. Cubans refer to him as their national martyr for the role he played in the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898). This small museum is the house that Martí was born in and contains artifacts which tell the story of his early years, his political activism, and the years he spent traveling in Latin America to raise awareness and support for Cuban Independence.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • The museum does not have English translations of the descriptions of the artifacts. Having basic Spanish would probably be useful therefore, to get the most out of a visit here.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #87 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • Birth House of the Father of Cuban Revolution! 04/01/2018
    • birth house of Jose Marti the national hero. 15/06/2016
    • House of Jose Marti (Casa Natal De Jose Marti)
    Address:
    Calle Leonor Perez 314
    La Habana Vieja
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8613778
  • Save
    Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)
    Cemeteries, Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    The Colon Cemetery was founded in 1876, in Vedado, and covers 140 acres (57 ha). The cemetery is said to have more than 500 major mausoleums, chapels, and family vaults, many of which feature elaborate sculpted decorations or statues. There are also several monuments to political leaders and memorials to different moments of Cuban history here. The most visited tomb, often seen as a place of pilgrimage for Cubans, is that of Amelia Goyri, otherwise know as La Milagrosa.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • A map of the cemetery, with the tombs of notable figures marked on it, is for sale at the entrance.
    • The cemetery is vast and there isn't much shade. Remember to dress sensibly and bring water with you.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Absolutely Beautiful 19/06/2018
    • Beautiful Cemetery 18/06/2018
    • Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)
    Address:
    Calle Zapata y Calle 12
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8321050
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo del Chocolate
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    More of a chocolate café than a museum, the Museo del Chocolate features several cabinets that hold artifacts commonly used in cocoa production in Cuba and Latin America. Either visit the main part, which is a café, or the shop on the side which sells various chocolate novelties such as chocolate cigars.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    Tips
    • Take a break from walking around Habana Vieja and stop by here for a chocolate treat. Try the hot chocolate or a chocolate milkshake.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #60 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • Had higher hopes for this 19/06/2018
    • No chocolate 31/05/2018
    • Museo del Chocolate
    Address:
    Calle Mercaderes
    Esq Amargura
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8664431
  • Save
    Fabrica de Arte Cubano
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    The Fabrica de Arte Cubano (F.A.C.) opened in 2014, and has since become a vibrant arts space enjoyed by young Cubans and tourists alike. Housed in a former power station and run by Cuban musician X-Alfonso, F.A.C. is a relaxed, innovative space that features live concerts, plays, dance performances, lectures, workshops and audio-visual presentations. F.A.C. also showcases Cuban photography, visual arts, architecture and design, across various exhibition spaces. Even if the varied program features nothing that catches your eye, enjoy a drink from one of the bars, and relax and meet new people in one of the seating areas or outdoor spaces.

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Upon entry to F.A.C. you are given a small card which any drinks or food you subsequently order are marked on. You pay off your tab as you leave the venue. (Keep the card safe; the charge for a lost card is rather steep.)
    • Look at their website or Facebook page for up-to-date information about what is on.
    • Try and get there early. From about 11pm there tends to be a queue which stretches around the block. (But don't let that put you off, it just shows how popular the venue is.)
    • The varied program changes almost daily and is highly recommended.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Must See/Hear/Touch in Havana 18/06/2018
    • Art and rum 14/06/2018
    • Fabrica de Arte Cubano
    Address:
    Calle 26
    Corner 11
    Havana 10400
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8382260
    Price range:
    USD 2 - USD 2
    Hours:
    Thu - Sun
    20:00 - 03:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Hemingway Finca Vigia
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Eleanor R Says:

    US writer Ernest Hemingway lived at this property from 1939 to 1960 (when he returned to the US). He left it and its contents to the 'Cuban people,' and it has not been altered since Hemingway left. While visitors are not allowed inside the property, there are enough open windows and doors to be able to see everything from the outside.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It's worthwhile having a wander through the garden of the finca.
    • The museum is closed in bad weather or when it's raining.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 276 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not to miss 18/06/2018
    • Hemmingway's House in Cuba with 4th Wife 18/06/2018
    • Museo Hemingway Finca Vigia
    Address:
    Calle Obispo 153
    Carretera Central Km 12.5
    Havana 10100
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8910809
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Abel Santamaria (Abel Santamaria Museum)
    Speciality Museums
    Eleanor R Says:

    One of Havana's smallest museums, it is from this apartment that Fidel Castro and others planned the 26 July 1953 attack on the Moncada barracks. The apartment once belonged to brother and sister, Abel and Haydee Santamaría. After the unsuccessful attack on the barracks, Abel was captured, tortured and killed by the Batista regime. The simply-decorated apartment has been preserved, with the calendar frozen on 25 July 1953, in tribute to him. This spot is particularly recommended if you want to find out more about the Cuban Revolution and the people who played a part in it: Museo Abel Santamaría offers a more human perspective to that of the Museo de la Revolución.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The apartment is located on the sixth floor in a residential block of apartments, either take the stairs or the elevator.
    • The museum is a short walk from the Hotel Nacional and the Hotel Habana Libre.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #216 of 276 things to do in Havana
    • Small, but moving museum 01/04/2015
    • Uma aula de história 04/07/2017
    Address:
    Calle 25 #164
    on the corner of calle 25 and Calle 0
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    835 0891
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