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Havana is a city that is full of noise and movement, and this infectious energy is part of the city's charm. However, although Havana is famed for its architecture and vibrant atmosphere, there are also beautiful green pockets to be discovered. For those times when you crave a little peace in natural settings, this guide contains recommendations about outdoor areas — both within and around the busy bustle of Havana.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

7 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Plaza de Armas

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Central Park

Parks

El Morro

Historic Sites

El Malecon

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas

Plaza de la Revolucion

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)

Cemeteries, Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods

Jardin Botanico Nacional

Gardens

Callejon de Hamel

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Neighbourhoods

Fusterlandia

Neighbourhoods

Valle de Vinales

Valleys, Parks

Mercyfcb's City Tips

  • Products like suncream and toiletries are extremely expensive in Cuba, so be sure to pack your own.
  • Cuban currency is not available internationally, so you must purchase your CUC's upon arrival. Money can be exchanged easily at the airport, although the queues can be long.
  • Getting out of Havana Airport can take a while, so bear this in mind when estimating the time you will arrive at your accommodation.
  • Being a tourist in Havana involves a lot of walking and much time spent outside; therefore suncream and comfortable shoes are essential.
  • The easiest way to get around Havana is by taxi.
  • Weather in Cuba can be temperamental; although it is often beautifully sunny, a light raincoat may be useful.
  • A basic knowledge and understanding of Spanish is extremely useful, especially if you're staying in a "casa particular" (homestay).
  • Save
    Plaza de Armas
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Plaza de Armas is a beautiful square located in Old Havana. The lush foliage provides welcome relief from the sun, Latin music spills out of nearby bars and cafes, and vendors dot the square selling antiques and books. I recommend that you take the time to delve into the beautiful historic buildings that surround the square, including the Palacio del Secundo Cabo and the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Take time to browse the stalls selling vintage books, cultural items, and posters. Some vendors also sell unique antiques and medals.
    • Explore beyond the impressive facades; the buildings often open up into beautiful courtyards.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really nice plaza and environment 19/02/2018
    • Walking through Havana 18/02/2018
    • Plaza de Armas
    Address:
    Tacon Street, Old Havana
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    05358034082
  • Save
    Central Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Situated between Old Havana and Central Havana, Central Park has an energetic atmosphere, with plenty of benches where you can sit in the shade and people watch. This is also the easiest place to organize a drive in a classic car, as well as a convenient spot to grab a taxi. There are many attractions situated in close proximity to the park, including el Paseo del Prado and El Capitolio.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Pay a visit to the Iberostar Parque Central Hotel, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and a beautiful rooftop pool.
    • There is an ATM located near Central Park.
    • From Central Park, head into Centro Habana to witness everyday Cuban life in a less sanitized and more authentic environment.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Try the Restaurant at the National Theatre 15/02/2018
    • Very Colourful Park 27/01/2018
    • Central Park
    Address:
    Paseo de Marti
    Havana
    Cuba
  • Save
    El Morro
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Across the bay from Havana sits the impressive El Morro Castle, which was constructed as a means of guarding Havana from attackers and pirates. The imposing fortress resides on the cliffs and offers spectacular panoramic views. It is a perfect place to watch the sunset, and the tradition of firing a canon at 9pm is maintained to this day.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • It's a quick taxi ride from Parque Central to El Morro.
    • Be sure to visit the museum.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Walking through Havana 18/02/2018
    • Great views but expensive and not worth going 17/02/2018
    • El Morro
    Address:
    Parque Morro
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 5 4112751
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    El Malecon
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    The buildings that line the Malecon are somewhat decrepit, and yet they remain spectacularly beautiful in their crumbling and faded way. Their muted colors and decaying facades are the perfect backdrop for an atmospheric stroll along the seawall. Feel the spray of the sea and the fresh breeze on your skin as you escape the heat and the pace of Old Havana.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Head to the Malecon for sunset, when locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy the spectacular views.
    • The Malecon is a popular destination for those craving an early morning walk or run. Go early before it heats up and enjoy the occasional bit of cooling sea spray from rogue waves.
    • The Malecon is 8km long, however the most picturesque part is the stretch closest to Old Havana.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • MEH! 19/02/2018
    • Watch your step and hold your nose 17/02/2018
    • El Malecon
    Address:
    Centro Habana
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    005352823586
    Other:
  • Save
    Plaza de la Revolucion
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    The Plaza de la Revolucion may not be the most beautiful square in Havana, but its historic significance renders it a must-see attraction. Mass political rallies were often held here, and it is from the Plaza de la Revolucion that key politicians continue to address Cuba. Sculptures depicting the imposing faces of Che and Fidel make for great photo opportunities, while providing a taste of the revolution propaganda that is apparent throughout Havana. The square is also a great spot to watch classic cars as they hurtle past.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The square is vast and offers little shade, so go early to avoid the unforgiving midday sun.
    • The Jose Marti Memorial is a tall tower in the center of the square; it is possible to take a lift to the top for magnificent views of the city.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Must see and understand the history of Cuba 19/02/2018
    • Standing with history 19/02/2018
    • Plaza de la Revolucion
    Address:
    Avenida Paseo
    Havana
    Cuba
    Other:
  • Save
    Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)
    Cemeteries, Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    The Cemetario de Colon is a great historic cemetery, renowned for its elaborate marble statues. The sheer size of the cemetery, along with its vast number of ornate memorials, will undoubtedly leave an impression.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • During the midday heat, the lack of shade and places to sit may pose an issue, so head here early or on an overcast day.
    • A great number of notable Cubans are buried here; I would suggest hiring a local guide to share some knowledge and insight.
    • Although the cemetery is located some distance from Old Havana, it is not to be missed.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great History 17/02/2018
    • A lot of marble 16/02/2018
    • Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon)
    Address:
    Calle Zapata y Calle 12
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 8321050
    Other:
  • Save
    Jardin Botanico Nacional
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Escape from the noise and hustle of Old Havana to spend an afternoon wandering through the Jardin Botanico Nacional. The plant collection here is extremely extensive, including both Cuban and foreign flora. The garden is quite a distance from the city center, but it is an oasis of natural beauty that you must witness. Hop in a taxi and enjoy the peace of the garden.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The greenhouses hold beautiful collections of plants, but on sunny days they can be stifling; remember to bring lots of water.
    • Stop for lunch at El Bambu, a vegetarian restaurant located near the Japanese Garden.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #74 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fantastic if you like plants! 02/02/2018
    • I think, only for those visitors with "real" interest in trees n plants.. 10/12/2017
    • Jardin Botanico Nacional
    Address:
    Carretera El Rocio km 3 1/2
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 578249
    Hours:
    Wed - Sun
    09:30 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Callejon de Hamel
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    The Callejon de Hammel is a vibrant place to soak up the Caribbean atmosphere. Pause to appreciate the colors of the mesmerizing street art and the creative use of recycled materials, and then enjoy dancing to rumba rhythms. The Callejon de Hammel may be busy and bustling, but it is a fantastic place to dance in a truly Caribbean setting. Explore a bit and you will also find more relaxing spots, such as an area of benches made entirely from recycled bath tubs!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy the rhythmic music and swaying crowds. But be warned: It gets busy!
    • It can get extremely hot, but there is a bar where you can enjoy refreshing mojitos or order the signature drink: a rum, honey, and ginger cocktail.
    • There is a small gallery that is worth a visit.
    • Explore the surrounding area to get a glimpse of life in vibrant Centro Habana.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 272 things to do in Havana
    • Something different 13/02/2018
    • Visit on a Sunday 12/02/2018
    • Callejon de Hamel
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    00:00 - 23:59
  • Save
    Fusterlandia
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Jaimanitas is a neighborhood on the northwestern edge of Havana that has slowly been transformed into an outdoor ceramic fairyland called 'Fusterlandia.' Over a period of many years, the artist Jose Fuster has transformed both his and his neighbors' homes into wacky, colorful creations — and it's well worth exploring.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • It is possible to purchase both ceramic art and paintings from Fuster's studio.
    • Take a taxi, and be sure to have the exact address written down to avoid confusion.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 272 things to do in Havana
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Just beautiful 17/02/2018
    • best of cuba 13/02/2018
    • Fusterlandia
    Address:
    Jaimanitas
    Havana
    Cuba
    Phone:
    +53 7 2712932
    Other:
  • Save
    Valle de Vinales
    Valleys, Parks
    See more photos
    Mercyfcb Says:

    Although it's not in Havana, I felt Valle de Vinales deserved a mention, owing to its close proximity to the city and its stunning natural beauty. The lush valley is peppered with rocky karst limestone outcrops that create bizarre and beautiful rock formations called 'mogotes.' There are caves to be explored and traditional tobacco farms to be visited. Life in Valle de Vinales moves at a slow and peaceful pace, and this juxtaposition to the speed and noise of life in Havana is often a welcome change.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are many guided horseback riding tours, however I would recommend hiring bikes and exploring Valle de Vinales independently.
    • Within some caves, there are natural pools that you can swim in. Hire a local guide to lead you to them, as they can be difficult to find on your own.
    • Most tourists visit Valle de Vinales as a day trip from Havana, but I would suggest staying at least one night, as the area has a lot to offer.
    • For panoramic views, take a trip to Hotel Los Jazmines (situated on a hill overlooking the entire valley) for a drink or a dip in the pool.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 21 things to do in Vinales
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best experience riding horses 19/02/2018
    • Stunningly beautiful 18/02/2018
    • Valle de Vinales
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