The 9 best things to do in Havana Cuba? Tough to narrow it down but we’ll try! Havana is the oldest Spanish colonial city in Latin America and possibly its most vibrant. As such it offers the visitor an enormous variety in the way of things to do. With a wealth of architectural history to its rooftop bars and colourful street life, there’s never a dull moment in this city.
So to get you started we’ve compiled a list of 9 of the best activities for you to do in the city. We’re sure you’ll find your own little piece of Havana!

9 Best things to do in Havana Cuba

Dine at a Paladar, You’re Actually in Someones Home!

After 60 years of communist rule Cuba, paladares, a restaurant in someone’s home still remain something of a novelty. Theye were only legally permitted to operate since the late 1990s. But now can visitors to Cuba can enjoy freshly prepared and authentic home made meals easily. This will open up a new window for you into Cuban culture and customs plus you allow you taste authentic Cuban dishes.

As well as Cuban favourites such as ropa vieja (pulled beef steak), there are generally pizzas and burgers on offer too. Though your main problem will probably be deciding which fantastic paladar to choose!

A Caribbean Sunset From a Rooftop Bar

Havana has a number of tasteful rooftop bars to choose between, in small-scale casa particulares bed and breakfast accommodations and in the large government-owned hotels. What they have in common are the incredible vistas they offer across the capital. As a bonus you’ll probably taste the best rum-based cocktails you’ve ever let pass your lips (at impressively low prices to boot!). And can’t really say you’ve been to Cuba without having sampled a Mojito, or a daiquiri! Both of them were two of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite drinks.

Head to One of the Many Nearby Beaches

Playas del Este 9 Best things to do in Havana Cuba

It’s unusual for a capital to be able to boast a decent beach close by but Havana certainly manages it. A short drive east by taxi or bus you’ll find Playas del Este. A string of fine sand beaches complete with shade-giving palms and turquoise waters. Popular with locals, particularly at the weekend, they are spread out enough so there’s plenty of personal space even on a Saturday or Sunday. If you’ve the family in tow, you might prefer the beaches of Varadero roughly two hours from the capital. There are many resorts alongside it’s 20 km of beautiful beaches making it a great getaway from Havana.

Explore Old Havana, One of the Oldest Colonial Cities in Latin America

Habana Vieja has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982 as a result of its colonial heritage. Over 500 years old, this part of the Cuban capital boasts many stunning buildings in the baroque and neoclassical styles. These include the Capitolio building, Gran Teatro, Museum of the Revolution and the presidential palace. All built before Castro’s communist takeover. Slip on your walking shoes and explore as many of these photo-worthy streets as you can manage!

Take a Ride in a Classic American Car

To cut down on walking or head further afield in the capital, consider hiring a classic American car, preferably a convertible! It’s an absolute must when it comes to things to do in Havana. Originally imported from the US in the 1950s, they still ply the streets of Havana. One reason is the American trade embargo that makes it prohibitively expensive to import newer vehicles to the island. Resulting in city that feels somewhat frozen in time albeit a little more dilapidated than the 1950’s!

Rum: Cuba’s Most Popular Export

A visit to Cuba isn’t complete without visiting the museums and factories dedicated to Cuban cigars to rum. Rum was born in Cuba afterall! The Havana Rum Museum gives you the chance to learn about rum making from start to finish. This includes a tasting session at the end. Meanwhile, the Partagas Cigar Factory gives a look behind the scenes at the effort required to create Cuba’s famous cigars.

Hemingway’s Finca Vigia: 9 best things to do in Havana, Cuba

 Finca Vigia hemingway cuba- 9 Best things to do in Havana Cuba

Definitely one of the 9 best things to do in Havana, Cuba! A visit to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s former residence in Cuba is unmissable. There are a number of spots in Havana connected to American literary giant Ernest Hemingway, from boxing clubs to bars. However, one of the most important has to be his former home on the outskirts of Havana. Hemingway lived in Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm) for roughly a decade until 1959. He chose to leave when the communist revolution got ugly in 1960. He wrote The Old Man and the Sea at Finca Vigia and after he left the house was seized by the regime. They eventually turned it into a museum dedicated to the author. It contains much of his original furniture and his beloved library of thousands of books.

Dance the Night Away to Cuban Salsa


The birthplace of salsa, dance is an incredibly important part of Cuban culture and self-expression. Don’t worry if you can’t dance Salsa, when the live band starts up you’ll forget you don’t! Check out Salon Rosado de la Tropical on Avenida 41 for a mix of salsa, Timba, and Reggaetón. Fabrica de Arte Cubano a former factory converted to art and music venue with live DJ sets is popular with Havana’s youth. However if you’d prefer watching someone else do all the fancy footwork, then head for the Tropicana. Their cabaret shows are world renowned.

Take a Stroll Along the Malecon

malecon havana

El Malecon stretches from Habana Vieja to the Vedado neighbourhood by way of Centro Habana. It’s an 8km seafront promenade that is an important part of everyday life in Havana. You’ll find friends, families, couples and many younger people hanging out there at all times of day. Although it at it’s most beautiful at sunset and as the street lights start to flicker on. When the day ends the locals often head to El Malecon to cool down and unwind and catch up with friends.

Unsure where to start your discovery of the Cuban capital? You shouldn’t be now, after reading our top suggestions on the 9 best things to do in Havana, Cuba!

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