best things to do in cuba

Best Things to Do in Havana Cuba

Havana, Cuba is an amazing city and we definitely didn’t have enough time to do it all.  These are some unique and adventurous things to do in Havana, Cuba! If you want to know everything I wish I knew before going to Cuba go here.

Best Things to do in Havana Cuba:  The Classic Car Ride

You literally cannot leave Cuba WITHOUT taking a classic car ride.  It is definitely one of the best things to do in Cuba and was on my bucket list. If you read my 22 Tips on Cuba, you’ll know to go early in the morning especially during summer!!!  If you go to Parque Central you can have your pick of amazing classic cars.  We chose a hot pink one of course!

cuba classic car ride

Exact dress here, affordable version here.

Best Things to do in Havana Cuba:  Morre Castle and  Cristo de La Habana

Now that you are in a classic car have the driver take you through the tunnel and catch the breath taking views of Morre Castle and Cristo de La Habana.  We had seen the statue from across the bay during our walk on the Malecon, but had no idea how to get there.  Well our driver being the good sales person he is told us he could add 30 minutes to our tour and take us there.  It was an immediate yes!  He also said there were some really nice restaurants around this area but we didn’t get to try any of them since it was our last day.  The addition 30 minutes was well worth the money and made for such a  memorable experience, definitely add to your list of things to do in Cuba.

morre castle

Cristo de La Habana

Dress available here

Best Things to do in Havana Cuba, Take a Day Trip to Playa del Estes

We went in July to Cuba and it was HOT!  So the best decision was to go to a nearby beach during the day time.  The water was perfect and the mix of locals and tourists created a lovely vibe.  Honestly most of the time I couldn’t tell who was a local and who was a tourist.  This made the experience even more perfect from the usual big resorts in the Caribbean.  Bonus, you’ll find groups who bring these giant speakers and play music on the beach.  Visiting a local beach is definitely a must do in Cuba, you are after all on a tropical island.

playa del estes cuba

Bikini from here

Roaming the Streets of Havana Vieja, One of the Best Attractions in Havana Cuba

Can there be a more picturesque area than Havana Vieja?  Roaming the streets and soaking in all the culture is one of the best free things to do in Havana, Cuba. Though we saw how the infrastructure was crumbling the brightly painted buildings and classic architecture truly made Havana Vieja different than any other place we have been.  There was literally a pink building in every corner.  And the many plazas and parques serve was wonderful gathering places for tourists, families, and children alike.  Just wandering the streets was one of my fave things to do in Cuba.

cuba havana vieja

plaza vieja cuba

Dress available here.

Best Things to Do in Havana Cuba at Night:  Fabrica De Arte

Fabrica De Arte  was a true treat and a testament to Cuba’s vibrant art scene.  It is one of the best things to do in Havana at night.  Filled with live music, cool screenings, and the BIGGEST mojitos ever!  Definitely a must do for Havana nightlife.  It’s only open on weekends so make sure to stop by on a Saturday or Sunday night.  Sadly we didn’t get any other nights out because we all got a bit sick from the food.

fabrica del arte

fabrica del arte

Walking Along the Malecón in Havana Cuba is one of the Best Free Things to Do in Cuba

Our first day in Havana we just wandered about getting our bearings and soaking in the culture.  We happened upon the Malecón and walked along it as we watched the sun slowly dip.  This is not only a free activity in Havana but also one of the most romantic things to do in Havana.  Again locals mixed with tourists to experience this magic.  There were children running around and lots of fisherman.  As night descended groups chilled along the barrier and across the street impromptu restaurants set up. We saw a whole roasting pig, but unfortunately never got to go back and sample it.  This was definitely one of the more romantic things to do in Cuba.  

malecon havana cuba malecon

La Guarida is one of the best places to eat in Havana Cuba

This was one of the few paladars (private restaurants) we had time to research before we went to Cuba and the food did not disappoint!   Located in a semi dilapidated cave like building with rather impressive architecture.  There are 2 floors of restaurant and a roof top bar. We managed to get a table without a reservation, but we were seated in the lower level without any views.  If you can book in advance I suggest you book a table upstairs which has amazing views over Havana.  We sampled multiple dishes, but our favorite was definitely the Oxtail.  The drinks were also spectacular and don’t miss dessert.  Especially the tres leches chocolate cake. la guarida cuba

la guarida

The Roof Top Bar at La Guarida has one of the best views in Havana Cuba

If you are not having dinner at La  Guarida, the roof top bar is still not to be missed.  Sunset here is must.  And bonus just when you think you’ve reached the top, there is a SECOND level roof top.  Since there’s no actual bar up there, you can enjoy the views all to yourself.  I love getting a good view all to myself, so this ranks high as one of the best things to do in Cuba for me.

havana sunset view a la guarida cuba roof top view

Red lace top here.

Drinking as Many Mojitos as Possible is one of the Best Things to do in Cuba

Havana is the birth place of the Mojito and we were obliged to indulge in as many as possible.  We even checked out the bar claiming to have invented the minty lime drink, Bodeguita del Medio.  The mojito here was excellent but it does get quite crowded.  I would check out the bar up and across the street as well which has happy hour prices,  1.5 CUC per mojito.havana la bodequita del medio havana mojitos

Day Trip to Viñales from Havana Cuba

We only had 5 days in Cuba, which includes travel time (and I lost a day from eating one bite of lettuce), so there was not much time for visiting other places besides Havana.  The closest place to explore was Viñales and we opted for a day tour, because again we were flying by the seat of our pants.  We didn’t book a tour in advance but managed to secure a spot through out Airbnb (our casa particular).

The mountains the fresh air and watching Cuban cigars being made right in front of us was definitely a highlight of our trip.  We even bought cigars straight from tobacco growers.  You can also buy branded ones here and do a horseback ride, but unfortunately these activities were cancelled as a torrential rain storm hit us.

It was raining buckets when we arrived at Viñales Mural de la Prehistoria, which is a huge mural on the side of a mountain that took 5 years to paint.  We were troopers though and braved the rain for one picture.

vinales day trip from havana vinales day trip

Red skirt set here

Staying at a Casa Particular in Havana Vieja

Definitely recommend staying in a Casa Particular, which is like a home stay or a hostel.  They are so affordable and so cute.  I was a bit hesitant because I didn’t want to be stuck in a hole from hell for 5 days, you know how I love my luxuries.   We booked ours through Airbnb for only $50 USD a night and it was perfect!   Great air conditioning, plumbing worked perfectly, and so did the hot water.  All things I was scared of!  It really helped that they sold water and had breakfast too at reasonable prices and fast service.  Some of our friends went out to eat during our last morning and couldn’t do anything else because the service was so slow.  But the service at our Casa was always very prompt!

You may wonder what there is to do in Old Havana, well as soon as we walked out of our Casa there was live music and dancing in the streets and restaurants serving happy hour drinks.  There’s so many plazas to visit, we definitely recommend staying in Old Havana.

casa particular cuba

cuba best things to do
10 Reasons that will make you book a ticket to CUBA today

Related Posts

See also  Lavender is Blooming at this Stunning Winery in Maryland: Springfield Manor