Cuba’s largest city and capital is Havana and it is a place of incredible history and culture along with friendly and welcoming people. For many fascinating days, take as many Havana private guided tours as possible.
The laid back attitude of the people in Havana is welcoming and refreshing. Walking tours of Havana are very enjoyable with all the interesting places to visit, markets to wander around and excellent cafes for rest breaks. There is music heard somewhere in the city all day and all night with a great vibe and atmosphere to accompany it.
For all the turmoil that Cuba has been through, Havana has always remained a destination of interest for many. The United States had an enormous influence on the city and helped it grow through the mid 20th century. However, everything changed after Cuba’s 1959 revolution when Cuba’s new leader Castro replaced the presence of the US with the Soviet Union.
Initially, the change caused a deterioration in economic resources which affected the upkeep of the city especially the 'old city'. Thankfully things have changed and since the 1980’s restoration has happened. Read More...
Visit the Wonderful Old Havana on Private Sightseeing Tours
Sightseeing tours of Havana must include a visit to Habana Vieja or Old Havana. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that overflows with charm and beauty. The stunning old architecture and museums are just some of the highlights.
Walking along the famous Malecón is an excellent way to absorb the feel and atmosphere of Havana and even more so at sunset. The Malecón is the city’s famous 7-kilometer seafront boulevard.
The nightlife in Havana is exceptional from delicious food to salsa dancing the night away. The city caters for everyone's preferences so enjoy the most romantic night of your life or go wild in the music venues.
Top 10 Things to Do in Havana
A walking tour of Havana will include the fabulous Old Havana or Habana Vieja. Just walking through the public square and admiring the stunning and beautiful architecture of the older builders surrounding it is impressive. Within this area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can find a magnificent cathedral, a military fortress and museum to name a few. The charm oozes from the cobblestone squares and narrow alleys.
El Morro Castle
Official name Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, El Morro castle is an interesting place to visit on a Havana private sightseeing tour. This castle is located on rocky high land that juts out into the sea at the entry point of the bay of the city. Work began in 1590 and completed in 1630. It is great to explore the nooks, crannies and lighthouse on your tour and then to enjoy the beautiful views from the highest point possible.
With private guided tours of Havana visit El Capitolio which is a landmark building of the city. It resembles the Washington DC’s capitol building but is slightly taller and wider. This building was the Cuban Congress headquarters up until 1959. It then became a Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Science and Technology National Library. The architecture and features are stunning, more so now as it is gradually being restored.
Castillo de la Real Fuerza
The Castillo de la Real Fuerza is said to be an engineering marvel for its time. On a sightseeing tour of Havana, you can see canons and mortars in the forecourt, a drawbridge to the castle which is where you will find the Museo de Navegación. The defensive moat is shaped like a four leaf clover and it surrounds the castle. There is much to explore when here including the bell tower which was added over fifty years later.
La Cabaña is the locals name for the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña which is an 18th-century fortress on top of La Cabana Hill. It was the largest fort built by the Spanish at the time of construction in the 1770’s. During the Batista regime, it was a military prison and became Che Guevara’s headquarters after the Revolution. Take a guided tour at night and see actors in 19th-century costumes perform a canon firing ceremony.
Gran Teatro de La Habana
If you want to see the largest opera house in the world, then take a guided tour of Gran Teatro de la Habana. It's even better if you could experience a performance in this opera house as it will be memorable. Apart from performances, the architecture and decoration of sculptures, marble, stone and bronze works is very impressive. The four sculptures on the frontage represent charity, music, education and theatre.
Museum of the Revolution
The Museum of the Revolution is precisely as the name states, a museum on all things related the Revolution before during or after 1959. On a guided tour of Havana's most famous museum learn amazing facts and see artefacts such as period firearms, models of battles, life size wax model of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, historic photos and so much more. Tiffany’s of New York designed the interior of the museum.
The Malecón is a famous boulevard on Havana’s seafront. It is 7 km long and runs from Old Havana to Plaza area. The boulevard is overlooked by a mix of well preserved architectural styled buildings which are a colourful collection. On a Havana city tour, this is a must if only for the rest breaks in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. This hotel is a World Heritage Site which had many famous guests such as Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.
Visit the 18th century Havana Cathedral which is renowned for its beauty and often called ‘music cast into stone’. In 1748 the Jesuits began construction of this building and in 1789 it was consecrated. From 1796 to 1898 it held the remains of Christopher Columbus. The Baroque architecture with two towers (one larger than the other) either side is asymmetry pleasing to all who come to visit on a guided tour.
Take a private guided tour in Havana of Ernest Hemingway’s home Finca Vigía. The famous author moved to Cuba during the 1930’s and quickly bought this 15-acre property. He lived here with his 3rd wife until a year before his death in 1961. The house is filled with books, letters and cats and today there are still descendants of his cats living here. The house was preserved in his memory and restored by the Cuban and US organizations.
Travel Tips for Havana
Best Time To Visit
In general, the recommended best time to visit Cuba and Havana is during the months of January and February, in the winter! This is due to the milder temperatures which make it more comfortable for doing such things as sightseeing tours of Havana. There are festivals held throughout the year and these can be great especially in August when it is colourful carnival time. The summer in Havana is also wet season so be aware of this.
When it comes to comparison in prices between Havana and Miami or the Bahamas, Havana wins hands down. It is cheaper by over 50% in some instances. Two people can enjoy a lovely 3-course meal in a mid range restaurant for US$15. Due to transport and admission fees being cheaper, the price of Havana private guided city tours are lower too. Accommodation prices vary with the standard, luxury and available funds you have.
Know Before Visiting
When arranging a trip to Havana or anywhere in Cuba, check the situation on entry visa’s especially if you are a U.S. citizen. Havana is not a dangerous city; there is the normal petty thieves and pickpockets. However, it is worth being aware that there are people who befriend you, sit, eat and drink with you and then expect you to pay for everything. For internet services, you may have to rely on hot spots once you purchase a WiFi card.
There are two defining seasons in Havana, the wet season and dry season. Wet season is from May to October and the Dry season is from November to April. July and August with average temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius are the hottest months. The coolest months are December to February with temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius which to many is still hot! August or September, there is the chance of major storms, not necessarily hurricanes.