City Spotlights

Parque Central

Flanked by the majestic Capitol building, Gran Teatro, and a handful of stately hotels, this is one of old Havana's four major plazas and a must-see. Stroll over to the Hotel Parque Central, where the lineup of mid-century taxis makes for great viewing.

Monument to José Martí

Referred to as “Apostle of Cuban Independence,” this 19th-century poet and revolutionary is a crucial figure in the country’s modern history. He’s worth learning a little about for sure.

Morro Castle

A dominant feature of the Havana landscape, this Renaissance-style fortress helped make the city the best-defended outpost in the Americas for some two hundred years. It was built by the Spanish in 1640 to protect the harbor from enemies—including British pirates, who captured it in 1762.

Granma Memorial

Inside a large glass enclosure lies a very important boat: the Granma, the yacht in which Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and some 80 revolutionaries traveled from Mexico to Cuba in 1959 in order to overthrow the Batista regime.

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Three floors up in a crumbling century-old mansion, this atmospheric privately-owned restaurant is routinely cited as Havana’s finest. Go for Cuban specialties.
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Nightlife In operation since the 1930's, this legendary cabaret was once famous for its sumptuous performances and beautiful showgirls. The scene isn’t as over-the-top today, but the show—complete with sequined g-strings and feather headdresses—goes on, in open air if the weather permits.
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Special Habanos, Cohiba, Monte Cristo, Romeo y Julieta, and (of course) Partagás are among the brands still being produced at this 170-year-old factory, with its handsomely faded neoclassical façade. There’s also a museum, shop, and cigar-making school.
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