Hotels in Havana
Hotels in the centre of HavanaSee all
Book your cheap hotel in Havana
Havana is the capital of Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean. Located in the north of the island, the city has a population of 2.13 million and is visited by more than 1 million tourists every year.
Havana was founded by the Spanish in 1515 and was its springboard for the conquest of the Americas. It is a major port city as well as the seat of the Cuban government, and a major economic, commercial, and diplomatic centre.
There’s a romanticism about Havana that is alluring. Even though Americans were heavily restricted in travelling to Cuba until recently, the rest of the world has been gradually recognising the charms of the island and its capital. Havana is enigmatic and a little confusing but just begging to be explored..
Among the confusing jigsaw of grand avenues and ghetto-like alleys, there are plenty of budget-friendly hotels in Havana offering an exuberant welcome and pleasant stay.
Neighbourhoods of Havana
Havana is a city of three parts: Old Havana, Vedado, and New Havana. The best neighbourhoods to visit are:
- Plaza Vieja/Catedral: The original city centre in Old Havana is close to the bay. It’s a busy tourist area who visit to walk the narrow cobbled streets lined with baroque and neoclassical buildings. Main landmarks and attractions include the City Museum, La Fuerza Fortress, the cathedraland the El Templeteholy tree.
- La Rampa: This is the heart of Vedado, the area that replaced Old Havana as the city centre. Popular with tourists, it’s bustling with visitors as well as university students and locals who are going to the movies and theatre or just out enjoying the ocean breeze, having drinks, and enjoying the street musicians and artists.
- Miramar: A posh neighbourhood that almost qualifies as a diplomatic quarter due to the number of embassies, is the place for upmarket shopping. Quinta Avenida is the place for the best boutiques in the city.
- Cayo Hueso: This working class neighbourhood in Central Havana is a major draw for tourists who want to get up close and personal with Cuban culture. In Callejon de Hamel African-Cuban Art, rumba music and dance, and various community cultural projects are to be enjoyed.
- Guanabo: A trendy beach community much loved by the locals, it’s a family-friendly area with a casual vibe, fast food restaurants, and plenty of bars. It’s a great place to spend the day swimming, playing games, and partying.
What to see and do in Havana
The main landmarks to visit include the Malecon city wall and esplanade, Colon Cemetery, the Plaza de la Revolución with its mural of Che Guevara, Morro Castle, and the baroque Gran Teatro de La Habana. Other things to consider are a ride on the ferry across Havana Bay to Casablanca and a stroll through Chinatown. Also worth a visit is Jaimanitas also known as Fusterlandia. This little fishing village has houses brightly decorated by the artist José Fuster.
What to eat in Havana
The choice of food in Havana – in restaurants and street stalls – is overwhelming. Some of the best things to try are: rope vieja, a dish of skirt steak in tomato sauce with rice, guava basted ribs, Tamales, a dish of seasoned ground corn wrapped in corn leaves, yuca con mojo which is cassava cooked in bitter orange juice, and black bean soup.
Typical events and festivals in Havana
Havana is host to many festivals from film to fishing. Most notable are: the International Jazz Festival in January; International Ballet Festival in October/November; the International Film Festival in December; the Habanos Cigar Festival in February; and the Havana Carnival in August.
How to move around in Havana
Havana is well served by public transport with rail, bus and tram services running extensively throughout the city. There are also ferries, and the train network connects Havana with all the other provinces of Cuba.
The climate in Havana
Enjoying a tropical monsoon climate, the weather in Havana is mostly lovely. Temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees C and the average temperature in the hottest month of August is 28 degrees C. Rainfall is heaviest in June and October.