A Cuban city founded in the 16th century by the Spaniards, Havana is where the old meets the new. Here’s a destination guide to make the best out of your three days in Havana:


Three Days in Havana: Day One – La Habana Vieja

Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta

Built with the objective of protecting entry to Havana Bay, La Punta has been an important structure in the harbor since the foundation of Havana. The restored 16th century stone fortress is now a great place for seaside strolling, with splendid views of the harbor in Old Havana.

Museo de la Revolución

What used to be the residence of all Cuban presidents was turned into a museum after the Cuban Revolution. The exhibits in the museum are primarily on the notable events during and after the Cuban Revolution, along with exhibits that depict pre-revolutionary Cuba.

Plaza de la Catedral

Plaza de la Catedral is said to be named after Catedral de San Cristobal (Havana Cathedral) which is located in it. The square is also home to 18th century Palacio del Conde Lombillo and Museo de Arte Colonial.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

This old bastion fort was once the National Archive before becoming the home of the National Library. It accommodated museums after the Cuban Revolution. In 2010, it was re-launched as a leading maritime museum of Cuba.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas was designed in the 16th century following the foundation of the city. The stately Baroque style Palacio de los Capitanes Generales can be found at this plaza, along with the several restaurants and second-hand book shops that surround it. The Palacio de Los Condes de Santovenia that has been turned into the 5-star Hotel Santa Isabel can also be found here.

Museo de la Ciudad

Inside Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, one can find Museo de la Ciudad – Havana’s city museum. A slew of history-defining artifacts can be seen in the museum, along with antique horse carriages, military uniforms and period furniture.

Plaza de San Francisco de Asís

Founded in the 17th century, the cobblestone public square was named after a neighboring Franciscan convent – Convento de San Francisco de Asís. Its most notable feature is the Fuente de los Leones, a fountain made of white marble. A new sculpture was added to the square in 2012, La Conversación.

Plaza Vieja

Plaza Vieja is more of a meeting venue for the community, instead of being primarily used for administrative, military or religious purposes during Havana’s colonial period. Similar to other plazas in Old Havana, elegant colonial structures surround the square, along with some 20th century buildings.

El Capitolio

One can find a diamond at El Capitolio that marks Cuba’s Kilometer Zero. Among the most notable features of the National Capitol Building are: its cupola, its gardens, its central portico and La Estatua de la República. La Escalinata (the steps leading to El Capitolio’s central portico) is flanked by the statues El Trabajo on the left and La Virtud Tutelar on the right.

Calle Obispo

Cap your Old Havana wanderings with an evening stroll on Calle Obispo. This famous street is lined with several old houses, shops, restaurants, bars and hotels.


Three Days in Havana: Day Two – La Habana del Este

Torreón de Cojímar

A turret overlooking the port of Cojímar, this 17th century structure is now being utilized by the coastguard.

Playas del Este

A popular spot among the locals, this is a go-to place for lazing at the beach. This chain of white sand beaches is about 20 to 30 minutes from Old Havana and stretches for about 24 kilometers.

Three Days in Havana: Day Two – Centro Habana

El Barrio Chino de la Habana

After a few hours of lounging at the beach, it’s time to stretch your legs. Find your way to Centro Habana and into Barrio Chino. Yes, Havana has a Chinatown, although the remaining Chinese here are few and continues to dwindle. Nonetheless, it’s still a pleasure to see a slice of China in Havana.

Hotel Inglaterra

Even if you’re not staying in this hotel, it still is a sight to see. Known as the oldest hotel in the city, its Neoclassical design continues to appeal to visitors, even if they are just stopping by for some pictures of the façade.

Paseo de Martí

Take a stroll (or drive) along Paseo de Martí. Formerly known as Prado, the street is lined with European-style structures, some in pastel colors. It would seem a trip to Cuba would be incomplete without visiting this famous street in Havana.


Many tourists are drawn to the sunset views on Malecón. A roadway, seawall and broad esplanade, Malecón stretches along 8 kilometers of Havana’s coastline. There are restaurants and night spots along Malecón, up to where it intersects with La Rampa.

Three Days in Havana: Day 3 – Cigars and Vintage Car Tours

Cigar Factory Tour

It seems a trip to Havana would not be complete without visiting a cigar shop or factory. There are several of these all over Havana, two of which are in Centro Habana: Romeo y Julieta and Partagás Factory.

Vintage Car Tour

Almost anywhere you go in Havana, there seems to be a local offering a vintage car tour. If you do not fancy heavy haggling, an option would be to engage the services of a vintage car tour agency, like Havana Vintage Car Tours.