Where to Stay in Havana

Havana, Cuba is a beautiful and truly special city in the world.  Wherever you stay in the city, you will find beautiful spots, local treasures and vibrant Cuban culture.  Each neighborhood offers the visitor something different and unique.  Read through the below descriptions of each section to learn more about the city and have a better idea of where you’d like to stay in Havana:

Map of the city Havana

Old Havana (Havana Vieja)

Why Stay Here?

When most travelers think of Havana, they think of Habana Vieja, “Old Havana” – the oldest, most historic neighborhood of the city.  In this neighborhood, one can find countless museums, colonial-styled churches and cobblestone streets, art bazaars, and lots of street music and performances. If you choose to stay here, the biggest positive is the location – Old Havana is, simply put, at the center of everything.  During the daytime, there are always things happening in Old Havana, and it has a spirit and energy that is unmatched. If you are someone who likes to be in the center of everything, Old Havana is the place for you to stay.

What’s the Catch?

Despite everything it has to offer, there are a few good reasons not to stay in Old Havana.  Because of all of its attractions, it is by far the most touristy neighborhood of Cuba. While beautiful, there is not a lot of “green” – trees, parks, etc. – like there is in Vedado or Miramar, for example. It is very crowded and noisy during the day, and, while quieter in the evening, it may still be too loud for some visitors. When it is perfect for 1-2 day stay, after day 3 you may have enough of Havana Vieja.

Accommodation

Most of the available casa particulares available in Old Havana are smaller, cramped apartments in colonial houses, possibly with a small balcony or rooftop access. Since windows in Havana do not have glass it may be hard to sleep at night. Because it is such a popular neighborhood, these casas are pricier and not necessarily as nice as those in other parts of the city. This is a great place to stay if you are only visiting Havana for a few days (1-3). Price ranges between 50 and 70 CUC per night.

Places to see within walking distance

Malecon, Museum of the Revolution, Calle Obispo, Museo de Bellas Artes

Capitolio, Countless smaller museums, Colonial-style churches and squares

Havana Vieja top restaurants and cafes

Dona Eutimia (best ropa vieja in Cuba), Esto no es un cafe, Del Frente, Helado d’Oro (ice cream)

Central Havana (Havana Centro)

Why Stay Here?

If you’re looking to experience a more authentic Cuban neighborhood and want to get a feel of what Cuban daily life is like, we recommend you stay in Central Havana. In between Old Havana and Vedado, Central Havana is also well located in the center of the city with the possibility to walk to other neighborhoods. It is constantly teeming with life and energy. Centro neighborhood is home to Havana’s two iconic restaurants: San Cristobal (where Obama, Beyonce and Jay Z dined) -read our interview with the owner here – and La Guarida (from the movie “Fresa y Chocolate”). If you’re more adventurous, curious about “authentic” Cuban life and don’t care as much about the condition of the streets and buildings around, Central Havana might be the place for you.

What’s the Catch?

Staying here is not for the faint of heart. It can be crowded, messy and loud, and there are also fewer tourist attractions here than in other neighborhoods of the city.

Accommodation

Most of the available lodgings in Central Havana are neo-colonial apartments. If you can, we recommend that you stay in the apartment above the ground level, so that you have a nice view overlooking the busy, city life below. The average price is significantly less expensive than Old Havana and Vedado, between 25 and 40 CUC.

Places to see within walking distance

La Guarida, Callejón de Hamel, University of Havana, Teatro de America, Malecon

Havana Centro top restaurants and cafes

Vedado

Why Stay Here?

Ask any Cuban where they would like to live in Havana, and they will likely answer “Vedado”. Vedado is a charming residential neighborhood with beautiful homes and a number of sites to check out. If you are looking for a more relaxed environment and want to stay in a city neighborhood that is accessible but not directly located in the bustling downtown, Vedado is the place for you. In the part of Vedado closer to Miramar, there are also several clubs and nightlife spots. From Vedado, you can take a long walk to Havana Vieja (about 45 min-1h) or take a 10-15 minutes taxi ride (10 CUC).

What’s the Catch?

There are few reasons not to stay in Vedado unless the description of a different part of Havana catches your interest more. One reason you might opt out of staying here is if you would prefer being able to walk to the popular sites in Old Havana, instead of having to take a taxi.

Accommodation

Most of the casa particulares in Vedado are rooms in beautiful villas, or modern or art deco apartments.  There are more green parks, trees, etc. in Vedado than in Old Havana or Central Havana.  The average price is between 35 and 100 CUC.

Places to see withing walking distance

Plaza de la Revolución, Fábrica del Arte Cubano FAC, Club 1830, University of Havana, Hotel Nacional, Coppelia, Museo de Artes Decorativas, Malecon.

Vedado’s top restaurants and cafes

Miramar

Why Stay Here?

While still a city neighborhood, Miramar is more suburban than the others here. It is tranquil, beautiful, with big villas, lots of trees, and many foreign embassies. While relaxed during the day, Miramar is definitely not boring at night. It is home to Casa de la Musica –  a top Cuban music and salsa venue, and it is also close to Vedado’s Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC). Miramar houses one of the best restaurants in Havana.

What’s the Catch?

While it is still easy to travel to the other neighborhoods, the commute from Miramar is the longest because it is the most remote. Taxi to Havana Vieja will take about 20 min and cost (15-20 CUC). There are also fewer tourist attractions in this part of the city.

Accommodation

Most casa particulares in Miramar are rooms in beautiful and huge villas. It is an ideal location if you are planning to rent a car in Havana as many homes have parking.

Places to See within walking distance

Memorial de la Denuncia, Embassies, Avenida 5,  Havana Forrest, Casa de La Musica

Miramar top restaurants and cafes

Conclusion

Each Havana neighborhood is special in its own way – there isn’t necessarily a “best” one. Instead, each offers visitors something different and unique, and, regardless of where you stay, you’ll still be able to travel to the other neighborhoods easily by taxi, bus or sometimes just by walking.

Need help in finding and booking your perfect casa particular? Contact us:

info@colibriboston.wpengine.com

2 Responses

  1. This is the best and helpful blog post regarding Cuba I’ve ever seen! I am planning a trip to Cuba next year, and for sure I am going to check your services 🙂

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Attention!

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