Cuba is an incredible place, with a seemingly endless list of places to visit and things to do, whether you’re interested in museums, quaint towns and villages, stunning landscapes, time-honored train rides, or just soaking up the island’s rich history. Now we’ll bring some examples of the most exciting places of interest to help you draw up your itinerary.
Habana Vieja or Old Havana is a well-preserved city in Cuba. Strolling around the cobbled streets and gazing up at the grand Baroque and Neoclassical buildings, it's easy to imagine what life in Cuba was like 200 years ago. Extensive renovations are now breathing new life into the historic buildings. Major attractions here include the Plaza de la Cathedral-home to the Cuban Baroque Cathedral de San Cristobal; the legendary restaurant and Hemingway hangout-Bodeguita del Medio; and the military fortress-Castillo de la Real Fuerza.
Also in the Old Town is one of Havana's most vibrant gathering spots. The main building of note here is the 18th-century Casa Del Conde Jaruco, with beautiful stained glass windows on the first floor. Nearby, the observation deck offers fantastic views from its 35-meter tower. Allow at least a day to explore the Old Town and more if time permits.
Due to its important place in Havana's history, Revolutionary Square or the Plaza de la Revolucion deserves at least a brief stop if only to absorb the events that transpired here. Castro delivered speeches in this vast square, attracting more than a million people at times. And in 1998, during a visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass here.
In the center of the square stands a 109-meter gray tower, a memorial to the Cuban national hero, Jose Marti, while a large, white marble statue of him lies at its base. Below the statue is the entrance to the interior of the Jose Marti Memorial, which contains a museum. Ascend the tower for incredible views over Havana.
Exploring the town of Trinidad is like stepping back in time. Much of the architecture of this city dates from the 17th to the 19th centuries, when Trinidad prospered from both the sugar and slave trades.
Today, Trinidad is one of the best cities in Cuba to visit, apart from Havana. You can soak up its lively ambiance in the cobblestone Plaza Mayor, the city's central square. Above the square stands the Neoclassical Church of the Holy Trinity. Other highlights are the Church and Monastery of Saint Francis, with its distinctive bell tower; the Museum of Colonial Architecture, the art gallery at the Casa de Aldeman Ortiz; and the Palace Brunet, a grand home, built in 1812 and still featuring original frescoes and marble floors.
A cradle of Cuban culture, Camaguey-the “City of Tinajones”-lies in the heart of cattle country and was laid out with irregular streets designed as a convoluted maze to prevent from pirates. The historic centre is full of well-preserved colonial plazas and cobbled streets featuring antique churches and convents, and by colourful 17th- and 18th-century domestic buildings featuring red-tiled roofs, lathe-turned wooden window grills, and spacious interior courtyards adorned with the city’s trademark oversized jars called "tinajones".
Castle Del Morro
Castle del Morro is one of the best-preserved Spanish fortresses of the 17th century. It stands at the entrance to the Bay of Santiago, about 10 kilometers southwest of Santiago de Cuba, the country's second largest city. Perched high atop a cliff, the structure was designed in 1587 but took decades to build and was finally completed at the end of the 17th century. It was originally intended to protect against pirate attacks, but also served as a prison in the late 1700s before being once again converted into a fortress. Today, you can explore the many different levels of the fortress, learn about pirates and the fortress history in the small museum, and enjoy impressive views over the bay.
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