Havana: Holidays

Capital of Cuba

Backpacking in Havana

A backpacking holiday in Havana is a great way to see the city on a budget. Remember that on entering Cuba you have to have a registered place of accommodation (essentially a hotel) to stay in for the first night, but from then on you can get around and stay in some of hostels and ‘Casa Particular’ available across the city. If you are taking a trip around Latin America then a backpacking holiday in Havana should be a priority. The city is not only a hive of cultural activity but also represents great value for money if you’re willing to seek out bargains. Rum is exceptionally cheap and there is plenty of nightlife to keep you entertained into the small hours. A backpacking holiday in Havana is a definite must for any enthusiastic traveller.


Beach in Havana

If you’re looking for sun and sand then a beach holiday in Havana is an ideal choice. With crystalline waters and perfect sand, the beaches around Havana are some of the finest in the Caribbean. The famed Playa de Este is a favorite choice for tourists, and offers both canoe and pedalo hire. There is also a bar directly on the beach, so you can sit back with a Pina Colada and relax in the sunshine. Most major beaches are patrolled by lifeguards, although it is always worth exercising caution. There are also many beaches situated further out of Havana for those who wish to escape the crowds, though not all are patrolled by lifeguards. A beach holiday in Havana provides everything that the sun-worshipper requires, and the mild climate of Cuba is pleasant any time of year and so ideal for beach holidays. Winter months are warm, but easier to handle as average temperatures are in mid 20s °C (high 70s °F). Summer gets warmer and may be more challenging for adventures, but will be fine if you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday by a sea or within proximity of a pool to cool down. Average temperatures in summer are in low 30s °C (high 80s °F).

Keep in mind that September and October are the worst months for hurricanes. Some years are fine and Cuba gets almost completely spared, but some years the island gets hit by a bad hurricane and it is advisable to avoid all unnecessary travel if there are hurricane warnings for the area.

Camping in Havana

Camping is very much a local’s holiday in Cuba, with Fidel Castro’s Popular Camping Program encouraging Cubans to take their holidays on the island’s camp sites. If you do wish to take a camping holiday in Havana, it is advised that you make arrangements well in advance, and ensure that you find a campsite that welcomes tourists. In addition, be prepared to camp up to 45 minutes out of the city centre. Ultimately, if you wish to see the city of Havana in all its glory, then a camping holiday is not ideal.

City Breaks

City Breaks in Havana

Havana is a perfect destination for a city break. The city offers everything the urban tourist requires, with stunning architecture, beautiful hotels, great restaurants and friendly locals. A Havana city break gives you the opportunity to enjoy the romance of the city whilst indulging in its history, art and culture. Many have compared Havana to Paris and Venice for its beauty, and yet it remains significantly cheaper than either. A stay in one of Havana’s most opulent hotels can be up to half the price of a comparably decadent establishment in Europe. The charm and friendliness of Havana’s locals will make you feel truly welcome, and it is perhaps this that makes a Havana city break perhaps the first choice amongst Latin American destinations.

Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts in Havana

Havana is a hotbed for Culture and the Arts. With a rich history and a strong artistic tradition, the city has everything to offer someone seeking a culture and arts holiday. Attractions include the superb Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of the Revolution, and the Museum of Fine Arts to name but three. Almost every public building in Havana appears to have some significant story behind its creation, and a rich history peppered with the spice of revolution. The city houses some of the finest works by Cuban artists and sculptors, and is particularly famous for its numerous marble statues. If you are seeking culture and arts holiday then Havana is a must.

Gay and Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian in Havana

In the days of the revolution, homosexuality was not only unacceptable in Havana, but is was actively persecuted. Homosexuality was seen as a product of decadent capitalism, and homosexuals in the 1960s were put into forced labour camps and subjected to forced ‘re-education’. Thankfully, things have been changing for the better ever since. In 1979 the regime ruled that private homosexuality was to be made legal, and throughout the 80s and early 90s, attitudes softened to such an extent that Havana now has its own gay scene. That said, Havana is still not a first choice destination for a Gay and Lesbian holiday, as locals and the police can often be wary if not resentful of open displays of homosexuality.


Honeymoon in Havana

Havana provides and idyllic setting for a romantic honeymoon. With balmy year-round temperatures, the sizzling mix of Latin-American culture and cuisine, not to mention the beautiful beaches, a honeymoon in Havana will not be quickly forgotten. Whether you want to stroll with your new partner on the beach, dine on traditional Cuban food, or stay in a palatial hotel frequented by the likes of Hemingway, a honeymoon in Havana caters for all tastes. Most of the top hotels in the city have honeymoon suites for newlyweds, and the affable nature of the locals, not to mention their enthusiasm for romance, will make you feel very much at home. A honeymoon in Havana will leave you with some dazzling memories.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Havana

Whilst nothing compared to the Halcyon days of the 50s, Havana still knows how to party. The city is festooned with bars, nightclubs and party spots where you can drink and dance away to the small hours. The rum is cheap, the music is typically Latin-American and the atmosphere is electrifying. As the saying goes: “If you haven’t danced the salsa under a Habana moon, you haven’t lived…” A party holiday in Havana will leave you exhausted but satisfied. There is perhaps no other city in Latin American that can lay claim to the ambience, the excitement and the passion of Havana at night. As a city where many a famous romance has been made, Havana is also a great destination for singles looking for love. A party or singles holiday in Havana won’t disappoint.

Golf Activity Holiday

Golf Activity Holiday in Havana

The first proper golf course in Cuba opened in 1998. Varadero remains the island’s main golf course, and has hosted several European PGA Tour challenge events. It is, however, some 75 miles from Havana itself. There is another golf course closer to the city, but it is not of comparable quality. A golf holiday in Havana is therefore not ideal, though it is possible if you want to see Havana but simply can’t part with your clubs!

Cycling Activity Holiday

Cycling Activity Holiday in Havana

A cycling holiday in Havana is possible, particularly if you want to get out of the city and sample some of the surrounding area. Bicycles can be hired reasonably cheaply, and you can see a huge amount of the city on a bike. Some operators also run bicycle tours of varying degrees, from a 1 week trip around Havana and the north of the island to a 3 week odyssey between cities. The main attraction of a cycling holiday in Havana is the stunning scenery, which is perhaps best enjoyed with the wind rushing through your hair and the sound of whirring spokes. A cycling holiday in Havana will allow you to get the best out of the city and its surroundings, but will also test your fitness.

Shopping Holiday

Shopping Holiday in Havana

Shopping in Havana is a real treat for those who like their luxuries. Fine art, finer rum, and the finest cigars in the world are on the agenda here. As the area is redeveloped, Old Havana is fast becoming a centre for shopping. The area is rapidly developing a reputation for fine chocolates, perfumes and fabrics, all at reasonable prices. Credit cards from non-US banks are accepted, but it is still advisable to pay in cash wherever possible. The Convertible Peso is accepted at most stores and stalls. Shopping Malls also exist in Havana, and as they city continues to evolve, more are springing up. You won’t find many international brands around, but there is still some great shopping to be done across the city. Shopping in Havana won’t disappoint, particularly if you like cheap rum…

Well-being and Spa

Well-being and Spa in Havana

With the increasing importance of tourism to Cuba’s economy, spa resorts have been developing all over the island. There are several within an hours drive of Havana, and they offer a variety of treatments, from facials and pedicures to massages. A spa and well being holiday will allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of Havana by day whilst being able to relax in peaceful tranquility by night. Many of the spa resorts are completely inclusive, with their own entertainment, nightclubs and bars, and many offer special deals including trips to the city and tickets to tourist attractions. A well being or spa holiday in Havana will provide the weary traveler with some welcome rest and relaxation in the most beautiful of Caribbean settings.


Winter Sun

Winter Sun in Havana

Havana is an absolutely ideal destination for a winter sun holiday. The average temperature in Cuba does not drop below 21 degrees, year-round, and the cooling winds mean that it never gets too hot, even in high summer. The beautiful beaches will all be open, and the balmy evening temperatures mean you can party deep into the night. If you’re seeking a winter sun holiday in Havana then you can be guaranteed sunshine in practically any winter month you choose, though December is traditionally the best time. This is, however, reflected by a noticeable price hike. A winter sun holiday in Havana will leave you feeling rested and refreshed, just be sure to book your accommodation in advance if you are choosing to visit during peak months.