Statue of Manuel de Céspedes in Plaza de Armas.

Sights in and Around Havana’s Plaza de Armas

The most important plaza in Habana Vieja, as well as the oldest, handsome Arms Square was laid out in 1519 and first named Plaza de Iglesia. Learn about the plaza’s evolution to Plaza de Armas, along with sights and museums in and around the square.

A street in Habana Vieja, Havana, Cuba, leads to the Capitol building, which is undergoing a facelift.

Restoring Old Havana

Old Havana has been called the “finest urban ensemble in the Americas” and is a UNESCO World Heritage. Learn about the preservation and restoration efforts underway for the more than 900 Habana Vieja structures of historical importance.

One of Havana's public taxis stopping in front of a row of colorful buildings on the Paseo de Martí.

Sights Along Havana’s Paseo de Martí

Havana’s Paseo de Martí, colloquially known as the Prado, is a kilometer-long tree-lined boulevard full of interesting history, events, and unique architectural sights. Get to know the area by following this walk-along tour.


Havana Neighborhood Highlights

Each neighborhood in Havana has its own unique flavor, especially when it comes to their sights and histories. To make your explorations easier, here’s a quick roundup of the highlights of each.

Fábrica El Laguito cigar factory in Havana, Cuba.

Touring Havana’s Cigar Factories

You’ll forever remember the pungent aroma of a Havana cigar factory, a visit to which is de rigueur. The factories, housed in colonial buildings, remain much as they were in the mid-19th century. Here are the factories currently open to tours.

A Guided Walk Along Calle Obispo in Havana

Pedestrians-only Calle Obispo links Plaza de Armas with Parque Central and is Habana Vieja’s busiest shopping street. Beginning in Plaza Albear, this walking tour takes you to all the architectural sights and museums along the way to Plaza de Armas.

The Fuente de Neptuno statue watches over Havana's harbor entrance.

Sights at Havana’s Harbor Channel

From a 1780 nobleman’s home built in Moorish-style to the great Fuente de Neptuno (Neptune Fountain) erected in 1838 to a massive seminary built in 1721 now open to the public, fans of history, art, and architecture won’t want to miss the sights at Havana’s Harbor Channel.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza in old Havana, Cuba.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza in Havana

Built in medieval fashion, Castillo de la Real Fuerza is the oldest of the four forts that guarded the New World’s most precious harbor. Strategically useless in its placement, the governors of Cuba nonetheless lived here until 1762. Plan a visit to tour its halls, learn about its history and residents of note, and browse its naval museum.

Plaza de la Catedral, Habana Vieja. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Havana’s Habana Vieja District

Habana Vieja is a living museum, with its major sites of interest centered on Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, and Plaza Vieja, each a town square with their own unique flavor. Gloriously restored, these sites sit in stark contrast to the much-neglected residential areas.