How to spend one day in Havana

The best way to see everything that Havana has to offer is to rent an apartment in Havana and spend a week — maybe even two! — exploring the local sights. However, with a number of major cruise lines now including Cuba on their itineraries, many travellers are finding that they have just a few hours to discover what Havana is all about, so what is the best way to spend just one day in the city?


Cruise ships dock at the Sierra Maestra Terminal, which is located very close to Old Havana (Havana Vieja). Traditional taxis and the famous Cocotaxis are available at the port, but many of the city’s main attractions are within easy walking distance. Walking is also a great way to scope out accommodations in Havana so you have a good idea of where you may want to stay when you take a longer holiday in Cuba in the future!

Things to Do

The best things to do in Havana will depend upon your own personal interests. For example, you may want to take in the Old Plaza (Plaza Vieja) and the Malecón which are lovely, airy places to explore (and they’re free, too!), or you may wish to visit a local cigar factory or learn how to make the perfect mojito. You might wish to learn more about Cuba in the city’s museums, or spend the day at the zoo. There have even been some movies that were filmed in Cuba, so fans of the big screen may wish to visit some of these famous locations.


Although you could head back onboard for a lunchtime buffet, why not stick around to sample some authentic Cuban cuisine? Meat and rice dishes are hugely popular in Havana, but there is one Cuban staple that has become famous all over the world: the Cubano. A sandwich made with meats, cheese, and pickles, this Cuban sandwich is a must-try, even if you only have a few hours to enjoy the city.

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Although one day is certainly better than nothing, it’s impossible to see everything that makes Havana great in such a short space of time. Next time, consider a Havana holiday rental and stay a little longer!

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