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Things to do in Cuba

Now that Cuba and the United States are fixing their long-time political brouhaha, it won’t be long that American visitors will be flooding to the Caribbean’s largest nation soon. And when hordes of them are going there, you know what that means to the people of Cuba, to the country and  to the tourism industry. Drastic change will happen and Cuba won’t ever be the same again.

This year, in April, I went backpacking for 16 days there—and it was a unique backpacking adventure. For 16 days, I wasn’t connected to the technology—and boy, what difference it made in my perception of travel. Without gadgets, I was able to maximize my time and took my sightseeing plans in my own pace without thinking of unread emails or facebook statuses or instagram posts. Social media was the least of my worry.

Currently, Cuba’s Tourism Office promotes the country with a catchy slogan “Authentic Cuba.” I hope that Cuba will, indeed, remain authentic.




Here’s my own list of things to do in Cuba. Or list of things I did in Cuba.

Related Articles: 
35 Things to do in Havana

Scams and annoyances in Cuba
Gays in Havana


Going to Cuba? BOOK HERE.

1. Stay in a casa. 
Staying in a casa means staying in a local’s house. It’s like a homestay. They’ll also cook local food for you if you want for a minimal price. Some casas might be expensive for backpackers, but there are few hostels in Havana via HostelsClub below $10. I’d recommend Casa Aleido in Havana for its Central location and accessibility. For other casas around Cuba, click here

Things to do in Cuba: Stay in a casa.

Things to do in Cuba: Stay in a casa. /  Casa Aleido in Havana.

2. Ride a classic car like this. 
This is the most classic thing to do in Havana and around Cuba. 

Things to do in Cuba: Ride a classic car.

Things to do in Cuba: Ride a classic car.

Or like this. 
Click here for more models of the classic cars in the streets in Cuba. 

Things to do in Cuba: Ride a classic car.

Things to do in Cuba: Ride a classic car.

3. Visit the Museo de la Revolucion. 
If there’s one museum you should visit, this should be it. Museums in Cuba are boring, really. Museo de la Revolucion is kind of interesting because of its historical significance. 

Things to do in Cuba: Visit the Museo de la Revolucion in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit the Museo de la Revolucion in Havana.

4. Visit the National Fine Art Museum.
They have very impressive collection of European / ancient civilization pieces.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana.



5. Stare at Che’s Mural at Plaza de la Revolucion. 
You can’t leave Havana or Cuba without taking a pose here. 😀 

Things to do in Cuba: Stare at Che's Mural at Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Stare at Che’s Mural at Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana. / The gay and the gay-rilla. 😀

Going to Cuba? BOOK HERE.

6. Explore the streets of Havana. 
The houses might be of decaying structures but it’s interesting to observe the daily life of people.

Things to do in Cuba: Explore the streets of Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Explore the streets of Havana.



7. Watch the sunset in Malecon.
In Havana, it’s the local’s habit to sit in Malecon and watch the sunset. It’s a good place for people-watching.

Things to do in Cuba: Watch the sunset at Malecon.

Things to do in Cuba: Watch the sunset at Malecon

8. Admire at the colonial architecture.
Havana’s street is filled with colonial buildings that are crumbling but are sill used as houses. The elegance and beauty of these buildings are undeniable. 

Things to do in Cuba: Admire the colonial and collapsing buildings in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Admire the colonial and collapsing buildings in Havana.

And decaying buildings.

Things to do in Cuba: Gawk at the art deco buildings.

Things to do in Cuba: Gawk at the art deco buildings.

9. Visit Cienfuegos for a day. 
For French-inspired architecture. The center of the city is declared as UNESCO Wold Heritage Site due to its French colonial architecture. 

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Cienfuegos for a day. / Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Cienfuegos for a day. / Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos.

10. Join a street dancing.
Well, if you’re lucky there’s a festival going on, show them how it’s done! 😀

Things to do in Cuba: Join a street dancing.

Things to do in Cuba: Join a street dancing.

11. Try taking a taxi like this.
This is a cheaper alternative to classic cars. 😉 

Things to do in Cuba: Try taking a taxi like this.

Things to do in Cuba: Try taking a taxi like this.

12. Try the local food.
Click here to drool all the glorious food I ate in Cuba.

Things to do in Cuba: Try the local food.

Things to do in Cuba: Try the local food.

Or the street food. 

Things to do in Cuba: Try the street food.

Things to do in Cuba: Try the street food.

13. Sit in a park and observe local life. 
Parque Central in Havana is a good park to observe local life of both the young and the old. 

Things to do in Cuba: Sit in Parque Central in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Sit in Parque Central in Havana. / The Capitol in Havana is based on the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Or join them if you speak the language. 

Parque Vidal in Santa Clara.

Parque Vidal in Santa Clara.


Going to Cuba? BOOK HERE.

14. Read the propaganda. 
Anywhere in the country, you can see propaganda of the revolution. Read them even if you don’t understand Spanish. 😀 

Things to do in Cuba: Read the propaganda.

Things to do in Cuba: Read the propaganda.

15. Gawk at the 500-year old Church with an altar made of gold. 
In Remedios, this Church altar is unbelievably shining gold. It’s so surreal.  

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Remedios.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Remedios.

16. Get a suntan at Varadero Beach. 

Things to do in Cuba: get a suntan at Varadero Beach.

Things to do in Cuba: get a suntan at Varadero Beach.

Or at Playa Ancon.  

Things to in Cuba: Get a suntan.

Things to in Cuba: Get a suntan.

17. Rent a bike or a motorcycle. 
Classic cars are expensive to rent. Motorcycles are cheaper alternative to explore the countryside. 

Things to do in Cuba: Rent a bike or a motorcycle.

Things to do in Cuba: Rent a bike or a motorcycle.

18. Jam with the local street musicians. 
They’re everywhere in the country. They do this for living, so don’t be cheapskate. 

Things to do in Cuba: Jam with the local musicians.

Things to do in Cuba: Jam with the local musicians.

Or inside a Casa de la Trova. 
It seems like every city has its own Casa de la Trova where local musicians perform son, Cuba’s unique blend of music. 

Casa de la Trova in Santiago de Cuba.

Casa de la Trova in Santiago de Cuba.

19. Climb this tower.
Once upon a time, Cuba was a large exporter of sugar in the world. If you climb this tower at Valle de los Ingenous in Trinidad, you will be able to see the vastness of the sugar plantation in the past era. Nowadays, there’s none. 🙁

Things to do in Cuba: Climb a tower. / Valle de los Ingenios in Trinidad.

Things to do in Cuba: Climb a tower. / Valle de los Ingenios in Trinidad.

20. Enter a Santeria Temple.
Only if you’re curious about this religion of African origin. 

Things to in Cuba: Learn about Santeria.

Things to in Cuba: Learn about Santeria.

21. Visit Che in Santa Clara. 
It’s here where you can find everything in memoriam of Che. Santa Clara is a witness to the start of the revolution and it is here where Che Guevarra is immortalized in statues and murals. He’s buried here, too. 

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Che in Santa Clara.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit Che in Santa Clara.

22. Get to know Hemingway’s life in Cuba.
Trace the bars where Hemingway used to go and invented his own daiquiri drink. Visit his house in Finca La Vigia and other places that inspired him to write his “The Old Man and The Sea,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls“, etc… 

Things to do in Cuba: Get to know the life of Hemingway.

Things to do in Cuba: Get to know the life of Hemingway.

23. Leave gifts at the Basilica in El Cobre. 
The Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Cobre houses the miraculous Lady of Charity. It’s been believed that the Castro Brothers (Fidel and Raul) live a long life because their mother left a gift here asking the Lady to protect her sons during the revolution. It is also believed that the Nobel gold medallion which Hemingway received is kept here by the Catholic Church. 

Things to do in Cuba: Visit El Cobre in Santiago de Cuba.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit El Cobre in Santiago de Cuba.

24. Explore Trinidad on foot. 
If there’s one city outside of Havana that I’d recommend, this should be Trinidad. It’s like you’re time traveling here

Things to do in Trinidad Cuba

Things to do in Cuba: Explore Trinidad on foot.

Trinidad’s skyline looks like this. 

Things to do in Cuba: Explore Trinidad on foot.

Things to do in Cuba: Explore Trinidad on foot.

25. Go inside Hotel Nacional. 
And sit on a cafe where famous actors, politicians, musicians had been. 

Things to do in Cuba: Go inside Hotel Nacional in Havana.

Things to do in Cuba: Go inside Hotel Nacional in Havana.

26. Dance in an open-air club. 
Club Mejunje is the country’s most famous open-air club. It’s also the venue of Cuba’s most progressive LGBT cabaret shows. Santa Clara is said to be Cuba’s party capital. And I don’t doubt that. 

Things to do in Cuba: Go dancing at Club Mejunje.

Things to do in Cuba: Go dancing at Club Mejunje.

27. Visit a church. 
Yeah, I know. Churches are boring. But, this is for those who are Christians. 😀 

Things to do in Cuba: Visit a church.

Things to do in Cuba: Visit a church in Camaguey.


Going to Cuba? BOOK HERE.

28. Get lost in the labyrinth in Camaguey.
Camaguey is Cuba’s Catholic soul. There are so many churches around the city. And their street is like a labyrinth, a maze, a puzzle you have to carefully thread. 

Things to do in Cuba: Get lost in the labyrinth in Camaguey.

Things to do in Cuba: Get lost in the labyrinth in Camaguey.

29. Visit this fortress in Santiago de Cuba
This fortress is claimed to be the most complete example of Spanish-American military architecture. This was to built to keep the pirates at bay.  

Things to do in Cuba: Relive the war at Castillo de San Pedro de la oca del Morro in Santiago de Cuba.

Things to do in Cuba: Relive the war at Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro in Santiago de Cuba.

30. Sweat out at a disco inside a cave. 
Yes, it’s a disco club inside a natural cave in Trinidad. Don’t believe it? Click here for proof.

Things to do in Cuba: Sweat out at Disco Ayala.

Things to do in Cuba: Sweat out at Disco Ayala.

There are still many places I want to share here but I cut this list down to 30 things to do in Cuba. It is my hope that with the new renewed relationship between Cuba and the US, the Cuban will people will benefit from it. It’s them who suffered too much for years and they deserve a better life.

Lonely Planet Cuba (Travel Guide)
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