Havana is Cuba’s largest city and with U.S. restrictions on travel loosening up, it’s becoming more popular each day. Until 2016, Americans were largely restricted from visiting Cuba, and a lack of American imported products meant Cuba remained somewhat frozen in time. Most notably, seeing and renting vintage vehicles was a popular activity in Havana. While U.S. laws have been fluctuating recently, citizens of other countries have been enjoying travel to Cuba for years.
Havana is most likely where you will enter and leave the country, and you will want to spend a few days there before exploring the rest of the country. In addition to a growing number of hotels available, a popular way to stay in Cuba is to stay in a “casa particular” or a private home. These are increasingly available on sites like Airbnb, so you’re not out of luck if you don’t know anyone in Cuba! If you’re planning a visit to Cuba’s capital, we’ve got some tips on where to stay in Havana.
We will cover off all types of Havana accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Havana hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Havana, the best Havana hotels, best places in Havana to visit, the best places to stay in Havana, hotels near Havana attractions, Havana neighborhood guide and many more.
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Habana Vieja (Old Havana) – Where to stay in Havana for tourists
Habana Vieja, or Old Havana, is the historic heart of the city. The central location makes this a great place to stay in Havana, however bars and restaurants close down earlier than other areas of the city, so Cuban tourists looking for nightlife may want to stay elsewhere. Whether or not you stay in Habana Vieja, you will likely spend a lot of time here, as many of the most interesting attractions in Havana are found in this neighborhood. Habana Vieja contains four main plazas, or squares, surrounded by colonial streets, historic churches, shops, restaurants and museums. Definitely plan at least one evening of eating, drinking and people watching in Plaza Vieja.
Best Places to Stay in Habana Vieja
Vedado – Where to stay in Havana for nightlife
Vedado is a more upscale neighborhood of Havana, with many guesthouses and hotels to choose from. If you are into culture and/or nightlife, Vedado is a great choice for your trip to Havana. Vedado was once full of stately mansions, many of which have been transformed into chic restaurants, nightclubs, and even hotels. There’s also an interesting gangster history in Vedado, as several U.S. mobsters ran casinos here in the 1950’s, when Cuba was a popular escape for Hollywood’s elite. If you just need a quiet place to retreat to after a day of touring Havana’s sights, you’ll love the leafy tree-lined streets of Vedado.
Best Places to Stay in Vedado
Miramar – Where to stay in Havana with family
For a quieter, more residential experience than the previous three neighborhoods, consider Miramar. Connected to Havana by the Malecon, Miramar has a lovely seafront. As tourism to Cuba increases, Miramar is growing as an alternative to Vedado, with upscale clubs and restaurants expanding out of the main downtown area. Miramar is also home to some of the modern business development, with office towers and upscale hotels and resorts being built in the area. Not coincidentally, Miramar is also a neighborhood where you will find most expat populations, and the different cultures that come along with that.