During our recent trip to Cuba, we had the chance to explore the amazing city of Havana. While I love traveling slow and having the time to truly get to experience what it is like to live in a city, sometimes time schedules just don’t allow for a long trip. That’s why today I’m sharing my 48 hour Havana itinerary to help you explore the very best of the Cuban city in only two days.
While I have previously traveled to Cuba, I had never visited its famous capital city. Havana is a city that has always intrigued me, so during our recent trip to Cuba, I decided to spend a few days exploring this Caribbean gem. Between the vintage cars and wonderful kind people, Cuba is an amazing country. I love pretty architecture and Havana is filled with brightly coloured buildings that echo the European influences of its colonial past. A trip here is certainly worth adding to your travel bucket list. Are you ready to plan your tip yet? Here is how to spend two days in the Cuban Capital city Havana.
48 Hour Havana Itinerary: Day One
First things first, get settled in your hotel or Casa Particular. We stayed at this cozy Casa Particular in central Havana and had a great experience (ps. you can use this link to get $38 off your stay!)
Start your day by heading to the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, a stone fortress from the 1590’s. Walk southbound along the Paseo de Marti where there is a lovely shaded walkway with stone benches lined up along the median. Admire the historic Cuban architecture and continue southbound until reaching the Gran Teatro de La Habana (the Great Theatre of Havana). Spend $5 CUC for a tour inside the theatre or continue walking towards the steps of El Capitolo, the famous Cuban capital building. Continue past El Capitolo and on your left hand side you will see the iconic rainbow buildings that Havana is Instagram famous for.
If you are starting to get hungry, begin walking towards old Havana and stop by Creperie Oasis Nelva for a quick brunch. Once fed, head back to El Capitolo to secure a vintage convertible tour of Old Havana. It is not necessary to pre-book a vehicle online as there are plenty of cars lined up with eager drivers ready to take you for a tour. Enjoy getting familiar with the streets of Havana while feeling the wind in your hair.
After your tour, head back to your hotel to freshen up or take a mid-day siesta. For dinner, make your way to Paladar La Guardia. The historic restaurant is one of the most famous in Havana and has a delicious contemporary menu. I can personally vouch for the suckling pig and raviolis queso being incredible. Just make sure to make your reservations well in advance to secure your table (you can do so on their website here).
Gran Teatro de La Habana – 458 Paseo de Martí, La Habana, Cuba
El Capitolo – 513 Paseo de Martí, La Habana, Cuba
Creperie Oasis Nelva – Muralla, La Habana, Cuba
La Guarida – 418 Concordia, La Habana, Cuba
48 Hour Havana Itinerary: Day Two
Plan to wake up early and watch the sun rise over the ocean from the Malecon. Eat breakfast at your casa particular or head to the local market to pick up some fresh fruit. Next, hail a taxi and take the tunnel beneath the Canal de Entrada. Drive to Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro and check out the view of Old Havana from across the canal. Next, have your driver take Arret de Los Cocos eastbound so you can see the Museo Historico Militar exhibit that lines the road. Park next to El Cristo de La Habana and walk up to the towering statue made of white Carrara marble.
Take a drive along the Malecon (ideally in a vintage convertible!) and head to Hotel Nacional. Snap a photo in front of the Cuba sign then head to La Barraca for a traditional Cuban lunch. Try a plate of Cuba’s national dish Ropa Vieja, a shredded beef dish simmered in rich spicy sauce. Spend some time walking around the beautiful grounds and sip a mojito on the patio overlooking the ocean.
After lunch it’s time to explore deeper into Havana. Catch a cab, or if you are brave hop into a coco taxi, a little pac-man shaped pod attached to a scooter. Drive towards Plaza de la Revolución to view the famous Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos wall monuments. For a unique experience walk to the Necrópolis de Cristóbal Colón. This cemetery is the largest in America and has been declared a national monument due to its vast collection of marble statues and elaborate tombs. Continue exploring or head back to your hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner.
For your last evening in Havana, find your way to O’Reilly 304 for a casual dinner. Sip mojitos and order a plate of fish tacos amongst locals at this lively eatery. Next, make your way to the El Tropicana for a tourist favourite cabaret. Enjoy the show, then dance under the stars while listening to Cuban music.
Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro
El Cristo de La Habana
Hotel Nacional – Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza La Habana, Cuba
Plaza de la Revolución – Avenida Paseo, La Habana, Cuba
Necrópolis de Cristóbal Colón
O’Reilly 304 – O’Reilly, La Habana, Cuba
El Tropicana – 72 A, La Habana, Cuba