Every adventurous traveler should visit Cuba at least once in their lifetime. And when they do, they need a Cuba bucket list! Trust me, this vibrant destination has something for absolutely everyone. From hanging out in Havana, cruising the Malecon to exploring the town of Trinidad and smoking cigars with locals. There are so many unique things to do in Cuba that we’ve decided to narrow it down to what we consider to be the top 10 things you must do!
Top 10 super cool things to do on a trip to Cuba
Charming Trinidad is a very photogenic town in central Cuba. A perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks appear to have stopped in the 1850’s. Known for its colonial old town, cobblestone streets and a neo-baroque main square called Plaza Mayor. The city of Trinidad is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad is an absolute must see when in the country.
Teatro Nacional de Cuba
The Teatro Nacional de Cuba is a theatre building and company in Havana, Cuba, on Plaza de la Revolución. One of the twin pillars of Havana’s cultural life, the Teatro Nacional de Cuba on Plaza de la Revolución is the modern rival to the Gran Teatro in Centro Habana. If you are not visiting Havana during its ballet festival, you should still not leave Cuba without seeing a dance show. Some of the best performances in Havana take place at the National Theatre, but if you walk down the Linea Avenue, you will have plenty of other theatre options.
Cruise the Malecon of Havana
The Malecón is a wide esplanade that stretches along the coast of Havana for 8 km. Cruise along the sea front and discover the true spirit of Havana at this quintessentially Cuban favorite meeting spot of locals. Breathe in the salty sea air and enjoy the romantic atmosphere. This is the place to be in Cuba!
Live Cuban Music
Cubans believe that Cuba has played a significant role in the democratization of music and music is ingrained in the heart and soul of the country. Grammy award winning musicians can be found playing sax at many of the famous clubs and bars. Not only jazz; Danzon, Trova and many other types of music can be enjoyed here too.
Visit the Castillo El Morro
El Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro is also referred to as “El Morro”, and is a famous Havana landmark. Morro Castle, named after the three biblical Magi, is a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay in Havana, Cuba. It was erected between 1589 and 1630 to protect the entrance to Havana harbor from pirates and foreign invaders and it well worth a visit.
Conveniently located in the heart of the old town, this is a great place to enjoy unique views of the city through a smart invention called the Camera Obscura. The optical device gives a 360° view of the old town and it is fascinating to watch the real time activities unfold throughout the city. The guided tour which is included with the very reasonably priced admission fee (as is the air con that you will be very grateful fro) is interesting and informative too.
Chill at Cayo Coco
Cayo Coco is a tropical island just north of mainland Cuba, with some of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches. The fourth largest island of the Cuban archipelago Cayo Coco is known for its beaches and coral reefs and its northern coast is dotted with all-inclusive resorts. Check out the lagoons and marshes that are home to birds such as the white ibis as well as a native colony of pink flamingos that’s ranked among the largest in the Americas.
Visit the Dead in Havana
El Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón, also called La Necrópolis de Cristóbal Colón is one of the largest and grandest cemeteries in the world. It was founded in 1876 in the Vedado neighbourhood of Havana, Cuba to replace the Espada Cemetery in the Barrio de San Lázaro. The cemetery was named after Christopher Columbus and designed by a Madrid-educated Galician architect. Grab a map which shows you the spots where well-known artists, politicians and famous people are buried.
Water Sports in Trinidad
Trinidad is an exciting place to visit with its colonial architecture, preserved palaces and vibrant atmosphere. But it’s white-sand beaches are pretty special too and you can find the very best at Casilda Bay with clear waters that are perfect for diving and snorkeling. Take a day off from sight seeing and sip some Mojitos on the beach once you’ve finished your deep sea exploration.
University of Havana
Founded in 1728, the University of Havana is the largest, oldest, and leading academic institution in Cuba with 60,000 students. In 1950 the university was the hub of anti-government demonstrations. Notable alumni include Fidel Castro and Nancy Morejon.
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There is so much more to see and experience in Cuba. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and top things to do in Cuba.
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