Havana is an amazing -- at times, overwhelming -- city, overflowing with history, art, architecture, culture, nightlife, and more. Three days will allow you to visit its most important attractions, and maybe even discover some of its lesser-known charms.
Day 1: Start in the Old City
Start your day in La Habana Vieja. Visit the Plaza de la Catedral, the Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, and Plaza de San Francisco. Be sure to tour the Museo de la Ciudad, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and any other attractions that catch your attention. Have lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio. Spend the afternoon exploring the area around Parque Central, which includes El Capitolio, the Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes, and the Museo de la Revolución. Make a reservation in advance for the last tour of the Partagás cigar factory. You will not have time to visit four attractions in one afternoon, so prioritize them beforehand.
As the day cools down, take a stroll on the Malecón. If you've got the energy, you should be able to make the 20-minute walk to the Hotel Nacional in time for a sunset mojito at their outdoor bar.
La Fontana -- For dinner, visit the alfresco dining area of La Fontana, a paladar known for its parillada and creative dishes.
Day 2: Vedado & Miramar
Start the morning strolling along the beautiful tombs and mausoleums of Cementerio de Colón. From here, head over to the outdoor art exhibit that is the Callejón de Hammel. By now, you should have worked up enough of a sweat for a refreshing bowl of ice cream at Coppelia.
From Vedado, take a taxi to Miramar and the Playa district. Be sure to visit the Maqueta de la Habana, a rather impressive mock-up model of the entire city. Since you're out in this neck of the woods, have a late lunch at La Cocina de Lilliam, on the one hand because it's an excellent restaurant, and on the other, because your dinner tonight will be pedestrian at best (though the cabaret show will be unforgettable). After lunch, head to the José Martí Memorial, and enjoy the panoramic view from the highest spot in Havana. Then, imagine the Plaza de la Revolución fit to bursting during a political rally and admire the iconic image of Che Guevara cast in iron on the Ministry of the Interior building and the new image of Camilio Cienfugos on the Ministry of Communications building opposite the memorial.
Tropicana -- It's time to pull out all the stops and head to the Tropicana for dinner and a show. This place is the original and still the best cabaret show in Cuba. Stick around after the show for some serious salsa dancing in the adjacent Salón Arcos de Cristal club.
Day 3: More La Habana Vieja
Give yourself another day in La Habana Vieja -- there's just no way you've seen it all in 1 day. Be sure to visit some of the art galleries and to spend some time shopping at the Almacenes San José indoor market. Have lunch on one of the ancient plazas here. I recommend either the restaurant Santo Angel or the Cafetería El Portal. In the late afternoon, head over to the Parque Histórico Morro y Cabaña and explore the forts and museums at this complex.
Los Doce Apóstoles -- After touring the complex, grab an outdoor table near sunset at Los Doce Apóstoles, and enjoy the view of Havana across the harbor from this restaurant. Be sure to finish your dinner in time for the cañonazo ceremony.
After dinner and the cañonazo, head to Zorra y el Cuervo for a late-night jazz concert.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.