History and Culture
This 3-hour tour will take you to one of the museums that helped make Havana such a lauded destination for art and culture. You’ll have a specialized tour guide to make it easy for you to learn as much as possible about your destination.
up to 10 days in advance
- Duration: 3 hrs
- Available Days: Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
- Schedule: 9:30 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Free cancellation up to 10 days prior
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
Your tour begins with transportation from your casa particular or hotel. It’s possible to see more than one museum on the tour, depending on how close the museums are to your accommodations.
The following is a list of potential destinations on the tour:
Havana City Museum
This museum is inside the former Governor’s Palace. It was built in the late 18th century, and from 1791 to 1898 it housed a succession of Havana governors. Rooms still have their period furnishings, and it was designed to befit royalty.
Museum of the Revolution
You’ll find the Museum of the Revolution inside the walls of the former Presidential Palace. The last president to live here was Fulgencio Battista, the president that Castro overthrew. Built in the early 20th-century, this grand building has a hall designed to resemble a hall at Versailles. Outside the palace you can see a memorial to the Granma, the ship that Castro used to initiate his revolution.
Colonial Art Museum
The Colonial Art Museum is in the historic square of Plaza de la Catedral. This museum is best known for its collection of colonial glass.
Museum of Religious Art
This museum is inside the baroque church of Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco de Asís. Built in 1730, this church was restored in the 1990s. You’ll see museum exhibits in the part of the church that used to serve as a convent. At the entrance of the church you’ll see a statue called the Gentlemen of Paris — many Cubans believe that touching the statue’s beard will bring good luck.
La Cámara Oscura
To reach this museum you’ll walk into the Gómez Villa, an unusual building with round towers. Travel to the top floor to see the Cámara Oscura. “Cámara oscura” is derived from a Latin term that means darkened room, and it refers to a jaw-dropping optical phenomenon — a pinhole lets in enough light into a darkened room to project a reflection of the surrounding landscape on the walls.
Museum of Dance
This museum offers a tribute to ballet in Cuba. Cuban prima ballerina Alicia Alonso founded the museum, and many of the pieces on display are from her collection. You’ll see costumes, ballet slippers, photographs, and sheet music.
At the National Music Museum you can see old instruments and original scores of influential songs.
Maqueta de la Ciudad de La Havana
The Maqueta de la Ciudad de La Habana is a 516 square-foot (48 sq m) model of the city. It’s highly detailed and took years to build.
Memorial José Martí
The José Martí Memorial is located on the north side of the Plaza de la Revolución. It consists of a 454-foot (138.5 m) tower, which happens to be the tallest structure in Havana. This memorial is also notable for the large, marble statue of José Martí outside the entrance. Inside the memorial you’ll find a museum dedicated to the famous poet.
National Museum of Fine Arts
This museum has several distinct collections. Parts of the museum are devoted to Cuban art (from colonial to contemporary). Other sections have interesting displays of ancient Greek and Roman artworks, and you can admire a wide variety of paintings by Impressionists and well-known Latin American artists.
This museum has an incredible collection of Napoleon’s personal possessions.
Theater García Lorca
The Theater García Lorca is the main auditorium inside The Grand Theater of Havana. This structure has incredible baroque architecture, and was built in the early 20th century.
This cemetery was founded in the late 19th century, and is best known as an elaborate city for the dead. Some of the graves are popular among locals as a place to leave gifts and ask favors of the dead.
What to Bring
Comfortable walking shoes and money for personal expenses.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.
As I said, we had a fabulous tour guide who made the experience memorable.
Tour guides were amazing! Felt like friends were showing us around.
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