comScore
El Malecón picture in Havana
Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

Details

  • Entertainment and Nightlife, Recreation, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
5.0
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

To tourists, Old Havana may be the city's heart and soul, but to Cubans, it's El Malecón. Technically speaking, El Malecón is a 5-mile-long boulevard that stretches along the water, with Havana Bay on one side and the edges of Old Havana, Vedado and Central Havana on the other, depending on where you are. But metaphorically speaking, El Malecón is both a meeting point and place of refuge for locals looking to catch a breath of fresh air after a long day or night.

During the day, you're likely to see some residents along with a tourist or two, but at night, especially come sundown, is when you'll see flocks of Cubans holding loved ones close as they watch the sunset, crowds of young people laughing and drinking, fishermen waiting for a catch or even a small dance party. And sometimes, you may not see anybody at all. On particularly stormy days, waves crash up against El Malecón and much of the sea spills onto the roads, making for a great photo op.

Much like Havana's inhabitants, visitors are enchanted with El Malecón. Many recent travelers found El Malecón to be a beautiful seaside walk, but agreed that the attraction reaches its full potential at night. Keep in mind that some of the boardwalk isn't as developed as other areas, so a sturdy pair of shoes could make your trip more comfortable. El Malecón starts at the end of Paseo de Marti, Old Havana's main thoroughfare and ends at the mouth of the Almendares River, at the edge of the Vedado neighborhood. El Malecón is completely free to visit and it's open year-around. And since it sits on the edge of Old Havana and the trendy Vedado neighborhood, restaurants and shops are within easy reach.

Powered by Viator

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane

Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Hotel Park View

Hotel Park View ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
Hotel Telégrafo

Hotel Telégrafo ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Havana »

More Best Things to Do in Havana

El Malecón picture in Havana
Entertainment and Nightlife, Recreation, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Old Havana picture in Havana
Cafes, Churches/Religious Sites, Entertainment and Nightlife, Historic Homes/Mansions, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Plaza Vieja picture in Havana
Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Plaza de la Catedral picture in Havana
Cafes, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Museum of Fine Arts picture in Havana
Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museum of the Revolution picture in Havana
Castles/Palaces, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Finca Vigia picture in Havana
Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Sightseeing, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Playas del Este picture in Havana
Beaches, Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Plaza de la Revolucion picture in Havana
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
|

Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

#2 Old Havana (Habana Vieja) Skipping Old Havana is tantamount to missing Parliament if you're in London or the Eiffel Tower if you're in Paris. This picturesque neighborhood is not just iconic to ... Read more » Jose Manuel Azcona / Getty Images

#3 Plaza Vieja Of all the picturesque plazas that dot Old Havana, Plaza Vieja is considered to be the neighborhood's main square. The cobblestone-lined plaza is flanked by brightly colored baroque and ... Read more » Jacques van Dinteren / Getty Images

#4 Plaza de la Catedral If you're one of those travelers who believes that if you've seen one plaza you've seen them all, then you clearly haven't been to Plaza de ... Read more » Rosita So Image / Getty Images

#5 Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana) This museum houses the largest collection of art in the country and is separated into two buildings; one for Cuban art housed in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and (two ... Read more » El Toñio / Wikicommons

#6 Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion) There is no better place for a crash course on the country's history than the Museo de la Revolución. The museum chronicles the life and times before the revolution ... Read more » Lorne Resnick / Getty Images

#7 Finca Vigia Havana is known for a lot of things – vintage automobiles, lively locals, beautiful buildings – but one individual who has remained just as synonymous with Cuba's capital for so long ... Read more » Bruce Tuten / Flickr

#8 Playas del Este After a couple of days touring the capital, you may find yourself in need of a break from the hustle and bustle. If so, seek a side trip to Playas ... Read more » tupungato / Getty Images

#9 Plaza de la Revolucion Of all the plazas that populate Havana, politicos can't miss this one. Plaza de la Revolución is proof that, despite recent lifted restrictions, Castro's Cuba is still very ... Read more » M G Therin Weise / Getty Images

El Malecón picture in Havana
Old Havana picture in Havana
Plaza Vieja picture in Havana
Plaza de la Catedral picture in Havana
Museum of Fine Arts picture in Havana
Museum of the Revolution picture in Havana
Finca Vigia picture in Havana
Playas del Este picture in Havana
Plaza de la Revolucion picture in Havana
El Malecón picture in Havana
Old Havana picture in Havana
Plaza Vieja picture in Havana
Plaza de la Catedral picture in Havana
Museum of Fine Arts picture in Havana
Museum of the Revolution picture in Havana
Finca Vigia picture in Havana
Playas del Este picture in Havana
Plaza de la Revolucion picture in Havana

This 5-mile-long seaside boulevard is popular among locals and tourists. To experience El Malecón like the locals, visit at night when the Habaneros come out to play.  Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

Old Havana is not only considered to be the heart of the capital, but it's also a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Jose Manuel Azcona / Getty Images

Considered the city's main square, Plaza Vieja is lined with restaurants, art galleries and some quirky art, in addition to its colorful architecture. Jacques van Dinteren / Getty Images

This plaza is a favorite among visitors for its stunning 18th-century cathedral. To avoid crowds, plan your trip when cruise ships aren't docked. Rosita So Image / Getty Images

El Toñio / Wikicommons

Artifacts on display at this museum include blood-stained uniforms from the revolution, a tank used in the Bay of Pigs and bullet holes in the walls from an attempted assassination. Lorne Resnick / Getty Images

Ernest Hemingway called Havana home for a whopping 22 years. Although visitors cannot enter his former home, travelers say views from the open doors and windows offer excellent vantage points. Bruce Tuten / Flickr

Five miles of Caribbean beaches lie just 11 miles east of Havana. The shoreline consists of six separate beaches, each with a different personality and set of amenities.   tupungato / Getty Images

An estimated 1 million Cuban citizens gather at this plaza on International Workers' Day on May 1. Annual festivities include speeches from top officials, including the Castros. M G Therin Weise / Getty Images

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Havana »

Explore More of Havana

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo