Plaza de la Catedral

#4 in Best Things To Do in Havana
Plaza de la Catedral  picture
Rosita So Image/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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 la Catedral. A top-rated attraction among many recent travelers, Plaza de la Catedral is worth the extra time for, unsurprisingly, its stunning 18th-century cathedral, also known Catedral de la Habana. Visitors were taken by the imposing baroque cathedral, which was once described by a Cervantes Prize-winning writer as "music made into stone."

The square is quite small, so don't expect to find as many amenities (there's only one restaurant) as the nearby Plaza Vieja. But its lack of square footage isn't what bothered visitors. What did annoy travelers was how crowded the square becomes when cruise ships are docked in the city's harbor. If you can figure out when that occurs, travelers strongly recommended planning your visit around that. You can find Plaza de la Catedral in Old Havana. Plaza de la Catedral is free to visit and it's open year-round.

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More Best Things To Do in Havana

El Malecón1 of 8
Old Havana (Habana Vieja)2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#1 El Malecón

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.

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