Located in the East of Mexico, Cuba offers various things to see and do for tourists of all types. These are the most famous landmarks in Cuba that you should plan to visit when you travel there.
Visiting Historical & Natural Landmarks In Cuba
After the Spanish-American War, the Caribbean country became a Spanish colony until it became an independent republic in 1902. With its rich political history, Cuba features an abundance of historical sites, each with its unique significance and aesthetics.
But that’s not all! Holidaymakers will find majestic landscapes, national parks, picturesque beach islands with cool breezes and warm waters, quirky art scenes in the capital city, and various cultural attractions in the country that will pique their interest.
Read on to learn more about some of the most famous landmarks in Cuba that are a must-see when you get a chance to visit the island nation.
Looking for more famous landmarks around the world? Check out all of our articles here, or start with these posts:
Che Guevara Mausoleum
The Che Guevara Mausoleum, the final resting place of Argentinian fighter Che Guevara, is perhaps the most famous landmark in Cuba. Located in Santa Clara, the revolutionary hero’s remains rest in this mausoleum, including those of 29 guerrilla fighters who died with him in a military battle in Bolivia in 1967.
The mausoleum is constructed over the hill, offering some spectacular city views, and was opened to the public in late 1988. However, it was not until 1997 that Guevera’s remains were brought to the mausoleum.
As of today, the mausoleum contains various statues and plaques displaying the life of Che Guevara. You will also find a small museum that offers more details about Guevera’s life.
Cathedral of Havana
The Cathedral of Havana is among the most visited historical landmarks in Cuba and one of the eleven famous cathedrals in Cuba. Constructed in the late 1700s, the cathedral shows incredible Baroque architecture, with stunning exterior and interior design.
Surrounded by several other historical buildings, the cathedral is one of the city’s finest churches made from coral stones, which have transformed into thousands of years old marine fossils. The church housed the remains of Christopher Columbus till they were shifted to Spain in 1898.
Lastly, do not forget to climb up the bell tower to experience some fantastic views of the city and Havana Bay.
National Capitol Building
The National Capitol Building, also called El Capitalio, is among the most visited and photographed landmarks in Havana. The structure of El Capitolio bears a striking resemblance to the US Capitol, but it was originally inspired by Parthenon in Paris.
The former Cuban president, Gerardo Mechado, inaugurated the building in 1929. The majestic Capitol building served as the Parliament of Cuba for several years and is being renovated today for the same purpose. It held the title of Havana’s tallest structure till 1950 and also featured the largest dome in the world.
Today, it is home to the world’s third-largest indoor statue of a woman that represents the Republic, made of bronze and standing 55 feet tall. It also houses three museums and a planetarium inside.
Jose Marti Memorial, Plaza de la Revolución
The Jose Marti Memorial, located in Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, pays tribute to the famous Cuban writer, poet, and journalist, Jose Marti. Joe Marti sacrificed his life fighting against the Spanish in a battle to gain independence from them.
The memorial is a highly popular landmark in Cuba, constructed and opened to the public in 1958. The monument is the tallest structure in the city and is about 138.5 meters high. In front of it stands the 17-meter-tall statue of the Cuban nationalist in his famous thinking pose.
The memorial also features a museum displaying the life and interests of Jose Marti, including his quotes and sayings. You can even climb to the top-most part of the building to experience the spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Ernst Hemingway’s House, Finca Vigía
Purchased in the outskirts of Havana in San Francisco de Paula in 1940, Finca Vigia was once the residence of famed author Ernst Hemingway, where he spent a long time of his life. It is in this house that Hemingway penned down some of his most famous writings, like For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.
The house now serves as a museum and celebrates his work and life, housing the legendary novelist’s original furniture, 9,000 books, and other valuable possessions, ranking among the most popular tourist attractions in Cuba.
Cruz De La Parra
The Cruz De La Parra translates to The Sacred Cross of Parra in English and refers to a cross placed by Christopher Columbus upon landing in Cuba for the first time in 1492.
Located in the small town of Baracoa, the wooden cross is believed to be the only one to have survived to date in the Americas, out of all the 29 crosses Columbus erected.
Callejón de Hamel, Havana
The Callejón de Hamel is a small alleyway located in central Havana featuring some incredible artwork. The vibrant alley is full of brightness and colors and features murals and sculptures designed by Salvador Gonzáles Escalona, a self-taught Cuban artist.
Besides viewing the aesthetic pieces of art, the street also serves as an excellent backdrop for some cool pictures, making it a popular tourist destination and well worth a visit.
The Morro Castle, also known as El Castillo de Los Tres Reyes Magos del, is an imposing fortress built between 1589 to 1630 in Old Havana to defend the city from pirates and attacks from other colonialists. Featuring a moat and a working lighthouse, the structure guards the entrance of Havana’s port and is one of the most significant historical landmarks in Cuba.
While the hustle and bustle of the big cities may take your breath away, Cuba also features some remarkable natural wonders that are sure to leave you awe-struck. A true natural wonder, the Sierra Maestra is the highest mountain range in Cuba. It is a site of great historical significance, as this is where Fidel Castro and his rebels sought refuge while fighting for independence against the Spanish.
The perfect getaway for nature lovers and hikers, the mountain range is a top-rated natural landmark in Cuba and the ideal spot to catch a glimpse of some diverse, vibrant bird species and other wildlife, including pygmy owls, frogs, and butterflies with transparent wings.
A popular destination and favorite pastime in Havana for locals and visitors alike, the Malecon is a beautiful maritime promenade stretching 8 km long in the heart of the city. Stroll along the harborfront and unwind while taking in the fantastic coastal views and cool ocean breeze.
There are several bars and cafes along the route where you can stop and sip some cold beer or perhaps munch on some flavorful Cuban delicacies.
The enchanting seaside spot is full of life, and taking a walk here, especially at night when it is bustling to its full potential, is an experience like none other on the Caribbean island.
Final Thoughts – Landmarks In Cuba
From its rich history and culture to the stunning natural beauty, the captivating island nation of Cuba caters to a broad range of interests.
You can visit various museums, explore mountain ranges, and more, as each of the landmarks in Cuba delivers a unique experience. Moreover, many of the listed landmarks celebrate a key historical event that made the island nation what it is today.