National Capitol Building

Vacation Travel Guide
Havana featuring heritage architecture

Walk in the shoes of presidents, admire a monumental façade and marvel at opulent interior decorations at one of Havana’s most emblematic buildings.

El Capitolio (National Capitol Building) is a landmark Havana building and symbol of parliamentary power. Appreciate its beautiful architecture, which took over 3 years to complete and called upon the efforts of over 5,000 workers. Spot the work of acclaimed artists and retrace the footsteps of government officials and presidents.

Established in 1926, the El Capitolio was the seat of the Cuban government until 1959. Within its halls, laws were proposed, debated, agreed upon and passed. Now it houses the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the National Library of Science and Technology.

Take a moment to appreciate the striking façade. It features a grand staircase guarded by six 46-feet (14-meter) high Doric columns. On each side of the staircase is a bronze statue by the Italian sculptor Angelo Zanelli. On the left hand side is a male figure, El Trabajo (Work), and on the right is a women, La Virtud Tutelar (The Tutelary Virtue). Running either side of the entrance is an arcade fronted by rows of columns.

Look up at the cupola, which bears a striking resemblance to the dome of Washington’s United States Capitol. Crowning it is a copy of Giambologna’s 16th-century Mercury sculpture. Note the 24-carat diamond positioned in the cupola’s center. It serves as the starting point for measuring distances from Havana to all other Cuban cities, towns and villages.

Venture inside to the gleaming Hall of the Lost Steps, so-called for its extraordinary acoustics. Dominating the hall is Zanelli’s La Estatua de la Repúnblica (Statue of the Republic), one of the world’s tallest indoor statues. Spot Venetian mirrors in Salon Bolívar and Renaissance-style furnishings in the Salon Martí. Glimpse inside Salon Baire, a one-time conference room.

The building sits at the southern end of Paseo de Martí, in the neighborhood of Central Havana. Nearby attractions include the Gran Teatro de la Habana and the bustling Chinatown district.

El Capitolio is open daily and there’s an admission fee. Pay the extra fee to join a guided tour. Access to the interior may be restricted because of ongoing restoration work.

Top Hotels Close to National Capitol Building

Casa Manrique
Casa Manrique
3 out of 5
No. 65, e/ San Lázaro y Lagunas, Centro Habana, Havana, La Habana
The price is $30 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 11
Located in Centro Havana, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Malecón, San Rafael Boulevard, and Paseo de Marti. Antonio Maceo Park and Central ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (53 reviews)
"The host was very helpful when needed! The service was excellent!"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2021

Casa Manrique
Residencia Santa Clara
Residencia Santa Clara
13 Santa Clara, Havana
The price is $80 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 11
Located in Old Havana, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Malecón and Plaza Vieja. Plaza de Armas and Havana Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.
4.8/5 Exceptional! (11 reviews)
"Beautifully designed hotel, very relaxing place to stay, the people who run the hotel are very friendly and helpful. An oasis in the busyness of Old Havana. We want to come back!"

Reviewed on Jan 10, 2020

Residencia Santa Clara
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
4 out of 5
Pena Pobre 55, entre Aguiar y Habana, Havana
The price is $78 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Located in Old Havana, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Malecón and Revolution Museum. Paseo de Marti and La Bodeguita del Medio are also within ...
3.8/5 Good! (171 reviews)
Wonderful, quirky place.
"This is a lovely place to stay. It is right in the heart of the old town, surrounded by bars and restaurants and very close to the malecon and the water. The only possible down side are the perilously steep stairs up to the roof terrace, and the un-bannistered steps up to the bathroom in some of ..."

Reviewed on Mar 5, 2020

Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near National Capitol Building

Casa Carmen
Casa Carmen
2.5 out of 5
Calle Cienfuegos 60, E/Apodaca y Corrales, Havana, Havana
The price is $22 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 20
Casa Carmen
Residencia Santa Clara
Residencia Santa Clara
13 Santa Clara, Havana
The price is $80 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 11
Residencia Santa Clara
Casa Manrique
Casa Manrique
3 out of 5
No. 65, e/ San Lázaro y Lagunas, Centro Habana, Havana, La Habana
The price is $30 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 11
Casa Manrique
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
4 out of 5
Pena Pobre 55, entre Aguiar y Habana, Havana
The price is $78 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
Havana Dream
Havana Dream
5 out of 5
Obrapía, Havana, La Habana
Havana Dream
Blanc Blue 1924 Boutique Hotel
Blanc Blue 1924 Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
Perseverancia #66, e/ San Lazaro y Laguna, Havana, La Habana
The price is $32 per night from Dec 15 to Dec 15
Blanc Blue 1924 Boutique Hotel
Loft Habana
Loft Habana
4 out of 5
Oficios 402, Entre Luz y Acosta, Havana
The price is $151 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Loft Habana
La Siguaraya
La Siguaraya
3 out of 5
Virtudes 675 entre Gervasio y Belascoain, Centro Habana, Havana, La Habana
The price is $78 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
La Siguaraya
Art Boutique Havana
Art Boutique Havana
4 out of 5
Calle Habana 155, Old Havana, Havana, La Habana
The price is $113 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
Art Boutique Havana
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.