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Plaza de Armas

Vacation Travel Guide
Havana

Sit beneath the shade of a palm tree, browse the stands of a book fair and visit museums set in grand palaces at Havana’s oldest square.

Follow in the footsteps of Cuban aristocracy, military leaders and royalty at Plaza de Armas. Learn about the nation’s past and natural history at museums. Admire Baroque masterpieces and shop for secondhand literature at a book fair. Stroll around pretty gardens and watch the world go by from a palm-shaded bench.

Established as Plaza de la Iglesia in the early 1500s, Plaza de Armas is Havana’s oldest square. During the colonial years, it served as a military parade ground and location for pompous celebrations. Much of today’s square dates back to the 18th century and it underwent a restoration in 1935, when architects used antique sketches to bring it back to its former glory.

Go to the center of the square to see a marble statue of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a leader of Cuba’s independence war against Spain. Paths lead from the statue and around manicured gardens decorated with fountains. Sit on a bench, take some shade from the hot sun and enjoy a moment of people watching. From Tuesday to Sunday, booksellers set up stands around the square and offer the chance to poke through a collection of used tomes.

On the east side of the square is the Baroque-style Palacio del Conde de Santovenia, a one-time home of noble city residents that now houses a luxury 5-star hotel. Adjacent to here is El Templete, a monument erected to honor the foundation of Havana. Visit the formidable Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a Spanish-built fortress home to an exhibition of model ships.

Spot artillery, horse-drawn carriages, military regalia and religious artwork at the Museo de la Ciudad. It’s housed in the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, which is the old governor’s palace and a magnificent example of Baroque architecture. See displays of national and worldwide fossils, flora and fauna at the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba.

Plaza de Armas sits in the heart of the Old Havana district and is a short walk from Cathedral Square. A hop-on hop-off tourist bus stops outside the Castillo de la Real Fuerza.

Top Hotels Close to Plaza de Armas

Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
2.5 out of 5
Calle Desagüe #156, e/ Franco y Oquendo, Havana
The price is $16 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Located in Centro Havana, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of University of Havana and Malecón. Plaza Vieja and Havana Cathedral are also within 3 mi (5 ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (13 reviews)
"No tengo palabras para expresar el buen trato recibido por Don Pedro y Doña Mary. La comida deliciosa buena porción mejor que la de un chef. Una atención 5 estrellas. Te tratan como un rey. Si visitan la Habana recomiendo Casa colonial Pedro y Mary."

Reviewed on Feb 25, 2020

Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
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 $56 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
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 ...
3.8/5Good! (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
Havana Dream
Havana Dream
5 out of 5
Obrapía, Havana, La Habana
This family-friendly Havana hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Plaza Vieja, Havana Cathedral, and Plaza de Armas. Revolution Museum ...
4/5Very Good! (3 reviews)
"Room was clean and nice with balcony the host very friendly and informative about good places to eat, taxis and places to go."

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

Havana Dream
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 Plaza de Armas

Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
2.5 out of 5
Calle Desagüe #156, e/ Franco y Oquendo, Havana
The price is $16 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Casa Colonial Pedro y Mary
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 $56 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
Art Studio Habana Vieja 55
Havana Dream
Havana Dream
5 out of 5
Obrapía, Havana, La Habana
Havana Dream
Villa Cuba BNB
Villa Cuba BNB
2.5 out of 5
Calle Cuba 163 1st Floor, Old Havana, Havana, Havana
The price is $49 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Villa Cuba BNB
REV Boutique
REV Boutique
4 out of 5
156 Calle San Ignacio, Apartment 8, Corner Obispo, Habana Vieja, Havana
The price is $158 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
REV Boutique
Suite Havana
Suite Havana
4 out of 5
Lamparailla 62, Altos Entre Mercedes, y San Ignacio, Habana Vieja, Havana
The price is $225 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Suite Havana
Balcones De Oficios: Historic Old Havana Apartment
Balcones De Oficios: Historic Old Havana Apartment
3 out of 5
undefined, Apto 3, Havana, Province of Havana
Balcones De Oficios: Historic Old Havana Apartment
Casa Alfaro Plaza Vieja
Casa Alfaro Plaza Vieja
3 out of 5
Mercaderes # 315 Apt 6 1P, Muralla y Teniente Rey, Havana, La Habana
Casa Alfaro Plaza Vieja
Casa chang
Casa chang
Habana 305, Havana, Havana
Casa chang
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.