Welcome to Cuba! A country of vintage cars, black beans, and an authoritarian regime that is only mildly insidious…
HOLD YOUR HAT, for the unsolvable enigma of where to stay in Cuba is about to solved!
50% crumbling Spanish colony, 50% discount soviet firework store, and 100% beautiful island nation, there are few finer (or more interesting) holiday destinations.
So whether you’re looking for floor-to-ceiling windows, rooftop pools, or a patch of freshly mown grass, this epic guide will be covering everything you need for a top visit. From the famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba, to the humble homestay, Cuba offers a great collection of accommodation.
Let’s see what we can find!
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Backpacking Cuba? Feeling lucky? Take a peek at our top 3 choices in the entirety of this unquestionably stunning island nation…
Best Airbnb in Cuba: Converted Seaside Home
Having been renovated in September 2022, this luxury apartment offers a ground-floor jacuzzi and a rooftop terrace with fantastic views. Bring your snorkelling gear, because it’s hard to find in Cuba, and there are some serious opportunities to see amazing marine wildlife. Located on the outskirts of Havana, this Airbnb will be a spectacular part of any trip.
Best Hotel in Cuba: Daisy’s Hostel in Varadero
While this operates under the name of ‘Hostel’ and is listed on Airbnb, Daisy’s hostel is definitely more of a luxury hotel. With a magnificent outdoor space for relaxing and recuperating, you will unlock the best of Cuban culture here. Minutes away from Varadero’s magnificent beaches and local attractions, luxurious lofted double or triple bedrooms will make sure your stay here is just magical.
Best Hostel in Cuba: Hostal Red
Definitely one of the best hostels in Cuba, Hostal Red is perfectly positioned for crossing everything off of a great Cuban itinerary. Offering a delicious and refreshing free breakfast, a family atmosphere, and great proximity to Havana’s party district, you can really enjoy the capital to the fullest. Hostels in Cuba tend to be more focused towards engaging with your host, and most stays tend to look more like homestays. This is one of the best.
Old Havana is the beating heart of the city. Located on the Bay of Havana, this section of the capital is where you’ll find the core of the original city. Made up of narrow streets and cobblestone lanes, Old Havana is bursting with charm and character and one of the best places to stay in Cuba for first-timers.
Santa Clara is situated in the centre of Cuba. It is located more than 71 kilometres from the Caribbean Sea and nearly 52 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. Home to more than 230,000 people, it is the 5th most populous city in the country.
Located in the epicentre of the Cuban capital is Centro Havana. Bordered by the Cerro, Vedado and Old Havana neighbourhoods, this region of the city is where you’ll find many charming historical and cultural sights. Centro Havana is the best area to stay in Cuba for nightlife.
Located on the south coast of central Cuba is the town of Trinidad. It is one of the best-preserved colonial towns on the island and the old part of the city was a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Varadero is a town on the northern coast of Cuba. Tourists from all over the world flock to this paradise peninsula to enjoy its fantastic beaches, clear blue waters, and glorious sundrenched sights. It’s hands down of the best places to stay in Cuba for families.
Cuba is a country with a rich and diverse history.
Unrest, instability and travel restrictions stopped many people from travelling here for nearly 30 years/ Since reopening its doors in the early-1990s, the situation in Cuba has improved. Today, it is significantly safer than it once was, and offers travellers the opportunity to “step back in time,” and enjoy unspoiled culture.
As the largest island in the Caribbean, there is a lot to see and do here for intrepid travellers. From enjoying authentic Cuban cuisine and dancing salsa to experiencing the unique historical and cultural attractions, you won’t have a hard time filling your days in Cuba.
Havana and Old Havana are bustling and vibrant regions in the west. These vibrant neighbourhoods in the capital city are home to many of Cuba’s top historical and cultural attractions and provide a great introduction to the country.
For a tropical vacation in paradise, look no further than Varadero. Boasting pristine sand beaches and crystal clear waters, you’ll find a myriad of activities perfect for the whole family.
Located in the centre of the country, Santa Clara is a city brimming with revolutionary history. Famous for its historical obsession with Che Guevara, this is also where you’ll find new trends and insatiable creativity.
Trinidad is one of the best-preserved colonial towns, and one of Cuba’s best places to visit. Here, you will find cobblestone streets, vibrant colonial houses and authentic Cuban culture.
5 Best Regions to Stay in Cuba
No matter what your vacation goals are, there’s a region of Cuba that’s perfect for you. Let’s see what I’ve rustled up for you!
Old Havana is the beating heart of the city. Located on the Bay of Havana, this section of the capital is where you’ll find the core of the original city. Made up of narrow streets and cobblestone lanes, Old Havana is bursting with charm and character.
Old Havana is also where you’ll find many of the city’s historical and cultural sights. From picturesque fortresses to castles and frescoed cathedrals, this region of Havana is a must-see for anyone visiting Cuba for the first time.
Enjoy the colourful colonial houses, gigantic mansions, and fascinating natural scenery as you explore this urban time capsule.
Best Airbnb in Old Havana: Modern apartment with panoramic views
A few meters from the famous Capitolio and the Saratoga Hotel, this Airbnb is centrally located and offers everything you would need during your stay. Sleeping two guests on the 7th floor of a modern block, you’ll also get incredible panoramic views of the whole city.
Best Hotel in Old Havana: Casa Blanca B&B
This Old Havana bed and breakfast will have you in a state of blissful delirium. Delivering decor that simulates the state of 1950s Cuba, you will feel like you turned back the clock staying here. With original Cuban furniture, huge 1950s mirrors, and a white theme uniting it all, it reeks of class, and the seaside views are cool too! There is wifi, air conditioning, a washer, an iron, and airport shuttle services.
Best Hostel in Old Havana: Lunass
This hostel has a super strong location and will give you access to the best of what Havana has to offer, including discos, jazz houses, and the historical centre. With a fantastic friendly environment and local hosts, you have the opportunity to get stuck into Havana in a way that you wouldn’t elsewhere. Ensuites are available.
Things to Do in Old Havana
- Learn about the current Cuban mindset with a sociologist, ready to help you understand Cuba much better!
- Visit Castillo de Morro, a striking fortress and former guarding entrance to the city of Havana.
- Explore the impressive 18th century La Cabana fortress, which sits on the east side of the Havana Bay.
- Visit Catedral de San Cristobal, one of the most beautiful and prominent buildings in Havana.
- Dive deep into Cuba’s history with a visit to the Museum of the Revolution.
- Join a full day excursion, riding in an antique car, and visiting the best of what Havana has to offer…
- Take in a show, ballet performance, or cultural event at the Gran Teatro de la Havana.
- Browse works of art by local and international artists at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
- Learn about the history of Cuban rum and how it’s made at the Museo del Ron Havana Club. Take the tour and you’ll even get to sample a shot of rum or two.
- Head out on the town for a crazy night with locals!
- Enjoy stunning architecture and amazing views of the Plaza de la Cathedral.
Santa Clara is situated in the centre of Cuba. Home to more than 230,000 people, it is the 5th most populous city in the country.
Santa Clara is Cuba’s most revolutionary city, and the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution. It’s also where you’ll find the remains (as in body parts) of the iconic political figure, Che Guevera.
But there’s more to Santa Clara than a rich political past. The city is also home to eclectic buildings, numerous lush parks, and a bustling and vibrant creative community.
Best Airbnb in Santa Clara: Airy and bright apartment
Private one-bedroom apartment for 1 or two guests with panoramic views of central park. With modern amenities like a bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen, living room and private terrace.
Best Hotel in Santa Clara: Hostal Cary and Lazaro
Looking for a comfortable room, and an excellent breakfast? Then you’ll want to book into Cary and Lazaro’s place. Sporting a fantastic location just minutes’ walk from the top attractions of the city, rooms are quiet, comfy, and inexpensive. As a family run place, you’ll have the option of asking your host fro tips, and of course he will be happy to help!
Best Hostel in Santa Clara: Hostal Hyggelig
Hostal Hyggelig truly lives up to its name; guests rave about the welcoming atmosphere and comfortable accommodation provided by the owner and her family. All rooms come with a private bathroom, safe and minibar, and internet access is available. A full breakfast is also provided each morning for just 5CUC per day. Hostel Hyggelig is walking distance from various attractions including the Central Square, and the rooftop bar provides stunning views over the whole city.
Things to Do in Santa Clara
- See the impressive Mausoleo del Che Guevara, a brilliant monument to the revolutionary figure.
- Enjoy live music at Club Mejunje, an arty establishment with a rebellious vibe and local cocktails. Visit on a Saturday to see Cuba’s first official drag show.
- Visit the Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado, a boxcar museum that marks the site of one of the most important battles in Cuban history.
- Enjoy a relaxing afternoon people-watching in the central Parque Leoncio Vidal.
- Grab an insta-worthy snap at the Melaito Murals, a series of comic book-style paintings by local graphic artists.
- Take in a show at the marvellous Teatre La Caridad.
- Enjoy a fresh, delicious and cheap espresso at the cafes on Main Street.
- Take in the amazing panoramic views of Santa Clara from the Loma del Capiro.
- See cigars being rolled at the Fabrica de Tabacos Costantino Perez Corrodegua.
Located at the epicentre of the Cuban capital is Centro Havana. Bordered by the Cerro, Vedado and Old Havana neighbourhoods, this part of the city is where you’ll find many charming historical and cultural sights.
If bars and nightlife form a big part of your Cuba itinerary, Centro Havana is an ideal location. Here, you’ll find the hottest clubs and trendiest bars in Cuba. Brimming with energy, this district is made up of fun, funky, quirky and ultra-hip establishments.
Whether you’re looking for a cool jazz bar or a vivacious dance club, there’s something for every taste in the Cuban capital. Stay here if you want to experience Cuban nightlife and dancing.
Best Airbnb in Centro Havana: Cuban House by the beach
A colonial traditional white house that is located on the famous seafront El Malecón-Havana, and offers stunning views from Havana Bay. The apartment is perfect for 2 guests with one bedroom and bathroom. The decor of the house includes, among other things, some 19th-century Cuban furniture and huge mirrors from the 50th, combined with others of contemporary design and natural fibre fabrics.
Best Hotel in Centro Havana: LA CASITA DE MARIA BED & BREAKFAST
Offering pick up and return services to the airport, the Casita de Maria is a top spot in Centro Havana. After you have been plied with complimentary breakfast, feel free to enjoy the rooftop terrace. With spacious rooms, double beds, wifi, a kitchen and air conditioning, there is no reason not to be comfortable during your stay here.
Best Hostel in Centro Havana: Casa Rene & Madelyn
Only 200 metres from the bus station ‘VIA AZUL’, Casa Rene & Madelyn offers comfortable lodging for a great price. They can set up airport transfers for an additional charge, and you can opt-in for a delicious breakfast. What makes this such a great place to stay is the expertise of the hosts, who can walk you through everything Cuba!
Things to Do in Centro Havana
- Enjoy dance performances at the Callejon de Hamel, a community centre preserving Afro-Cuban culture, which is located in a small graffiti and street art covered alley.
- Take a stroll along the Malecón, a seawall that runs along the northern shore of the city.
- Enjoy a daiquiri at El Floridita Bar, a Havana haunt where author Ernest Hemingway spent many a night in the early 20th century.
- Head out for a day trip exploring the amazing Viñales Valley, which is host to some of Cuba’s most eye-opening culture.
- Spend a night at Havana’s most famous cabaret, Tropicana nightclub.
- Explore the colourful buildings and cobblestone lanes that make up this central Havana neighbourhood.
- Snorkel to a shipwreck, and check out the insane marine wildlife en route
- Take in a baseball game at the Estadio Latino Americano.
- Enjoy a night of great jazz at La Zorra y el Cuervo, a funky and cozy subterranean club.
- Visit La Casa de la Música for the biggest and best party in Havana, where you can enjoy vibrant salsa music and great drinks.
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Located on the south coast of central Cuba is the town of Trinidad. It’s one of the best-preserved colonial towns on the island, and the old part of the city became a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Travel just a few kilometres outside of Trinidad and you’ll discover stunning natural attractions. From pristine beaches and crystal clear seas to cascading waterfalls and lush forests, this region of Cuba has something to offer every adventure traveller.
Best Airbnb in Trinidad: Casa Nivia y Pepe
This private and spacious apartment with one bed and bathroom is located on the second floor with a private entrance that is great for up to three guests.
You’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay, and the hosts will make you feel welcome. It’s an oasis in Trinidad that’s close enough to attractions, but removed enough so you can enjoy some peace and quiet.
Best Hotel in Trinidad: Duniesky’s Place
Duniesky hosts a top-tier budget space that is perfect for a few nights in Trinidad. With a rooftop terrace, wifi, and a minibar, this family-run place will provide everything you need for a comfy stay. There is air conditioning, and the option to have breakfast and dinner in house too. It is close to the main points of interest in the city.
Best Hostel in Trinidad: Hostal Escobar
Set in a classic Cuban house and with views overlooking the ocean, you really can’t go wrong with this hostel in Trinidad. Breakfast is available for a small surcharge, and the hostel offers bike and car hire to help you explore the area. Bars are a short walk away, where you can enjoy live music and dancing each night. If you want to experience authentic Cuban life on your travels, this is the perfect place to stay.
Things to See and Do in Trinidad
- Take a walk through the Plaza Mayor, the beating heart of the city.
- Go horseback riding to a waterfall
- Climb to the top of the National Historic Museum tower and take in the amazing panoramic views of the city.
- Visit the Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo, the largest church in Cuba.
- Spend a day relaxing on the beach at Playa Ancon.
- Check out a guided art and history tour of this amazing city.
- Visit Topes de Collantes, a massive nature preserve located outside of the city. The park is home to hiking trails, waterfalls, and lush natural scenery.
- Learn all about the rich and diverse history of Trinidad at the Museo de Historia Municipal.
- Explore the history of the counter-revolutionaries of Cuba at the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos.
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Varadero is a town on the northern coast of Cuba. Travellers from all over the world flock to this paradise peninsula to enjoy its fantastic beaches, clear blue waters, and glorious sun-drenched sights.
Varadero is also home to a wide variety of activities geared at children and families, providing an exciting way to experience Cuba. From world-class resorts and aquariums to parks and pristine beaches, there’s something to entertain travellers of all ages in Varadero.
Best Airbnb in Varadero: Pultillazo Ocean View
With sea views, a plunge pool and space for 8 guests, this Airbnb in Varadero is the ultimate location for a group vacation in Cuba. The villa has four double beds, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen and barbeque area. There are three beaches within walking distance, and the town of Varadero is just 8km away. The hosts also offer meal services, airport transfers, and excursions at an additional cost.
Best Hotel in Varadero: Daisy’s Hostel in Varadero
If you’re looking for stunning accommodation right next to the beach, then take a quick moment to fully explore Daisy’s place. Not only are rooms super light and spacious, but there is a great outdoor area for enjoying the evening light. There is a TV, air conditioning, a great kitchen, and beautiful decor! Complimentary breakfast is a great plus.
Best Hostel in Varadero: Casa Isis Playa Tropical
This hostel in Varadero is famed for its outstanding guest service and ideal location close to the beach. Each room comes with aircon, a mini-fridge, a safe and Wifi access, and laundry and kitchen facilities are also available. If you fancy a slower start to your morning, the hosts provide breakfast at 5CUC per day, which you can enjoy in the tropical garden. The guesthouse consists of two apartments in a traditional casa, so you’ll get to experience authentic Cuban life.
Things to Do in Varadero
- Spend an afternoon in Parque Josone, a centrally located green space filled with birds, vendors, music and camel rides.
- Search for beautiful hidden beaches
- Head out on the water and enjoy an afternoon aboard a Catamaran
- Explore beneath the waves by snorkelling the coral barrier reef.
- Visit the oldest attraction in Cuba and explore the extensive and impressive Bellamar Caves.
- Browse the Varadero Street Market and pick up a souvenir or two from your time in Cuba.
- Go for the full Varadero experience, including snorkelling a MASSIVE coral reef, and free cocktails.
- Grab an umbrella and spend a day lounging on the sand and soaking up the sun on Varadero Beach.
- Visit the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, a three-square-kilometre stretch of land that is home to Cuba’s oldest living cactus tree, two caves, animals, lakes, and more.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Cuba
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FAQs about Where to Stay in Cuba
Here’s what people usually ask us about the best places to stay in Cuba.
This vibrant, beautiful country has plenty of things to do and places to be explored. Whether you want to explore the buzzing cities or beautiful landscapes, there’s something for every traveller in Cuba.
I would advise anyone considering a trip to Cuba to visit sooner rather than later. With increasing influence from the USA, travelling in the near future will ensure your trip will be as authentic as possible!
If you’re still unsure, you can’t go wrong with Hostal Red. With its great location and welcoming atmosphere, it makes the perfect base for your Cuban adventures.
That being said, wherever you stay in Cuba really depends on what you’re after on your travels. Now you know some of the best spots, all that’s left to do now is decide when to go, and start packing!
Still not sure where to stay in Cuba? Have we missed something out? Let us know in the comments!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!