Thanks to a decades-long ban on tourists, Havana is a city shrouded in mystery and is one of the Caribbean’s best-kept travel secrets.

But Cuba’s capital city is massive and sprawling, and choosing the best neighbourhood to stay in Havana is super important. Which is exactly why we put together this comprehensive guide to the best place to stay in Havana.

This article was written for travellers, by travellers. It lists the best places in Havana to stay and is organized based on your specific travel style, needs and budget.

So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the perfect neighbourhood for you!

Get excited – our guide for where to stay in Havana, Cuba will answer all of your questions and then some!

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Havana

  • Where to stay in Havana for your first time – Old Havana
  • Where to stay in Havana on a budget – Centro Habana
  • The best area to stay in Havana for nightlife – El Vedado
  • The coolest place to stay in Havana – Jaimanitas
  • Best neighbourhood in Havana for families – Miramar

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN HAVANA

Old Havana

Old Havana is, without question, the best neighbourhood to stay in Havana if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is this downtown neighbourhood bursting with history and charm, but it’s where you’ll find an abundance of colourful heritage architecture, historical landmarks, and cultural institutions.

Places to visit:
  • Delve deep into the history of the city at the Museo de la Ciudad.
  • Excite your sense with flavourful Cuban dishes at Dona Eutemia.
  • See incredible works of art at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes de Cuba.

Where to Stay in Havana

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the best places and where to stay in Cuba.

Best Hostel in Havana: Casa Caribe Havana Hostel

Casa Caribe is our pick for the best hostel in Havana because it has a great location and offers a delicious breakfast each morning. This hostel provides comfortable beds, air-conditioned rooms, and showers with plenty of hot water. There’s also free wifi and lots of cosy common spaces.

Sometimes the best way to experience a destination is from a good dorm room with good people. Book one of these sweet hostels in Havana and get ready for the time of your life!

Best Airbnb in Havana: Flat in the heart of Old Havana

Want to do your legs a favour? Stay in this Airbnb for your first trip to Havana so you can be 100% sure that you’ll be in the best location. No need to walk to the centre, you’re literally in the middle of all main attractions. Explore the lively streets, eat great food at the numerous restaurants and watch people rush by in one of the cute cafes.

Best Hotel in Havana: Hotel Neptuno-Triton

The Hotel Neptuno-Triton is our favourite hotel in Havana and our top pick for where to stay in Havana with kids. Each room comes complete with comfortable beds, a private bathroom and modern amenities, including a TV. Guests can enjoy a rousing match on the tennis courts or at the billiards table in the hotel

Havana Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN HAVANA
Old Havana, Havana
FIRST TIME IN HAVANA

Old Havana

Old Havana is, without question, the best neighbourhood to stay in Havana if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is this downtown neighbourhood bursting with history and charm, but it’s where you’ll find an abundance of colourful heritage architecture, historical landmarks, and cultural institutions.

ON A BUDGET
Centro Habana, Havana
ON A BUDGET

Centro Habana

Centro Habana is a massive neighbourhood set at the centre of the city. It is slightly more ornate and refined than neighbouring Old Havana, but still maintains much of its original Cuban charm.

NIGHTLIFE
El Vedado, Havana
NIGHTLIFE

El Vedado

El Vedado is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Havana. This part of the city is known for its modern and forward thinking attitudes, as well as its cutting edge and innovative art.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Jaimanitas, Havana
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Jaimanitas

Jaimanitas is a charming fishing village located just on the edge of Havana’s city limit. It is a rustic and authentic neighbourhood trapped in time and is simply bursting with charm.

FOR FAMILIES
Miramar, Havana
FOR FAMILIES

Miramar

Miramar is a distinct neighbourhood located west of the city centre. It is one of the best areas to stay in Havana thanks to its abundance of shops, restaurants and lush parks.

Havana is the largest city and the capital of the island nation of Cuba. It’s considered one of the most popular Cuban backpacking destinations

It is a rustic and authentic city that seems stuck in time thanks to a decades-long travel ban that ended in the early-1990s. Characterised by its colourful colonial styles houses and buildings, its winding streets and alleys and its an abundance of mid-20th-century Cadillacs, Havana is an amazing travel destination with hidden gems just waiting to be discovered around every corner.

The city spans nearly 730 square kilometres. It is divided into 15 main districts and  150 diverse wards.

To help you plan your trip, this Havana neighbourhood guide will outline the best neighbourhoods and districts to stay in based on your budget, interests and needs.

Centro Habana is the heart, soul and centre of the city. It is a vibrant and charming neighbourhood that offers incredible architecture and is the best area in Havana to stay in if you’re on a budget.

Set east of Centro Habana is Old Havana. This is the best neighbourhood in Havana to stay in if you’re visiting for the first time because it is bursting with charm, architecture, history and mystery.

Travel south of the city centre to lively and vibrant El Vedado. This is our top pick for where to stay in Havana for nightlife because it has an abundance of fun bars, lively clubs and excellent restaurants.

Nestle along the coast is Miramar. An affluent and laidback district, Miramar is our best recommendation for where to stay in Havana with kids because it has so many exciting family-friendly activities and attractions.

And finally, sitting just on the Havana city limit is Jaimanitas. A once impoverished area, Jaimanitas is on the rise and is quickly becoming one of the coolest places to stay in Havana.

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Havana’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which one of Havana’s best neighbourhoods is right for you? Don’t worry! In this next section, we’ll break down each of the best areas to stay in Havana in much more detail.

#1 Old Havana – Where to Stay in Havana for Your First Time

Old Havana is, without question, the best neighbourhood to stay in Havana if you’re visiting for the first time. Not only is this downtown neighbourhood bursting with history and charm, but it’s where you’ll find an abundance of colourful heritage architecture, historical landmarks, and cultural institutions.

One of the best and most fun ways to explore this part of the city is to rent a vibrant vintage Cadillac and cruise the city streets. Not only will you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, but you’ll be able to check off all of Old Havana’s most popular city sights in comfort, style and with ease.

Old Havana, Havana

Things to See and Do in Old Havana

– Be amazed by the art, architecture and décor of the Catedral de San Cristobal (Havana Cathedral).

– Delve deep into the history of the city at the Museo de la Ciudad.

– Excite your sense with flavourful Cuban dishes at Dona Eutemia.

– Explore the ancient Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a bastion fort on the western side of Havana’s harbour.

– See incredible works of art at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes de Cuba.

– Sip a mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio, a favourite haunt of legendary author Ernest Hemingway.

– Spend a lazy afternoon browsing the Plaza des Armas.

– Wander through history in colourful and classic Plaza Vieja.

Best Hostel in Old Havana: Dona Carmen Hostal

This excellent hotel is one of the best places in Havana to stay if you’re on a budget. It is ideally located in Old Havana and allows for easy access to restaurants, shops, landmarks and museums. This hotel has two private rooms with an array of amenities.

Best Airbnb in Old Havana: Flat in the heart of Old Havana

Want to do your legs a favour? Stay in this Airbnb for your first trip to Havana so you can be 100% sure that you’ll be in the best location. No need to walk to the centre, you’re literally in the middle of all main attractions. Explore the lively streets, eat great food at the numerous restaurants and watch people rush by in one of the cute cafes.

Best Hotel in Old Havana: Conde D’ Ricla

Conde D’ Ricla is a deluxe boutique hotel situated at the heart of Havana. It is within walking distance of Old Havana’s top tourist attractions as well as restaurants and shops. Each room is outfitted with modern amenities, air conditioning and has its own private bathroom.

Best Aparthotel in Old Havana: Mi Havana Apartment’s

This fantastic Aparthotel is centrally located in Old Havana, the best area in Havana to stay in for sightseeing and exploring. It boasts spacious units with en-suite bathrooms, free toiletries and modern amenities, including a fridge and coffee machine. A delicious continental or a la carte breakfast is also available.

#2 Centro Habana – Where to Stay in Havana on a Budget

Centro Habana is a massive neighbourhood set at the centre of the city. It is slightly more ornate and refined than neighbouring Old Havana, but still maintains much of its original Cuban charm. Centro Habana is the ideal place to stay if you’re keen to experience the vibrancy of Havana

This is also our pick for the best neighbourhood in Havana to stay in if you’re on a budget because it has so many great accommodation options to choose from. With a great variety of hostels, hotels, hostals and homestays, you’ll be spoilt for choice by staying in lively Centre Habana.

Centro Habana, Havana

Things to See and Do in Centro Habana

– Catch a performance at the Gran Teatro de La Habana.

– Dive deep into the history of the 1959 Cuban Revolution and see vivid exhibits at the Museum of the Revolution.

– Explore the iconic Partagas Cigar Factory.

– Go for a stroll along the Malecon, a seaside walk that stretches alongside the city and offers amazing views.

– Marvel at the Torreon de San Lazaro, which dates back more than 300 years.

– See the colourful murals and amazing street art at Callejon de Hamel.

– Take a tour of El Capitolio.

– Visit the grand Palacios de los Matrimonios.

Best Hostel in Centro Habana: Casa Caribe Havana Hostel

Casa Caribe is our pick for the best hostel in Havana because it has a great location and offers a delicious breakfast each morning. This hostel has comfortable beds, air-conditioned rooms, and showers with hot water. There’s also free wifi and plenty of common spaces.

Best Airbnb in Centro Habana: Private room with amazing host

Booking this Airbnb, you won’t just get an affordable home, you’ll also stay with one of the kindest hosts in Havana. Previous guests said that the family who owns the home goes above and beyond. The private room is clean, cosy and you’ll have the bathroom to yourself. You can also enjoy the 10/10 breakfast (homemade by the host) every morning before you head out to explore the city.

Best Hotel in Centro Habana: Hotel Nacional de Cuba

This amazing five-star hotel is one of the best options for Havana accommodation. It is ideally located in Centro Habana and is in close proximity to popular tourist attractions, historic landmarks, museums and restaurants. This hotel has comfortable rooms, a swimming pool and a fitness centre.

Best Hotel in Centro Habana: Hotel Boutique Casavana

A fantastic location, excellent amenities and modern rooms – it’s no wonder this five-star hotel is one of the best places to stay in Havana. This hotel boasts a stylish lounge and restaurants as well as a delightful garden and city views.

#3 El Vedado – Where to Stay in Havana for Nightlife

El Vedado is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Havana. This part of the city is known for its modern and forward thinking attitudes, as well as its cutting edge and innovative art. Here you’ll find rundown and rustic buildings that have been transformed into hip bars, trendy clubs, and ultra-cool coffee shops.

If you’re looking for nightlife, El Vedado is one of the best places to stay in Havana. This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is home to a great selection of bars, clubs, restaurants and pubs. For a good time after dark, there’s no better place to be then El Vedado.

El Vedado, Havana

Things to See and Do in El Vedado

– Catch the colourful, lively and vibrant drag show at Cabaret Las Vegas.

– Dance the night away at Club Tropical.

– Drink, dance and enjoy the view at Pico Blanco.

– Enjoy a delicious meal at 3D Café.

– Excite your senses at Gabanna Café.

– Feast on amazing Latin American fare at Atelier.

– Let the rhythm move you at Café Cantante Mi Habana.

– Listen to great live jazz at La Zorra y el Cuervo.

– Sip hip cocktails at Café Madrigal.

– Take a relaxing stroll through the lush Quinta de Los Molinos.

– Visit the Fabrica de Arte Cubano for an amazing night of drinks, art and culture.

Best Hostel in El Vedado: Enzo’s Backpackers

Enzo’s Backpackers is the closest hostel to the El Vedado neighbourhood. It is located in a quiet building just a short walk away and offers comfortable rooms with amazing views. This hostel has private rooms and mixed dorms with air conditioning and comfortable beds. They also provide guests with toilet paper, bed linens and soap.

Best Airbnb in El Vedado: Stylish oceanview apartment

Great nightlife? Yes, please! This stunning apartment is the right choice if you want to explore the streets past the normal sleeping time. You’ll have the most amazing clubs, restaurants and bars just moments away. While the location is perfect, the Airbnb itself is impressive too. Held in white colours, you’ll instantly feel welcome and comfortable. You can also enjoy the view of the ocean right from your bed.

Best Apartment in El Vedado: Casa Harmonia

This colourful and cosy unit is an awesome option for Havana accommodation. It is centrally located in Havana and is close to great bars, clubs and restaurants. All units are equipped with a kitchen with a fridge, a private bathroom and a patio. A continental breakfast is also available.

Best Hostal in El Vedado: Hostal NOS

Hostal NOS is a great place to stay if you’re looking to stay in El Vedado but want to save a little money. This homestay provides guests with a delicious breakfast buffet each morning as well as a patio, garden views and modern amenities. Rooms are comfortable, clean and secure.

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#4 Jaimanitas – Coolest Place to Stay in Havana

Jaimanitas is a charming fishing village located just on the edge of Havana’s city limit. It is a rustic and authentic neighbourhood trapped in time and is simply bursting with charm. Once an impoverished district, Jaimanitas has been slowly going through a revival and revamp and is quickly becoming one of the coolest places to stay in Havana.

Adorned with colourful street art and unique mosaics, Jaimanitas is a culture vultures dream. Here you can simply wander the streets and you’ll soak up all of this amazing districts atmosphere and flair.

Jaimanitas is also where you’ll find one of the best beaches in Havana. So, if you’re looking for a little RnR, Jaimanitas is the place to be!

Jaimanitas, Havana

Things to See and Do in Jaimanitas

– Explore Marina Hemingway.

– Feast on amazing seafood sushi, shellfish and more at Restaurante Santy Pescador, also affectionately known as Santy’s.

– Have your mind blown by the art, design and décor of Fusterlandia, an extensive public art and sculpture display created by local artists Jose Fuster.

– Pop into La Cueva el Zorro Bar de Patas for drinks, snacks and plenty of good times.

– Rest, relax and soak up some rays at Playa de Jaimanitas.

– See an impressive collection of art at the Yuniel Delgado Studio.

– Wander through the streets of Jaimanitas spotting the beautiful mosaics and colourful murals as you go.

Best Hostal in Jaimanitas: Hostal Peregrino Vedado

This fantastic hostal is your best bet for budget accommodations near Jaimanitas. It has comfortable, clean and stylish rooms that are outfitted with air conditioning and modern amenities. This property is a short drive from beaches of Jaimanitas and the sights and sounds of downtown Havana.

Best Airbnb in Jaimanitas: Beachfront house

This beachfront Airbnb has so much to offer. Great views of the ocean, peaceful location with restaurants in walking distance and caring and helpful hosts. You will rent a private apartment in a shared house. The apartment will be fully yours while the backyard terrace and ground floor will be shared. All together: probably one of the best places in Havana to relax.

Best Apartment in Jaimanitas: RETIRO #2

This great apartment is ideally located near Jaimanitas, one of Havana’s best neighbourhoods. It offers stunning sea views, a comfortable shared lounge and a fabulous terrace. This one-bedroom apartment has comfortable beds, modern amenities and a well-equipped bathroom. Plus, there’s also a kitchen with a microwave and coffee maker.

Best Hotel in Jaimanitas: House By The Sea In Havana

The House By The Sea is ideally located in Jaimanitas. It consists of four air-conditioned rooms and has a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bar. Guests can also enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and the villa offers a delicious continental or buffet breakfast.

#5 Miramar – Where to Stay in Havana for Families

Miramar is a distinct neighbourhood located west of the city centre. It is one of the best areas to stay in Havana thanks to its abundance of shops, restaurants and lush parks.

One of the most affluent areas in the city, Miramar is home to embassies, diplomatic meeting halls and some of Havana’s most famous and powerful people.

Miramar is our top recommendation for where to stay in Havana for families because it is tranquil and safe, and offers a great glimpse into modern Cuba. This part of the city also boasts a vast array of family-friendly activities and attractions, including museums, art galleries, landmarks, and shops.

Miramar, Havana

Things to See and Do in Miramar

– Get your adrenaline pumping by hopping on the rides at Havana’s Coney Island.

– Lounge on the sand and soak up some rays at the Playita del Triton.

– See dolphins, fish, turtles and many other sea creatures and aquatic animals at the Acuario Nacional.

– See interesting works of visual art at the Museo Organico de Romerillo.

– Shop until you drop at the boutiques and shops that line lively Quinta Avenida, Havana’s answer to Fifth Avenue.

– Visit the lovely Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar, the second largest church in Cuba.

Best Guesthouse in Miramar: Casa Doña Eneida

This charming guesthouse is centrally located in Miramar, one of the best areas to stay in Havana with kids. It has comfortable rooms with A/C, private bathrooms and modern amenities. Guests can also enjoy relaxing in the garden or taking their breakfast (which is included) on the sun-soaked terrace.

Best Hotel in Miramar: Hotel Neptuno-Triton

The Hotel Neptuno-Triton is our favourite hotel in Havana and our top pick for where to stay in Havana with kids. Each room comes complete with comfortable beds, a private bathroom and a modern TV. Guests can enjoy a rousing match on the tennis courts or at the billiards table in the hotel

Best Hotel in Miramar: Hotel Cubanacan Comodoro

This excellent four-star hotel is ideally situated in Miramar. It is close to the beach and offers easy access to restaurants, shops, attractions and landmarks. This hotel has air-conditioned rooms with TVs and private bathrooms. They also offer a spa centre and a luxurious private beach.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Havana

Havana is an amazing and mysterious travel destination that takes visitors back in time. It is best-known for its colourful colonial architecture, classic cars and rich and diverse history. But, as you’ve read, there’s so much more that Havana has to offer travellers, including amazing cuisine, world-class art, incredible sights, and fun for the whole family.

If you’re still not sure where to stay in Havana, here is a short recap of our favourite places:

Casa Caribe Havana Hostel is our favourite hostel because it is centrally located, has comfortable beds, and provides a scrumptious breakfast to guests each morning.

Another great option is the Hotel Neptuno-Triton in Miramar. This modern three-star property has spacious rooms, great amenities, and fantastic features.

While Cuba can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

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