Luxury holidays in Havana

The port city with a history to rule them all, colourful, complicated Havana is as nuanced as they come. It’s a place where every street harbours innumerable stories, where grey soviet brutalism sits nonchalantly next to ornate Gothic towers and rustic, Spanish stucco. The city’s cumbersome past has seen everything from mobsters and pirates, as well as a beret-clad revolutionary or two, and now it sees itself once again on the brink of transition, this time at the hands of youthful creatives, with a burgeoning arts scene and renewed gastronomic endeavour. Beyond the cliched pleasures of Cuban cigars and Chevrolet cruising, the real grab of the city lies in its vibrant public spaces where music permeates the air and Habaneros gather to see and be seen right into the small hours. Stroll along The Malećon, Havana’s sociable seafront, or get acquainted with the locals among the leafy sprawl of Plaza de Armas, the city’s oldest square where the dance of Cuban life has swayed on since the 16th century. And for days when the urban just won’t do, the five-mile stretch of Playas del Este’s bone white sand is the perfect spot for an ice cold Cuba Libre under the Caribbean sun.

When to go

With balmy temperatures all year round, there’s really no bad time to get down in old Havana. High season typically falls between November and April, though the essence of the city comes alive in the summer, when the triumphant spirit of Cuba’s Dia de la Revolución gives way to the feather-clad dancers, fire-breathers and fantastical floats of Havana Carnival each August.

Getting there

  • Planes

    The closest International hub is Havana Jose Marti International Airport, located 20km south of the city center. Flights arrive here from the UK and Europe, the Americas and Asia. From here, the journey to central Havana takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • Automobiles

    Unlike other capital cities, the streets of Havana are not typically crowded with motorists. The bad news? Potholes are commonplace, so buckle up. Like any historic city, streets can be narrow in the old town, so it’s best to park up just outside, and keep an eye out for roads with double names when using GPS.