Havana’s Malecón, 7 kilometers of road wrapping around the city’s coast, is a must-see for anyone visiting Cuba. A walk along this popular gathering spot features great views, friendly faces and grand, historic architecture. While some of the buildings along the Malecón have suffered damage in recent years thanks to their proximity to the ocean, the City Historian’s Office has singled out 14 blocks of this magnificent stretch for preservation. It’s Havana’s grand thoroughfare, a spot where every dreamer, poet and artist gathers to converse and gaze out over the water.
Come & Go from a Beachfront Hotel
Consider Booking a room at one of the beachfront hotels on the Malecón while staying in Havana. In fact, two of the city’s most well-known and historic beach hotels, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and the Riviera Hotel, overlook the grand promenade. Even if you choose to book a room elsewhere, stop to admire these feats of architecture—and grab a drink in the Hotel Nacional’s elegant open-air bar.
Seeing the Sights
Any good walk along the Malecón leads to some of Havana’s most treasured spaces and monuments. For example, the José Martí Tribuna Antiimperialista (or Anti-Imperialist Platform) is a public square dedicated to the Cuban national hero and writer José Martí, who appears in the form of a steel statue, holding a child in his arms.
While not directly on the Malecón, the Morro Lighthouse and castle loom to the east and are perfect for snapping a photo and capturing the memory.
Grabbing a Drink
A number of bars offer Cuban classics like mojitos, daiquiris and Cuba Libres. About a block off the beaten path, Casa Abel makes for a great drinking destination and it’s not a bad place to get a bite. The bar’s focus on rum and cigars—a true taste of Cuba—makes it a must if you’re looking to take a load off during a day of heavy sightseeing.
Don’t Forget About The Sunset
Whether you’re in the middle of seaside drinks or walking along the water, you can’t help but admire the sun receding at the end of the day. Everyone around pauses to catch a glimpse of that perfect Havana sunset and the views along the Malecón are some of the best in the city.