The 10 Best Museums in Havana

Havana, a city steeped in history and culture, is a treasure trove for anyone with a penchant for the past. As you wander through its vibrant streets, the scent of sea air and the rhythm of salsa music serve as the perfect backdrop to the city’s rich tapestry of museums. Each museum is a gateway to understanding the multifaceted story of Cuba, and I’ve had the pleasure of exploring these cultural gems. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that are a must-visit in Havana.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Art aficionados, rejoice! The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is a sanctuary of creativity. Housing the largest collection of Cuban art in the world, it’s Split into two buildings: Arte Cubano and Arte Universal. Arte Cubano is a journey through the evolution of Cuban art, while Arte Universal showcases works from ancient Greece to European masters. Trust me, the blend of classic and contemporary here will leave you spellbound.

Museo de la Revolución

Set in the former Presidential Palace, the Museo de la Revolución is a testament to Cuba’s tumultuous history. Bullet holes from the 1957 student revolt still scar the building’s grandiose walls. Inside, you’ll find relics from the revolutionary war, including Che Guevara’s beret and Granma, the yacht that carried Fidel Castro to Cuba. It’s a poignant reminder of the island’s fight for independence.

Museo Hemingway Finca Vigía

Ernest Hemingway’s love affair with Cuba is well-documented, and his home, Finca Vigía, is now a museum. Here, you can peek into the life of the Nobel laureate. His typewriter, book collection, and even his fishing boat, Pilar, are on display. It’s as if Papa Hemingway just stepped out for a mojito.

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural

For those curious about the natural world, the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural is a treasure trove. Its exhibits span the Flora and fauna of Cuba and beyond. The biodiversity of this Caribbean island comes to life with detailed dioramas and informative displays. It’s a fascinating look at the natural wonders that Cuba has to offer.

Museo de Artes Decorativas

Step into the Museo de Artes Decorativas and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a European palace. This museum showcases exquisite collections of decorative arts from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Porcelain, furniture, and crystal pieces tell the story of luxury and opulence. It’s a visual feast for the eyes and a unique glimpse into the past’s high society.

Factoría Habana

For a taste of contemporary art, Factoría Habana is the place to be. This dynamic gallery is a platform for cutting-edge exhibitions that challenge and inspire. It’s housed in an old factory, and the industrial setting adds an edgy vibe to the art on display. If you’re keen on seeing what modern Cuban artists are up to, don’t miss this spot.

Museo de la Ciudad

The Museo de la Ciudad, located in the grand Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, offers a deep dive into Havana’s history. From colonial furniture to historical artifacts, each room tells a different chapter of the city’s past. The museum’s courtyard, with its lush garden and bubbling fountain, is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle outside.

Museo del Chocolate

Yes, you read that right – Havana has a chocolate museum! The Museo del Chocolate is a sweet lover’s paradise. Here, you can learn about the chocolate-making process and, of course, sample some of the delicious creations. It’s a small but delightful museum that will satisfy your sweet tooth and your curiosity.

Museo Napoleónico

History buffs will be intrigued by the Museo Napoleónico, which houses one of the most important collections of Napoleon Bonaparte artifacts outside of France. From personal items to artwork, the collection is a fascinating look at the life of the French emperor. The museum itself, an ornate mansion, adds to the grandeur of the experience.

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam

Last but not least, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam is a tribute to one of Cuba’s most famous artists. It’s a hub for contemporary art, with a focus on promoting artists from developing countries. The exhibitions here are thought-provoking and diverse, showcasing the best of global contemporary art.


  • What are the opening hours for these museums?

    Most museums in Havana are open from 9 am to 5 pm, but it’s best to check ahead as times can vary, especially on holidays.

  • Is photography allowed inside the museums?

    Photography policies differ from museum to museum. Some allow it freely, others may charge a fee, and some prohibit it altogether. Always ask before snapping pictures.

  • Are there guided tours available?

    Yes, many museums offer guided tours, often in multiple languages. These can provide deeper insights into the exhibits and are highly recommended.


Havana’s museums are not just buildings filled with artifacts; they’re vibrant storytellers, each narrating a unique aspect of Cuba’s rich tapestry. From the evocative Museo de la Revolución to the sweet allure of the Museo del Chocolate, there’s a museum in Havana to satisfy every curiosity. These top 10 museums offer a comprehensive look at the art, history, and culture of this fascinating city. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or simply looking to understand Cuba a bit better, these museums are sure to enrich your Havana experience. So, next time you’re in town, make sure to set aside some time for these cultural havens – you won’t regret it!

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