neighborhoods in havana

Havana Neighborhoods: A Local’s Guide [2024]

Cuba’s cool, complex capital of Havana is a city packed with incredible neighborhoods with plenty of things to see and do. However, there are also some areas – overhyped or otherwise – that you’ll probably want to skip.

As locals, we’ve walked and explored what feels like every centimeter of Havana – and found all the best places to stay in Havana and areas to explore that visitors won’t want to skip. Read on for the Havana neighborhoods with the most to do and all the places you’ll want to see, whether you’re looking for the best things to do in Havana or the hidden gems only locals know.

havana neighborhoods

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Havana Neighborhoods To Know

There is so much more to Havana than just the historic Old Havana neighborhood so frequented by tourists and travelers the world over. While the city of Havana consists of eighteen different municipalities and 43 official barrios or “neighborhoods,” these are some of the most important neighborhoods that visitors need to know:

  • Old Havana
  • El Vedado
  • Centro Habana
  • Miramar
  • 10 de Octubre
  • Regla

Other Havana neighborhoods to know might include areas like Guanabacoa, Playa, Marianao, and Santiago de las Vegas, with the Playas del Este beach zone just beyond the city limits. In our detailed guide below, we’ll break down each of the most important neighborhoods in Havana and let you know which destinations in the city should be on your radar.

old havana cuba

Old Havana

Old Havana, as the name of this Havana neighborhood implies, is the oldest part of the larger city of Havana, located directly along the port and waterfront. Old Havana is where to stay in Havana for first-time visitors, and where most visitors will want to spend a lot of their time while exploring Havana.

There are plenty of things to do in Old Havana, including visiting the city’s best museums, like Museo de la Revolución, strolling historic streets, and visiting the neighborhood’s four main historic plazas. I always recommend travelers take one of the free walking tours of Old Havana as an intro to all the area has to offer.

Old Havana is also home to some of the best restaurants in Havana, as well as plenty of places to stay – both some of the best casa particular guest houses in the city and some of the best hotels in Havana.

Where To Stay in Old Havana

Read More: Old Havana: Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

vedado havana parque g

El Vedado

The Havana neighborhood known as El Vedado is one of Havana’s most popular and upscale neighborhoods, “newer” in relation to the centuries-old Old Havana but packed with what were once the sprawling, historic mansions of Havana’s elite. El Vedado is a great place to stay in Havana – it’s where to stay in Havana for those looking for a little more space and peace and quiet than Old Havana can provide.

El Vedado is second only to Old Havana in terms of the number of drawing visitors to Havana. The neighborhood has everything from some of Havana’s biggest attractions, like Fábrica de Arte Cubano, to tiny shops and cafes that make it such a popular destination.

Some of the best restaurants in the city – and the best bars, and the best clubs – are located in El Vedado. This is yet another reason to consider staying in one of the many hotels or casa particular guest houses in El Vedado – you’ll probably find yourself at the end of the night here, anyway.

Where To Stay in El Vedado

centro havana havana

Centro Habana

Wedged between Old Havana and El Vedado, the Centro Habana is a mostly residential neighborhood in Havana that’s close to everything. Centro Habana has the distinction of being where to stay in Havana for budget-friendly accommodations, with tons of affordable casa particular guest houses making it a popular option for budget-conscious travelers.

Centro Habana is more known for its location than any true distinctive feel of its own, but it certainly tends to have a more local, slightly grittier feel than its neighbors. It’s slightly less charming, yes, but it still has plenty to offer.

A historic building in Centro Habana is home to arguably the best restaurant in Cuba – La Guarida – but there are plenty of other great spots to eat in Centro Habana as well. While the neighborhood has its scattering of upscale spots generally located closer to its outer edges, it also has a great scattering of local eateries and restaurants to enjoy.

Where To Stay in Centro Habana

Travel Insurance

Cuba requires that all travelers have proof of a comprehensive travel insurance policy in order to enter the country. Check out our guide to travel insurance for Cuba for more details. We recommend these brands for Cuba travel insurance:

  • Visitors Coverage: Coverage for Cuba travel available to citizens of all countries, though not currently available to residents of New York and Maryland in the United States.
  • Insubuy: Coverage for Cuba travel available to citizens of all countries and states of the United States.
miramar havana
Salvador Aznar / Shutterstock


Located along the waterfront outside of the heart of the city of Havana, the neighborhood of Miramar is undeniably the most upscale residential area of Havana.

Miramar is where to stay in Havana for luxury and resort-like accommodations. It’s true that Miramar has some of the few true resorts in Havana, but even for travelers looking for this type of experience, I generally don’t recommend that most travelers stay here. A 15-25 minute drive from the heart of the rest of Havana, Miramar isn’t a great place to stay for travelers looking to explore the city.

Despite its distance from the heart of the city, Miramar is undeniably beautiful, gentile, and charming. If you’re looking for a super quiet, laid-back trip where you’ll feel like one of the city’s elite, Miramar might be perfect for you.

Where To Stay in Miramar

10 de octubre havana
Courtesy of La Villa Teresa

10 de Octubre

The Havana municipality, known as 10 de Octubre, is one of the city’s largest areas and is certainly off the beaten path for most visitors to Havana. However, this relatively well-to-do neighborhood can be the perfect place for those looking for where to stay in Havana for a residential vibe or a longer stay.

As 10 de Octubre is one of the largest municipalities in the city, it has a few different neighborhoods within it to be aware of as you explore. Santo Suarez and La Vibora are two of the nicest parts of this neighborhood, both with some beautiful upscale homes and tranquil streets; the views across the city from the hills of each area are stunning.

While 10 de Octubre is off the beaten path, that’s for sure, it’s also home to some of our favorite places to stay in Havana, including hotels like La Villa Teresa and La Rosa de Ortega, which we consider some of the best hotels in Cuba. Parts of the neighborhood, including La Vibora and especially the main Avenida Acosta area, are home to some of the city’s better restaurants, cafes, and bars.

There isn’t much to do here for visitors, it’s true, but if you’re looking for a great, laid-back place to stay that will be both affordable and closer to the local Havana experience, there’s nowhere like 10 de Octubre.

Where To Stay in 10 de Octubre

Travel Essential

Don’t think about traveling to Cuba without a good VPN (Virtual Private Network). Using a VPN while connecting to the internet is an easy way to keep your personal information safe from hackers and trackers. We’ve used NordVPN for years and couldn’t recommend it more – it’s a must for safety online, especially in Cuba. 

regla havana
Fernando Medina / Shutterstock


Located across the harbor from Old Havana, Regla is a mostly residential neighborhood overlooking much of the city. Regla is primarily known to visitors as an important center for Santería, a homegrown syncretist religion that combines Catholic and traditional African imagery and beliefs and is practiced widely throughout Cuba.

Visitors can enter the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla, a Catholic church with significant importance in the religion, and see practitioners in front of the church buying and selling items needed for the religion’s various rituals and gatherings. It’s a fascinating window into this important part of Cuban culture.

To reach Regla, take the lanchita de Regla ferry from Old Havana across the harbor (this is actually one of the best things to do in Havana!). The ferry departs regularly and costs just a few pesos.

While the neighborhood of Regla has a few casa particular guest houses to welcome guests, we don’t recommend most travelers to spend the night here; the area is safe, but there just isn’t more of note to see or do here to make it worth your while when choosing where to stay in Havana.

Other Neighborhoods in Havana

These are not the only neighborhoods to enjoy in Havana – there are plenty more. These are some of the other neighborhoods in Havana you might hear of, and a quick summary of what they’re about:

  • Guanabacoa: One of Havana’s main municipalities, Guanabacoa is located next to Regla, across the harbor from Old Havana. This area is now mostly residential, though for a brief period, it was the capital of Cuba following pirate attacks on Havana (this is one of my favorite facts about Havana).
  • Playa: Miramar is part of the larger Playa municipality, which is overall quite upscale and laid-back. Notably, it’s home to Fusterlandia, a large public art installation by José Fuster.
  • Marianao: A mostly residential suburb of Havana, Marianao is most notably home to the Tropicana, undeniably the most important salsa spot in Cuba.
  • Santiago de las Vegas: Home to the José Martí International Airport and located on the very outskirts of Havana, this neighborhood feels almost like a small town, with lots of farmland and agricultural activity.

Just beyond the borders of the city of Havana is the Playas del Este area on the eastern side of the city. Stretching towards the province of Matanzas, this section of shoreline is home to the closest beaches to Havana that are worth a visit.

It’s not a part of Havana, true, but it’s easily accessible from the city whether by bus or by taxi, making it one of the best day trips from Havana for those looking for a beach day.

Carley Rojas Avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Home to Havana and Explorers Away. She is a serial expat and traveler, having visited 40+ countries and counting. Carley has written for publications like Travel + Leisure, MSN, Associated Press, Weather Channel, Wealth of Geeks, and more. Find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.