The Parque Central area contains the Washington-like Capitolio Capital Building, the Gran Teatro de la Habana, the Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás building, and many hotels including the Hotel NH Parque Central, Hotel Telegrafo and Hotel Inglaterra. The Prado connecting Parque Central to the Malacon contains the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Museo de la Revolución. The Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana Centro has an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Cuban paintings and sculpture by artists like Tomás Sánchez, Victor Manuel Garcia, Wilfredo Lam, Amelia Pelaez, and Raul Martinez.
Many of the baroque and neoclassic style buildings in Old Havana Vieja have been beautifully restored in the past few years. The Plaza de Armas is the most important Old Havana plaza with the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales now housing the Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum), and the Castillo de la Real Fuerza nearby. Other plazas to explore include the Plaza de la Catedral, the Plaza de San Francisco, and the Old Plaza Vieja. Ernest Hemingway famous places include the El Floridita bar for a Daiquiri, the Bodeguita del Medio for a mojito, and the Hotel Amdos Mundos.
Vedado is a Havana neighbourhood to the west of Havana Centro, containing the art deco Hotel Nacional, the Ministerio del Interior with the large Che Guevarra mural, and the Memorial Jose Marti. Farther on is the world famous Tropicana cabaret show.
The Vinales Valley, 200km southwest of Havana, is in Pinar del Río, Cuba's westernmost province where the best tobacco in the world is grown. It is also very picturesque with stunning karst hill formations, known locally as mogotes, riddled with caves.
Cienfuegos is a city of beautiful colonial buildings set on the serene Bahía de Cienfuegos, with Punta Gorda, the thin knife of land that slices into its southern waters. The Parque Jose Marti is surrounded by beautiful buildings like the Palacio de Ferrer; the Teatro Tomas Terry; and the Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception). The Jardin Botanico (Botanical Garden), just 18km from Cienfuegos, has more than 1500 different species of plants.
Trinidad was one of Cuba’s most important centres for the slave trade and sugarcane industry in the early 1800s. Plaza Mayor is the hub of the old town with beautiful brightly painted colonial mansions, including the Palacio Brunet (Museo Romantico), and former convent of San Francisco de Asís (Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos), with a yellow and green bell-tower. Nearby is the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) with lime-green cane fields set against a bank of dark green mountains, and the wooded Sierra del Escambray Mountains.
Come to Santa Clara to remember Che Guevara. There is a towering statue of Che Guevara at the Monumento Ernesto Che Guevara monument. The Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado boxcar museum marks the spot where Che Guevara’s men captured a 22-car armored train containing 350 heavily armed Batista troops. There is also a bronze statue of Che Guevara with a cigar in one hand and the Child of the Revolution in the other. Grand, mainly neoclassical public buildings like the Teatro La Caridad (Charity’s Theater) enclose the Parque Vidal.
Varadero is a resort town in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, some 140 km east of Havana, boasting more than 20 km of white sandy beaches with clear turquoise warm water. In Matanzas, the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas 32 km from Varadero, the leafy main square Parque Libertad has a surprisingly interesting Pharmaceutical Museum, while the Plaza de la Vigia has some interesting buildings like the Teatro Sauto. The Bacunayagua Bridge to the west of Matanzas is the highest in Cuba, with a lovely valley view.