Christian Churches of Havana, Havana (Self Guided)

Discovered and conquered by the Spaniards, Havana has turned into a major religious center of Catholicism in the Caribbean. Although a communist regime is in power at the moment, many of the churches, cathedrals, and other religious buildings are preserved and still give a glimpse of the religious heritage of Havana.
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Christian Churches of Havana Map

Guide Name: Christian Churches of Havana
Guide Location: Cuba » Havana (See other walking tours in Havana)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Author: kane
1
Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

1) Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

Saint Francis of Paula Church used to serve as a women's hospital in the past, but after the hurricane in 1730, it was destroyed and rebuilt to become a church. However, it was abandoned for some years before its latest restoration in 1946. The church has a unique Baroque architectural style.
2
Iglesia del Espíritu Santo

2) Iglesia del Espíritu Santo

Iglesia del Espíritu Santo is the earliest-built christian church in the city of Havana. The church is well known for its possession of some exceptional images on linen, plus a crypt with catacombs. Built in 1638, it's also the only church in Havana to give political asylum. The bell tower on the left side of the building is amongst the tallest buildings in the old part of the city.
3
Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen

3) Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen

Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen was finished in 1718, and was given to the first members of the order of Bethlehem that arrived in Havana. After it had been the property of the Spanish government, it was taken by the Jesuits and enlarged. Today, the church has just one arch and a gate with beautiful stone statues depicting different saints.
4
Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje

4) Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje

Iglesia del Cristo was constructed in mid 17th century and in 1693, it was certified as a parish church by the most distinguished priest of the Cuban episcopate - Bishop Avelino de Compostela. There's a picture of Christ on the Cross inside the church, which is believed to keep travelers from harm. The Baroque motifs and its towers make the church unique.
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Havana Cathedral

5) Havana Cathedral (must see)

Constructed by the Jesuits (1748–77) on the site of an earlier church, La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana (Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception) is also dedicated to Saint Christopher, thus it is sometimes dubbed as Catedral de San Cristobal.

Set in the former Plaza de La Ciénaga or Swamp Plaza, the Cathedral is said to be the only example of a baroque facade that was designed with asymmetrical features – one of the towers is wider than the other. This particular feature was conceived in order to allow the water that tended to accumulate on the plaza to freely flow through the streets during the colonial period when it was built.

Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier famously described the Cathedral as "music set in stone". In fact, its structure is notable for being built with a stone which is very different from what folks are used to in Europe. It lends it a particular color but it is really beautiful. Nearby there are terraces, music, and people all around offering drinks, food, cigars, and many more – the essence of the city.

Tip:
Note that despite the official opening times, the Cathedral is often locked, though you can sometimes gain access just before mass.
Admission is free – although there is a small charge if you wish to go up the bell tower – and there are free cover-ups for those with short shorts or bare shoulders.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10:30am-3pm; Sat: 10:30am-2pm; Sun: 9am-12pm

Mass:
Mon, Fri: 7:15am; Tue, Thu: 8:15pm; Sat: 5:30pm; Sun: 10:30am
6
Convento de San Francisco de Asis

6) Convento de San Francisco de Asis

Convento de San Francisco de Asis pays homage to the Corinthian and Doric styles, and it has a few remnants of early Baroque architectural style as well. It has been destroyed several times but has managed to retain its magnificent antique looks. It's located in the old part of the city and is easily accessible.

Walking Tours in Havana, Cuba

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Havana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cuban Freedom Fighters & Battles

Cuban Freedom Fighters & Battles

Since it was discovered by Spain, the Island remained under its rule until the late 19th-early 20th century. During that period, it saw a series of wars, revolutions, and coup d'etats. On this tour you will see the key places in Havana related to those events, as well as monuments to the key people who made them happen.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Clubbing in Havana

Clubbing in Havana

The nightlife in Havana is rich and diverse. Clubs and cabarets are an important part of this city. Havana has a lot to offer - from the famous cabaret Tropicana to the simplest but authentic cabarets. Take a sip of rum and enjoy a show, or go to a Western-style bar and dance until dawn. Feel enticed by the rhythms of Rumba and Bolero - these are some of choices available to you here in Havana.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Havana City Center Walk

Havana City Center Walk

The city of Havana was founded in 1511. Today, Havana is the capital of Cuba and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Havana is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean region. Almost perfect weather conditions makes it a great spot for taking a vacation. This walking tour will help you explore the center of Havana.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Specialty Shopping in Havana

Specialty Shopping in Havana

Shopping in Havana will leave you not only with unique and beautiful memorabilia, but it will also let you walk in the shoes of Cubans themselves. Stroll the narrow streets of Havana and see all that the city has to offer. Choose from a variety of unique objects representing the culture of the city and its history. Below, you can see how to visit the best of the shopping spots of Havana.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Architectural Walk

Architectural Walk

Havana, once a major sea power in the Caribbean, still retains an aura of royalty and splendor. Take this walk and explore the architectural landmarks of the city and see mixtures of all the styles that have dominated major civilizations in the past several hundred years.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Cultural Walk in Havana

Cultural Walk in Havana

Havana is both the official capital of Cuba, and the cultural capital as well. Many galleries, cinemas, theaters, and music shops offer visitors a taste of the local culture - which is a mixture of native habits and ways along with those of the Spaniards, and later, U.S. influence. The following tour will take you for a short walk which will summarize it all.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Cuban Sweets and Pastries

Cuban Sweets and Pastries

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Havana for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Havana has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Havana, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.