What to Pack for a Trip to Havanna?

Cuba’s Five Star Resorts and the Historic Havanna Have Different Packing Needs

Havana is the capital city of Cuba and a must-see destination for travellers from around the world. It was originally founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. Today, the population is more than 2 million. Noted today for its history, arts, culture, cigars and classic monuments, Havana attracts more than a million tourists every year. Packing for Havanna involves a mix of comfort and style.

This packing guide covers what to pack for a trip to this historic capital. You will also find an overview of the main visitor attractions below. Havanna can be enjoyed as a stand-alone trip, or as an excursion from the many 5-star resorts in Cuba or a cruise. Whether you go for the latest styles, or prefer retro luggage to fit the mood – this guide has you covered.

Packing for the Major Attractions in Havana and Cuba

Old Havana:

Old Havana is situated at the original borders of the city when the Spanish owned the thriving port town. On visiting Old Havana, you will be presented with a series of different picturesque architectural styles as you walk along the cobblestone plazas.

The area is so impressive that is was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in the early 1980s. As well as heading down the narrow streets, you can also situate yourself in one of the squares such as Plaza Vieja and Plaza de Armas. Check out the incredible Cathedral de San Cristobal, with its eye-catching Baroque style and the impressive military fortress Castillo de la Real Fuerza.


For visitors that enjoy whimsical art and vibrant colour, Fusterlandia is a must visit on a trip to Havana.

Created by local painter and sculptor José Fuster, this small village features sculptures, mosaics, paintings and more. As you stroll through this village on the outskirts of the capital you see the vibrant creations everywhere. You can also visit Fuster’s home studio. Fusterlandia is one of the quirkiest attractions in Cuba.

El Malecón:

At sundown, El Malecón is the place to be in Havana. This is where you find the true heart and soul of the city. It is a five-mile-long boulevard, with Havana Bay on one side, touching on Old Havana, Vedado and Central Havana on the other. Shops and restaurants are in easy reach, and this is the place where the locals flock to at night to let their hair down. El Malecón is free to visit and open all year round.

Capitol Building in Havanna

El Capitolio:

The national capital building, built in 1929, might remind you of the US Capitol building in Washington DC. Both have a similar distinctive cupola. This was the seat of the Cuban government until 1959, after the Cuban revolution. The building features a mix of neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles. Guided tours of the building enable you to enter the grand hallways, stand under the huge dome and check out the impressive inlaid marble floors. This striking landmark can be seen from almost any point in the city.

Playas Del Este:

For visitors that enjoy a trip to the beach, you can head 10 miles east of Havana to Playas Del Este. This features a 5 mile stretch of shoreline with a series of picturesque beaches. Each beach offers something different. If you want a beach with a lively atmosphere, try out Playa Boca Ciega or Guanabo, while for something a little more tranquil, head to Bacuranao and Playa Tarará. The turquoise-coloured water in between the beaches is a sight to behold.

Havanna Packing Guide - Cigar

Top Tips for Packing for Havana and Cuba?

Before you even consider what to pack, ensure you have a Cuba Tourist Card before you travel (with some airlines and travel companies it can be bundled into your flight ticket deal).

Dress for the Climate:

Cuba can be very hot for most of the year, so ensure you have packed much light-weight clothing into your suitcase. Smart casual is the way to go in Cuba, shirts, t-shirts, and shorts is the look. Pack a sun hat, or pick one up in Havana, as hats are essential in combatting those rays from the sun. Check weather apps before you go, so you know exactly what to expect on your trip.

Comfortable Shoes/Trainers:

There is a lot of walking to be done in Havana, so ensure you pack something comfortable for your feet. Trainers are ideal, or soft comfortable shoes, which will be ideal for walking on those cobbles and through the city. If you’re travelling to wider Cuba and the more mountainous regions, something hardier for your feet will be ideal.

Havana Travel Guide:

With all of those incredible sights to see in and around Havana, a travel guide is a must. With the guide you’ll be able to work out the best routes and plan your daily excursions throughout your stay. A good travel guide will give you extended information on all of the main landmarks in the city.

Packing for Havanna – Sunglasses:

Sunglasses double up as both a fashion accessory and protect your eyes from the sun. Even better, sunglasses with polarized coatings are ideal in Havana.

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