Havana is one of the most photogenic locations on the planet. With a unique, gritty atmosphere, welcoming people and a colorful, pulsating culture, Havana is truly a photographer’s dream destination. It is a street photography heaven. Havana is such an exotic and unique destination that when you arrive you can feel overwhelmed by the city, there are so many details to photograph that we recommend you have a list of photography places you do not want to miss during your trip to Cuba.
Participate in a photography trip is a great way to develop your photography skills by learning from a professional photographer while exploring a destination you’ve always dreamed of visiting. If you want to discover Havana from the lens of your camera and capture unique moments, join Espíritu Travel on their annual photography trip to Havana accompanied by the award-winning photographer Jim O’Donnell.
Which are the best places to take photographs in Havana?
From behind your lens, you will be able to be the witness, as well as the main character, of how Cuban culture and the nature of this magnificent destination manifests itself on your Havana trip. While we’ve all seen images of Havana full of the old American cars there is so much more: the magnificent architecture, the history mingling with the present and the faces of its people.
The famous Hotel Nacional
Inaugurated in 1930, the popular hotel has not only an incredible view but a hall covered by the images of the national and international figures that have stayed there and the best cocktails you could ever drink.
At the Hotel Nacional you can photograph the 60s! The hotel has hardly been restored and is as it was built more than 50 years ago. You can capture the passage of time in your photographs. Right between the hotel and the malecón you can descend through the passageways of a fortification that was built to protect the city. Your photographs will tell the story of the soldiers who moved through its passageways.
Undoubtedly one of the best places to photograph Cubans in their maximum splendor. At sundown, Cubans gather along the entire boardwalk to enjoy the evening with their friends, family or couples. It is the perfect spot to photograph Cuban’s culture and people!
San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress
Built during the 18’s century with a cost of 14 million, La Cabaña was considered once the biggest fortification of the Americas. If you participate in Espíritu Travel Imagining Havana Photography Tour in February, when the Book Fair takes place, you will have time to photograph this building at night, when the magic happens!
Old Havana’s streets are narrower than a broad alleyway and almost as old as Columbus. The ancient heart of the Caribbean’s largest city, Old Havana’s (or Habana Vieja) is full of photography spots. Just take your camera out and look thought your lens, this is Cuba!
When you walk through its colorful streets you will discover the great contrasts that exist in Old Havana, some blocks look straight out of a photoshoot, others like a half-completed construction site. Wherever you go, there is always something worth looking at so have your fore sense ready!
When visiting Old Havana with Espíritu Travel photography tour you will uncover 18th century neighborhoods that few visitors see, in lookout for local markets, colonial mansions, street dancers and painters, and unique stories to tell with our cameras. You learn about street photography and the best practices to capture the city spirit.
Don’t miss the sunset at the luxurious Bacardi Building, the most prominent example of the Art Decó style in Cuba.
Fusterlandia: an open-air Cuban marvel
After travelling to different countries and feel the greatness of Picasso, Gaudi and Brâncuși, José Antonio Rodríguez Fuster decided to create public art expressing the magical and authentic Cuban imaginary, Fusterlandia.
Fuster wanted to take his fantasy to a new dimension: a beautiful sociocultural project engaging the entire community. The painter asked to other residents to decorate their homes and businesses, and they agreed. Today, more than 150 houses, fountains, benches, bus stops, public lamps and parks are covered by vibrant mosaics forming curious metaphors. Don’t miss the view of the third floor, a contrast of nature and art which is the real spirit of Jaimanitas.
Callejón de Hamel
This unique alley has been visited by personalities from around the world. Why? Because it’s one big art gallery, a haven for Afro-Cuban art. The sociocultural project was started in the 90 by the painter, sculptor and muralist Salvador González Escalona. He aimed to revitalize the neighborhood creating an art’s space were neighbors could interact through dances, poetry and painting. You will find colorful motives, musicians, dancers and sculptures representing religious symbols and ceremonies of the Santeria and the Regla of Palo Monte.
Callejón de Hamel is a mandatory stop with Espíritu Travel during your Havana photograph tour. You will also visit Fabrica de Arte Cubano, Rafael Trejo Boxing Gym, Viñales and Las Terrazas, located at the Biosphere Reserve Sierra del Rosario, among other places.
Havana Imagined Photography Workshop 8 days trip plan
You’ll get the best of both worlds by visiting Havana’s impressive historical attractions, soaking up the art and cultural scene, discovering hidden local spots around the city, and breaking out into the farmlands and natural parks of the Viñales region. This workshop provides an opportunity to discover and photograph things most visitors will never get to the chance to see, all while meeting some of the island nation’s most interesting inhabitants, including fellow Cuban photographers.
Find out more about Havana Imagined Photography Workshop here.
A photography trip to Havana is the best travel plan for lovers of this art and even more so if the destination is nothing more and nothing less than Havana, a city that has stopped in time, unique in itself, where every corner of the island hides a story to tell through the lens of your camera. If you are interested in participating in Espíritu Travel next Havana photography tour, contact us to receive more information and discover the best places to photograph in Havana.