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"Plaza de Armas (Arms Square)" Cuba Things to Do Tip by TRimer

Cuba Things to Do: 396 reviews and 710 photos

In the center of the Plaza de Armas, the first plaza in Havana, is a statue of Carlos Manuel. Surrounding the square there are buildings such as the church of El Templete, the Palacio del Segundo Cabo, the luxury hotel Santa Isabel, the Museo Nacional de Historia Nacional,and the Museo de la Ciudad which is the historical museum of the city of Havana. Here second-hand booksellers vie to outdo each other in terms of enthusiasm and originality.

The Plaza de Armas is dominated by the Museo de la Ciudad which occupies the magnificent old Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, once home of the highest colonial authority in Cuba and a former Presidential Palace. This popular museum gives an overview of the history of Havana from its founding until the present day. ($3; Tue to Sat 10:30am to 5pm, Sun 9am to 1pm; Calle Tacón, between Calle Obispo and Calle O'Reilly, 61-2876)

The oldest building in this square is actually just to the side the impressive Castillo de le Real Fuerza, a 16th century colonial fortress surrounded by a moat, today home to the Museo de la Ceramica Artistica.

For visitors wishing to deviate from a cultural tour, the nearby market is the best place in Havana for local arts and crafts.

Directions: Habana Viejo and the water

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 18, 2003
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“Too many places to see, too little time (especially now that I have toddlers)”

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