With its architecturally distinct neighbourhoods dating from separate eras, Havana looks stunning from above, but since the city is laid out on relatively flat land, you have to go to the southern outskirts or over to the eastern side of the bay for hills high enough to afford a decent view. There are, however, numerous tall buildings open to the public dotted around the city proper, with fabulous vistas across the boroughs. The best of these are detailed below.

Cámara Oscura

Plaza Vieja, Habana Vieja. Catch a view of Havana from the roof terrace or get a “guided tour” of parts of the city through a telescopic lens.

Edificio FOCSA

Calle 17 no.55 e/ M y N, Vedado. The restaurant at the top of the city’s tallest apartment building offers a winning combination of food and great views.

Habana Libre

Calle L e/ 23 y 25, Vedado. You’ll have to eat at the restaurant or pay the nightclub’s entrance fee to get up to the top of this famous Havana hotel – but either way, it’s worth it.

Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís

Plaza de San Francisco, Habana Vieja. Climb the wooden staircase to the top of the church belltower and enjoy a great perspective of the old city.

Memorial José Martí

Plaza de la Revolución, Vedado. An obligatory part of the tourist circuit, the memorial offers the best vantage point for bird’s-eye views of Havana, reaching as far as the western suburbs.

Saratoga and Parque Central hotels

Paseo del Prado, Habana Vieja. The most blissful way to view the city from above is by lounging in one of these two rooftop hotel swimming pools.

Torre del Oro Roof Garden, Hotel Sevilla

Trocadero no.55 e/ Paseo del Prado y Agramonte (Zulueta). One of the swankiest restaurants in the city, in a cavernous balustraded hall with marble floors and towering windows – the food is only average, but the views across the city are superb.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

From the gorgeous countryside of Viñales to the brilliant beaches of Varadero – not to mention the atmospheric, timeworn streets of Havana – Cuba is a begu…

17 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. And, as relations with the US thaw, the country's p…

23 May 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook