Top 10 Things to do in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

December 26, 2017 Venice Greaves

Entertainment can be experienced in a variety of ways in Santiago de Cuba.  Your ears may find comfort in the Casa de Las Tradiciones, a venue of the Trivoli neighborhood where Cuba's finest musicians gather for improvisation;  your mouth, in Paladar Salon Tropical, where mainstays of the national cuisine arrive in generous portions; your eyes, in the Jardin de Los Helechos, home to a floral explosion of 90 types of orchids and 350 types of ferns.The gentile Tivolí district, some of Santiago de Cuba's most exciting ensembles, singers and soloists take turns improvising. Friday nights are reserved for straight-up, classic trova, à la Ñico Saquito and the like.
Restaurants in Santiago de Cuba

1. La Gran Piedra (The Big Rock)

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 306 reviews

La Gran Piedra (The Big Rock)

Reviewed By David K - Dublin, Ireland

Travelling by taxi up the mountain with roads that were still badly affected by the hurricanes last September was an exercise in dodging large holes and deep dips in the road! It was worth it, however, for a visit to see such exquisitely unique shrubs and flowers not found elsewhere in Cuba. The mix of colours in its unique set of orchids was a sight well worth seeing, in itself.
At the top of the mountain is a large rock standing majestically over all it surveys around it! Overall a visit worth making!

2. Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba +53 22 691569
Excellent
53%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 900 reviews

Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca

Reviewed By Ian C - London, United Kingdom

Guarding the bay of Santiago is the Castillo, built in 1638 as a defence against pirates who included Sir Francis Drake and the Scotsman Alexander Selkirk.
Later converted into a prison, it returned to its original use in 1898 to defend the city against American attacks.
We took a car out to the castle. The various levels of defences can be explored, providing great views of the bay (but take water it if is a hot day). Inside there are various Exhibitions, all in Spanish, but even if your Spanish is weak you can follow the themes of the castle's history.
The bay is still active with tugs escorting ships out until they reach the castle and a ferry across to the small island of Cayo Granma, full of fishermen's houses.

3. Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Excellent
51%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 564 reviews

Santa Ifigenia Cemetery

This cementery houses tombs for such historic notables as José Marti and Emilio Bacardi including graves from those who fought for revolution.

Reviewed By Ian C - London, United Kingdom

Jose Marti's tomb and memorial takes centre-stage in the Santa Ifigenia cemetary near Santiago de Cuba, alongside memorials and graves of many other revolutionaries from the two battles for independence including the students who died during, or were executed after, the unsuccessful attack on the Moncada barracks in 1953 and, of course, Fidel Castro himself whose memorial is a simple large stone boulder.
Given their national importance, the memorials have a military guard and we were there at 10am when there was a Changing of the Guard. Beyond the key monuments there is an entry fee to the remainder of the cemetery, which seems inappropriate. As we were short of time, we decided not to do explore further.

4. Diego Velazquez Museum

Felix Pena 612, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba +53 22 652652
Excellent
52%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 244 reviews

Diego Velazquez Museum

Reviewed By Tenorman41 - Palmerston North, New Zealand

This house is the oldest in Cuba, and a tour through it is thoroughly worth while. We were lucky to have an elderly guide with a strong sense of history and well as excellent English. The architecture is very interesting, as is the collection of furniture and artefacts over the last 3 centuries. Recommended.

5. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

Felix Pena E/ Heredia y San Basilio, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba +53 22 628502
Excellent
47%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 225 reviews

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

Reviewed By sanlewis7 - Armagh, United Kingdom

It is worth a visit if you enjoy art. The paintings on the walls and ceiling were breath taking and the statues were amazing they even have a black virgin mary. The history of the building was interesting and the history behind the catholic church in Cuba.

6. Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park

Holguin, Cuba
Excellent
75%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 280 reviews

Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park

Reviewed By Lauren T

Fabolous time here swimming with dolphins, watching the sealion show and had some lunch here. Never swam with dolphins before and was so excited. Beautiful creatures looked after by fabolous people here, even got my partner to come in as well even though he doesn't swim and he loved it too (everyone wore a lifejacket, so I don't think he felt out of place) it's a must when in Cuba. One word to finish FAB!!!

7. Cespedes Park

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Excellent
38%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 418 reviews

Cespedes Park

Reviewed By Denes222 - Szeged, Hungary

Main square of Santiago, where tourist and locals mixed. Town hall, Cathedral, and Casa Granda hotel around. Sometimes there is concert, local music and other entertainments. Sit on Casa Granda balcony and watch people while drinking a mohito...enjoy !

8. Moncada Barracks

General Portuondo y Avenida Moncada, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba +53 22 620157
Excellent
38%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 398 reviews

Moncada Barracks

Reviewed By FMPDZ - McDonough, Georgia

Walkabout of Moncada Barracks where Fidel Castro and fifty others first tried to bring down the Batista government...July 26, 1953. Bullet holes still apparent. Castro was captured, tried and jailed...later released in a general amnesty....to return in November of 1956 with Cienfuegos, Che Guevara, and brother Raul...referred to by the faithful as the "Historic Generation". Two years later, they ran the country.
Now only Raul remains and he's declared 2018 as the end-date of his presidency.. Nobody in Cuba seems to have a clear idea of who ...or even how...there will be a successor.
After, sauntered past what had been the homes of Army Officers...and the pre-revolutionary Coca-Cola plant (...wonder where the Coca-Cola executive lived...maybe there's are record in the Coco-Cola archives in Atlanta?)
Then entered the "French Quarter" (..!!??). Seems this is where the French sugar cane plantation owners fled to when Haiti's slaves rose in revolt. Architecturally a very neat fusion of French "Empire" and Caribbean practicality: verandas, high ceilings, cross-ventilation, shading trees, ample space between homes. Some on sale by the original owners...those who stayed after the Revolution and, believe it or not, were allowed to keep their residence...but no more than one.
BTW: first time I noticed how clean the streets in Cuba were....in "up-scale" Neighborhoods (albeit past their glory days) and any of the city centers we visited. And complete personal safety...very few cops...no need to look over your shoulder every time you step into a side street.

9. Revolution Plaza (Plaza De La Revolucion)

Upper Vedado, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Excellent
27%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
26%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 406 reviews

Revolution Plaza (Plaza De La Revolucion)

Reviewed By Eunice B - Reno, Nevada

The people of Cuba are wonderful, they're happy, musical, extremely friendly. It's a VERY safe place to travel. Santiago de Cuba has a lot to see there along with the Revolution Plaza. It has the beautiful old fort, which is so interesting to walk thru. A lot of museums. It's quite colorful. There's market places, art museums. The park with the machetes has a lot of history.

10. casa Velasquez

Plaza de la Cattedral | Fronte Catterale E Hotel Casa Grande, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Excellent
42%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 89 reviews

casa Velasquez

Reviewed By Susanlockyer - Ilkley, United Kingdom

Great place to see all the people out and about on a busy sunny day while on a day trip down with our taxi driver Leo in his 55 Chevron.lots of street vendors selling food and clothing,leather,jewellery and an old organ playing.

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