Getting to know La Havana from the Tourist Bus

Havana Tourist Bus TourIf you're looking for things to do in Havana when you have limited time, mobility issues or if you're travelling with small children and babies to the Cuban capital this post is for you.

One suggestion always remains the same and that's to simply hit the streets and explore Havana by foot. Walking is by far the best way to explore and get a feel for this iconic Cuban city and when you´ve had enough, or things get too hot, you can always jump in one of the many public or private taxis that cruise the streets, (known as Almendrones) or any other type of popular Cuban transport (cocotaxi, rickshaw).

The cheapest and easiest option if you don't have much time or are moving on to another destination in Cuba is to explore Havana city on the TOURIST BUS – also known as the Habana Bus Tour. These double deckered open-top red buses are highly visible around the historical city and are ideal for those who are eager for panoramic and awesome views or a comfortable vantage point to take pictures of Havana city. The tourist buses also provide a variety of alternative routes to choose from and have more than 60 stopping points, where you can jump on or off at will and explore your favourite areas on foot before hopping back on the next bus to pass. The Habana Bus Tour has its departure base at Central Park, very close to the Havan Capitol, Hotel Inglaterra and Hotel Central Park.

visiting Havana on the Tourist Bus TourThe Havana tourist bus offers 3 individual routes (more details below) and run from 9 am until 9 pm departing every 30 minutes. Passengers should always keep their ticket and show it to the driver every time they get on, or off, the tourist bus.

Prices start at just 10 CUC per day and for first time visitors to Havana especially, the option of getting off and exploring the city by foot is a great way to become accustomed with Cuba and learn a little more about its famous capital.

The tourist bus makes a cheap and affordable alternative to private taxis with a day-long ticket costing the same as a single fare. And the new policy of unlimited riding has proved very popular with visitors to allowing you to spend as much, or as little time exploring by foot as you're comfortable with, while still taking in all the major attractions.

One point worth noting is that for obvious reasons tour buses cannot enter the 'Old Havana' part of town, because of traffic restrictions, which will still need to be discovered by foot. Route 1 is probably the most popular route most probably because the bus has a top floor, while routes 2 and 3 make the journey in conventional buses as they travel under tunnels and drive at a higher speed in certain sections of the city.

The 3 routes of the tourist Habana Bus Tour

T1. Alameda de Paula - Revolution Square (major route)

Distance: 23 kilometers round trip.

Stops at:

  • Royal Force Castle
  • Hotel Sevilla
  • Parque Central
  • Hotel Presidente
  • Revolution Square
  • Napoleonic Museum and University of Havana
  • Hotel Habana Libre
  • Americas and Foreign Office House Building
  • Prado and San Lazaro
  • National Capitol and Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
  • Floridita Restaurant
  • Cabana Bar
  • Marine Building
  • Alameda de Paula

T2. Marina Hemingway - José Martí Revolution Square

(Secondary route)

Distance: 40km round trip.

Stops at:

  • La Ferminia Restaurant
  • Nautical Mall
  • La Cecilia Restaurant
  • Miramar Trade Center
  • National Aquarium
  • 1st and 28th Havana Scale Model
  • 1st and 18th Don Cangrejo Restaurant
  • International Clinic Cira Garcia
  • 23 Street and Ave 47, west from the bridge over the Almendares River
  • Colon Cemetery
  • Revolution Square.
  • Same stops when returning to Marina Hemingway

T3. Central Park - Playa Santa Maria del Mar (Secondary Route along the beaches in East Havana)

Distance: 65km round trip.

Stops at:

  • Tunnel exit to Playas del Este (East Beaches)
  • Naval Hospital
  • Villa Panamericana
  • Alamar
  • Villa Bacuranao
  • Taramar, opposite Tarará Marine
  • Villa Mégano
  • Hotel Tropicoco
  • Hotel Blau Arenal, former Itabo.
  • On the return to Parque Central the same stops are set

Havana Playas del Este BeachRoute number 3 terminate at the beach Santa María del Mar also known as Playas del Este beach, an extensive strip of pure white sand on the Caribbean Sea with turquoise water, which is just 15 kilometers from Havana city center. It is well worth stopping off for a while here, and sampling a refreshing drink, or Cuban mojito, plus a snack at one of the many small bars by the sea. It's also a great spot to sunbathe and enjoy the warm waters.

Tourist bus 3 routes schedules in the Cuban capital and more detailed information on what to see in Havana

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