This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin Holidays website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details, see our cookie policy.

Skip to main content Virgin holidays logo
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

10 things to do in Cuba

12 things to do in Cuba

As the biggest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is oozing with variety and personality. And while it’s famous for its world-class beaches and laid-back vibe, there’s something very different about this sunshine destination. From the island’s extraordinary history and political system to its unique Afro-Latin culture – Cuba is one of the most beguiling Caribbean islands you’ll find.

Here are 10 brilliant things to do beyond the beach while you’re there...


1. Havana history

What do I do while in Havana?’ you might ask. As the island’s capital, it’s vibrant, bursting with character and is home to some of the most fascinating history you’ll find.

Those charming rainbow-colonial buildings and colourful 1950s American cars you see on postcards are all found here, so it really is a photographer’s dream.

Explore its incredible Baroque cathedral, fort ruins and ancient plazas and the restored churches and mansions of Habana Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Any stroll around this unique metropolis is like taking a nostalgic step back in time.


2. Cigar city

While in Havana, aka ‘Cigar City’, it would be rude not to head out to one of the many factories to watch the experts hand-rolling tobacco leaves into those world famous cigars.

From the Partagas Cigar Factory – the oldest in Cuba – to the El Laguito Cigar Factory, set in a manicured garden oasis, you’ll be mesmerised by the heady aromas, hard work and unique craft that goes into this centuries-old export.

You may even get to roll your own.


3. Visit the Museo del Chocolate

Chances are, you think of Chocolate when in Cuba, so a visit to Museo del Chocolate should be on every visitor’s list. More a café than a museum, this chocoholics’ heaven in the heart of Old Havana serves up warming cups of melted chocolate, or if the sun’s blazing outside go for chilled version.

Watch chocolates being made and breathe in the sweet aromas while admiring charming chocolate artefacts that adorn the walls.


4. Cuban cuisine

Influenced by many cultures – Cuban cuisine is extremely diverse! For lunch, try a meat or cheese empanada, a type of Cuban sandwich to take your taste buds to their happy place. And by night, you might come across fried plantains, congri (rice) and a variety of pork or chicken.

Mojitos by the poolside are another must, made with lime juice and pure cane rum, these are as much part of the paintwork as the good ol’ Cuban cigars. In fact, Cuba is known as ‘Rum Island’ so book a visit to the Bacardi® Rum factory for a free tasting and to see how rum is made locally and exported worldwide.


5. Get yer groove on

Cuba oozes an infectious Hispanic-Afro-Caribbean vibe. And while you’re out and about you’re sure to discover the wild musical beats that bleed almost continuously in the streets. Get your fill in a wide variety of live music venues and brush up on your moves with the locals.

Mambo, rumba, bolero, or reggaeton. Everything goes here, so find a dancehall and get into a Buena Vista Social Club kinda vibe.


6. Visit Pinar del Rio

A less visited corner of Cuba, Pinar del Rio, a town closest to some of the world’s largest tobacco-growing territories, is worth a visit for its picturesque countryside and distinct Latin feel. Soak up the brightly coloured Spanish architecture, watch cigars being rolled in an old factory and see some of the finest Cuban art in its selection of museums.

While you thought rum was the preferred tipple in Cuba, you might want to try Guayabita del Pinar. A sweet heady brew otherwise known as guava brandy, this is the city’s signature liquor that you might be tempted to try.


7. Trinidad

Steeped in history from the sugar and slave trade, a visit to this charming UNESCO World Heritage site feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Big colonial and palatial architecture, Spanish-feel plazas and winding cobbled streets, Trinidad is a gem of a city that’s overflowing with character. Take a train into the Valley of the Sugar Mills and enjoy tours of the plantations overlooked by verdant countryside.


8. Explore the marine life

If you like diving, you’ll love Cuba. With pristine waters, over 50 species of coral and vibrant tropical fish, you’re heading for underwater bliss. There are dozens of good diving centres across the island offering underwater expeditions for both the beginner and advanced diver.

From the largest colony of black coral to underwater caves, shipwrecks and turtles, you’ll be left in awe of Cuba’s aquatic treasures.


9. Watersports

Surrounded by the emerald sea, Cuba’s selection of water sports is diverse. Kayaking, windsurfing, fly fishing trips and hobie cat sailing are never far away on this island.


10. Lap up Varadero’s nightlife

By night, the beautiful spot of Varadero becomes a great place to party. From Mambo clubs to cabaret and Discos to karaoke, this is the time to get yer glad rags on. There’s live music, dance floors and flowing mojitos galore. A great way to end the holiday of a lifetime.


Check out our Cuba holidays »

Tagged in:

  • Cuba
  • City and shopping breaks
  • Caribbean
  • Beach
  • Events
  • Travel tastes
  • Travel tips
  • Off the beaten track
13 Jun 2016 | Virgin Holidays


There has been an error

Please try again

Text Message

There has been an error

Please try again


Thanks, we'll be in touch soon

How can we help?

Let’s get started. Please choose an option below.

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK have advised against all but essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 May 2020 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge up to 31 December 2021.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice

Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.

How would you like to talk to us?

Important information: We are working hard to help all of our customers, particularly those already on holiday or due to travel in the next 72 hours.

Stay tuned for the latest updates

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are currently contacting all customers whose holidays have been affected to discuss their options. This means we’re only able to accept calls and messages from those due to travel in the next 72 hours. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk

If you still need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel in the next 72 hours, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us.  You are our immediate priority.

Payment flexibility

Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. 

You can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. 

If you’re struggling to pay, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go

Currently, your holiday will be going ahead as planned.

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by travel restrictions or cancellations.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

We’re sorry to say that it’s taking much longer than usual to process your refund. It’s taking longer than we’d like as well. This is due to the number of requests being sent to us and our teams working from home.

We’re doing our best to help every customer, but we’re not able to always meet the 15, 45 or 90-day timeframes we originally stated for every customer. As always, we’re grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding. It means the world to us.

We'll be in touch soon

We’re keen to help you rearrange your holiday plans and our team are currently working through requests in order of departure. We’re helping those customers in June at the moment so please bear with us, someone will call you back.

Need help?

Talk to an expert

Call us directly

Feel free to call us directly on
01234 567784
Our travel experts are on hand to help you book your next holiday.

Send us an email

Feel free to email us directly on
We will try to respond to your email within 24 hours.