Museo Hemingway

Museo Hemingway information

Havana , Cuba
admission CUC$5, guide CUC$5
Opening hours
10am-5pm Mon-Sat, to 1pm Sun
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In 1940, novelist Ernest Hemingway bought the Finca la Vigía villa on a hill, 15km southeast of Havana where he lived continuously until 1960. The villa’s interior has remained unchanged since the day Hemingway left, and the wooded estate is now a museum. To prevent the pilfering of objects, visitors are not allowed inside the house, but there are enough open doors and windows to allow a proper glimpse into Papa's universe. A stroll through the garden is also worthwhile.

Hemingway left his house and its contents to the 'Cuban people,' and the museum has been the stimulus for some rare shows of US–Cuban cooperation. In 2002 Cuba agreed to a US-funded project to digitalize the documents stored in the basement of Finca la Vigía, and in May 2006 sent 11,000 of Hemingway's private documents to the JFK Presidential Library in America for digitalization. This literary treasure trove (including a previously unseen epilogue for For Whom the Bell Tolls) was finally made available online in January 2009.

Inside the house, there are books everywhere (including beside the toilet), a large Victrola and record collection, and an astounding number of knickknacks. Don't come when it's raining as the house itself will be closed. In the garden, you’ll see the surprisingly sentimental dog cemetery, Hemingway's fishing boat El Pilar and the pool where actress Ava Gardner once swam naked. You can chill out here on a chaise longue below whispering palms and bamboo.

To reach San Francisco de Paula, take metro bus P-7 (Alberro) from the Capitolio in Centro Habana. Tell the driver you're going to the museum. You get off in San Miguel del Padrón; the house entrance is on Calle Vigia, 200m east of the main road, Calzada de Guines.