Parque Céspedes

Santiago de Cuba

Archetype for romantic Cuban street life, Parque Céspedes is a throbbing kaleidoscope of walking, talking, hustling, flirting, guitar-strumming humanity. Surrounded by colonial architecture, this most ebullient of city squares is a sight to behold day or night. See the bronze bust of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who kick-started Cuban independence in 1868, and Cubans enjoying the open wi-fi signal. By publication time, the surrounding streets should be pedestrian-only and the park spiffed up after a renovation.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santiago de Cuba attractions

2. Casa de la Cultura Miguel Matamoros

0.03 MILES

The Casa de la Cultura Miguel Matamoros, on Parque Céspedes' eastern aspect, is the former San Carlos Club, a social center for wealthy santiagüeros until…

3. Ayuntamiento

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The neoclassical Ayuntamiento was erected in the 1950s using a design from 1783 and was once the site of Hernán Cortés’ mayoral office. Fidel Castro…

4. Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano

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The oldest house still standing in Cuba, this arresting early colonial abode dating from 1522 was the official residence of the island's first governor,…

5. Museo Arquidiocesano

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6. Calle Heredia

0.08 MILES

The music never stops on Calle Heredia, Santiago's most sensuous street and also one of its oldest. Melodies waft from the paint-peeled Casa de Cultura…

7. Balcón de Velázquez

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8. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen

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You can dig deeper into Santiago's ecclesiastical history in this tumbledown construction, a hall church dating from the 1700s that is the final resting…