Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso

Top choice in Havana

The neobaroque Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso, erected as a Galician social club between 1907 and 1914, features highly ornate and even exuberant architectural details. It's the official stage for the Cuban National Ballet Company and the headquarters of the biennial International Ballet Festival. Dance presentations, ranging from ballet to contemporary dance to Spanish-influenced choreography by companies from all over the country and abroad, are the highlights every weekend. There are daily guided tours.

Formerly known as Centro Gallego, the theater was built around the Teatro Tacón, attached to the social club since 1838. The Tacón opened with five masked Carnaval dances, which forms the basis for the claim that it's the oldest operating theater in the western hemisphere. Over its 180 years it has hosted international figures such as Enrico Caruso, Anna Pavlova, Maya Plisetskaya and Sarah Bernhardt, as well as remarkable companies such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, Antonio Gades Ballet and the Ballet of Buenos Aires.

Still standing the test of time, the theater was renovated in 2015 and sparkles afresh from its perch in Parque Central. Its facilities include a 1500-seat main hall, a concert hall, conference rooms and an art gallery.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Havana attractions

1. Hotel Inglaterra

0.04 MILES

Havana's oldest hotel opened its doors in 1856 on the site of a popular bar called El Louvre (the hotel's alfresco bar still bears that name). Facing…

2. Parque Central

0.05 MILES

Diminutive Parque Central is a verdant haven from the belching buses and roaring taxis that ply the Paseo de Martí. Long a microcosm of daily Havana life,…

3. Statue of José Martí

0.06 MILES

The marble statue of José Martí (1905) in the center of Parque Central was the first of thousands to be erected in Cuba. Raised on the 10th anniversary of…

5. Taller Comunitario José Martí

0.11 MILES

Workshop-gallery of an avant-garde artists' collective comprising around a dozen artists. Enter via the radiant mural in El Prado to admire and/or buy…

6. Capitolio Nacional

0.12 MILES

The incomparable Capitolio Nacional is Havana's most ambitious and grandiose building, constructed after the post-WWI boom ('Dance of the Millions')…

7. Statue of Francisco de Albear

0.15 MILES

Thousands of people pass by his image every day, but few spare a glance for this marble statue of engineer Francisco de Albear, located in a small Habana…

8. Palacio de los Matrimonios

0.19 MILES

In largely secular Cuba, this is where many habaneros come to get married and – appropriately – the building is no less lavish than an average church…