Top things to do

Top Choice Gallery in Matanzas

Taller-Galería Lolo

Imagine. You're tramping through Matanzas' tatty streets wondering whether the 'Athens of Cuba' moniker is just a local joke when you stumble upon this busy artist's collective down by the river, guarded by epic sur…
Top Choice Church in Matanzas

Iglesia de Monserrate

For a mappable view of mildewed Matanzas on one side and the broccoli green Valle de Yumurí on the other, climb 1.5km northeast of the center up Calle 306 to this renovated church dating from 1875. The lofty bastion…
Top Choice International in Matanzas

El Chiquirrín

A pianist plays romantically on a baby grand, chefs work artistically behind a glass partition in the kitchen, and a waiter carves Chateaubriand at your table. New York? Paris? No, the former culinary wasteland of M…
Top Choice Concert Venue in Matanzas

Sala de Conciertos José White

Restoration of this 1876 building abutting Hotel Velazco was completed in 2014 and every inch, flourish and cornicing of its former glory is well worth a lingering look. Fitting for a building that formerly hosted t…
Cuban in Matanzas

Amelias del Mar

Amelias del Mar brings tongue-in-cheek creativity to standard Cuban 'international' food through flashy presentation and then serves the concept in a neat open-air patio doubling as a lively bar. Here chicken fajita…
International in Matanzas

Restaurante Paladar Mallorca

The Mallorca out in Los Mangos neighborhood northwest of the center impresses with adventurous dishes such as fish in balsamic-cream glaze, and some of Cuba's best piña coladas. Presentation is very nouveau and ther…
Theater in Matanzas

Teatro Sauto

On the threshold of reopening (some time in 2017) after a lengthy renovation, the Sauto certainly has clout: performances have been held here since 1863. If you're lucky, you might catch the Ballet Nacional de Cuba …
Theater in Matanzas

Teatro Sauto

The defining symbol of the city according to Mexican painter (and admirer) Diego Rivera, the Teatro Sauto (1863) on Plaza de la Vigía's south side is one of Cuba's finest theaters and famous for its superb acoustics…
Fort in Matanzas

Castillo de San Severino

Northeast of Versalles lies this formidable bastion, built by the Spanish in 1735 as part of Cuba's defensive ring. It was tested early on by the British; during their 1762 invasion, they mercilessly bombarded it. R…
Church in Matanzas

Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo

Standing back from the disorganized melee of Calle 83 behind shady Plaza de la Iglesia is Matanzas' main church, a neoclassical structure with two unequal towers founded in 1693 (although the existing building dates…