The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption during sunset in Santiago, Cuba
CULTURE CAPITAL

Cruise to Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is the island’s second-largest city— but it’s second to none when it comes to one-of-a-kind adventures. This is where Bacardi rum was first produced and Son Cubano music sounded its first rhythms. This romantic city distinguishes itself from the rest of Cuba with a vibrant mixture of architecture and Afro-Cuban culture you have to experience first-hand. Walk the 100-year-old Padre Pico Steps to the old French quarter of Tivoli and stand before the graves of national heroes in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. Or visit the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, which was completed in 1922 and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
National Language Spanish
Currency Accepted Cuban Peso (CUP), Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC)

Things To Do in Santiago de Cuba

Open area with benches in the Cespedes Park in Santiago, Cuba

Santiago, Cuba Cespedes Park

ROMANCING THE COBBLESTONES

ROMANCING THE COBBLESTONES

Step out for a walk through bustling Parque Cespedes, one of the city’s main plazas. Admire colonial City Hall and see the ancient Casa Velazquez mansion. Take a snapshot of the Baroque cathedral— and get lost in the romantic melodies of live music splayed throughout Santiago’s lively streets.

Castle of San Pedro de la Roca and Fort in Santiago, Cuba during sunset

Santiago, Cuba Sunset View Castle Fort

HOLD THE FORT

HOLD THE FORT

Behold Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site sitting high above Santiago harbor. Explore its time-worn walls while learning about its defensive legacy during pirate times and the Spanish-American War. Then hear the cannons fire at sunset.

Drink of choice in Santiago, Cuba is a rum and coke

Santiago, Cuba Rum Coke Drinks

COLLECTING MEMORIES

Spend the day browsing one of Santiago’s celebrated museums. See weapons and paintings owned by rum magnate Emilio Bacardí y Moreau at the Bacardí Museum. Enter the oldest house still standing in Cuba at the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano— or marvel at festive floats in the Museo del Carnaval.

Ropa Vieja, which is white rice with shredded beef, is a local cuisine in Santiago, Cuba

Santiago, Cuba Local Cuisine Ropa Vieja

LOCAL CUISINE

Local restaurants offer multi-course Comida Criollo menus, and authentic dishes can also be enjoyed in family homes, served by private paladares. Try Cuban staples like ropa vieja (stewed beef) and tostones (fried plantain patties). Sip rocio con gallo (coffee with rum) or a milkshake at the legendary La Arboleda. Top it off with minty mojitos at a rooftop bar overlooking the city.

Cuban cigars in Santiago, Cuba

Santiago, Cuba Cigars Tobacco

SHOPPING

Stroll along Calle Heredia for ebony sculptures, carnival masks, papier-mâché dolls and jewelry. Stop in Barra de Ron Caney for Cuban-made rum or neighboring Casa del Habano for cigars. Señor Aldo sells books about Cuba’s history, while CDs by Santiaguero son musicians are sold in stores scattered throughout town.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
With 1950s-era streets, narrow sidewalks and buzzing motorcycle traffic, it’s a must to look before crossing the street.

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