Things to do in Santiago 1

Things to do in Santiago de Cuba

Fast-paced and fun-loving, energetic and artsy, there are endless things to do in Santiago de Cuba. Summer is the best time to visit because frequent festivals push this already lively city to its most exciting limits. 


Carnaval is one of the top things to do in Santiago de Cuba. Each summer to celebrate the sugar cane harvest and Saints' days the city bursts with music, parades, costumes, and traditional Cuban food and alcohol. If you miss the festival itself, the Carnaval Museum is open to visitors year-round. 

Cuartel Moncada

This former military barracks is now a museum about Castro's Revolution that kicked off here in 1953. Cuartel Moncada is one of Cuba's best museums. It is filled with detailed maps and plans for the Revolution as well as artifacts from the Revolution and its aftermath. 

Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro

This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits high above the Santiago Harbor. It is home to the Museo de Piratería as this fort was originally designed to protect Santiago de Cuba from pirates. 

Parque Cespedes

This park is the best place to get a feel for things to do in Santiago de Cuba from a local perspective. It is a beautiful snapshot of Cuban street life complete with musicians playing, street stalls selling empanadas, and friends arguing jovially about baseball. 

Bacardi Rum Factory

The original Bacardi factory opened in Santiago de Cuba is 1868. Today, Bacardi doesn't manufacture in Cuba, but the government keeps the factory open to produce traditional Cuban rums. Stop in for a tour, tasting, or to shop. 

Rumba Cafe

If you need a break from the sweltering summer heat and year-round congestion of a large city, drop into the Rumba Cafe. Enjoy coffee and cake in this chill atmosphere before tackling your list of other things to do in Santiago de Cuba

Updated March 16, 2018