Havana by bike - Day Tour
Right through the pulsating Havana by bicycle
A different way of discovering a city...
CODE: FTPH1 Day Trip - Havana by Bike
A bicycle day trip through the pulsating Havana with a tour guide
Habana Vieja – Walk through the Historic City – Harbor Crossing by Ferry – Casa Blanca - Malecon - Vedado – Center of Havana - Plaza de Revolucion – Cementerio Colon - Chinatown - Capitol - Parque Central - Prado - Habana Vieja
With this bicycle tour through the lifelines of Havana you will get to know the capital of Cuba on a very special sightseeing tour. In the beginning of the tour you will learn about the historic center of the city on a walk. On your bike you will ride straight through the veins of the city and the most important parts and will experience the daily life of the Habaneros right at the lifelines of their city. During this tour you will also get a look behind the scenes of the living conditions of the 50s, which will tempt you to stop and take pictures. Colonial, fainted or modern, of course we will also show you many tourist attractions as well as the city’s condition. We will visit many interesting places with you and will tell you many stories about the capital of the Caribbean during special sightseeing breaks. You will be impressed to experience La Habana on this bicycle trip!
Day Tour Havana by bike with your own guide
Historic Center – La Habana Vieja
8:00 am: Collective breakfast in your accommodation (Casa Particular) or café (in case of hotel stay). At the same time the tour is discussed with your bicycle guide and tour guide.
8:30 am: Walk through the historic center of Havana (approx. 1.5 h). In the turmoil of the historic center Habana Vieja every alley and almost every house is worth seeing and here you have great numbers of photo scenes and places to dwell. With us you will walk through the historic part of the city - La Habana Vieja - which is protected by the UNESCO. The city was founded in 1519 and is one of the first seven cities of Cuba. On the guided city tour which has no particular order, you will come across the Plaza de Armas, the Templete, the fortress Real Force Castle, the palace San Francisco de Asis and the cathedral square where you can visit the cathedral. You can also take a look at the original and restored former president Waggons from 1910.
On one of the rooftop decks we will enjoy a tropical refreshing drink while having an excellent view over the photogenic rooftops of Havana. Together we will take a stroll through the shopping streets Calle Obispo and Calle O’Reilly past the Hemingway Bar Bodeguita del Medio and then to the arts and crafts market. On the way we will take short breaks in the narrow alleys of the historic city and next to special buildings. We will look at colonial inner courtyards and learn a lot about the capital Havana and their stories. All drinks are optional and at your own expense!
Our walk through historic Havana ends at our bicycle workshop. Here you will receive your bicycles which will be individually customized and readied for your bicycle tour.
Harbor Crossing – Casa Blanca - Retour Havana
The tour with your two-wheelers will now go along the harbor up to the ferry port of the harbor ferry. Then we cross the harbor on the romantic ferry with our bikes and get off in the part of the city opposite to the historic center, called ‘Casa Blanca’.
This mountainous place holds old fisherman’s houses, dilapidated colonial structures, the Hershey Station, post-revolution homes, the statue of Christ and the seat of the minister of Che Guevara which is a museum today.
Before the revolution, the land north eastern of the harbor bay, which was almost worthless back then, was bought extremely cheap by the old rulers and the American Mafia residing on Cuba. The only thing here was the old Fort El Moro (Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Moro) and very dull areas. By building a tunnel under the entrance to the harbor and constructing a coastal street up to Varadero, the bathing resort of the mighty people at the time, the value of the land around Casa Blanca increased. Afterwards a whole new city district was created next to Avenidas for expensive mansions. In selling these properties to rich Americans, particularly the family Batista and the Cuban Mafia benefited. The revolution brought the project to a halt and built accommodations for many families that did not have a place to stay until then on the already prepared plots. That’s how the districts Casa Blanca and Habana del Este were created.
We cross Casa Blanca up to the impressive statue of Christ. On the steep switchback ramp we will have to push our bicycles for a short while. The wife of dictator Batista wanted to calm down the agitated and protesting people by ordering the erection of a replica of the statue of Christ of Rio. It was not as big as the original but could be seen from all of central Havana. The statue stands opposite the historic center on the other bank of the harbor entrance. Here you will have an unforgettable chance for taking a picture of the Cristo de Habana. On the elevated terrace of Cristo you will have a fantastic panorama view over the entire historic center and also new town of Havana. Furthermore you can see the entrance to the harbor as well as the fort El Morro and the Malecon, the seaside promenade of Havana. Here you can also clearly see why the city was built at the place it is at and why Havana is the most important transshipment port for the Gold of the new world.
From the statue of Christ we will ride to the ‘House of Che‘, the Comandancia of Che Guevara.
Here we will visit the museum quickly and then continue to the fort El Morro and the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Canana, the largest colonial fortifications of Latin America. On our bikes we will then have a quick ride through the grounds up to the lighthouse of the entrance to the harbor. Here you have a fantastic view at the skyline of Havana. Subsequently we will ride back down to the ferry pier for the crossing back to Havana.
Along the Malecon
From the ferry pier we now go along the old customs house of the port and the wharf for the cruise ships, past the Castillo de la Punta up to the entrance to the port. From here the ‘Malecon’ begins, the seaside promenade of Havana. A great part of the activity in Havana happens at this coastal promenade. Especially during the late afternoon when the cool north eastern sea breezes blow in, the Habaneros begin to gather close to the walls of this coastal street to enjoy the cool breeze after a hot day. The promenade street Malecon is a four-lane avenue which stretches along the scenery of run-down old colonial buildings and the former prerevolutionary nightclubs and casinos. Many of these historic buildings were already completely refurbished by foreign funding and welcome you in their old pride. The 7 km long Malecon connects the city districts La Habana Vieja, Centro, Vedado and Miramar and ends at the river Rio Almendares. On this race track from before the revolution (car races used to be held here) we ride to Vedado to the famous Hotel Nacional. On the way the Malecon changes its colors multiple times, with run-down colonial houses, hotels, memorials and modern government buildings.
In the garden of the famous Hotel Nacional we can take a short break, get some refreshments and gaze upon the hotel’s gallery with many world famous people.
Plaza de la Revolucion
After our break at the Hotel Nacional we take a turn at the Cuban National Bank and follow the street Calzada de Infanta. We continue and after the crossing Avenida Salvador Allende we enter the Calzada de Ayesteran and follow it until we reach the national library. Now we are almost at the Plaza de la Revolucion. Here we also cross the inner city districts Vedado and Habana Centro on one of its most important traffic veins. We will have another stop at the place of the revolution, the revolution square, the freedom memorial, an obelisk in the late Art Deco style and memorial with the huge sitting statue of national hero José Martí right in front of it. This is where the pulsating heart of Cuba’s politics lies always in memoriam of the revolutionary leaders.
At this impressive memorial of the place Fidel Castro used to hold his speeches in front of the up to 1.5 million people and has as a result affected global politics greatly. During those speeches in the internal affairs ministry he used to look across the room at the huge wall painting of his erstwhile companion Che Guevara, as well as the picture of Camillo Cienfuegos. As soon as the obelisk is open again (currently still closed) we can take an elevator up to the observation deck in the head of the obelisk. From here you have a fantastic view over the entire city. The laid out star shaped revolution square is surrounded by the revolution palace, the Cuban national theater and the grounds of the internal affairs ministry as well as the ministry of communications in a scenic fashion. A place with many opportunities to take great pictures.
El Cementerio Colon
From the Plaza de la Revolucion we ride through the Avenida de Colon on to the very impressive Cementerio Colon, a sea of graves, crypts and mausolea and the second largest graveyard of all of Latin America. During a tour through these approximately 100.000 funerary monuments and pompous tombs, of which 90% are made of marble, you will hear many stories about this museum-like graveyard. This cemetary is a piece of art consisting of many figures, obelisks, statues, temples and small mansions. Every friend of art is highly amazed when seeing this graveyard.
We now embark on a longer tour over the Calzada de Zapata, past the Castillo del Pricipe onto the long route of the Avenida Zanja. On both sides of the last third of the Zanja the Barrio Chino is located. It’s the former biggest Chinese district of all of Latin America. We ride down the small and colorful Cuchillo street with Chinese food and spice stalls and can gaze upon the wide range of Chinese healing herbs and we also ride past Chinese restaurants. At the end of our Chinatown visit we will pass through the 13 meter high entrance gate into the feisty life around the capitol.
Before we go to the Capitolio of Havana, we will pass through the park of locomotives, a small collection of old steam engines which were discarded here. The capitol of Havana, made of white marble, is an original replica of the capitol in Washington. This impressive pillar structure contains one of the biggest statues in the world under its dome. That is the 17 meter high statue of the republic which is completely covered in Gold. This greatly interesting building with a lot of history is being restored in a few places due to the Cuban parliament moving back in there in 2018. As a consequence you are not able to see every part of the building, however, you can get a wonderful impression of this magnificent structure from the entrance hall.
Really close to the capitol is the interesting park of Havana, the Parque Central, where we take a short break and admire the beauty of the place. Starting from the Gran Teatro de La Habana our eyes wander across the impressing colonial hotel Inglaterra, the other important hotels Telegrafo, Hotel Parque Central and the Plaza. And just in the middle of this park the national hero José Martí sits enthroned with his statue. We will tell you many small anecdotes about this park with such rich history in the capital of Cuba and its direct surroundings. Afterwards we leave this most interesting place and ride down along the Prado.
The strolling promenade is actually called Paseo de Martí and used to be the boulevard of Cuban nobility before the revolution. On this shady tree-lined street people wanted to be seen and looked at. Here they could show off the newest fashion from Europe and the fancy cars from Detroit. Until today the Prado is a gathering place for families after work is done as well as a location where couples meet for dates. We ride down the boulevard past the Palacio de los Matrimonios, the noble registry office of Havana, until we reach Calle Colon. Here we take a turn and make our way up to the museum of the revolution and will also soon see in its garden the Memorial Granma, the ship on which the heroes of the revolution came from Mexico with and then arrived on Cuba. Then we will visit the former palace of the president and the Museo de la Revolucion, where we can have a look at the most important utensils of the museum.
Through the narrow alleys of the historic district
Now we say goodbye to the revolution exhibit and ride straight into the historic district of the city to our point of departure from where we started our bicycle tour through Havana. Our way goes through the narrow colonial alleys of Habana Vieja jammed with transport vehicles and vintage cars. We ride past the partly still very run-down colonial houses and the residents of the historic district who casually have chats in front of their doors and at every corner. Before we reach the parking area of our bikes, we pass the palace of craftsmanship and its halls of handicraft.
After having reached our point of departure with the bicycle workshop, the day trip ‘Havana by Bike’ ends.
End of the bicycle trip ‘Pulsating Havana’
Tip for an evening in Havana: Visit the Tropicana Revue or the Revue Parisien. (Optional)
Appointments: Possible daily.
Prices per person:
1 person € 120
2 people € 89
3 people € 79
4 people € 70
5 people € 65
6 people € 58
Important note: Subsequent billing is possible in the case of unexpected Euro/Dollar fluctuations.
Included in the price:
- Day trip through Havana
- Rental bicycle per participant – helmet included
- From 1 person upwards (6 people max.)
- With own German-speaking tour guide
- Little snack for lunch
- 1.5 liters of water per person – additional drinks are not included
- Admission charges
- Excursions and visits as shown in the program
Not included in the price:
- Cycling gloves
- Additions of any kind
- Cost of services outside the program offered
- All visits, excursions and services not part of the program
- Drinks in the Paladares, Casas, restaurants or other places
- Tourist Tax Cuba and Handling Fee (p.p. 15 EUR)
Changes, falsities, transmission or typing errors are reserved:
Our announcements, confirmations and travel conditions are essential for our offers.
Level of Difficulty Guide
- 1. Very simple: Anyone can join this trip. Short distances, comfortable hotels, a slow pace.
- 2. Simple: Light preparation is necessary. Any reasonably healthy individual should be able to complete the journey. Partial long distances, good standard hotels/ camp sites, some over-night journeys, a moderate pace.
- 3. Medium: Good preparation and a flexible attitude are essential. Some challenging and difficult sections, occasional basic accommodation. (Some of our camping trips fall into this category)
- 4. Medium to Difficult: Good preparation and a flexible attitude are essential. Mostly long distances, often very basic accommodation and/or overnight camping, long backpacking hikes.
This bicycle trip has a difficulty of 1-2 (Simple) and is suitable for every cyclist. Please consider: Participating in trips with rental bicycles is at the traveler’s own risk.
Travel advice: Please remember to bring appropriate footwear, headwear and weatherproof clothing as well as a sufficient amount of water/drinks. Don’t forget your swimwear and take your own bicycle saddle with you!
Sightseeing wishes: If you wish to see special or specific sights, e.g. a tobacco factory, if you want to ride past the greatly interesting churches of Havana, you want to visit other historic structures or places or you wish to have a look at a specific museum, please mention this when signing up for the bicycle tour. We will then gladly talk about and discuss your customized route during breakfast before the tour. Should the route be changed according to your wishes, other stops will be left out and the program will be changed.
Notice: The entire program is subject to change. Visits, guided tours and the programs don’t have a set sequence, their order may change and they depend on the weather conditions and on how much daylight there still is. Unpredictable technical condition changes may also be a reason for last-minute cancelations or changes enforced by the tourist guide. The program order and the order of the day trips are determined by the tour guide. We apologize for any inconvenience. During the Winter months the program order changes due to the days being shorter.
General information and changes in the program:
Please note that tourist attractions, museums etc. may close suddenly and without advance notice. In cases like that we will do our best to find an offer of equal value on site.
Day Tour without overnight-stay.
Booking of your flight:
We recommend to search for flights via flight search machines of your country.
But if you need help, we will assist you at any time.
Travel advice: Please remember to bring appropriate footwear, headwear and weatherproof clothing as well as a sufficient amount of water/drinks. Your own bottle including holder is recommendable.
Don’t forget your swimwear and take your own bicycle saddle with you!
There is the possibility to go diving during or in connection with your trip. Please let us know in advance, if you would like to go snorkeling or diving and we will be pleased to assist you in finding the right choice.