There is something magical about Havana, Cuba. From the moment you leave the airport in one of its famous classic cars you can feel that Caribbean rhythm.

Then you reach Havana and everything is multiplied. This tiny country sitting in the shadow of a giant and still under an embargo is one of the worlds best photography destinations. Here are 20 Havana photos that showcase the unrivalled photo opportunities that you will encounter.

Where sea meets land

It might not be the most impressive boulevard by the sea that you see in the world, but a stroll along the famous Malecon is a travel bucket list item to tick off. Photographically, there are endless opportunities. Whether it is canoodling couples or the ferocity of the sea crashing into the banks, you won’t be dissapointed.

The Malecon at sunset from the lighthouse of El Morro
Photo from the Malecon looking toward El Morro lighthouse at sunrise

Portrait studio

There are many places in the world that can battle it out for the title of “best people photography location”. Havana is certainly a contender. What makes Havana completely different from the rest is the combination of people and the crumbling backgrounds that provide the perfect backdrop. Whether its stock photos or photos for your own collection, visit Cuba, and your portrait portfolio will explode with new images.

portrait of man smoking cigar in havana
havana old town

Vintage cars

Okay it’s not a secret and they have been photographed millions of times, but who cares? A ride in those classic American cars is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. So indulge yourself and take plenty of photos of the classic Cuban cars that you see.

classic cuban car


One of the amazing things about Havana is that life is lived outside in the streets of Old Havana. Wandering around this historic area will never get tiring of repetitive. In fact you could walk along the same street everyday and end up with new photos every time.

Men playing dominos in Old Havana

Just wandering around the streets of Havana will keep you busy photographing. The key is to keep your eyes open and keep returning the the same locations to see if things have changed. This is a constantly moving place and needs ample time to photograph.


Heard of Che?

Che Guevara is as iconic as he is adored by the Cuban people. His face decorates many a wall in Havana. Cuba today can sometimes feel like a personal gallery of the revolutionary hero.

For those who want to learn more about the history of Cuba, a visit to the museum of the revolution is highly recommended. No one comes back with Havana photos without a few Che shots.

Che Guevara artwork in Havana, Cuba
che Guevara artwork in Havana
revolution square havana

Dance or fighting?

There seems to be a constant low volume of music somewhere in Havana. But arguably the ultimate example of the Caribbean nations love of music takes place every Sunday in Callejon de Hamel.

This narrow alleyway created by artist Gonzáles Escalona it is a mix of surrealism, cubism, and abstract art. On Sunday’s however, it becomes the venue for a pulsating rumba performance. To photograph this, you need to arrive early to get a good spot!

rumba dancing in havana
rumba dancers in havana

After you have exhausted your camera with shots of dancers, try your hand at some boxing photograph in one of the cities gyms.

boxing gym in havana

Hidden surprises

Fidel Castro once said that all Cubans must learn how to shoot in the event that Cuba was invaded. Whilst those days have long gone, around the city you may stumble into shooting galleries. Watch in awe as the locals pick off targets with pellet guns and maybe even have a go yourself.

havana photography essay

It’s not over at night

Just when you thought that the photo opportunities were over and it was time to head back to your casa, the lights come on and you will once again reach for your camera. There are plenty of places for some evening photography, the most stunning being around the capitol building.

national theatre at night
Cars of Cuba photos are wonderful when mixed in with the right background
el floridita

These are just some of the countless photo opportunities that you will experience in Havana. It also why it one of the best travel destinations for photographers.

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Want to take Cuba photos, Havana photos or more? Even though we may not be able to travel right now we are already planning our next Cuba travel adventure. Find out more by visiting our Cuba photo tours page.

Kav Dadfar is a writer and travel photographer who has written over 400 articles on photography. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Travel Photography of the Year competition and a speaker at camera clubs and events. He has years of experience shooting assignments with his images having been used by some of the biggest brands in the world.

This Havana photos Cuba article and photos is subject to copyright. Words and photos by Kav Dadfar (That Wild Idea). Copying or reposting of photos or article elsewhere is strictly forbidden.

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