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Art in Havana

  • Havana, Cuba

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 31 March, 2024

In the last 10 years, Cuba’s art scene has exploded across Havana, with state-run galleries and private art spaces emerging to showcase exciting and challenging contemporary art. New photography galleries have also opened their doors in a city buzzing with creativity.

The place to go for Cuba’s best art is the Cuban section of Havana’s Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits a rich body of work, spanning more than 400 years of works. Cuba’s most famous artist, Wilfredo Lam, working mid-century and considered a Cuban Picasso, has sold works for vast sums at auction. Tomas Sanchez’s dreamlike landscape paintings are mesmerising, and fetch high prices.

Cuba doesn’t have a domestic art market as such, so artists rely on international tourism and in particular the popular Havana Biennial (Bienal de la Habana) art fair.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Almacenes San Jose Artisans’ Market

  • Havana, Cuba

Almacenes San Jose Artisans’ Market

Experience

Fun souvenir art for tourists is available at this one-stop art and crafts market, housed in a converted warehouse on the edge of Old Havana.

Good for age: 13+

Carmen Montilla Tinero Museum

  • Havana, Cuba

Carmen Montilla Tinero Museum

Experience

This house museum, spread over 3 floors with a pleasant garden, is home to the art collection of Venezuelan artist Carmen Montilla (1944-2004) – both her own works and those donated by fellow artists.

Adult price: 2

Good for age: 18+

Cuban Art Factory

  • Havana, Cuba

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Experience

The Fábrica de Arte Cubano is a creative powerhouse of art, photography, music and dance. All the hot stuff is inside this converted peanut oil factory with food and drinks to fuel the night. Uber popular.

Good for age: 18+

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Fusterlandia

  • Havana, Cuba

Fusterlandia

Experience

In a year-long creative project, the Jaimanitas neighbourhood has been carpeted in colourful ceramic tiles by artist Jose Fuster. Look for painted plants, birds, animals and political figures amid this extraordinary artistic project. The pièce de résistance is the artist’s own house – a fairytale adventure in brilliant colours.

Good for age: 13+

Galeria Habana

  • Havana, Cuba

Galeria Habana

Experience

One of Havana’s longest established art galleries showcasing Cuban avant-garde art and international artists.

Good for age: 18+

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  • Havana, Cuba

Havana Biennial

Experience

Havana Biennial

A lively month-long celebration of Cuban and Latin American art that takes over Havana’s streets, drawing in art lovers and artists from around the world.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 1 month

When: Spring

Freq: bi-annually

Havana Factory

  • Havana, Cuba

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Experience

A respected Old Havana gallery inside a converted paper factory, exhibiting must-see exhibitions of Cuban contemporary art.

Adult price: 2

Good for age: 13+

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Museum of Decorative Arts

  • Havana, Cuba

Museum of Decorative Arts

Experience

Havana’s Museo de Artes Decorativas is housed in a palatial mansion, built in the 1920s in Regency style, overflowing with 33,000 antiques from Tiffany glassware to Italian marble. The treasures belonged to Countess Maria Luisa Gomez Mena, sister to famous sugar king, Jose Gomez-Mena Vila, who lived here after it was built.

Adult price: 2

Good for age: 18+

Havana Museum of the Fine Arts

  • Havana, Cuba

Havana Museum of the Fine Arts

Experience

Cuba’s most impressive museum, housed in two separate buildings almost next to each other, showcases the best of Cuban art (in one building) from the 1600s to the modern day, and international artists over 5 art-filled floors of a second building.

Adult price: 6

Good for age: 18+

San Isidro Art District

  • Havana, Cuba

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Experience

An emerging district of street art, galleries and festivals in Southern Old Havana. Look out for cool street art, Galería Taller Gorría, and new bars and cafés.

Good for age: 18+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Museums, galleries and some artists’ studios are open to the public. Some museums charge an entrance fee.

Note that serious artwork needs permission to leave the country. Artists and their assistants or your art guide can arrange the necessary permits through the Registro de Bienes Culturales for your purchases.