Sensual and sultry communist Caribbean capital, home to captivating, crumbling architecture, and enlivened by dance, music, avant-garde art and cocktails. Impossible to describe, there’s nowhere else quite like it.
Travel bucket list idea:
This lively month-long celebration of Cuban and Latin American art takes over Havana’s streets, plazas and galleries.
For the visitor, it offers a unique insight into contemporary art and culture in Cuba, and it’s an exciting time to be in the capital with a myriad of parties, openings, and concerts.
Highlights in previous years have included vast installation work that reflects on and critiques Cuba’s 1959 Revolution. Visiting international artists also take part.
Getting there & doing it
Paradiso, a cultural agency in Havana, is the official ticket seller and sells advance passes for the Havana Biennial. Passes are sold in US$ (officially not legal tender in Cuba) and not CUC$ but credit card purchase is possible.
Centro Wifredo Lam is the official organiser of the Havana Biennial and they also sell visitor and VIP passes, a few days before the event.
The VIP pass (available from the Centro Wifredo Lam or Paradiso agency) offers exclusive access to all the event openings, private viewings, and dinners and concerts with leading Cuban artists. Opening nights give art aficionados the chance to meet artists and mingle with fellow art lovers from around the world – but they do get crowded.
Visitor passes (obtained at the Centro Wifredo Lam or Paradiso) include a copy of the biennial’s catalogue, party and opening show invitations, with transport included. Otherwise, obtain the four biennial programmes with maps from the centre (less than CUC$1) and plan your own itinerary.
The majority of entrances are free.
When to do it
The event is held every two years, usually in spring/early summer. There is no fixed date.
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