top of page

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos in one of the cities that goes unnoticed by foreign travelers in Cuba. There are quite a few things you can do in the city, although one day is enough. In this post I talk about the 15 essential things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

If you were not thinking of making an itinerary on your own and prefer to take a guided tour, there is a very interesting option. It is a two-day tour that includes a tour of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, it is quite cheap, for about 135 euros it includes round-trip transportation from Havana, guided tours for two days, hotel nights and some meals. If you might be interested, you can read the planning of the complete itinerary and even book from here:


Getting to know the city wandering the streets is the best option. Not only will you get to know the most emblematic places in the city, but you will end up finding beautiful houses, small charming restaurants and various local shops. You can do a free tour of Cienfuegos and learn about the history of the city, about its most emblematic places...

1. Walk along the Paseo del Prado, one of the best things to do in Cienfuegos

The Paseo del Prado de Cienfuegos is one of the most beautiful areas of the city and the perfect place to start your tour. It is full of historic buildings in a pastel-colored neoclassical style. Along the walk, you will find the statue of Benny Moré, a popular musician. You can walk until you reach the Cienfuegos Malecón.

2. Visit the Government Palace of Cienfuegos

This enormous palace has received numerous renovations over the years and all of these restorations have been with the intention of maintaining the building as it was built in the 20th century. We were not able to visit it inside, it was closed to the public, but it is worth getting closer to seeing it from the outside.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

3. Visit the Ferrer Palace, one of the most beautiful colonial buildings to see in Cienfuegos

The Ferrer family had this building built to be their residence. Currently, the Palace is open to the public and you can visit it. The modernist style is noticeable in many architectural details both outside and inside, generating a great contrast with the rest of the neoclassical buildings in Cienfuegos. Entry to the palace is free and you can climb the dome for beautiful views.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

4. The Arc de Triomphe

Next to the Ferrer Palace is the Arc de Triomphe of Cienfuegos. This building is dedicated to Cuban Independence. It was built voluntarily by city workers.

5. Visit the Tomás Terry Theater, another essential thing to do in Cienfuegos

The Tomás Ferry theater was built in 1889 and is a beautiful colonial-style building. Its name comes from Tomás Terry, a Venezuelan merchant who moved to Cuba, where he carried out most of his commercial work.

6. Enjoy the Jose Marti Park, one of the best places in Cienfuegos

José Martí Park is located in the place where the Plaza de Armas used to be. It is located in the historic center of Cienfuegos and is one of the most atmospheric places in the city.

Surrounded by José Martí Park there are many buildings from the colonial era such as; the Tomás Terry Theater, the Ferrer Palace, the Government Palace of Cienfuegos, the Arc de Triomphe and the Cathedral of the Purísima Concepción, among many others.

7. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a colonial-style building located in José Martí Park. It dates back to 1833 and since then it has had several renovations to keep it well preserved.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

8. The 29th Street Market, shopping on Santa Isabel Boulevard, a fun thing to do in Cienfuegos

The Santa Isabel Boulevard is one of the essential places to see in Santa Clara. There are many shops open in historic buildings, cafes and restaurants... There is always a lot of atmosphere on the street, especially in the afternoons, when there are local musicians playing in the streets and the bustle of the city is in full swing.

9. Cienfuegos Customs

The Cienfuegos customs had an important role in the past. It was the main control of foreign trade entering Cuba. It is a historic colonial building in dark blue and white details.

10 Stroll along the Malecon of Cienfuegos and Punta Gorda

At the far end of the Malecón the land makes a tongue with the name of Punta Gorda. It has a park and it is a good place to come to see the sunset. To get to Punta Gorda you have to go all the way along the Malecón and if you don't feel like doing it all on foot you can always take a bike-taxi.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

11. The Castle of the Jagua

This fortress was built to protect the city from pirates. It is on the outskirts of the city, so if you want to visit it, I recommend that you take a taxi. When we arrived we found the castle closed for festivities, so it was impossible for us to visit it. If you visit, tell me about the experience!

12. Buy a historical book at La Fernandina Bookstore

This historic bookstore is located on the Paseo del Prado. It is a small bookstore that sells Cuban history books. If you are a fan of reading and you like history, here you can find some marvels with many years of antiquity about Cuban history.

13. Go on an excursion to the Guanaroca Lagoon

The Guanaroca Lagoon is a saltwater lake located southeast of Cienfuegos. It is formed by the Arimao River before reaching the Cienfuegos Bay. It is a protected area with more than 170 different bird species. Among them is the tocororo, the country's national bird. However, the most striking thing about the lagoon is that it is home to a colony of 2,000 flamingos.

If you want to visit it, you must book a boat trip through the lagoon, to be able to appreciate it. I recommend that you go early because it is a protected space and the capacity is limited. By taxi from Cienfuegos it takes 20 minutes and it is best to arrive for the departure of the first boat at 7:45. Remember to arrive a little earlier to buy the access tickets. You must bear in mind that the best time to see the animals is the first, since when the sun and heat begin, they hide among the vegetation.

15 Best things to do in Cienfuegos, Cuba

14. Go on a hike to the Bay of Pigs

The Bay of Pigs is a very popular excursion to do in Cienfuegos. In 1961, the military operation backed by the United States took place in this bay, whose main objective was to end the government of Fidel Castro. However, the country's revolutionary forces ended the invasion, in this same bay, three days later.

15. Go on an excursion to El Nicho Waterfall, one of the best excursions to do in Cienfuegos

El Nicho Falls are a natural wonder to see in Cuba. It is located between the city of Cienfuegos and Trinidad. The incredible waterfall ends in a pool at its feet where you can enjoy a swim. There are hiking trails in the area and the landscape is beautiful. To visit the waterfall, the best option is to book an excursion.


In the center of Cienfuegos, the accommodations are usually private houses that rent rooms. We looked for accommodation with AIRBNB and the experience went very well. The family we stayed with are no longer in the city and their house is no longer rented, but we paid 8 euros per person, breakfast included and there are similar offers. You can find very good offers!


I hope you enjoy your trip to Cuba a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog so you don't miss out on upcoming destinations, curiosities, travel tips and inspiration for your trips.

A hug and see you soon!


bottom of page