• Menu
  • Menu
Kathedrale von Santiago de Cuba, Bild: Alexandre G. ROSA / shutterstock

Santiago de Cuba – second largest city in Cuba

Most travelers associate a visit to Cuba with the beautiful capital Havana, which is known from film and television and attracts attention with a long history. But the second largest city on the island, Santiago de Cuba, is not only a great travel destination, but also one of the most interesting regions on the Caribbean island. With the typical colonial architecture that characterizes the city to this day, it is above all an epitome of the first settlers in Cuba. In addition, an impressive cultural self-image and a vibrant nightlife have developed here in recent years.

Insider tip among tourists in Cuba

Castille del Morro, Santiago de Cuba
Castille del Morro, Image: corlaffra / shutterstock

Although Santiago de Cuba is one of the oldest cities in the country and is the second largest metropolis and at the same time the former capital of the country, it is still considered an insider tip by many tourists and is even completely unknown to many others. This may also be due to the fact that Santiago de Cuba is located far to the east of the island and most holidaymakers tend to stay in the west and around the metropolitan region of Havana. However, this also means that there are many things to discover here that package tourists would probably not experience on a short trip to Cuba in this way.

In general, a trip to Santiago de Cuba is interesting because some of the most beautiful aspects of Cuba can be combined here. On the one hand, there are the historical sights, which give a deep insight into the history of the island and the country, and on the other hand, the picturesque beaches and impressive nature into which the city seems to merge seamlessly. In addition, Santiago de Cuba is also a city culture – Cuban dance started here and spread throughout the city. The entire metropolis exudes a very youthful charm, which I also show in the various artists’ quarters and the nightlife, which could also be interesting for tourists with some highlights.

See also  Cuba - Discovery on the Island of Contrasts

So if you dare to take the trip to Santiago de Cuba, you have a whole spectrum of possible activities at your disposal and also outside of Havana the right base to immerse yourself deeply in the culture of Cuba. The fact that Santiago de Cuba was one of the nuclei of the former revolution plays a role here.

Discover the most beautiful sights of Santiago de Cuba

Street band in Santiago de Cuba
Street band in Santiago de Cuba, Image: Ondrej Bucek / shutterstock

Santiago de Cuba can score with a variety of cultural and historical sights. The city’s flagship is clearly the cathedral, which is located in Parque Céspedes, the city’s most central square. With its blue façade, it is not only a visual highlight, but also the official landmark of the city. In general, the many places in the city are worth a trip of their own. In places such as the Plaza de Dolores or Plaza de Marte, there are many monuments and historical features that tell something about the city.

A little outside is the Castillo del Morro. The defensive structure, which was probably completed in 1700, was an important fortress in the Caribbean. Today there is a museum here that deals primarily with the early founding period of Cuba, but also deals with the revolution and its consequences in Cuba – of course with a certain coloring in the historical presentation.

If you want to learn a little more about the city and life in Santiago de Cuba, you should visit the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano in the Casa de Velázquez. It deals primarily with life during the colonial era. On the other side of the city, the Museo Bacardí is located in a beautiful old building, which in turn focuses on the time before the arrival of the Spaniards.

See also  On the road in Cuba

Of course, you should also take a look at the beautiful nature. Playa de Siboney is just the right place if you just want to dive deep into the Caribbean Sea. Then there’s Parque Baconao, with beautiful hiking trails and impressive views of an unspoiled piece of Cuba.

Nightlife and gastronomy – Santiago de Cuba live and breathe

A not inconsiderable part of the fascination of Santiago de Cuba comes from the culture here. The different artists’ quarters offer markets and crafts, and many of the districts have an active nightlife with many great restaurants where you can taste the local cuisine. Especially in the best travel months, December and January, the city seems to wake up with the sunset. So if you want to discover the city with all its facets, you should definitely take the time to wander through the streets once a night.