Castillo de la Real Fuerza

Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana: Address, Phone Number, Castillo de la Real Fuerza Reviews: 4.5/5

Castillo de la Real Fuerza
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
738 reviews
Excellent
341
Very good
300
Average
85
Poor
8
Terrible
4

MPWEST10
Mandurah, Australia624 contributions
Mar 2020
One of the oldest European defensive structures in the Americas... built to guard te city. It took nearly 20 years to build as was finished in 1577. It was built by forced labour... all blacks or mulattos who didn't have owners had to volunteer or get 100 lashes or pay ten pesos.
It has cannons and mortars and houses a numseum of navigation.

Worth a wander for a few hours
Written June 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dianedinky
253 contributions
Mar 2020
This fort is exactly how you imagine them to look with it's huge unscaleable walls and large moat. The museum is also very interesting - it was actually built too far from the harbour to be truly effective and so became a Palace home.
The info signs also have a full transcription in braille which was a pleasant surprise.
Written April 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA8,481 contributions
Mar 2019 • Friends
Castillo de la Real Fuerza is a great sample of military architecture during the Spain's rule over the Caribbean. Located in the Plaza de Armas Square in Old Havana. It is the oldest fortress still preserved in all the Americas, built between 1558 and 1577. The castle is surrounded by an incredible moat. The west tower is crowned by the copy of a well known bronze weathervane called La Giraldilla. The turret is known as Espera Tower due to the legend of Dona Ines de Bobadilla, wife of the Spanish conqueror Hernando de Soto, who became governor of Cuba during her husband's attempts to conquer La Florida and climbed to the top of the turret daily, awaiting the return of her husband's ship. He never returned, dying during the said conquest.
Written March 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roberts69
Northampton, UK16,917 contributions
Mar 2016 • Family
We visited the Castillo de la Real Fuerza on our first day in Havana and it is well worth an hour of your time to visit. Open Tuesday - Sunday 9:30am to 5pm it costs just CUC3 per adult (that's a bargain at GB£2.15) to get in and children are free. The Castle completed in 1577 was built on the orders of Felipe II after the city was raided by pirates, hence its waterside location at the entrance to Havana harbor. It is a real a castle you could get with its thick stone walls, murky green watered moat, iron cannon and wooden drawbridges. Inside the castle there are various artifacts and exhibits including some pretty cool models that the kids will love. Go up to the castle roof for some nice views of the harbor entrance. A visit is recommended.
Written December 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Luvs2TravelAnywhere
New York City, NY6,683 contributions
Mar 2016
Castillo de la Real Fuerza is a fort/castle across from the water as you enter old havana. It is an impressive structure still used today equipped with a moat. Very cool.
Written April 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Montravelguy
Montreal, Canada274 contributions
Jul 2012 • Family
The Castillo de la Real Fuerza was a bit of a letdown.

We went hoping to learn about the Castillo and a bit of the history of the area. It's not expensive (<$5 a person) and it is worth exactly that. The architecture is interesting and there is a lot of history in the rocks... There are some interesting exhibits, like the first floor exhibit showing coins and buttons from around the era of the founding of Cuba and a collection of wooden ship models. Overall I felt like the place was lacking a bit of depth in all of the exhibits.

But the big problem is... the staff!!!

It was pretty horrible, there is a security/guide person in each room and they get up when you come in and explain to you what the exhibits are about (usually in Spanish only) and then they almost all ask you for a tip for their time. If you aren't careful you will either pay $1 for every room that you visit, or you will spend your time politely telling the people that you aren't going to pay them $1 for the 1 minute of their time they spent doing... as far as I can tell... their jobs!

After traveling through Cuba I get how the money people working in the tourist industry make is used to feed their families and extended families, but I would have loved nothing more than to have just been left alone long enough to experience the exhibits on my own without constantly being harassed by politely smiling people with their hands out. The first time was okay, the second was getting a little old, by the fourth time I was fed up.

After the fifth time we rushed through without talking to anyone and left. Which kinda sucked because I would have liked to have seen more.
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

swift314
Sheffield, UK12,551 contributions
Feb 2016 • Solo
Interesting fort but with so much in Havana little information available worth stopping if you do the sea walk
Written February 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Keith_H_in_UK
London, UK23 contributions
Dec 2015 • Solo
I found this very interesting. The one negative aspect is the attempts of the staff to claw money from you, even if they cannot speak a word of your maternal language! The museum contains a number of finds from underwater archaeology "digs", and it brought to life how Havana was important on the route sailed by the treasure-laden galleons. There are some good views from the top, so bring a camera. I was allowed to enter the "restricted" bell-tower by a kindly worker, or so I thought. She collared me afterwards for a "tip", the only word she knew in English.
Written December 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gensi52
Telford,England433 contributions
Mar 2014 • Couples
This is an old Spanish fort or Castillo by the bay which houses a maritime museum. We had read good reviews on it so decided to give it a try. The entrance fee was 3 CUCs per person and we were approached by a guide, no price was negotiated but at the end he asked for 4 CUCs each, I decided not to haggle as he had been excellent and the overall cost was £8.75 for the two of us. The guide, spoke excellent English, did not rush and offered detailed explanations of all the exhibits. This was more than useful as the written explanations were all in Spanish and in addition he provided good background information on the maritime importance of Cuba and Havana as a central hub to the Spanish Empire. There was a huge four-metre model of the Santisima Trinidad which our guide took a lot of pictures of on our behalf, you normally have to pay an additional 2 CUCs to use a camera but there was no charge. Other exhibitions showed the development of Havana’s importance a s a maritime hub and included recovered items from sunken ships including gold, silver and coins.
He also stated that although the Trinidad was large HMS Victory was a much better ship and knew all about its history and location in Portsmouth. Overall he was very informative and brought the exhibition to life so it was well worth the money. I think his name was Miguel.
Written March 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

zwaves
Vancouver, Canada108 contributions
May 2013 • Friends
A guide came up to us and offered us a private tour. We, my friend from Tokyo and I negotiated a price and agreed for a half an hour tour. He started talking about the history of Cuban ships, how Cuban wood was high in demand for the Spanish, English, Holland and the pirates. One by one , room to room, his explanations made us understand more and more in Cuban history. Without his explanations, it would be a boring place to see the objects.
They were not written in English. When we entered the room of the gold and silver picked up by the divers from under the sea where we were not permitted to take photos. Imagine, a crazy cannon battle of the enemies and pirates ..and ships sunk with tons of valuables. His talk expanded to two hours and after all, we didn't ask him to stop it because it was really interesting. Without him we wouldn't learn anything there so we paid him tips.
We are truly thankful to our private guide "Miguel". With his knowledge, we had a wonderful time filled with lots of laughter.
Written June 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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