Castillo de la Real Fuerza
Castillo de la Real Fuerza
4.5

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles747 reviews
Excellent
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300
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84
Poor
8
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Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA9,550 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberts69
Northampton, UK18,929 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luvs2TravelAnywhere
New York City, NY7,202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Montravelguy
Montreal, Canada270 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

swift314
Sheffield, UK12,109 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Keith_H_in_UK
London, UK23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gensi52
Telford,England406 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zwaves
Vancouver, Canada97 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nayeli Vazquez
Amsterdam, The Netherlands221 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
This is for me one of the must do in Cuba. It’s an amazing fortress build during Spain’s colonial times. It has a museum inside that you can stroll around for about 1 hour.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carter L
Oakland, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
It's the 500 year anniversary for Cuba and with Forts like this, I can see why. This fort kept plenty of unsavory folks from invading the fair shores of Havana. The views are stunning the history is fascinating. Make the trip!
Written December 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Castillo de la Real Fuerza - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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