The culture in Havana can best be described as Afro-Cuban, referring to the mixing of customs brought over by African slaves with existing Hispanic traditions. Havana culture is even more varied considering that these Hispanic traditions were themselves a combination of native island culture and that of the Spanish colonizers.

Slaves from Africa has perhaps the greatest influence on Havana culture, introducing the city and the world to their unique blend of beat driven music and rhythmic dancing. The “Conga line” was actually first conceived by African slaves in Cuba, dancing as they were bound together in a line! The most traditional and beloved form of music in Cuba, known as son, also drew inspiration from African slave culture. Son consists of stringed instruments, bongo drums, maracas and tambourines, and is usually accompanied by a singer. On Havana streets and in restaurants, it is likely that the band in the corner has been influenced by s on in some way.

The post-revolutionary Cuban government has made an effort to keep the arts and culture of Havana alive. The government subsidized national film and music industries – mostly based in the capital city - as well as restoring museums such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Centro Havana. Although the initial post-Revolutionary government was atheist, the government recognized the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria in 1992; today, many Habaneros practice a blend of Catholocism and Santeria.