Havana has evolved considerably in recent years. For almost 60 years, the embargoed and tightly state-controlled economy meant that all businesses in Cuba were in the hands of the state.
New economic rules have enabled the country to shine, and we have seen some great stores open their doors.
While Havana has been Cuba’s shopping capital for the past seven decades, locals have taken the city to new heights by establishing exciting and unique boutiques. In this post, we will look at some of the best boutiques in Havana that are well worth visiting during your trip.
Address: 4JPV+8RR, La Habana, Cuba
We’re going to begin with Cris Cris, a tiny boutique almost hidden in plain sight. You will find it in front of Plaza del Cristo, one of the liveliest squares in the city.
This beach fashion store sells wide-brim Pamela hats, bikinis, and vibrant lingerie.
The first Cris Cris was founded back in 1999 in Berlin. However, after the store owner, who was born in German, took a vacation to Cuba in 2004, they fell in love, and the Havana version of the store was quickly opened a few years later in 2007.
Address: Animas Street # 57, Old Havana, 10 100, Cuba
If you want to come away with a genuine treasure from your Cuban vacation, Memorias is a must-visit.
This is a small bookstore and memorabilia shop, which is situated near Central Park in Old Havana.
As well as unusual titles, you can expect old stamps and military memorabilia. Plus, there is a fascinating collection of magazines on architecture, music, and politics, many of which come from the 1960s.
Other exciting pieces include stock and bond certificates from old Cuban businesses, tea and coffee cups from prestigious brands, rare coins, old maps, cigar bands and labels, demonetized banknotes valuable for collectors, and much, much more.
El Reloj Cuervo y Sobrinos
Address: 4MP2+8HW, De Los Esq., Muralla, La Habana, Cuba
If you want to pick up a new watch on your travels, El Reloj Cuervo y Sobrinos is the place to visit. The company was established in Havana back in 1882, yet production has been situated in the Jura Mountains since the late 1920s.
You can expect stunning Swiss-made timepieces, which are belle-époque-inspired. All watches are sold in cedar boxes, which double up as humidors to keep your watch in perfect condition for as long as possible.
This is one of the best boutiques in Havana if you want to do decadent shopping while in Cuba. You can also purchase rose-gold-plated fountain pens and cigars. Plus, there is a cocktail and coffee bar where you can sit back and relax.
Piscolabis Bazar and Cafe
Address: 4JRX+39Q, San Ignacio, La Habana, Cuba
Piscolabis Bazar and Cafe is based just a few steps away from Havan’s 18th-century cathedral, so you won’t be able to miss it!
A group of Cuban artists run this eclectic store, which contains a broad assortment of functional and decorative items for your home, as well as clothing and jewelry.
What makes this store truly impressive is the artists’ ability to blend the old with the new. Iconic objects of the country’s past are brought to life in modern creations.
For example, old watches are deconstructed and made into beautiful necklaces. There are also incredible glass water bottles from the middle of the last century that double up as lampstands.
One thing is for sure; you will be able to find items at Piscolabis Bazar and Cafe that you cannot find anywhere else. The cafe next door is also a great touch. After all, we all need a bit of Cuban coffee when embarking on a shopping trip.
Address: Calle 23 Entre 8 y 10 Vedado | Cerca de la Sentrica Esquina de 23 y 12, Havana 10400, Cuba
This incredibly unique store is well worth visiting while in Havana. The designers behind this store will turn pretty much anything into a lamp. From a tree trunk to old iron, you name it; they can turn it into a light source for your home or office.
Even if you don’t need a new lamp or have no room in your suitcase for one, this store is an experience in itself. You will be amazed by the items displayed here, from modern art pieces to downright weird creations. Plus, they even take bespoke orders, so if you have something strange you would like turned into a lamp, they can make it happen.
Salomé Casa de Modas
Address: Calle 28 #118 entre 1era y, 3ra, La Habana, Cuba
For authentic Cuban style, there is nowhere better than Salomé Casa de Modas. This boutique specializes in all things linen; trousers, blouses, dresses, and guayaberas, which are traditional Cuban shirts for men.
All the garments for sale here are handmade by a team of tailors and an embroiderer who is 82 years young, and is said to have made clothes for Fidel Castro’s revolutionary secretary, Celia Sánchez.
Salomé’s pieces are elegant without being pretentious. You can expect embroidery, pleats, and beautiful pastel shades.
Address: Calle 18, #314, entre 3ra y 5ta, Miramar, Playa-Habana, Cuba
A friendly and welcoming boutique store, Alma gives you the perfect excuse to head to Miramar, a shaded upscale neighborhood to the west of Havana.
The owner of the store, Alex Oppman, regularly travels around the country, gathering select pieces from local artisans in different provinces.
Every piece he collects is handmade from recycled or natural materials. Whether it is a vintage cigar humidor, embroidered cushions, or jewelry, this is an excellent store for picking up something unique that you will not find anywhere else.
Address: 403 Villegas, La Habana, Cuba
Clandestina is the first independent design brand in Cuba. In 2017, the company became the first privately-owned brand in Cuba to sell its creations on the Internet.
From their design studio in Old Havana, they bring fun, modern style to the table, with T-shirts, tote bags, posters, and more for sale.
Idania del Rio, a young Cuban designer, is the brainchild behind the brand. Their products take revolutionary images and slogans, turning them on their head to create a provocative and innovative style.
Their take on the familiar ‘I love NY’ slogan is a prime example. They changed this to their own trademark: ‘Actually, I’m in Havana.’
Enjoy the best boutiques in Havana
So there you have it: some of the best boutiques in Havana. We hope this has given you a great insight into some of the fantastic independent stores in Cuba’s capital. You will undoubtedly want to ensure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase to bring items home with you!