“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut
Going on a cruise to Cuba? I can’t recommend Fusterlandia enough. It’s just plain fun. If you are in Havana on a cruise, or just find yourself in Cuba, you owe it to yourself to visit this little gem. It’s cool, free, educational, and inspirational. What more could you ask for?
Fusterlandia is an art installation/fantasy located just outside of downtown Havana. I had read about it while researching things to do during our Cuban cruise but didn’t expect that we would make it there. Imagine my surprise when our tour guide, Laz took us there as part of a city tour in his vintage car.
This is the kind of place that puts a big smile on my face.
Jose Fuster is a Cuban artist that built this whimsical, weird, wonderful little spot called Casa de Fuster. His art installations consist of placing mosaics over pretty much every structure in his neighborhood resulting in an artistic fantasyland.
The story goes that Fuster traveled to Europe and was inspired by Gaudi and Picasso in Spain and Brancusi in Romania. Gaudi’s work is one of the reasons Barcelona is my favorite city. I love mosaic work and the creativity of Gaudi’s work never fails to inspire me. So an entire neighborhood inspired by his work was sure to be a big hit with me.
Fuster returned to Cuba and began covering his home with mosaic tiles. Before long the entire neighborhood was inspired and there are now over 80 homes are covered in tiny bits of tile. You can feel the spirit of Fuster’s passion to beautify his neighborhood. His creation is something out of a dream; simultaneously childlike and sophisticated.
This is an amazing place to take children as almost nothing is off limits. You can touch the artwork and sit on pieces that are meant to sit on. So much fun! Exploring the three floors in Casa de Fuster is an adventure that kids will love.
Before You Go
You can get to Fusterlandia by public transportation, but I would suggest going as part of a tour or taking a taxi. Located just outside of Havana in the neighborhood of Jaimanitas it’s a bit out of the way (in the best possible way). I’m usually a fan of public transport and the adventure that goes along with it (see here). But if you are on a cruise ship you want to maximize your time in port and make sure you don’t miss the ship. So this may not be the place to hop a bus outside the tourist areas. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus that will drop you there as well.
It’s generally open Wednesday to Sunday between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. But even when closed, you will still see a tremendous amount of artwork just driving through the neighborhood. Fusterlandia is free and you can visit the artist’s workshop for free as well. If you want to buy your own little piece of Fusterlandia you can buy art in the small shop.