Welcome to Havana

Visiting Havana is like taking a step back in time, and definitely worth the effort. The beauty of its architecture, its buildings, and the treasures in its museums will all have you slowing down. Havana’s northern border is coastline, with over six miles of excellent beaches, and an extensive greenbelt that surrounds the city, and guarantees its environmental health. The oldest section of the city, Old Havana, is also its most well-known, and it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Old Havana has many city squares, the principal ones being the “Plaza de Armas,” the “Plaza de la Catedral,” the “Plaza Vieja,” and the “Plaza de San Francisco de Asis,” which maintain a colonial era look reminiscent of way they look at the time of the city’s founding in 1519. The system of fortresses that surround the city, including the emblematic “Castillo del Morro,” consist of a total of nine major structures, considered by experts to be the largest such fortifications in all of Latin America.

The five-hundred-year old city also has emblematic streets such as the “Paseo del Prado,” and the well-known “Alameda de Paula,” both constructed in the mid-1800’s, both of which were for many years the city’s most transited streets. Throughout Havana buildings in built in strikingly different architectural styles are right next to each other, and in some cases there are buildings from three different centuries, and quite varied looks on the same block.

Havana has a fairly well developed hotel infrastructure, with over ten thousand hotel rooms, and hotels that span over two hundred years of construction. From the modern Melia Cohiba, to the one hundred plus year old Hotel Inglaterra. Havana also has over thirty museums, ten art galleries, twenty-five theatres or performance halls, such as the National Ballet of Cuba, housed in what was originally the members only social club for emigrants from the Spanish Province of Galicia.

The Casa the las Americas is another well-known Havana landmark, and is still used to this day as the venue for film festivals, exhibitions, book expositions, and more.

The Havana neighborhood of Vedado is the focal point of activities amongst locals twenty-four hours a day. It is the place Cubans choose to meet, in its wide variety of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theatres, offices and hotels. The western suburb of Miramar was the neighborhood of Cuba’s wealthiest citizens before the 1959 revolution, and to this day its majestic homes maintain their stately appeal. The densely populated neighborhood of El Cerro, which houses a great deal of the city’s population in multilevel buildings. Central Havana, home to the famous Cayo Hueso neighborhood, which is home to the charismatic and unique Callejon de Hamel.

Map

Places of Interest

  • Ancon beach
  • Cave of the Indian
  • Chinatown
  • Christopher Columbus Cemetery
  • Metropolitan Park
  • National Aquarium
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Plaza of the Revolution
  • Prehistoric Mural
  • San Jose Art Fair
  • Sugarmills Valley
  • Topes de Collantes
  • University of Havana campus
  • Viñales valley

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