The city: La Habana
Havana is one of those cities that make you travel back in time. It has a peculiar rhythm leading to a different world, deeply-rooted in tradition and an eventful history. Its streets are filled with the most genuine Cuban spirit – the soul of the Revolution and the colonial heritage. The capital city of Cuba is also the country’s largest port. Its districts, very different from one another, feature a few essential sights. Havana is a city you will never forget.
Main areas of interest in Havana
- La Habana Vieja: The Old Town is the beating heart of Havana and an open-air museum of Cuban history. Here you can soak up the most genuine Cuban spirit. Designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1982, it features most of Havana’s sights. One of the most popular tourist districts in the city, it offers leisure and entertainment options in a relax atmosphere.
- Centro Habana: Downtown Havana, around the Old Town, marks the transition to more modern districts. With big avenues like the iconic Paseo del Prado and impressive buildings, Centro Habana offers all kinds of services, bars and nightclubs with great ambience at weekends.
- El Vedado: The Vedado district emerged in the nineteenth century. With popular sights like Colón Cemetery, it is Havana’s financial and administrative district. In El Vedado you can see avenues, parks and gardens and stately homes. For evening fun go to Calle 23, locally known as ‘La Rampa’.
- Miramar: Next to El Vedado there is one of the largest residential districts in Havana, emerging from the concentration of mansions and palaces owned by the most affluent Cuban families in the 1960s. The coastline is peppered with yacht clubs and marinas, while farther away from the coast there are avenues like Quinta Avenida where you can find all kinds of luxury stores.
- Cojímar and La Habana del Este: The eastern district of Havana has humbler, farming origins, being as it is an area of fertile lands. Here you will find one of the most famous fish and seafood restaurants in Cuba: Las Terrazas. Hemingway wrote about it in The Old Man and the Sea. In the direction of Varadero there lie the beaches most Habaneros go to.