Are you coming to Cuba soon and wondering about where to find accommodation? Discover the best neighborhoods to stay in Havana!
Havana is the largest city in the Caribbean and the economic center of the island of Cuba and it is also its political and cultural capital. With more than 2.5 million inhabitants and nearly 4 million inhabitants throughout the metropolitan area, the city covers an area of 720 km². Due to the Castro regime and the diplomatic and economic conflicts that have divided Westerners over Cuba – and Havana – for over half a century, the island and its symbols have seduced, fascinated or repelled. Since the Cuban revolution of 1959 – led by E. Che Guevara and F. Castro – and the burden of economic sanctions imposed by Washington which have suffocated the island since the 1960s, Cuba is indeed one of the few countries where visitors would almost feel they traveling back to 50 years ago. But Cuba is also a hot and humid tropical climate, an island lined with heavenly beaches and an incredibly rich historical and cultural heritage.
Havana is known for its inhabitants being warm and welcoming, its multicolored dwellings and friendly neighborhoods. Here is where to stay in Havana during your visit.
Centro Habana (Old Havana)
The historic center, on the edge of the Capitolio, is the old town of Havana, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982. It is located to the west of the port. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish conquistadors who claimed the New World, 500 years of history are revealed under the curious eye of the visitor. While the dictator Batista planned to demolish historic buildings to widen streets, F. Castro’s regime avoided the demolition of the capital’s touristic core. As a result, Havana’s old city remains the most well-preserved colonial city in the Americas and will make your stay in Havana truly special.
In the surroundings, enjoy visiting the Museum of the Revolution, the Cathedral Square, the Plaza de Armas. Most importantly, don’t miss the Prado promenade – el Paseo de Marti -: a pedestrian boulevard very popular with Cubans, where many artists come to store their creations. From Parque Central to Malecón, from Parc Luz Caballero to Plaza de San Francisco, you will be in a central position to stay in Havana and discover all the charms of Cuba, from the evocative name of the streets; S. Allende Avenue, S. Bolivar avenue; Plaza de la Revolución; etc., to the picturesque architecture of the buildings. Staying in the old town allows you to sleep in an open-air museum.
Commercial and residential heart of Havana, the Vedado district is the one that includes the majority of restaurants and places to go out in the city. It is also the most pro-American district of the city: there is a more North American architecture – despite the deep political differences between the United States and Cuba -, for example, the López Serrano building. The district has an active nightlife where the inhabitants come to have fun in its bars and restaurants. The Plaza de la Revolución with the Memorial to José Martí, the Napoleonic Museum, the University of Havana and Christopher Columbus’ Necropolis are among the unmissable attractions in the district. Vedado offers a central and ideal location to stay in Havana and enjoy the many contrasts of this city.
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