What to do in Centro Habana and Old Habana (Havana, Cuba)

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This is the continuation of the post about Havana, Cuba (click here to read).

 

As many people say, it looks like the city has stopped years ago. We can see many old buildings and classic cars from more than 60 years ago.  The history of the country begins with the arrival of the explorer Christopher Columbus, in 1492. After colonization, independency, battles, oppression, revolution, socialist regime, embargo, etc., the country tries to recover from the crisis, now with tourism, which has turned to be one of the most important sources of income of the country.

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Transportation

There are many ways to visit the main places os Cuba’s capital. There are taxis, classic car taxis, bicitaxis, cocotaxis, buses, tourism buses (like the bus on the picture below), etc. I like to walk and I didn’t want to spend money, so I visited most places by walk. If you like adventure, you can use local buses and shared taxis as well. I saw many Cuban people using shared taxis. They stop in the main streets, so you need to check the direction with the driver and ask to stop when you want to get out. Usually, taxis are expensive, so Cuban people use these kind of shared taxi in their everyday life.

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Nowadays, classic cars are often used to attract tourists. We can see a lot of cars in the city and drivers offering city tours. It is quite expensive, but many tourists enjoy this kind of tour. Usually the tour around the main attractions cost about 35 CUC (35 dollars). To go to the airport in a normal taxi cost about 25 CUC, in a classic car is about 40 CUC. I really wanted to ride a classic car, but I decided if I was going to ride one on my last day, so I had to save my money to do it. In my last night at Havana, I cancelled my casa particular and stayed in a cheap hostel, so I had enough money to ride a classic car to the airport. The drivers are very kind to the costumers and took a lot of pictures for me (they know how to treat tourists haha).

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Havana by walk

Besides this car ride, I visited almost all touristic places by walk. Each day I walk towards a different direction. I stayed in an apartment close to El Capitolio, which was the organization of government between 1929 and 1959. Around El Capitolio there are many hotels and restaurants, so we can see many tourists as well. There are many tourist agencies inside the hotels. It is located between Old Habana and Centro Habana.

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Next to El Capitolio, there is Paseo de Martí, known as well as Paseo del Prado. It is a large boulevard with many trees. It is very nice to walk in a sunny day and we can see many people resting sitting in the benches.

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Walking through Paseo del Prado, we can go to the famous Museo de la Revolución, where we can learn more about Cuban revolution. The entrance fee is a bit expensive (8 CUC), but it is worth visiting.

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Another place many people visit is Plaza de la Revolución, where we can see the José Martí memorial and two big walls decorated with the face of Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara. It is a bit far from the city centre, but I went there by walk as well.

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In my last post I wrote about the app Maps.Me, it was very useful to go to those places. It is an offline GPS, so you don’t need Internet to use it and it shows how to go to the places you want to visit, the distance and how much time you need.

Another place to visit by walk is Malecón. It is a seashore boulevard, where we can see many people walking and taking pictures. It is fun to observe birds and enjoy the pure air.

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Walking towards the ferry terminal, I saw a lot of cute paths, parks, art galleries and small shops. It is a good place to walk as well.

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So as you could notice, I recommend to visit the city by walk. Tourist buses and taxis are a good option for those who don’t have enough time, but you can visit almost everywhere by walk. It is a bit tiring, but by walk you can observe people and places calmly and find out places that aren’t in guide books.

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In my next post I’m going to write about Varadero and Trinidad. Varadero is a resort where many tourists go. I don’t like beaches so much, but I was inpressed with Varadero, it was the most beautiful beach I ever visited. Trinidad is a small historic town and was selected as an Unesco world heritage.

 

 

Last post: HAVANA, CUBA – FIRST STEPS

 

Next post: VARADERO, CUBA

 

 

If you have questions, advice, etc., please let me know

You can also email me: backpackandme1@gmail.com

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