Havana's Malecon is a corner over 8 kilometers long along the coast north of the Cuban city. You can take a walk beside the ocean, from Habana Vieja to the mouth of the river Almendrales. It is an essential visit for tourists, but also of Havana and Havana, setting a steady stream of people. To walk the stretch comprising the boardwalk there is a view of that part of the island. Across the 6-lane avenue, which run the most diverse means of transport (from bicycles to cars taxi Soviets, coco-taxis and horse carts) are majestic pre-revolutionary buildings with a style that permeates the island, and especially Havana. The Malecon is closed to the ocean by a wall that blocks the waves, but on rare occasions it can not contain the waves, and they break and eventually overwhelm the wall wetting passers . In addition, the tour allows you to see the main arteries of the city, leading to the Malecon, such as the Castillo de la Real Fuerza in Havana, Hotel Nacional, or the peculiar seat of the U.S. interests office, surrounded by posters complaint. The Malecon began in the 20th century, and continued through the 50s.
I went to Havana with my family and grandparents this past summer! it was an amazing trip! We took a tour bus to old Havana and surrounding areas. This is by far my favourite picture. This is my nonna. She is the backbone behind my dads side of the family! at almost 80, she still does all the cleaning, cooking and still manages to make the best food I've ever had!
If you like historical monuments, be sure to visit this place where you can see 2 giant sculptural wonders: Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos made of steel. They are very impressive by day, but at night they look much more interesting, because they are light and can be seen from from away, and you will see how the light catches their faces. You may want to contact Enrique Avila, the author of these works ve also is a painter, via email: Eavila@cubarte.Cult.Cu to get more information or better insight.
The Capitolio Nacional in Havana is a majestic building located in the most central part of the Cuban capital. The building´s construction dates back to 1910, which was not without controversy, as it was thought to be the seat of the House of Representatives but, on occasion, some presidents tried to change the project in order to build a presidential palace. Finally, the Capitol is a multipurpose space that gathers from a cybercafe to monumental rooms where assemblies are held, as well as meetings and conventions. It is also home to the Ministry of Science and Environment, and a library. Visiting this place is a must if you should be lucky enough to have the opportunity to pass through Havana. A trick, if it fits: say you want to go to the bathroom and all you'll have to pay to enter the building will be the money for the ladies which are usually found on the door of every bathroom in the country in order to keep them clean.
Although during the day it is full of people, music and atmosphere, and you must visit it in order to see the palaces and to enter the cathedral, at night it gets prettier when the music is best enjoyed sitting in the middle of the square sipping rum and listening to the music. If they play the Chan Chan, it´s an absolute pleasure.
This monument is located n the center of the Revolution Square monument. It is 138,5 meters high, and it is the tallest structure in Havana. In front of it there is a marble statue which is 17 feet high, of a sitting Martí, who is thinking. There is also a museum in the monument, about the last word of Marti in Cuba-and a viewpoint of 129 meters (they charge you € 1.75) with views over the city. At the time of our visit a tribute to the revolutionary act was being celebrated, so we did not get much how we wanted, especially to see inside the museum and climb the tower. The next time ...
It is an alley situated in the city of Havana. It has a concentration of African American Art: Walls graffiti, sculptures, paintings ... And once again you will be surrounded by Cubans, which always brightens my day. I went there on a horse cart, so it´s not difficult to find it because all Cubans know of it.
Designed in 1559, the Old Town Square is the most architecturally eclectic square in Havana, with Baroque rubbing shoulders with Gaudi-inspired Art Nouveau. Originally called Plaza Nueva, it was used for military exercises before being converted into an outdoor market. During the Batista regime, an ugly underground parking lot was built, but it was demolished in 1996 to make way for a huge renovation project. Dotted with bars, restaurants and cafes, today the Plaza has its own microbrewery, a beautiful fountain, and even a primary school.
The Paseo del Prado, is on a street in Havana. On Avenida del Prado you can find 8 statues with figures of lions, made of bronze which seem to guard the attraction. "The history of the Lions tour." Havana was the most important town of Spain in the New World, so it was necessary to protect it against pirates. Spain decided to strengthen the bay and bought guns to protect and defend the people. During the neocolonial stage, the guns were no longer needed and so they were melted and used to create the sculptures of lions. In 1928, the President of Cuba commissioned the French sculptor Jean Puiforcat and fellow Cuban sculptor and bronze caster expert Juan Comas to create the lions to be placed along the Paseo. The Lions remain there.
Morro Castle is the most well-known building in Havana, capital of the Republic of Cuba. It was built as the city's defense. Now it's a museum that includes a complex of colonial buildings. There's a "Cannon Shot Ceremony" every day at 21:00, a tradition that closed the old city gates.
Next to the Revolution Square Museum, you'll find the Granma Memorial, which opened in 1976. There's an outdoor exhibition space where you can see various objects related to the Cuban revolution: vehicles, aircraft (including a Seafuri and a King Fisher), a tank used in the Bay of Pigs, a bomber ... but the star of the show is the Garnma yacht, protected by a huge glass case and guarded by soldiers. In 1956, this boat took Fidel Castro and his fighters from exile in Mexico, back to Cuba to begin the revolution against Batista.
The University of Havana is located on a large block in the city center. Access is not easy; when I tried to visit in summer 2007, the guard would not allow me to enter any of the premises. So instead, we took a walk around the perimeter and let the buildings dazzle us from afar. In addition to its buildings, its surroundings are full of educational posters, highlighting the positive aspects of the Cuban educational system. I learned that the regime is responsible for nurturing students at all levels of teaching, giving them uniform, books, and even bed linen as well as didactic materials and other articles that students might need.
The famous Partagas cigar factory is located right behind the capitol, and it is the oldest in Havana which was founded in 1845 by Jaime Partagas Spanish. 500 Cubans work there. It produces one of the best cigars in Cuba as well as throughout the entire world, and shows the manufacturing process of the famous Havana cigars. Guided tours (lasting about 45 minutes), from 10am to 13:30 Monday to Saturday hde cost about $ 10 per person. Of course you can buy plenty of cigars here. There is also a cafe.
One of the things that surprised me most about Havana was the existence of a Chinatown. The epicenter of the neighbourhood, also in the city centre, is "Knife Alley" on Zanja Street. The district has about 30,000 residents, and began as a neighbourhood in 1874 with the wave of Chinese immigrants ve came contracted mainly by sugar companies. They then stayed and set up shops, laundry mats, and especially restaurants. At the entrance of the neighbourhood, there is an oriental-style porch. Explore the neighbourhood by hiring the services of a "bicycle taxi" for a few CUC. It's funny, but while we were there, we didn't see a single Chinese person!
The Cabaret Tropicana and ballet are internationally known, and they are one of the most visited destinations in the entire Cuban country. There is also a Tropicana in Santiago de Cuba but we visited the one in Havana. The show itself, takes place outdoors in the "Starlight Lounge" with capacity for a thousand people and, if you have enough time, you should also go to the covered hall, the "Salón Arcos de Cristal". Be sure to book early as I said it is one of the most visited attractions in Cuba, it is cheaper if you book personally. Admission is about 60 USD for a table for four people and includes a bottle of rum, sandwiches and refreshments.
Alejo Carpentier already said, the great Cuban novelist and amateur like me to architecture: "A style without style, ultimately, by process of symbiosis, amalgam, is housed in a baroque peculiar". With these words referred to the ornate neo-Baroque Gallego Center. Built around the already existing theater called Tacon Theatre between the years of 1907 and 1914, it was orginally opened with five carnival masked balls in 1838. This connection supports the statement of the grounds of being the oldest operating theater in the Western Hemisphere (the capacity is 2000 people). Leaving aside the history, architecture, like many of the performances at the weekend and is recommended for lovers of art in all its forms.
This is the main airport in the country, for both international and domestic flights. It's 18 kilometres from Havana (about 30 minutes by taxi). Its code is HAV, and it has five terminals connected by free shuttles. T1 offers domestic flights courtesy of Cubana Aviation, T2 charters from Miami, and Corsair airlines. T3 is the most modern, operating the majority of international traffic. T5 serves the company Aerocaribbean for charters and other lines, and there is also a cargo terminal. In Terminal 3 you'll find car rental, taxis, a VIP room, cafe, bank, bureau de change, tourist information and duty free shops. One of the most startling things for me to see was a shop where you can choose a live lobster from a tank and take it as your hand luggage! This airport is the headquarters of the companies Aero Caribbean, Cubana Aviation and Aero Gaviota.
Havana Cathedral is notable for being built with a stone which is very different from what we are used to in Europe. It gives it a peculiar color but it is really beautiful. Around there are terraces, music and people walking and talking. The essence of the city.