Where to Stay in Havana
Havana developed from east to west.
The architecture therefore evolves significantly along the way, reflecting different periods and styles.
Habana Vieja north
Endowed with a very rich history, the old city, the entire Habana Vieja, has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.
It is home to countless monuments and buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
A considerable effort has been undertaken to restore the entire area and is continuing unabated.
It will therefore be particularly enjoyable for you to wander the streets of Habana Vieja, discover its superb monuments and visit its museums.
You will not stop admiring the beauty of its buildings and your digital camera may be saturated from the very first hours of your visit, because you will want to take pictures of everything! The northern part of Habana Vieja (Old Havana) stretches from the port where the Castillo del Morro fortress stands guard to the north of the bay to the picturesque Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas further south.
On its western slope, this area is bounded by the mythical Museum of the Revolution, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Granma Memorial.
La Habana Vieja south
The south of Old Havana is bounded by the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís and the Plaza Vieja to the north, by the Central Station to the south and by the Zulueta Avenue to the west.
As in the northern part of Habana Vieja, there is no lack of monuments and museums.
This area, however, concentrates a greater number of churches and convents, which are a reminder of the importance of the religious power that was omnipresent for several centuries in Havana.
It is also in this neighborhood that the illustrious Cuban historical figure José Martí was born; one can visit his birth house which has been turned into a museum.
Another national monument is the Havana Club Rum, whose headquarters are based in the Museo del Ron Havana Club.
You will enjoy discovering this museum if only for the tasting of old rum that closes the visit.
The delimitation of this district is not always well defined, but it is accepted that Centro Habana includes everything west of the old walls, as far as Infanta Street, the border with the Vedado district.
To the north, it can be considered to extend as far as the Malecón and to the south as far as the train station.
This neighborhood is an essential stop for all those who want to immerse themselves in the daily life and realities of the Habaneros.
Superb colonial buildings, mostly decayed, welcome the most popular families.
Few tourist sites in itself, except for the Chino barrio, which is only Chinese by name (apart from its arch and its few Chinese restaurants), and the Malecón, a famous waterfront running 8 km along the north of the city.
The Vedado was a neighborhood of well-to-do families in Havana at the beginning of the revolution and is now a modern district of Havana.
It is essentially residential, although there is a lot of activity, day and night.
Calle 23, also known as the Rampa, has become one of the most lively avenues in the capital: bars, cabarets and nightclubs abound.
The urban plan of the Vedado, designed in a checkerboard pattern and articulated around vast orthogonal arteries, is directly inspired by the North American model.
The Vedado’s openness to the ocean and the Malecón, which runs for several kilometres along its northern edge, gives the Vedado more perspective and ventilation.
Further south, beyond Calzada de Zapata, is the “Nuevo Vedado” where many of Havana’s monuments and museums are concentrated, including the Plaza de la Revolución, the José Martí Memorial and the Colón Cemetery.
From the Vedado, it is very easy to reach Old Havana, which is only 5 km along the Malecón.
The casas particulares are legion there, especially in front of the university or on Calle 21 between Calle J and Calle O.
The Miramar is the most posh neighbourhood in Havana and therefore in Cuba.
It is characteristic of the period of the neocolonial republic (1902-1958).
As for the Vedado, the architecture of its streets is very close to that of the streets of North America, because they all intersect at right angles and are not named but numbered.
The embassies and residences there make it a very chic area outside the downtown core.
Geographically, the Miramar is bordered to the east by the Almendares River, to the west by the Palacio de Congresos and to the north by the coast.
To the south, the Miramar is more or less bordered by Avenida 7ma and Avenida 19.
As far as rooms in the Miramar are concerned, the prices are the highest in the whole island, although this area is mainly residential: count 35 CUC minimum.
Not to mention the large taxi budget you will need to get to the centre of Havana.
You won’t find any local shops either.