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Old Havana (Havana Vieja)

Spanish conquistadors started building Havana in 1519. The city became an important port in the second half of the 16th century. Over the years the old section of Havana has become an important showcase of Moorish, baroque, neoclassical, and art nouveau architecture. Each plaza and neighborhood of Old Havana has a distinct look and personality.

Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)
Old Havana (Havana Vieja)

From the 19th century to the mid-20th century, Od Havana had a thriving nightlife scene and wealthy residents. After Fidel Castro's revolution in the 1950s, the wealthier members of Cuban society fled and took much of the city’s economic prosperity with them. In recent years UNESCO has worked to restore Havana Vieja. Some areas are crumbling, but still picturesque.

There are 5 main squares in Havana Vieja. They are called Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco, and Plaza del Cristo. Near the plazas you can find some of the city’s most noteworthy attractions. Museo de la Revolución and the National Museum of Fine Art (Bellas Artes) are just a few blocks west of the plazas. Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís is an 18th-century baroque cathedral with a 130-foot (40 m) bell tower, located just south of Plaza de San Francisco.

Near the harbor, you can see some of the stone fortifications that the Spanish built to protect the city from pirate attacks. Castillo de la Real Fuerza was built in the mid-16th century, and it is one of the oldest fortresses in the Americas. Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro is one of the most famous fortresses in Havana, and stands at the entrance to the Havana harbor. It was built in the 16th century, and was captured by the British in the 18th century, making it a pivotal part of Cuba’s colonial history.

Havana is full of history, and there is plenty to see besides Spanish architecture. Admire beautifully restored buildings like Hotel Raquel in Havana Vieja’s Jewish Quarter. This art nouveau hotel was built in 1905, and the interior gleams with marble columns and Tiffany lamps. The avenue called Paseo del Prado has a series of busts of Cuban celebrities, as well as 20th-century mansions that are worth a closer look.

Although this area attracts a lot of visitors, there are still a lot of residential buildings. Many old buildings in the southern half of Havana Vieja have been transformed into apartments, and some of these apartments are available for visitors to rent.

Havana Vieja, Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Jewish Quarter, Paseo del Prado, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco, Museo de la Revolución, National Museum of Fine Art (Bellas Artes), UNESCO

Old Havana (Havana Vieja) HIGHLIGHTS

Moments to look forward to

6 days | $

Learning About Historical Havana

We had a wonderful five days soaking in the classical vibe of Old Havana. From informative tours to unforgettable experiences (dancing with the locals), we’ll be back for more!
Learning About Historical Havana
Itinerary
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People and Society
Havana

People and Society

6 days | $$

Charming Cuba—History and Nature

The people that hosted us and the transportation was great — always on time. Appreciated the Viñales experience and learning not only about agriculture, but also tobacco and meeting locals along the route.
Charming Cuba—History and Nature
Itinerary
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Convertible Classic Car City Tour + Colonial Walking Tour
Havana

Convertible Classic Car City Tour + Colonial Walking Tour

7 days | $$$

History, Culture, and Exploring Nature

Having Anywhere coordinate our trip to Cuba was amazing! We didn't have to worry about anything and always felt very safe and educated!
History, Culture, and Exploring Nature
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Bar Walking Tour and Rum Museum
Havana

Bar Walking Tour and Rum Museum

5 days | $$

A Quick Havana Getaway

Havana was wonderful. Our 5-day quick getaway includes a thorough introduction to Cuba’s architecture and culture. We also loved the trip to Varadero to experience the beautiful coastline!
A Quick Havana Getaway
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Havana's Fascinating Architecture
Havana

Havana's Fascinating Architecture

10 days | $

An Excellent Intro to Cuba

Our Cuba trip was excellent. During our trip we were met at the appointed times and all the tours were just as described and proved to be very interesting and joyful.
An Excellent Intro to Cuba
Itinerary
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History and Culture
Havana

History and Culture

On the trail of Hemingway in Cuba
Havana

On the trail of Hemingway in Cuba

Fortifications of Colonial Havana
Havana

Fortifications of Colonial Havana

Swim in the East Beaches
Havana

Swim in the East Beaches

Cannon Shot Beyond the Bay
Havana

Cannon Shot Beyond the Bay

Fusterlandia
Havana

Fusterlandia

Accommodations

Incredible Stays

Casa Suite Habana 62
Casa Suite Habana 62
Casa Suite Habana 62

Casa Suite Havana offers an amazing stay and access to the Ron Havana Club and Cohiba Tobacco store.

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Hostal del Angel 118
Hostal del Angel 118
Hostal del Angel 118

Hostel Del Angel provides all travel necessities and a great location to explore the city.

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Casa Carlos and Graciela 101
Casa Carlos and Graciela 101
Casa Carlos and Graciela 101

Casa Carlos and Graciela is located two blocks from Obispo Street, one of Old Havana’s busiest streets.

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Hostal Plaza Vieja 357
Hostal Plaza Vieja 357
Hostal Plaza Vieja 357

Hostal Plaza Vieja 1910 is a neoclassical building, and the casa is furnished to evoke early 20th-century glamour. It has elegant furniture and tasteful works of art.

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Hostal Don Leterio 310
Hostal Don Leterio 310
Hostal Don Leterio 310

Hostal Don Leterio is a colonial house with two air-conditioned rooms. It’s in the midst of Old Havana, where you can quickly get to some of Havana’s historic buildings.

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Prado Colonial
Prado Colonial
Prado Colonial

Prado Colonial offers welcoming rooms in three different colonial homes in the heart of historic Havana. In addition to modern amenities, these rooms have atmospheres that echo the rich history of their surroundings.

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Hostel San Cristóbal de la Habana
Hostel San Cristóbal de la Habana
Hostel San Cristóbal de la Habana

Hostal San Cristobal de la Habana is a house built in 1920, and is located in the center of Old Havana. The owner – a Grammy-winning musician and composer – has worked to maintain this home’s colonial appearance.

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