The atmospheric colonial streets of Havana have surely witnessed better days because of its old-timey feel. Visitors to this city will surely delight in the city’s richness of historic buildings. Its several scenic plazas are all charming places to stay while watching the roll of Cadillac and listening to salsa.
Once a groundbreaking center, Havana attracts lots of tourists today. And most of these visitors were impressed with the amazing architecture and art of the city. With salsa, rum, and sun, the scenic streets of Havana are intoxicating. Listed below are some of the things that every traveler should not miss when in Havana.
Plaza de la Catedral
One of Havana’s main squares is the Plaza de la Catedral. This was named after a massive cathedral that dominates the other side of the city. This plaza is an active place that are visited frequently by locals and tourists.
Once a wetland, this square has been a naval dock yard over a long time. Today, you can see grand mansions lining the plaza which will surely mesmerize you. Aside from the lovely restaurants around, you can also find the beautiful Colonial Art Museum here.
When this plaza opened last 1559, this was called as the New Square. With this amount of time, this plaza is one of Old Havana’s most historic places. Wonderful colonial facades surrounds Plaza Vieja that dates back to various periods. Also, you can find the elegant Cuban baroque mansions along the wonderful art nouveau buildings.
During the plaza’s time, it hosted almost everything from bullfights and executions to teeming markets and fiestas. The restaurants, cafes, and bars in this plaza make this a popular place for locals and tourists.
Museo Hemingway Finca Vigia
Constructed during 1886 on top of a hill outside Havana, the Finca Vigia became the home of Ernest Hemingway, a prominent novelist. Since then, this has transformed into a wonderful museum that showcases his works and life.
Most of his popular books was written at Finca Vigia. These books include For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and The Sea. Take note that you can see plenty of fascinating memorabilia inside the museum.
With Havana’s fantastic views, visiting this city is indeed worth it. Most of the rooms in this museum look identical as to how Hemingway have left them.
Found in Plaza Vieja’s one corner, the Camera Obscura brags one of Havana’s most fascinating and unique views. Not like a traditional viewpoint, the Camera Obscura will treat you to a 360-degree view of the Old Havana over a live image on a dark screen. This view is made possible by the optical device that was invented by the great Leonardo Da Vinci.
Observing how the people go with their daily lives among the richness of its historical buildings is indeed an enchanting experience. Thus, this makes visiting the Camera Obscura worth it.
Playas del Este
Just less than 20 kilometers away from the Old Havana, you will find Playas del Este. This is an amazing spot for those who want to go out of the city’s hustle and have a relaxing feel under the sun of the beach. In fact, this spot is popular to local Cubans.
Whilst its beaches are charming, Playas del Este has a slightly crumbling air and you can find Soviet-esque hotels here. As an authentic spot with no graces and airs, the Playas del Este is the best place for you to head straight to if you are looking for a beach.
Guarding Havana Bay’s entrance, the Morro Castle was constructed in 1589. Through the course of the castle’s history, the British, Cubans, and Spanish have used this to control and protect Havana.
With its canons, well-preserved walls, and dry moat, the castle is a fascinating place for tourists to wander around. In its barracks, you get to see how its soldiers have lived.
From the ramparts of this castle, you will find striking views of the sea as well as Havana. The Morro Castle is a famous tourist attraction of Havana that has a rich history for you to explore.
Museo de la Revolucion
In the lovely building that became the Presidential Palace once, you will find the Museo de la Revolucion. This museum will be teaching you everything that you need to know regarding the Cuban Revolution which shaped the history of the island.
Currently an artist’s heaven, the Fusterlandia is a creation of Jose Fuster. He transformed his own neighborhood into a brightly colorful place that tourists and locals see today. Beginning by decorating his studio, this Cuban artist is set to work on bus stops, benches, fountains, and buildings of the community. Today, almost everything is covered in naïve art and tiles, looking delightfully imaginative and childlike.
Traveling around this neighborhood will bring delight to one’s senses. Today, this area attracts plenty of tourists and artists who visit here in hopes of setting up their own shops for showcasing their artworks. Indeed, you will feel the magic in Fusterlandia’s air.