Old Havana o Havana Vieja the old historic centre of Havana, is a UNESCO declared world heritage site since 1982. It is the largest remaining Colonial centre in Latin America. And you can get to know it with Bed and Breakfast in Cuba. After many years of neglect, Eusebio Leal Spengler (historian of the city) is supervising the restoration of the old city.
Havana Vieja is known for its Hispanic-Andalusian architecture. And its tropical vegetation. Walking through the old squares is like walking back in time to the colonial era. The restoration programme is comprehensive from monuments and major building to the restoration of homes and shops. This will ensure that the all aspects of colonial life are revived in their entirety.
Havana is a place you can't miss during a trip to Cuba. The capital of the island is a large city that year after year receives more than one million tourists.
To get to know the city up close, without losing any attraction, plan your tour around the three areas that make it up. These are: Centro Habana, Vedado and Miramar and, of course, Habana Vieja or Old Havana in English.
Art, music, colors, history and kind people converge at the narrow streets of Habana Vieja. Four squares (plazas), surrounded by historical buildings are the main attractions of the city. Each one built for one purpose and with its own personality.
Start your day visiting the Catedral de San Cristobal, at Plaza de Catedral. Step up by La Bodeguita del Medio, the bar where Ernest Hemingway used to drink his Mojito. Go to Plaza Vieja and enjoy the colorful buildings and local artist playing live music.
Take a walk on Calle Obispo and stop for a Daiquiri at El Floridita and the art galleries. Then, take a rest under the trees of Plaza de Armas, where you'll find a book market. Do not expect to find the latest releases but old Cuban books, magazines and newspapers. If you like antiques here you will find interesting objects.
And don´t forget to stop at the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis at Plaza de San Francisco... And relax on the Fuente de los Leones.
At the end of the day, head off to the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña to witness the ceremony of "El Cañoazo de las 9" that takes place every night at 9:00 pm.
Habana Vieja is a very touristic place. Streets like Calle Obispo are crowded with locals and travelers. Now and then you'll see musicians playing their music on the street and groups of entertainers dancing and waiting for tips.
Art and souvenirs are not hard to find. Also, you'll have the chance to buy quality cigars at one of the most famous factories while you watch the cigars being hand-rolled.
Do you want to know the essence of Cuba and its people? Then you must go to Habana Vieja and experience their culture on your own.