Havana Attractions

Special streets and squares:

Malecón (waterfront)
From 1901 to 1950 this promenade was constructed in its present appearance. It connects Habana Vieja through Centro Habana and Vedado, and it ends in the neighborhood of Miramar. Every evening many Habaneros meet here to enjoy the cool breeze of the sea and a bottle of rum with family and friends, walking along the Malecón. Particularly lively is the way of the carnival season, when colorful floats are driving on the multilane road.

Paseo del Prado ( Paseo José Martí)
-between Maximo Gomez and Avenida Maceo, Habana vieja
>From Parque central to the Atlantic stretches a two-axle promenade, which was built in 1772. In the beginning of the 20th century it was restored and received in its present appearance. At the start, in the middle and the end, it is lined with two bronze lions, which should symbolize the strength of the Spanish crown. The two-kilometer long boulevard was then and now extensively used as a promenade, from the school classes for physical education in the morning, the elderly and loafers, who gather under the shade of trees or the boys of the city, who stroll in the evening up and down the Prado. At the weekend, you will find local painters and their work, where you can also buy one from.

Plaza de la Catedral
-Calle San Ingnacio between Empedrado and O’Reilly, Habana Vieja
Originally a bog, and later, the first water supply to the New World, the place grew rapidly. The church, which was built at the beginning of the 18th century, was sanctified almost 80 years later to be now the cathedral of the town. The place is surrounded by the beautifully restored Palacios of former grandees. Important to note is the Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras, where the restaurant “El Patio” is today. On the south side of the square is the Palacio del Conde de Casa Bayona, where the Museo de Arte Colonial is located now.

Plaza Vieja
-Calle San Ignacio, between Brasil and Muralla, Habana Vieja
The Plaza Vieja dates from the 18th Century and was restored in 1996 with the support of UNESCO. Currently, there is a house which has not been reconstructed yet, because the inhabitants couldn’t agree with the authorities to another place of living. Very impressive for the visitors is, that he may see the condition of the building before reconstruction. Before the revolution, there was a large underground car park, which raised the space around one meter. He has again got back to his old level by the restoration measures. This place is also outlined with former Palacios like Casa de los Condes de Jaruco, a magnificent building with special windows. At the center of the square is the only replica of a cistern, because the original cistern has been destroyed, when the parking garage was built, under Batista’s government.

Plaza de San Francisco
San Pedro, Leonor Pérez corner ( Paula ) , Habana Vieja
This beautifully restored place is located right near the former customs house at the port of Havana. On the west side is the commercial building and Lonja del Comercio Chamber of Commerce, which (again) is used as an office building. On the other hand there is the small church of San Francisco de Paula, who has the only religious museum of the country. In front of the church stands a life-size bronze statue of the “Caballero de Paris”. Traditionally, girls are celebrating their 15th birthday with their families here, to take photographs and to be on camera in their beautiful and elaborate dresses.

Special buildings

Capitolio Nacional (Capitol)
-Paseo José Martí, between San Jose and Dragomes, Habana Vieja
In 1929, the then Deputies-and the senate building, following the model of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, was finished. The material consisted of stones, marble, bronze and steel; the dome is 94 m high. A wide granite staircase, lined with the two 6 -meter bronze statues of “work” and the “virtue”, is leading to the main entrance. Inside you will find, with a height of 14 meters and a weight of 49 tons, probably the second largest indoor statue in the world, “La República “. The Capitol also marks the kilometer zero of all roads, who lead out of Havana.This point is marked by a 24 -carat diamond, which can be seen under a small round glass plate. Today, in Capitolio, the Academy of Sciences and the Museo de Historia Natural (Museum of Natural Sciences) is located here.

Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana
-Canal de entrada de la Bahía de La Habana, La Habana del Este
Built in 1763-1774 under the direction of Pedro de Medina, this fort was the largest Spanish Ford in the New World. It was named in honor of King Charles III. Today the building is used for military purposes; the Ministry of the Navy is located here.
Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro (Morro Castle)
-Entrance to the tunnel, La Habana del Este
This fortress dominates the harbor and is one of the landmarks of the city. Its construction was started in 1589 and completed in 1630. In the following centuries, towers and beacons have been added. The building has been restored and can be visited today.

Fábrica de Tabaco Partgás
Calle Industria, Centro Habana
The Partagasfabrik is the oldest cigar factory in the country. It was founded in 1845 and still produces the well-known brands Partagas, Bolivar and Cohiba. In a one hour tour the different production phases are explained very detailed.
Open Tuesday to Friday from 10am -14.30 clock
Admission: 10 CUC.

Edificio Bacardi ( Barcadigebäude )
-Avenida de las Misiones, between Empedrado and San Juan de Dios , Habana Vieja
This imposing Art Deco building is the largest of its kind in the Caribbean. It was built in 1930, among others with German tiles and it has a golden bat on the roof.