Being in Havana for the reasons that are always worth taking a while to take a walk through this beautiful city. There are emblematic places that you should not miss, not only because of their historical importance, but because they represent the heart of Havana.
Havana possesses a historical, architectural and above all cultural heritage, expressed in the fusion between Europeans, Africans and aborigines at the beginning, together with other more contemporary ethnic and cultural components, making the city an important recipient of international tourism and the center of national life. Its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1982,7 is today one of the best preserved architectural complexes in Latin America. Among its most representative monuments are the Cathedral of Havana, the Plaza de Armas, the Morro Castle, the Museum of the Revolution, the National Palace of Fine Arts, the Great Theater of Havana, the Capitol, the Plaza de la Revolution and the Malecón, perhaps the most internationally recognized symbol of the city.
Its traditions, museums and institutions are true bastions for humanity, which makes it a priority destination in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are also private tenants that offer their homes to foreign visitors who visit the island, many of them are promoted to themselves or use promoting agencies. This type of accommodation, besides being legal and safe, converts trips to Cuba into unrepeatable experiences.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Havana and Buenos Aires were the largest and most important Latin American cities in terms of architecture. This period of stampede known as “the fat cows” has large examples of buildings with international influences of Art Nouveau, Déco and Eclectic. Its suburbs developed in what we know today as Miramar, Marianao, El Vedado and Playa. Miramar, lush and wealthy, copied the model of the American suburb and became after 1959 a district of diplomats, scientists, ambassadors and tourists.
The Central Station of Ferrocarriles (1912), the University of Havana (1906-1940) and the Capitol (1926-1929) are examples of the Nouveau style. The Capitol dome is 62 meters and was the highest point in the city and an example of the influence of the United States at the time.
The López-Serrano building was built in 1932 by Ricardo Mira, the first high-rise building in Cuba, inspired by the Rockefeller Center in New York. His influence can be seen in many buildings in Miami and Los Angeles.
The Bacardí Building (1930) is one of the largest buildings in Havana and the best example of Art Deco. Located on a small hill that overlooks the entrance to the Bay of Havana, there is the National Hotel, built in 1929-30 through an agreement between the Cuban government and the United States.
However, there are important works that have a different style, emerged after the triumph of the revolution. The Palace of Conventions is a sample of the combination of colonial architecture and the influence of the Soviet Union. From 1995, hotels such as the Meliá Cohiba, the Panorama, the Meliá Habana and the Rampa were built, characterized by their straight lines and walls of glass, metal, concrete and adorned with hanging plants.
Culture in Havana
The city is home to several international cultural events such as the International Ballet Festival of Havana, the Havana Film Festival, The Jazz Plaza Festival and the Leo Brouwer International Guitar Festival.
Hometown of the modernist poet and writer José Martí, and known as the key of the New World and the West Indies antemural because of its strategic location, it is one of the most important cities in Latin America for events located in the Gulf of Mexico .
The Casa de las Américas is also located in the city, an institution charged with promoting the art and literature of Spanish-speaking peoples, from the Rio Grande to Patagonia, and which annually sponsors a literary contest known as Casa de las Américas or simply House Award, and which have been sworn as distinguished personalities as Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa. In Havana there is also a great variety of nightclubs such as discos, cabarets, theaters, etc; where Havanans and tourists both national and foreign spend the colorful nights of the city. There is still a noble title of the Spanish crown referring to this city, specifically the Marquis of Havana, which dates back to colonial times.The Museum of Fine Arts has one of the best collections of universal art on the continent and the largest Cuban art of the world. The city also sponsors annually the International Book Fair of Havana, which then extends to the rest of the country’s provinces. The main venue of the contest is in the Morro-Cabaña fortress, east of the city, and has sub-offices in all the bookstores of the capital
Important places to visit in Havana
If you are visiting Havana, these are the places you should not miss:
1. Central Park, Capitol, park of the Fraternity.
2. Meadow walk.
3. Harbor Avenue.
4. Cathedral of Havana.
5. Bodeguita del medio.
6. Plaza de armas.
7. Plaza de San Francisco de Asís.
8. Old Square.
9. Boulevard de Obispo and Floridita bar.
The ideal is that you go hand in hand with an expert because they can offer you details that would otherwise be more difficult to obtain, as well as they can guide you directly through the city