Old Havana City Tour

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"Famous tourist attractions in the Old City
Discover the "Must-see places"

HAVANA BAY AND EL MORRO CASTLE


City Trip 1
OLD HAVANA (Havana Vieja)

The departure point of this trip is Parque Central, at the statue of José Marti the Cuban hero, freedom fighter and poet who wrote the words of the well-known song “Guantanamera.”

José Marti points with his finger to the direction we go: Obispo Street. Cross the square, and on the corner at the right you’ll see an old stationery and bookshop named Poësia Moderna. Calle obispo is the main shopping district of the Old Havana area, with a mixture of shops, bars, and restaurants.

On the right hand corner of the Street is the famous bar El Floridita, located, it was a favourite bar of Hemingway. This is a typical tourist spot and daiquiris are its speciality, as are high prices. Halfway down the street, on the left hand side you see the Drogeria Johnson an old style pharmacy with dark wooden shelves and white porcelain jars and containers. (Update: on March 14th 2006 a heavy fire destroyed the complete interior of this pharmacy).

A few blocks further to your right, you’ll see another old pharmacy with the same style, but smaller: Farmacia Taquechel (Obispo Street nº 155). Next-door is the famous Hotel Ambos Mundos where the writer Ernest Hemingway lived for many years and wrote a part of his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. If you have time to spend, take the old elevator and go to the rooftop terrace, where you have a magnificent view over Havana City. The hotel is a typical tourist venue with a lot of guided tours, and a great lobby bar where you can drink a Cuban cocktail.

Farmacia Taquechel Havana attractions Havana Tourism Plaza de Armas
Antique Farmacy Taquechel
Old Havana
Booksellers at Plaza de Armas
Old Havana

As you continue your walk through the street, at the left hand side you pass the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. This Palace was built for the Spanish Army Leader, and it now houses the Havana Town Museum. At the end of the Obispo Street you see a beautiful square, “Plaza de Armas,” a historical landmark.

At the opposite side to the square is the Hotel Santa Isabel, and left of the hotel is the Church El Templete. Near this place is a tree where, according to historians, Havana was founded. Opposite El Templete, across O’Reilly Street, is the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a 16th century castle which is one of the oldest buildings in Havana. You’ll find the Palacio del Segundo Cabo, formerly the residence of the Spanish governor, now used as the Cuban Library, next to the Castillo.
Make a right to the Plaza de la Catedral, on which the Catedral de San Cristobal is located. The church is a national monument and considered as one of the finest Baroque style buildings in Latin America.

Follow calle Empedrado to the Bodegita del Medio (Empedrado Street nº 207). This restaurant & bar is famous for its Mojito cocktail and was one of Hemingway’s favourites. A lot of famous people left their signatures behind on the wall. The Bodegita is a real tourist magnet, complete with expensive cocktails.

At the end of the Obispo Street at your right hand side you see the Plaza San Francisco de Assisi and the Convento (the Convent). One block behind the Convent you find Plaza Vieja (Old Square), a pleasant place with many renovated old buildings.
By now you will be thirsty, so go straight to the Taberna La Muralla at the corner of Plaza Vieja.
Drink a beer, it’s the best you can get in town. In the backside of the tavern you can visit the brewery installations.
Return to the Plaza San Francisco and at the waterfront you see the Terminal Sierra Maestra where cruise ships come to dock. Opposite the Terminal is the Museo del Ron (Rum Museum). Here you get an overview of the “Havana Club” rum brands. If you want to know more about the production methods of rum, book a guided tour.

Fifty meters further on you can visit the bar Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers Bar), another landmark in Old Havana. The bar claims to be the oldest in the city, and you’re surely will enjoy their Cuba Libre or Mojito cocktails.

Our trip through the Old city district ends at this point. There’s a lot more you can do, but this overview covers the most important places to see in Old Havana.

Havana Attractions Obispo street Old Havana

Obispo street, the heart of the Old City




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