What to see around the Habana Libre Hotel and the National Hotel Cuba from your Casa Particular

casa del habano at Habana Libre HotelThe Habana Libre Hotel is possibly the finest classical example of modernist architecture in the city and displays a notable collection of photographs of various revolutionaries visiting the hotel in Havana after it was taken by Fidel Castro and his comrades. The Hotel Tryp boasts good shops, including La Casa del Habano (the Cigar Store) with a cigar lounge and fine bar serving excellent Cuban cocktails. Centrally located in Vedado at the famous 23 and L there are many shops and bars in the surrounding area, as well as several places of historical interest. Makes for an entertaining tourist experience on any visit to Cuba, with plenty of examples of the city's rich architectural tradition on display plus many prosperous homes.

Even if you don't stay at the Nacional Hotel Cuba at O and 21 St (declared a National Monument for its artistic and historical value) it's well worth sampling a drink in its beautiful gardens overlooking the sea (at very reasonable prices). The perfect spot to enjoy one of Havana's most popular picture-postcard views.

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Accommodation in Havana Vedado or Havana Miramar

Vedado and Miramar are the most exclusive districts in Havana, where you can find attractive colonial buildings and probably the most relaxed environment in the the city.

VEDADO

Vedado habanaVedado is an elegant neighborhood with wide avenues representing the modern centre of the Cuban capital. At the same time it is a residential area full of attractive villas with well presented gardens and some of the houses are real palaces.

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Havana Accommodation: Old Havana vs Central Havana

central havana central parkChoosing where to stay in a particular part of Havana will be easier after we can understand how the city is divided up, by both its inhabitants and geographical area.

Havana is a large city, it spans a total of 728 km2 with a population of 2,1 million inhabitants in June 2015. Anyway, the Cuban capital is not a very populated city when compared with other European capitals such as Madrid (650 km2 y 3.2 million inhabitants).

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A Seaside Stroll along the Malecon - Havana’s Seawall

maleconIf I had to name the simplest and at the same time most attractive and evocative spot in Havana city, I would certainly say the Malecon. It's probably the most famous and iconic seaside promenade in Cuba, a true reflection of the city's many lives, love, sadness, fun and of course, an outdoor meeting point for thousands of Havana residents every day. Everyone visiting Cuba should take a walk along the Malecon seawall as part of their exploration of the city. Take the route when heading for the old city, or simply stroll along taking in the many sites, sounds and smells.

This grand Havana promenade comprises a wide avenue of six lanes edged by a broad concrete sea wall along the northern coast of the city and the Malecon beach extends over 8 kms in length, making it the most popular meeting place in the Cuban capital. A must see if you are passing through Havana, the Malecon perfectly highlights the richness of the city's architecture, with countless historically important buildings in various states of restoration forming a stunning background that's been in existance since the start of the 19th Century and took more than thrity years to build.

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A few hours to immerse yourself in Havana

Colonial Havana in Old Havana CubaNot everyone travelling to Havana has enough time to visit all the most important historical sites and highlights of the capital of Cuba. Many visitors will be moving on to one of the island’s famous Cuban beaches or Cayos and even more arrive on cruise ships with just a few hours to discover the joys of Havana.

After years strolling around the Cuban capital, my advice would be to make the most of your time in this vibrant city by exploring it on foot. While you won't have the chance to take in all the city's magnificent sights, wandering the streets of Colonial Havana is like stepping through time and you'll be absorbed in more than 500 years of history. It's worth noting that many of the museums in Old Havana are closed on Mondays.

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