Havana , officially Ciudad de La Habana, is the capital city, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city is one of the 14 Cuban provinces. The city/province has 2.5 million inhabitants, the largest city in Cuba and the second largest in the Caribbean region, after Santo Domingo. The province lies on the northern coast of Cuba, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Caribbean Sea (map at right). The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.
Havana is probably the most exciting city in Latin America managing to be both seedy and stylish. The province owes its growth and prosperity to the almost natural perfection of its harbour. Havana is an exhilarating place, but it can also be exhausting. Much of the city’s charm can be found among the narrow, derelict streets packed with crumbling buildings and fascinating people.
The historic old town, Habana Vieja or Colonial Havana, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and fast becoming a tourist Mecca. Centro Habana boasts some of the most important museums and architectural highlights, including the Revolution Museum, and the National Capitol, resembling the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. The trendy suburb of Vedado boasts high-rise buildings and modern hotels, and draws locals and visitors alike with its theaters, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and cabaret shows; however most of the city’s sights are in Habana Vieja and Centro Habana.
Places to go:
- THE HISTORIC CENTER:El Templete, a small neo-classic building inaugurated in 1928 at the place where the city is considered to have been founded, the Arm Square, The Cathedral Square and the Old Square.The Capitol, Partagas Cigar Factory.
- THE REVOLUTION SQUARE.
- PASEO DEL PRADO.Was for centuries the most important urban spot in Havana, Prado Promenade stretches from Central Park to the emblematic and centennial Havana Malecon (Seafront Drive).
- BAR-RESTAURANT BODEGUITA DEL MEDIO
- BAR-RESTAURANT LA TORRE
- BAR-RESTAURANT EL FLORIDITA
- TROPICANA CABARET, Turquino Cabaret, La Maison Cabaret Night Club, Jazz Café, Casa de la Música, Club Chan Chan,
- NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS. One of the world´s most widely recognized of its kind.
- RECREATIONAL CENTERS: Fresh Water Fish Aquarium, National Aquarium, Old Havana Sacle Model, Lenin Park, National Botanical Garden.