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Centro Habana

 

Cuba | Havana travel guide | 
District Central Havana

For tourists it’s difficult to distinguish exactly where Habana Vieja ends and where begins the Centro Habana begins. Centro Habana municipality is the smallest and most populated district of Havana.
It’s surrounded by the waterfront ("Malecón") in the North and the "Paseo del Prado" in the East. It extends up until the "Hotel Nacional" in western district of Vedado
 
Centro Habana is the most important district of Havana in terms of trade and services. Although next to Habana Vieja, the cultural and historical center, Centro Habana represents the transition from the old to modern city. With less than just 5 square kilometres, it is a very interesting area, with many attractions. Here you can take a stroll and connect with the local "Habaneros" as they go about their everyday lives. 

Havana Tourist information

Cuba Havana travel guide

District: Central Havana
City map Central Havana Cuba


Useful informations
  • Havana travel guide District Central Havana - Tourist office
    Tourist office
    Infotur "Calle Obispo" (belongs to Central Havana but very near)

  • Money exchange  District Central Havana
    Money exchangeCADECA - "Avenida Carlos III" / Corner "Calle Marquéz González"
    CADECA - "Calle Neptuno"/ Corner "Calle Consulado"
    CADECA - Hotel "Deauville": "Calle Galiano" / Corner "Malecón"
    CADECA - "Calle Zanja" / Corner "Calle Soledad"

  • Internet Central Havana Cuba
    Internet
    in the "Capitolio"

  • District Central Havana Cuba Hospital
    Hospital
    + Hospital "Freyre de Andrade" (as well called "Emergencias")
    + "Hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras" (Centro Habana - "Calle Neptuno" / "Calle Marquez Gonzalez")
    + especially for foreigners "Clinica Central" - "calle 20 nº4101" / Ecke "Avenida 41" (municipality "Playa")

  • Tourism Central Havana - Shopping
    Shopping
    "El Bulevar" - "Calle San Rafael" (many various stores - including souvenirs)
    "La Época" - "Avenida de Italia" / corner "Calle Neptuno" (clothing)
Accommodation in Centro Habana
Lodging Havana Cuba


Private hostals - Casas particulares in Central Havana are a great option for those who need to economize. You can rent a good private room ("casa particular") at a much lower price then a hotel, with guaranteed quality and excellent service. Many of the casas particulares in Centro Habana are located in beautiful old buildings, that can appear from outside a little decrepit, but are often completely restored inside. Don't miss the opportunity to dive into everyday Cuban life! Stay in Central Havana in a casa particular - the Cuban B&B.

Hotels in Central Havana ("Centro Habana") offer the whole range from a simple, modest style, as the "Hotel Lido", going through mid-class hotels like the "Hotel Caribbean" up to luxurious and spectacular lodgings like the "Hotel Saratoga". Most hotels in Centro Habana district are located in totally restored old colonial buildings. Travellers can choose their lodging according to his or her budget.

Accommodation
  • District Central Havana Cuba
    Rooms & Apartments
    Centro Habana

  • District Central Havana - Hotels
    Hotels
    Hotel "Saratoga"
    Hotel "Lido"
    Hotel "Caribbean"


Transport
  • Car rental Havana District Central Havana
    Car rental
    "Havanautos" & "Cubacar": "Calle Galeano" / Ecke "Calle Concordia"
    "Havanautos": "Hotel Deauville"
    "Gran Car" - vintage car rental (normally to find in the front of the "Capitolio")

Sights & Monuments in Centro Habana

Best sights in Havana Cuba - Centro Habana District

Central Havana is noisy and bustling by both day and by night. This used to be a zone mainly inhabited by workers and the lower middle class. The monuments that adorn the streets here are important sculptures of great beauty and elegance!

Known as the, "city outside the walls" ("ciudad de extramuros"), "Centro Habana" symbolises a new era. Here, you can see how the architecture and lifestyle changed, including influences of other cultures that have left their landmark in this part of Havana.

Tourism
  • Havana travel guide District Central Havana - Tourism - Sights & Monuments
    Sights & Monuments
    Capitol of Havana
    Chinatown
    Great Theater of Havana
    Prado Promenade
    Tobacco factory
    Museum of Fine Arts
    Central park and surroundings
    Museum of the Revolution
    National ballet school
    Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba
    Fountain of the Indian

  • Havana travel guide District Central Havana - Tourism - Fun, leisure & sports
    Fun, leisure & sports


  • Public pools Central Havana Havana travel guide
    Public pools


  • Beaches Havana travel guide District Central Havana - Tourism
    Beaches
    "Playas del Este" beaches Havana

Capitol of Havana

   |   Capitolio

Although it was conceived in a time of great economic downturn, with a high cost of approximately $17 million, the "Capitolio" now stands as the pride of the Havana city's architecture. Building started in 1926. The Capitolio was first home to Houses of Congress. Today it houses the Academy of Science of Cuba and the National Library of Science and Technology.

Due to its stunning architectural features, the Capital of Havana is considered to be amongst the six most beautiful palaces in the world. One of its most valuable pieces includes the magnificent bronze statue inside, representing "La República". 15 meters high and weighing 30 tons, it’s surpassed only by the Nava Buddha in Japan and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

The other piece is a wonderful peplica of a diamond of 25 carat (which replaced the original for safety), located just beneath the imposing dome, from which all distances are measured in the country.

Central Havana sights and travel guide with reviews and recommandations
Address:
between the streets "Prado", "Dagones", "Industria" & "San José"

Chinatown

   |   Barrio Chino

In 1847, a wave of Chinese came to Havana to work on the sugar and coffee plantations. Their shrewd business skills helped them to prosper quickly and soon they formed their own neighborhood within the city.

The "Barrio Chino" in Havana is located between the streets of "Amistad" and "Dragones". The first businesses were an inn and a fruit stand. Later followed businesses like laundries, restaurants and casinos - converting Havana Chinatown in one of the most important districts in the area.

At the moment, there are very few Chinese left but their descendants that have mixed with other races can be seen all over the area. Although the “Barrio Chino” has lost much of its authenticity, it retains some good restaurants, a few Chinese societies and an edited Chinese newspaper.

Central Havana travel guide and sights
Address:
behind the "Capitolio"

Great Theater of Havana

   |   Gran Teatro

With its spectacular architecture, the Grand Theater of Havana opened in 1838, and became one of the greatest opera houses in the world.  Admire its impressive facade, designed by the Italian Guiseppe Moreti. The four sculptures that guard the building represent Charity, Education Music and Theatre.

As one if the most important cultural institutions in Latin America, its stage has received many artists and internationally renowned companies such as Sarah Bernhardt, the Royal Ballet of London and the tenor Enrico Caruso.

Currently, the Grand Theatre offers performances of the "Ballet Nacional de Cuba" and many others. In the building there are different theaters, concert halls and visual art galleries. The "Gran Teatro" also hosts international festivals like "The Footprint of Spain" ("La Huella de España") and the "Festival de Ballet de La Habana". If you want to discover a new facet of Havana and enjoy one of the artistic representations, don't hesitate to visit the greatest Cuban Theater.

Sights in Havana - Theaters and culture
Address:
Corner "Paseo del Prado" & "San Rafael"

Prado Promenade

   |   Paseo del Prado

That is one of the most attractive streets in Havana. The lions that guard the street are bronze and have a fascinating history.

Central Havana sights - travel guide Cuba
Address:
leads from the "Capitolio" to the waterfront "El Malecón"

Tobacco factory

   |   Real Fábrica de Tabacos
This is the oldest and most prestigious cigar factory in Havana and was founded by the Spanish Jaime Partagas. It employs about 400 skilled workers who select, press and roll the best cigars  - "Lusitanias", "Montecristo", "Churchill" and "Cohiba Espléndidos".
The quality is top notch. In the factory there is a little shop and a bar, where you can enjoy a good cigar.
Havana sights - travel guide Central Havana
Address:
"Calle Industria" nº 520 (behind the "Capitolio")

Museum of Fine Arts

   |   Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

This majestic museum was built in 1926 and is occupying two buildings. The Universal Art collection houses in the former "Centro Asturiano" and shows pieces from the time of 500 BC  up until today.

The other building is the "Palacio de Bellas Artes", which displays a rich collection of Cuban Art - diverse and magnificent works from the period of the 18th Century until the 20th century. You will find pieces from Cuban artists such as Amelia Pelaez, Rene Portocarrero, William Collazo, Wilfredo Lam and many more.

Address:
"Centro Asturiano" ("Calle Agramonte" and "San Rafael") & "Palacio de Bellas Artes" ("Calle Trocadero" between "Agramonte" and "Av. de las Misiones")

Central park and surroundings

   |   Parque Central
"Parque Central" is a beautiful location – a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown. 
 
It’s not a particularly large park but all the same, it’s very picturesque and lively. Fans of baseball (the national sport), or simply "the ball" ("la pelota"), as they call it, constantly meet here to discuss their views on certain teams or players.
Address:
beside the "Capitolio"

Museum of the Revolution

   |   Museo de la Revolución

This is the most prestigious dance school in Cuba and one of the largest in the world. 4350 carefully selected students are trained here to become later part of the National Ballet. Enthusiasts can go there to get information about courses and workshops.

Address:
"Calle Refugio" No.1

National ballet school

   |   Escuela Nacional de Ballet

This is the most prestigious dance school in Cuba and one of the largest in the world. 4350 carefully selected students are trained here to become later part of the National Ballet. Interested people can go there to get informations about courses and workshops.

Address:
corner "Paseo del Prado" and "Trocadero"

Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba

   |   Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba

In order to understand the true African heritage of this Caribbean island, you should visit this fascinating place. Exhibitions and ceremonies related to "Santería"-cult and yoruba beliefs rooted in Cuba.

Address:
"Paseo del Prado" No. 615

Fountain of the Indian

   |   Fuente de Las Indias

Beautiful fountain made in 1837 in white Italian Carrara marble.

Address:
oposite to the "Hotel Saratoga" beside the "Capitolio"

Fun, leisure & sports in Centro Habana



Gastronomy - Restaurants and Paladares in Centro Habana


Restaurant guide Havana Cuba - Centro Habana District - Paladares
  • Restaurants District Central Havana - Review
    Restaurants
    Restaurant "Prado nº 264"
    Restaurant "Tien Tan"

  • Paladares District Central Havana - Review
    Paladares
    Paladar "Doña Blanquita"
    Paladar "Bellamar"
Restaurants in Centro Habana
RestaurantReview
Restaurant "Prado nº 264"Authentic Cuban restaurant with simple but very tasty dishes. The decor is a little long in the tooth - see it as a little journey through time.
Restaurant "Tien Tan"One of the most famous Chinese restaurants in the "barrio Chino" district of Havana Cuba. The price of a meal is around 10 CUC.
Paladares in Centro Habana
PaladarReview
Paladar "Doña Blanquita"In this private-run paladar-restaurant you get good value for price, overlooking the "Prado" Boulevard. Price for a dish: between 6-10 CUC. Recommendation: "Ropa Vieja".
Paladar "Bellamar"Family business that serves the typical Cuban Creole dishes, based on chicken, pork, but also fish. 7-12 CUC.


Nightlife in Centro Habana


Cuba Havana nightlife - Central Havana bars and nightclubs
  • Nightlife District Central Havana - Bars Review
    Bars
    Bar "Nautilus"
    Bar "Prado nº 12"
    Café Bar "La Logia"

  • Nightlife Havana travel guide District Central Havana - Nightclubs Review
    Nightclubs
    "Casa de la Música"
    "Cabaret Nacional"
Bars in Centro Habana
BarReview
Bar "Nautilus"Bar in Havana with submarine look. Private atmosphere.
Bar "Prado nº 12"Here the clack simply stopped in the fifties.
Café Bar "La Logia"Nice café in the "Capitolio".
Nightclubs in Centro Habana
NightclubReview
"Casa de la Música"One of the most important and most popular cultural locations in Havana. Almost daily concerts of current Cuban musicians and bands. With a little luck you'll see some Cuban stars.
"Cabaret Nacional"Very centrally located in the basement of the "Gran Theater". The evening starts with a small dance show and after you can dance to Salsa & Disco rhythm's. Only couples allowed!

City map Centro Habana

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