Central Havana can be split into three areas; Havana Vieja, Centro Havana and Vedado. We stayed in Havana Vieja, an area with many hotels/casas. You will also find many restaurants and bars here. This is the area where most of the sights are, so most tourists are spending a lot of time here. Havana Vieja is less crowded than for example Centro Havana, and because of the small streets the traffic is nearly non-existing compared to the rest of the city.
Plaza Vieja is the biggest and busiest square in Havana Vieja. There are always loads of people here and a lot going on. You will find several restaurants and bars here, as well as some expensive (but very bad) clothing stores. We ate breakfast at a restaurant here every morning, as we couldn’t find any other restaurant offering breakfast. I also recommend taking a drink on one of the balconies overlooking the plaza, which is very nice. It is actually a microbrewery at the plaza as well, although we didn’t got to try this – but it was always packed.
Mercaderes and Obispo are two main streets where you can find restaurants, small markets, souvenir shops and more. We tried to do some real shopping here when we lost our luggage, but we couldn’t find anything useful. But, if you want to buy souvenirs, there are a few open air markets as well as some stores selling it. Remember to check out the alleys around these streets as well.
Plaza de San Francisco de Asis is a square near the harbor and is a place with several restaurants and things happening. The church Iglesia y Monesterio de San Fransisco de Asis is located here among other beautiful buildings.
Catedral de San Cristobal is placed at Plaza de la Catedral and might be one of the most photographed buildings in Havana. The baroque style cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dating from the 18th century.
Museo de la revolucion was a big disappointment. We had been looking forward to the museum because we find the revolution very exciting, but it was not worth the 8 CUC we paid in entrance – I wouldn’t even go back if it was for free. Maybe it is better if you speak Spanish, but I don’t recommend visiting this museum.
In addition to the main sights, we just wandered around in all the small streets in Havana Vieja and enjoyed the atmosphere.