Centro Habana is an area located between Habana Vieja and Vedado. It is not too much to see here, but you will probably pass the area several times when are walking/driving around in Havana. It is actually quite fun to walk around here, because you will see the local Cuban life in another way than in Habana Vieja and Vedado. Centro Habana is also the place to watch old, American cars!
El Capitolio, or the Capitolio Building as it is named in English, was built in 1929 and was earlier the seat of the Cuban government. Today it houses the Cuban Academy of Science. It is a stunning building, but the real reason to go here is the cars! You will see old cars everywhere in Havana, but around the Capitolio Building there are plenty of them! We spent a lot of time here just taking pictures of all the cars. So much fun – this was Cuba exactly like we had imagined it to be! You do run the risk of being involved in an accident if you try too hard to get the right photo angle, as the cars zoom around everywhere, so learn more about the actions you’d need to take before you go.
Most of the old cars are taxies (few people own a private car in Cuba), so you can cruise around all the time. The old taxis cost the same as any other taxi, but some of the “nicer” old cars (especially the cabs) can be more expensive. By the way, always remember to bargain! And if one taxi is too expensive, there will always be another one coming in a few minutes. Sometimes they will try to charge you 10 CUC (=10usd), and the right price is really 2 CUC.
The nicest cars are used for guided tours around the city. We paid 25CUC for one hour, and it was totally worth it! A shiny and yellow Chevrolet from 1951. We took hundreds of pictures and had so much fun. I think the driver thought we were crazy or something, because we didn’t want to see any of the sights he wanted to stop by (yes, it was a sightseeing tour, but we had already seen all the sights, haha…). We only wanted him to take pictures of us and the car, and we were laughing so much and having such a great time.
I love classic cars and so do my friends. One of my friends actually owns a car similar to the ones in the photographs. Recently though she came into some money troubles, so when she found out that logbook lenders will lend against older vehicles, she was able to use her car as security to get a loan. If you’re an owner of an older car and thinking of taking out a logbook loan, you should always do some research first.