31 Jan Old Havana – A Self-Guided Walking Route With Map
In front of Colourful buildings along Paseo de Marti, Old Havana, Cuba
You simply can’t travel to Havana, Cuba without checking out Old Havana (Habana Vieja.) Many tourists choose to take the tourist jump-on-jump-off bus to cover the touristic sites. If you only have half-a-day to see Havana this is good enough to cover a lot in a short period of time.
If you have more time you should spend at least one day exploring Old Havana and see the real deal with walking along the backstreets and see all the colourful houses along the way. Here is my recommended self-guided walking route of Old Havana.
Capitolio de La Habana
We lived in Vedado which is not close to Old Havana. We took a classic taxi to El Capitolio building and started our walk there. It is on edge of Old Havana. By walking a few meters up from El Capitolio along the Street Paseo de Marti we saw the iconic colourful buildings and took some photos. We then walked around El Capitolio and did a short trip into Partagas Cigar Factory.
Hotel Inglaterra, Habana Vieja, Cuba
We then walked towards Hotel Inglaterra and Parque Central to check out the statue of Jose Marti. Outside of the park is a great place to find the classic car for a one hour guided car ride around Havana.
We then checked out the Museo de La Revolucion. The museum is in a remarkable building. However, I was a little disappointed with the museum as it was mostly images and facts about what happened during the revolution. I would not recommend spending so much time at this museum unless you are very interested in what happened and have a long time in Havana. We then walked towards Malecon and took photos of the Lighthouse and Castillo de Los Tres Santos Reyes.
We then walked a little longer along Malecon and walked toward Catedral De San Cristobal and Plaza de La Catedral which is a must in Old Havana and get to know the history behind the Cathedral. If you continue walking along the street Empedrado you will get to La Bodeguita Del Medio, which is the birthplace of the Mojito and a hangout place of Ernest Hemingway. Try the Mojito and make sure to bring a marker so you can write a regard on the wall 😀
Musicians playing in Bodeguita del Medio, Havana Cuba
We then walked back towards Castillo de la Real Fuerza and Plaza de Armas. Castillo de la Real Fuerza is such an interesting fort-museum worth checking out. It is worth walking along Calle Mercaderes to see the interesting shops, museums and interesting people. You can turn left on Calle Amargura towards Plaza de San Francisco De Asis where you will see the big church Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asis. You can also check out the two museums there.
To end the route perfectly you can walk towards Plaza Vieja to check out some museums there, The Camera Obscura and end up by enjoying a microbrewed beer or a coffee at one of the restaurants there.
Plaza De La Revolucion, Havana, Cuba
Bonus outside of Old Havana
Since we lived in Vedado we decided to take a classic taxi ride to Plaza de La Revolucion to check out the huge plaza with the icons of Che Guevara as well as the Memorial Jose Marti. You might be hungry by now and you can take coco-taxi to El Cocinero – the popular rooftop restaurant in Vedado. If you choose this be sure to book the day before and it is not recommended if it rains as you can not stay at the rooftop.
Cuba map made of keys, FAC, Havana, Cuba
If you are interested in Modern art you should definitely check out FAC which is right next to El Cocinero. It is only open on Thursdays to Sunday from 8 pm to 3 am (12 am). They also sell food and drinks there.
The Walking route in order:
- El Capitolio
- Paseo de Marti (colourful buildings)
- Partagas Cigar Factory
- Hotel Inglaterra
- Parque Central
- Malecon (Castillo de Los Tres Santos Reyes)
- Catedral De San Cristobal and Plaza de La Catedral
- La Bodeguita Del Medio
- Castillo de la Real Fuerza and Plaza de Armas
- Calle Mercaderes
- Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asis
- Plaza Vieja
Plaza de La Revolucion
FAC Fabrica de Arte Cubano
Feel free to print out this image
Before you go this is must read if you are travelling to Cuba soon:
Are you planning on going to Havana what are you planning to do there? Or if you have been, what did you do?