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Things to do in Havana

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Old Havana
Old Havana, located around the five main squares, and has one of the most impressive ensembles of historical architecture. From Baroque to Art Deco, from Neoclassicism to Art Nouveau, the rainbow-colored facades of the area adorn the diverse cultural heritage of Cuba. Founded in the early 16th century on the southwest coast of Cuba by Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez, Havana moved twice before taking permanent establishment on the Caribbean island’s northwest coast. Strategically chosen for its location in the Gulf of Mexico, Havana became a mandatory stop for ships traveling to and from the New World, and quickly became the largest port in the Spanish West Indies. Today, the city still claims some of the oldest stone fortifications in the Americas, and Old Havana, or Habana Vieja, claims some of the most beautiful architecture.
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Castillo de la Real Fuerza
Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castle in Old Havana, Cuba, one of Cuba’s most ancient castles. It is a great sample of military architecture during the Spain's rule over the Caribbean. It is located in the Plaza de Armas Square in Old Havana facing the sea. The Castle, as well as the rest of the old city’s fortifications, has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castle is the oldest fortress still preserved in all the Americas. It was built between 1558 and 1577, in the same location where a fort was destroyed by French pirates in 1555. The west tower is crowned by the copy of a well-known bronze weathervane called La Giraldilla. The original was made in Havana in 1630 and is quite similar to the Giralda of Seville.
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El Capitolio
El Capitolio, or the National Capitol Building is one of the most visited sites in Havana. This majestic construction, located in the Centro Habana, is similar to that in Washington D.C, but a meter higher, a meter wider, and a meter longer, as well as much more rich in detail. It was started to be built by Gerardo Machado in 1926 supported by North America. Formerly, it was used as headquarters of the Cuban Congress, but since 1959 it has hosted the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Science and Technology National Library. The entrance is sheltered by 6 huge Doric columns, on top of a 55 steps granite staircase. In both sides on top of the stairs there are two amazing sculptures in bronze, a masculine and a feminine one, both 6,70 meters high, by the Italian Angelo Zanelli. When you cross them you’ll arrive to the Hall of Lost Steps, named in this way due to its wonderful acoustics, and in which center is the Republic statue, a huge woman in bronze 14,60 meters high and more than 30 tons weight, representing the virtue of the nation and work.
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Fusterlandia
Known for "naive" and "childlike" style, Cuban artist José Fuster created colorful, dream-like houses covered entirely with ceramic tiles. Go back in the history, after successful gallery tours across Europe, Fuster was struck with a desire to recreate something like Gaudi’s public works in Barcelona and Brâncuși’s across Romania in his own homeland. He wanted to put his artistic reality into his real-world surroundings, and he began in his own neighborhood. In 1975, after moving into a modest wood house in the rundown neighborhood of Jaimanitas outside Havana, Fuster set about decorating his studio in colorful mosaic. Once he was done there, he asked his neighbors if he could decorate their homes and business as well. A few accepted his offer and the tile creations grew. Over the course of a decade, doctors’ offices, bus stops, fountains, benches, gateways, and more were enveloped by Fuster’s whimsical imagination. Today, his artwork coats the neighborhood in a rainbow of strange, enchanting fantasy. Jaimanitas was an economically depressed area before Fuster arrived, and now it has turned into an artist’s paradise. Tourists are bussed into the neighborhood to admire Fuster’s still-growing kingdom, which has spawned a new generation of artists inspired by the surroundings they came up in.
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Malecon
The Malecón, first named Avenida del Golfo, is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue. The project was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s greatest engineer at the time. Albear came up with a complex but smart design for the seawall, which was to be a lot more than just a promenade. According to historical records, the avenue was supposed to be constructed 4 meters above sea level. The whole project would cost 850,000 pesos, but the Spanish government didn’t bring itself to issue the construction permit and Albear’s proposal was postponed. The construction of the Malecón began in 1901. After the first stretch was completed, for which several public facilities were demolished, construction works were resumed in 1921, and again in the 30’s.The architectural richness of the Malecón is also expressed through 18th- and 19th-century stately homes, followed by a row of 20th-century buildings with an unusual combination of styles and profusion of portals, columns and pilasters that loosely follow classical lines. But beyond the architectural values of the buildings, its greatest charm lies in being somewhere to stroll or hang out on a stiflingly hot day. It is a place where couples come to make amends, especially at sunset, in the company of children and fishermen. It is Havana’s outdoor lounge.
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Bay of Pigs
The name Bay of Pigs immediately brings to mind the failed invasion by a US-backed army of counter-revolutionaries that happened here in 1961. Nowadays however, it is a destination that is increasing in popularity for tourists for its natural beauty, birding and variety of wildlife, and as a place where excellent diving and snorkelling can be done from the shore. The waters are warm, clear, calm, and brimming with sea life. Back from the shoreline is some dense forest much of which is protect in national parks. There are some interesting excursions that can be done through these forests with local park guides, to caves and natural swimming holes.
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Morro Castle
Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes del Morro (Morro Castle) was erected between 1589 and 1630 to protect the mouth of the Havana port from pirates and invaders. The fortress stands on a rocky promontory known as El Morro, over the Atlantic. It was the King of Spain who ordered the castle to be built and appointed Juan de Texeda, a field commander, and Batista Antonelli, a military architect, to lead the works. The castle was originally planned to have an irregular polygonal shape, with three-meter-thick walls and deep moats. The castle is an perfect example of renaissance military architecture, and is endowed with an harmonic elegance that melds with its natural surroundings through a series of terraces fused to the rock. Nowadays, the castle offers impressive views of the sea and Havana. The lighthouse that crowns its tower was added in 1844 and helps guide ships docking in the port.
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Planetarium of Havana
Discover the Planetarium of Havana in Cuba and let it take you on a journey through time and space! The Planetario de La Habana (Planetarium of Havana) is a must-visit place in Cuba. It was built in 2009 with the help of the Japanese government and is located in Calle Mercaderes, near the Plaza Vieja Square in Havana. The Planetarium has exhibitions including a scale model of the Solar System inside a huge sphere, a Big Bang simulation, and a theater where it is possible to see more than 6,000 stars. The Planetarium has several telescopes, a projector that can lock onto more than 6,500 stars, a library of astronomy, a theater, interactive games, and a staff made up of physicists and astronomers.
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Playa Jibacoa
Playa Jibacoa area, mostly chosen by Cubans, is located on the north coast of Mayabeque. It has resorts and several camping sites of good quality. The area is notable for the beautiful typical landscape with a deep blue sea, surrounded by cliffs, on the side facing the land, and rocky hills where are located the hotels. The excellent beaches are famous for their clear and shallow water and is a local and tourist favourite for snorkeling from the beach. It is worth noting the scuba diving area opposite the shore, where you'll find coral reefs and a good amount of fish and shellfish. There is a wide range of activities to practice in the area, from small hiking to horseback riding or it may be good to rent paddle boats
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Rum Museum
Discover the Rum Museum in Old Havana, Cuba, to learn more about and taste famous beverage! The Havana Club Rum Museum ( Museo del Ron ) is located next to the Colonial Plaza de San Francisco de Asis Square , right in front of Havana harbor. It is not necessary to drink alcohol to enjoy this wonderful museum , because by visiting it you'll still be able to delve into Cuban culture. This museum offers an interesting guided tou r exhibiting the complex rum-making process in old machines . This tour is available in Spanish, English, French, German and Italian. It explains the entire process, from the manufacturing white oak barrels to the rum's fermentation and ageing process, as well as a scale-model copy of a sugar mill.