Getting Lost In The Streets Of Old Havana In Cuba – Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I like to walk. I like to take photos. Combining the two into a “photo walk” couldn’t make me any happier. It’s one of my favorite ways to explore new places whenever I travel.
While in Havana, Cuba in March 2011, I explored the city on foot, without my usual map and trusty Lonely Planet guidebook. I didn’t go inside museums, churches, or castles. Instead I walked for hours and hours, taking photos of the baroque and neoclassical architecture, as well as the seaside landscape.
I first found inspiration while walking along The Malecon. Next, I fell in love with “La Habana Vieja” or Old Havana. This UNESCO World Heritage Site full of approximately 3000 buildings, some in the process of being restored and others falling victim to decay and neglect, is a photographer’s dream.
Getting Lost In The Streets Of Old Havana In Cuba
While many opt stay on the main streets to take in Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes Cuba, Plaza De San Francisco or El Capitolio (all of which you certainly must see), it’s sometimes fun to walk away from the popular tourist areas, and get lost exploring residential neighborhoods.
Explore I did and there was a delightful surprise awaiting me. While wandering down a cobble stoned street, I came across this alleyway full of pretty flowers, old pastel colored buildings, an art gallery and people going about their everyday business.
If I ever return to Old Havana, I doubt that I’d be able to find this street again. A somewhat unfortunate result of getting lost I guess?
This is one of my travel on the cheap tips for Havana. Leaving the other tourists behind and going off on your own to explore a city is a fun way to have a unique experience while traveling.
Have you ever gotten lost? Did you get a great photo opportunity or have an unexpected experience? Tell me (and my readers) about it by leaving a comment below.
Good To Know
1) If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Havana, consider a casa particular (a homestay with a local!) and check out Casa Particular Cuba for all sorts of options. Cuba has Airbnb as well, so you can book an apartment stay that way too.
2) If you like travel in Cuba, check out some of my most popular blog posts:
- A More Modern Havana At Plaza de la Revolución – While many things in Havana and Cuba in general are old, there are touches of modernity like the Plaza de la Revolución.
- Get Inspired and Walk Along El Malecón In Havana – Be inspired like poets of the past and walk along El Malecón in Havana, Cuba. Observe the colonial architecture, mix with locals and watch the sunset over the Atlantic.
- Get Your Fill of Art and Rumba Music at Callejón de Hamel – Experience Afro Cuban culture by browsing art installations and taking in a rumba performance in Callejón de Hamel in Havana, Cuba.
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Thank you for posting these great pictures of Old Havana! I really enjoy old buildings too.
I too enjoy just walking around looking at all the eye catching sights and, hopefully, getting “lost”. Your idea of a pictorial essay is interesting too!
Thanks for your kind words. I had such an amazing time that day walking around … Wish I was there right about now. We still haven’t felt spring in Toronto just yet.
I knew these streets as a child, when owners kept them fresh, before communism ruined everything.
I was quite taken with Havana, especially Old Havana. It’s still very very beautiful and I certainly hope that Cuba will find itself in a better position someday free of Communism and cruel American foreign policy.
Thank you for seeing my “Havana Vieja” how it is…Beautiful and unique!
When you walk it’s streets you can feel its energy, its roots.
Hiya Raysa! Thank you for reading and writing this nice comment. I really miss Cuba right now and hope I can get back there soon. <3
My dream is to go back to Cuba again. As an American our policy and embargo have destroyed a beautiful country. All you need to do is walk around and see once beautiful architecture. The food is great as are the people
Hey Brent! I hope you get back there someday. It’s also my dream – I had to leave my trip there early due to an emergency at home and I missed out on seeing so much.
Imagine how much more beautiful and colorful buildings would be if not in such dire need of repair and paint. I see alterations, windows moved up, etc. I hope you can travel to Cuba soon. Check out Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir, popular in Amazon travel Cuba category.
It would be very beautiful wouldn’t it? Let’s hope that day comes soon! And thanks for the book tip.