I am a sucker for old towns. Give me some worn down facades, cobblestones, and bits of street life happening all around, and I’m a happy traveler. Old Havana is just that. It’s funny how five different travelers could visit Old Havana and be drawn to totally different aspects of it. History buffs will be in awe of the squares and cathedrals dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Architecture addicts will go crazy over its baroque, neoclassical and colonial achievements. People who want to party will probably pull up a chair at Bodeguita del Medio — Hemmingway’s favorite mojito joint — where it seems to be full-on fun all day long. With our video cameras rolling, Djole and I were drawn to all of the street life, of which there is a lot!
There are the book sellers, the pigeon feeders, the bread peddlers, the balcony hanger-outers, the kids playing in the square — everyone just doing their thing. Of all the old cities I’ve visited in the world, Venice has always my favorite for street life, but Old Havana has quickly risen to the top.
Stops on our tour: Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas Book Market, Plaza Vieja, Bodeguita del Medio, Las Tres Monedas bar, and many street food stands in between!
TIP: I recommend spending one whole day doing an Old Havana walking tour, like what I did with Cuba Travel Services, but carve out another whole day just to roam around, take photos and chat with locals at your own pace.