The sights and sounds of Old Havana

In 2019, Havana will celebrate it’s 500th anniversary, and it all started in Old Havana. The French burned it to the ground in 1556 and the Spanish built it back up just a few years later. Now, with the majority of the buildings in disrepair and the government working feverishly to get it built back up for tourism, the city Center (or Old Havana) is experiencing a resurgence.

Cruising from site to site, you get a feel for the real Old Havana.

Old Havana Driving Around

It kind of reminds me of a mix of New Orleans architecture and third world chic. I say that not to insult, but just to give you a general idea. Many buildings are empty, missing roofs, with the windows blown out and in a state of disrepair. Other’s are ornate with gorgeous balconies overlooking the street.

Old Havana Driving Around

Old Havana Driving Around

In stark contrast when you drink around the Paseo, all the buildings are in phenominal condition and the street and buildings are well maintained.

Old Havana Driving Around

Old Havana Driving Around

Old Havana Driving Around

No trip around Havana would be complete without the Malecon. A 5 mile long strip in front of the water, it’s full on weekend evenings with romantics and cleared out in the morning full of fishermen casting their lines over the side, looking for today’s meal.

Old Havana Malecon

The newest addition to the Malecon is the large and imposing US Embassy. It’s blocked by a wall of flagpoles and art instalations, so unless you’re upclose, you do’t really know that it is a US Embassy.

US Embassy Havana

US Embassy Havana

I like that in order to block off the pedestrian streets from traffic they use old cannons from the fort. Talk about repurposing!

Havana Cannons

All over town you can see signs of the strong Cuban/Venezuelan connection

Cuba and Venezuela Partnership

And the best part of driving around Old Havana? The awesome vintage cars 🙂

Old Havana Vintage Cars

Old Cars Havana

We had the pleasure of booking all of this with Old Cars Havana a tour company based in Havana. They were super quick to respond to emails, had bilingual tour guides, and made sure to take extra good care of us. They have an arsenal of over 30 cars to choose from, so chances are really good that you’ll get the one you want. Check them out here at Old Cars Havana and when you do, make sure to tell them that you heard about them through No Mas Coach to get a special deal!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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