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“Charming and atmospheric” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Old Havana

Old Havana
Havana, Cuba
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Ranked #1 of 110 attractions in Havana
Type: Neighborhoods, Historic Walking Areas, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Dining, Shopping
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Bohemian, rhythmically Latin, certainly picturesque and, above all, charming.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Charming and atmospheric”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Loved the charming old buildings, music in the cafes and bars, american vintage cars. It was good to see the restoration projects.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A required stop, but very touristy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Restored historical location. But very touristy. Lots of pushy street vendors to avoid. A must see to complete your tour of Havana. It also can be very crowded in some parts of Old Havana.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

There are many wonderful buildings in the old part of the town that are beautifully restored but mostly it is a big slum. I was shocked! I wish someone would have told me this before my trip. Most of the buildings are falling apart, the gasoline pollution is terrible, black smelly smoke everywhere and people drop all waste onto the streets as well as use the streets as a toilet, so the smell is very bad. It is impossible to walk there without stepping on poo or vomit. Locals see tourist just as wallets and you don't get a second without someone bothering you and trying to sell you something or just asking you money. It is also very noisy everywhere and you hear different music mixed together in a cacophonic inferno.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Trip back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Where to begin- this city is in a time warp. The style and variety of architecture alone is worth visiting for, although the deterioration is obvious. There's evidence of some renovation work but it can't come quickly enough- so much faded grandeur that simply should be preserved. The atmosphere is of a bygone age, you won't find a chain store anywhere, there is also little to indicate how Cubans go about their day to day lives. We got a sense of a city on the cusp of change, hiding in the shadows and waiting for it's moment to grow.
We did all the touristy things and really enjoyed them- a two hour trip around the city in an amazing open top pink Chevy with the nicest guide imaginable was a real highlight. We learned so much about the history of the country, saw some of the missiles left over from the crisis, and gained a real sense of the key political events. Do a trip soon after arriving as you will get to know the areas to spend time in later. We also walked a lot- drop off in bars and expect musicians to materialise beside waiting instruments- they will know you are tourists and will play amazing live Cuban music for you; if you're lucky you will be invited to dance : ) Expect to be offered a CD to buy and , at the very least, give a generous tip as it's well worth it for the friendly approach and great rhythms! Almost every Cuban is a dancer, it's infectious.
Don't expect high class facilities, toilets are hard to find for example. But do go with an open mind as this really is a place to savour. We weren't hassled too much and if we were it wasn't for long; we learned that the average Cuban doesn't earn a great deal per month, but the spirit is optimistic- do give tips as its just part of the culture.
Try the coco taxis as these are quite an experience! It helps if you can speak a bit of Spanish so you can say where you want to go. They whizz about and are less expensive than the big American cars. Talking of which, these are absolutely amazing and are everywhere. It's a tribute to Cuban tenacity that these vehicles are still on the road. We loved them- take photos as you won't see so many in one city anywhere else.
We will definitely be returning as it feels like unfinished business- so much more to see and do. Oh, and the Mohitos and Cuba Libres aren't half good!!

Visited January 2013
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Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Good but beware”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Fanatstic old architecture and a real feel of how things were but beware..you will see the poorest people living in these buildings that we would condemn as totally unfit to be in....We did however feel very safe walking around.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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