Vedado, Havana

Discover Vedado and what to see there, in Havana.

Vedado, Havana
Vedado, Havana © Jack1962

Vedado, officially known as Municipio Plaza de la Revolución, is a shopping area and the main residential area in Havana.

Vedado is a quarter older than Playa, but newer than Centro Habana. The oldest houses in this district date back to 1860, despite most of them having been built between 1920 and 1950, when its largest growth took place.

 

El Malecón, Vedado
El Malecón© Francis Larrede
Che Guevara, Vedado, Havana
Che Guevara © Jack1962

Vedado is one of the areas in Havana with a stronger North American atmosphere. It has a small group of skyscrapers, inspired in the Art Déco of the constructions in New York and Miami; a good example is the Edificio López Serrano Building.

During the 1950s and 1960s Vedado was a bad taste area where gambling was on its zenith. In the historic Hotel Nacional was situated a huge casino in the style of Las Vegas, and other hotels and places in the area were controlled by influential gangsters; but all this changed in 1959 when Fidel Castro entered with his revolutionaries army and settled in the Hotel Habana Hilton, renamed Hotel Habana Libre (Free Havana Hotel).

Nowadays in Vedado live around 175000 inhabitants and has quiet residential areas, several theaters, restaurants,paladares, bars, and an excellent nightlife. The district is divided into two by the Avenida de los Presidentes Avenue and houses beautiful parks.

Some of the places you must visit are the huge Plaza de la Revolución Square with the Memorial to José Martí, the Napoleonic Museum, the University of Havana and the Christopher Columbus Cemetery. The El Malecón of Havana is mostly in this side of the quarter and is also an essential visit.

It is interesting to know that on alternating saturdays, in Calle 4 Street (between Calzada and Línea) are celebrated Los Sábados de la Rumba, with music and dance shows by the National Folkloric Group. These shows are quite educational, as they blend Afro-Cuban rhythms and religious representations, as well as speeches explaining what is happening.

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