Plaza Vieja (Old Square, Havana)

Plaza de Armas, designated by UNESCO a world heritage site, is Havana’s oldest square. It is within walking distance from our casa particular, Residencia Santa Clara. It was founded in 1520 and is flanked by some of the most impressive, best preserved buildings from colonial times, particularly the Spanish Crown’s government buildings  – Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, and Palacio del Segundo Cabo.

Towards the northeast corner of the square, the Templete, a monument that many think as the place where the city was founded, and the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, one of three main fortresses protecting the entrance to the bay of Havana from pirates and rival colonial powers back in the 16th Century.

There’s a few good restaurants in the area, a book and memorabilia street market, and good bars in nearby O’Reilly Street.