Habana Vieja (Old Havana)
Old Havana © Byron Howes
Old Havana (Habana Vieja) is the historic section of Cuba's capital, its ruined defensive walls still attempting to fence in the district. During the years of Prohibition in the United States, it turned into a playground for Americans flocking here for liquor, gambling and hedonism. One of the district's most famous bars is La Bodeguita del Medio, which was the favoured haunt of the legendary US writer Ernest Hemingway. It's cobble-stoned streets are now lined with museums, hotels and restaurants, while striking churches and restored colonial buildings with grand facades surround the picturesque plazas hosting afternoon chess, domino games and salsa performances.