It lacks the authenticity of the streets in Centro Havana, but Obispo, the main shopping street in Havana Vieja is still a must as part of your visit.  I question it’s authenticity because it has been heavily redeveloped over the last 20 years, a process that was still underway when I arrived as the road surface was being re-cobbled.  Nevertheless, with it’s period balconies, open fronted bars, galleries, bookshops and other tourist traps blended in with barber shops and car repairers it’s a charming, bustling street that joins Parque Central near Capitol with Plaza des Armas by the harbour.

There’s a market, a small park or two, and bizarrely three historic pharmacies along the way.  What does that say about the health of period Habaneros?

Here you’ll find street food, Cuban coffee and some great music as well as a pet stall that would certainly raise eyebrows in the uk.  In the same way that Necropolis reflects the history of the city, so Obispo reflects its vibrant culture.

I was there every day!


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