The Malecón

15 Mar. 2018

The Malecón is a promenade that spans three city districts of sea front in Habana, and it’s a top spot for an evening stroll for Cubans and tourists alike. The Malecón begins in Old Havana at the site of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza – one of the oldest forts in the Americas. After the obligatory sunset snap at the mouth of the harbor, continue your walk past the stately 18th and 19th century mansions with their sugar-candy colors, to the last stretch where you’ll spy daring examples of Cuba’s 1950s architecture, like the Riviera Hotel. But fading architectural charms aside, the major interest of the Malecón is the people. On any given day or night, you’ll meet misty-eyed old couples and excited young lovers, salt-of-the earth fishermen or tired housewives. Cubans come for the cool breeze, and stay, sprawled along the sea wall, for a drink or an improvised concert. Inevitably, Cuban nights out end at the Malecón too: it’s the ultimate afterparty for young locals. In fact, the Malecón is one of your best bets for meeting real Cubans – you only need to sit down somewhere and someone is sure to strike up a conversation with you. And well, the rest is up to you.

Havana’s seaside avenue stretching from Old Havana to the Almendares River