The beating heart of the Cuban capital, the Habana Vieja district covers five kilometres and encompasses the historic centre of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was founded by the Spanish in 1519. A drop zone for settlers and gold miners, protected by the Morro Castle and the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, by the 18th century it had grown to a large population.
Still as lively as ever, the neighbourhood of Habana Vieja is a must: stroll through its streets admiring its Baroque and Neoclassical buildings, cool off in the shade of the columns of the Plaza de Armas, or enjoy an evening gala at the Gran Teatro de La Habana.
The area also contains some of the most beautiful religious buildings in the city, such as the Baroque Havana Cathedral of San Cristóbal or the basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Asis.