Vedado Havana
Vedado Havana

Found within Havana's Plaza de la Revolución municipality is the district of Vedado. This vibrant downtown neighborhood is one of the nicer districts in Havana, featuring a fairly modern and upscale feel. Together with Old Havana (Habana Vieja), it is a top Havana neighborhood for attractions, and the Vedado lodging options offer some of the best discount Havana hotels. If you are interested in finding a Havana nightclub, Vedado is a good place to head, as it is known for having some of the city's best nightlife.

Its location is convenient for trips to Central Havana and Old Havana, and is bordered to its west by the even more upscale Miramar district. Since the hotels in Old Havana have few budget options, and Central Havana is markedly less attractive, basing yourself in Vedado Havana might be the ideal, especially when you consider its proximity to Miramar, and the Playa municipality.

The district's northern edge is where you will find the oceanfront avenue known as the Malecon. The Malecon in Vedado serves as a focal point for many a Cuban festival or social event, and it stretches about 4 miles from Vedado to Old Havana. If you are staying in the Vedado Havana district, or just dropping in for a few hours, the Malecon is certainly ideal for a wonderful stroll. Couples visiting Havana might choose to make a romantic Malecon visit at sunset.

Also among the top Vedado Cuba attractions, the Plaza de la Revolución is one of the largest city squares in the world, and it is where you will find the José Martí Memorial. The Plaza de la Revolución is where a good amount of political rallies are held. As he might not be doing in the future due to health concerns, Fidel Castro has used this square for speeches to the Cuban people.

The José Martí Memorial, which features a 358 tower of marble understandably dominates the horizon here, and at its base is a small museum dedicated to Martí, who is the designated national hero of Cuba. President Castro's guarded offices can be found located behind the José Martí Memorial, and across the square is an enduring image of the famous revolutionary, Che Guevara. Guevara joined Castro's revolutionary movement in 1956, and by 1959, the movement had successfully ousted then Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista.

Interestingly enough, the Plaza de la Revolución and the José Martí Memorial were both constructed during Batista's rule. The square was then known as the Plaza Cívica. Also found in Vedada Cuba is the main campus of the University of Havana, which might have something to do with the fact that it is a good neighborhood in which to find a good Havana nightclub.

Among the top Havana nightclub offerings is the Salón Turquino, which is found in Vedado. It's top floor location at the Tryp Habana Libre hotel is just part of what makes this dance spot a favorite. While you are working on you Salsa moves, you can enjoy Havana city views, and the nightly cabaret show is sure to prove entertaining. Once in a while, the Salón Turquino features live bands of notable interest.

Another Vedado Havana top pick for catching live music is the Patio de María club. It is found in Nuevo Vedado (New Vedado), and quite often, the Cuban rock groups will make a visit here. Besides being a great venue for music shows, you can also find the club being used for interesting social gatherings. Club Barbaram is also in Nuevo Vedado, and is a good place to catch live jazz and Cuban music performances. The Jazz Café is another club where you can catch a nice show, but perhaps the La Zorra y El Cuervo jazz club is the city's best.

Vedado Cuba is certainly a must visit if you are spending some time in Havana. Those traveling on a budget will certainly want to consider staying at one of the many hostels or casas particulares that are found in Vedado. When you get hungry, finding a pretty good restaurant in Vedado isn't too hard, and you can pretty much always find a cab when you need one. Vedado Cuba first starting growing in importance around the beginning of the 1900s, after the Spanish-American War resulted in a period of United States influence and control.

As Old Havana and Central Havana began to overflow, Vedado would grow up throughout the century to become the prime center that it is for commercial activity and nightlife.

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