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Centro Habana

The Centro neighborhood has a little something for everyone. This is where many habaneros go about their everyday lives . . . working, living, shopping, and eating. History buffs will appreciate the eclectic mixture of monuments and monumental architecture from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Art lovers will enjoy its Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and connoisseurs of all things Cuban will appreciate its offerings of cigars, rum, and Revolution at the Museo del Ron, the Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás cigar factory, and the Museo de la Revolución.

The area consists of a large commercial zone filled with hotels, bars, theaters, and museums, and behind them, a sprawling area of residential streets and hole-in-the-wall cafés. It's very busy and noisy, with lots of traffic, so going for a pleasant stroll isn't ideal, although the area still makes for an interesting insight into Cuban life. The best areas to explore are the Barrio Chino (Havana's Chinatown); the elegant Paseo del Prado, which takes you down to the Malecón; and the bustling pedestrianized Boulevard San Rafael, behind the Hotel Inglaterra.

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