Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Havana's City Plan
The map above shows the city of Havana, comprising the neighborhoods of Old
Havana (La Habana Vieja), Central Havana (Centro Habana) and El Vedado. Run-
ning along the northern edge of the city is a concrete sea wall. This is called the
Malecon . It runs from the western tip of Vedado all the way to the eastern corner of
Old Havana. The Bay of Havana is the large body of water located to the east of
Old Havana.
In Old Havana and Central Havana, there is very little organization in the streets
and their naming. It is easy to get momentarily lost in these neighborhoods, but the
Malecon is always only a few blocks away and is a perfect landmark to help you
reorient yourself.
In Vedado, the streets are mostly straight and highly organized. All of the streets
are organized according to an alpha numeric system, which makes the neighbor-
hood extremely easy to navigate. All of the roads going east and west (parallel to
the Malecon) are numbered with odd numbers. The road running directly along the
sea wall is simply called Malecon, but each successive street is named with an
odd number. The word for street in Spanish is calle . The first street after the Male-
con is named Calle 1 (1st Street). The second street is named Calle 3 (3rd Street).
The third street is named Calle 5 (5th Street), and so on, going all the way to Calle
47 (47th street). At about the midway point there is Calle 23. This is the largest and
busiest street in Vedado. It is also called La Rampa. It developed this name be-
cause of the long, rising slope that the street makes as it stretches west from the
The streets going north to south (perpendicular to the Malecon) are named either
with a letter or an even number. The street running through the center of Vedado
is called Paseo. All parallel streets to the east of Paseo are named with a letter of
the alphabet, starting with Calle A (A Street) and increasing according to the suc-
cessive letter of the alphabet, until Calle O (O Street). All streets west of Paseo are
named with an even number, starting at (Calle 2) 2nd Street, going all the way to
Calle 30.
Note that some of the locals will call certain streets by different names. Some of
these names have origins before Havana's city plan was formalized. Regardless if
you use the modern alpha numeric names or the older names, everybody will still
understand what street you are referring to.
Certain notable examples would be:
Calle G, also called Avenida de los Presidentes
Calle 9, also called Linea
Calle 7, also called Calzada
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