Ok, I admit – this one is no secret. The Malecon is a quintessential photo op in Havana. Want the ultimate composition? Try capturing an old car zooming by as the sea crashes up over the sea wall. It is spectacular. Want something with a slower feel? On a calm evening this sea side drive provides you with majestically crumbling buildings, fishermen pulling in their catch, young lovers melting into one another, and groups of friends listening to music as the sunsets behind them.
Paseo del Prado
The Paseo del Prado is an excellent place for people watching and capturing a few action shots. There are occasional markets, kids playing football, couples dancing the tango to music projected via boombox, and people huddled on the benches desperately trying to get a WIFI signal on their phones. You’ll be able to capture all types of scenes if you spend some time meandering down the paseo.
Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro
Regardless of what side of the harbour you are on, the Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro provides you with excellent photos. I recommend going to the Fort a few hours before sunset and staying through the evening. That way you can capture the Havana skyline in the afternoon and during sunset. If you decide to stick around until 8pm, they set off the cannon every night. It is definitely worth the wait.
La Guardia, Havana
Known for its culinary delights and its role in the Oscar-nominated film Fresa y Chocolate, the entrance way to La Guardia is an Instagramer’s dream. The sweeping staircase and grand archways evoke a sense of grandeur from days gone by. The crumbling paint on the walls and the decapitated sculpture on the banister add to the air of dilapidated majesty.
As you roam the streets of Havana, there are no shortages of dilapidated buildings. There are a few particularly beautiful abandoned mansions in Vedado, Havana. Think brightly coloured crumbling walls, missing roofs, grand wooden doors, and spectacular stained glass still miraculously intact.
Capoeira in the Plaza Viaje
Make sure you have your phone set to take rapid-fire photos or a video for this one. The Capoeira group normally gathers on Sunday afternoon in the north-eastern corner of the square. Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that is a mix of dance, martial arts, and acrobatic-like movements. The dancers stand in a circle around the two performers. They sway side to side, then one ducks as the other sweeps their leg over their opponents head. They proceed to circle one another with a series of non-choreographed kicks, slaps, and dodges that make up an entrancing dance. It makes for an impressed action shot.
Santaria Woman with Siamese Cat
As you wander around Old Havana, you’ll likely find Santeria women dressed all in white and often smoking huge Cuban cigars. There is one in particular that will cart her Siamese cat around with her. She is happy to have her photograph taken, but be forewarned that she will expect payment. It is definitely worth the money to capture her photo for your Instagram.
Callejón de Hamel
The Callejón de Hamel is a treasure trove for photographers. It is filled with murals, sculptures, and bathtub benches. You really can’t go wrong – everywhere you look is another Instagram worthy photo op. You’ll find this gem squeezed between Aramburu and Espada streets. Be sure to head there mid-day on Sundays to capture the lively Afro-Cuban music and dance.
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