Originally built as Habana‘s protection against the sea and the “Nortes” winds, Malecón is the most turbulent promenade in Cuba hiding many passionate urban secrets. Vibrant street life, Cuban folk music, fishermen and night lovers dating, that is what defines this coastal miracle surrounding the old town of Habana.
Habana’s Malecón stretches for 8 km along the coast of the Cuban capital, Habana – from the Habana Harbor through the neighborhood of the Centro Habana to the Vedado neighborhood.
Construction of Malecón started in 1901 and was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s best engineer of those days. The aim was to build a steady seawall protecting the city against the water and northern winds. Construction works were resumed in 1921.
The Malecón seawall is one of the three most recommended night life areas for the tourists in Habana along with the streets La Rampa and Avenida de los Presidentes. Cubans like to party after dark and as they have not much money to spend, they prefer hanging out and drinking their own bottle outside to paying expensive entrance fees to night clubs. If you want to experience their sprightly and warm spirit and make friends, definitely join them on the wall and listen together to the local musicians and watch other street entertainers. The Malecón avenue is also a spot for men prostitutes (including transvestites, and transsexuals) and women prostitutes, mainly in the Vedado side of the promenade.
During the daytime, Cubans go to Malecón when they want to meet friends or their dates, and to fish or swim in the sea. Recently, there is a huge expansion of small local bars and cafés coming to existence because of economic reforms enabling people to own private businesses. Even if the houses along Malecón are mostly in a very bad shape, Malecón keeps its atmosphere and attracts both the locals and the tourists all year round.
Monuments and Other Historical Sights
There are a number of important monuments along the Malecón – Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine built in the Vedado neighborhood honoring American soldiers who died in the naval ship during revolt against Spain. Other monuments are to General Máximo Gomez, Antonio Maceo, General Calixto Gracia who fought in the Cuban War for Independence from the Spanish rule in the 19th century.
An outstanding sight is the luxury Hotel Nacional in Vedado neighborhood. It was built in 1930 by American architects McKim, Mead and White. In those days Cuba was the most common holiday destination of Americans – including the rich and the famous. The line of significant guests includes Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marlon Brando and many many others.
What is definitely worth seeing in the Malecón promenade of Habana if you are just a bit interested in old fortification systems is the star fort Castillo de la Real Fuerza located on the western side of the Habana Harbor. It is considered to be the oldest stone fort in the Americas and is protected by UNESCO. Another important fortification is Castillo de la Punta built in 1589 on the other side of the Canal de Entrada, next to the Parque Martires de 71.
How to get there and move arround
The best way to get to enjoy the Malecon is on board of one of our 50’ Classic Cabriolet!!!! Habanatransfers.com proposes Rental Classical Cars in la Havana for you to visit Havana, it’s malecon and surroundings. Please refer to our page Cuba Custom Transfers for renting a Car with driver by the hour or day we will pick you up at any address in Cuba.
If you are arriving to Jose Marti International Airport at La Havana, you can book an Airport Transfer in one of our Classic Sedan or Cabriolets on our website https://www.habanatransfers.com/ and our drivers will be pleased to transfer you to your hotel and get you around la Havana city.