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Follow us on our journey through Mercaderes street, one of the oldest and most crowded streets of Old Havana. Narrow, cobbled and car-free, it retains its Spanish colonial style. It owes its name to the number of stores of fine fabrics, silver, gold and other goods that Havana people consumed in the eighteenth century. Even today it remains one of Havana’s main shopping streets.

Walking down this street will be like traveling to Havana four centuries ago. Coming from Malecon of Havana, Mercaderes begins in the surroundings Cathedral of Havana and ends in Muralla Street, joining Cathedral Square with Plaza Vieja square. When crossing Empedrado Street, we will see the impressive Mural of Cuban personalities of centuries XIV to the XIX. At the corner of Obispo street, it is the famous hotel Ambos Mundos, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite place. A few steps ahead we will discover the House of Marco Polo: The path of the species and the Model of Havana, a replica of the city on scale. Next is the House of Tobacco and perfumery Havana 1791.

Numerous shops, restaurants and museums alternate. We will be impressed by the beautiful facades of the Simón Bolívar Museum, Marqués de Arcos´ House, Francisco Aguilera´s House, all former domestic palaces. For our palate: Café El Taberna (the oldest in the city) and Chocolate Museum. At Mesón de la Flota we will enjoy Cuban and international cocktails and food, accompanied by flamenco dancing. At the end of the tour we will find Plaza Vieja square, and the Cámara Oscura, to contemplate Havana from heights.

For visit: From Havana Cathedral until Muralla street, Habana Vieja, La Habana (“23.14126, -82.35123”). Free access daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez