Paseo del Prado is one of Havana’s most atmospheric and best-known streets. It is a leafy boulevard lined on both sides with splendid colonial houses in different states of preservation. Thanks to the arcaded fronts of many of the houses and the tall trees sheltering most of the paved median, walking up and down this street is great way to escape the stifling Cuban heat.
Great architecture and cooler temperatures would be more than enough reasons to go to Paseo del Prado. Add to that the endless parade of gorgeous, colourful classic American cars that is one of the trademarks of Havana and you have another incentive to spend at least half an hour there.
But there is more to this Paseo, as I found out in my trip to Cuba (that post, the very first I published on The Visual Traveler, contains several photos from Paseo del Prado). Cubans love to spend time on the street so, as in all of Havana, on any given day there is a lot going on.
However, on Paseo del Prado things seem more slow-paced than elsewhere in the city. Local artists selling their paintings and handicrafts, private citizens trying to sell their family homes, kids taking painting lessons, couples or groups sitting on the stone benches, reading the paper, or strolling up and down the road… Enough to last a lifetime, for anyone with an interest in people and a passion for street photography.
If you’re going to Havana, make some time for a leisurely walk along Paseo del Prado. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.