Wide avenues, gushing fountains, manicured lawns, ornate mansions, the picturesque rocky beach… These are images of a Miramar past and present, a Miramar that has changed over time to become more inclusive but that maintains its status nonetheless as one Havana’s most upscale districts. But whereas the Miramar of the past was almost exclusively residential, the Miramar of today is a bit more diverse. Old mansions, once home to Cuba’s most rich and powerful citizens, have been converted into foreign embassies, cultural centres, offices, and other buildings of the like.
But please don’t get the idea that Miramar is nothing but its mansions. The district is home to a variety of landmarks—some historic, some cultural, some simply fun to explore and get to know. Among these is the famous Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), home to attractions including the Fountain of the Americas and the Jesus of Miramar Church that we’ve explored in more detail on a separate page.
Additionally, the Miramar area is also home to numerous entertainment options of interest to tourists and locals alike. Chief among these are the Karl Marx Theatre, the live jazz music venue Café Miramar, or the nightclub Amelia; but most anywhere you turn you’ll something that captivates one or more of your five senses.
Perhaps the most striking building in all of Miramar is the Russian Embassy, built between 1978 and 1987 in a bizarre constructivist style that has been compared to both a sword and a syringe. A more modern addition to the Miramar district is the Miramar Trade Centre, a mixed-use office and retail complex still undergoing further development. Though owned in part by the Cuban government, the Miramar Trade Centre represents a new approach towards business in Cuba—there are over 150 companies with Cuban headquarters there, and this number is projected to climb as construction on the centre continues. Additionally, as a fun aside, Miramar is also home to Cuba’s National Aquarium.
Miramar is one of Havana’s most interesting faces, a district whose character continues to evolve with the passing of time. Though there are certainly more captivating neighbourhoods to stay in as a tourist, Miramar is more than worth an afternoon of sightseeing or a relaxed night out. To see where the past and future of Cuba blur together into one, Miramar is your place.
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Quinta Avenida is often called the most beautiful street in Cuba, and for good reason. Located in Miramar district, it's home to historic mansions, many of them repurposed, as well as other landmarks including the Fountain of the Americas, an iconic clock tower, the island's largest church, and what is perhaps Cuba's most famous theme park. Read on to learn more about Quinta Avenida, an oasis of peace in a bustling city.
Although it has transformed considerably since its original construction in the late 18th Century, the Alameda de Paula in Havana is brimming with charm. This beautiful seaside walkway is fully lined with mature trees, benches, a fountain, and the domed Paula Church. When visitors are ready to take time away from other attractions, this can be one of the great places to sit down and pause for reflection.
The Alejandro Robaina Tobacco Plantation is one of Cuba's top tourist attractionsâhowever, you won't find any signs guiding you to its fields some 17 kilometres southwest of Pinar del Rio. Since it's a private enterprise, its plantation tours operate in something of a legal grey area; regardless, they come highly recommended. Though famed proprietor Alejandro Robaina passed away a few years ago, his farm continues to grow what is arguably the world's finest tobacco. Take a tour and find out why!
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