The Prado

Old Havana
Havana, Cuba

Submitted by: Cynthia Nikitin

A 10-block-long, marble-balustraded, terrazzo-floored, shaded promenade with built in sit-walls that cascade down the central boulevard of Old Havana.

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Why It Works

The Prado is a lovely pedestrian boulevard that also doubles as a park; it links up important parts of Old Havana, providing an enjoyable means of getting around on foot.

What Makes The Prado a Great Place?

A staircase connects the walkway to the street at each street intersection, so if you are walking along a side street perpendicular to the Prado, at the intersection, you simply cross the street and walk up the stairs. The Prado connects the Malecon (walkway around the water) to the Central Park, City Hall and center of Old Havana.

Well-maintained and built of rich and gorgeous materials. The light fixtures are old and beautiful, the shade trees provide dappled sunlight. It is the safest and most comfortable way to walk from the water to the City Hall. Curbs and sidewalks along the edges are in disrepair and there is ALOT of traffic. So the Prado is really a pedestrian oasis.

It is used as the playfield and recess area for a number of schools that flank the street on both sides. Kids in uniforms sit and giggle and chat and kick balls (ever so gently). Tourists walk along and snap pix of the gorgeously decaying apartment buildings and mansions along the road, or gape at the vintage 1950s cars that continuously parade by.

It's so great to see school children, kids on bicycles, old people, young lovers, dogs, and basically everyone sitting along the inner and outer edges on the built-in benches and sit-walls. There is much chatting, eating, snoring, kissing, and generally enjoying life out of doors.

History & Background

Also known as the Paseo de Marti, the Prado connects Parque Central and Havana Harbor; it was completed in 1852.

Contact Info:

City of Havana, Department of Parks

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