Cámara Oscura

Habana Vieja

At the northeastern corner of Plaza Vieja in a tall, narrow edifice is this clever optical device providing live, 360-degree views of the city from atop a 35m-tall tower. Explanations are in Spanish and English.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Habana Vieja attractions

1. Planetario

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Aimed more at Cubans than tourists who may be used to more technical wizardry, Havana's planetarium includes a scale reproduction of the solar system…

2. Fototeca de Cuba

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This photographic archive of Old Havana from the early 20th century onward was started by former City Historian Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring in 1937. There…

3. Plaza Vieja

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Laid out in 1559, Plaza Vieja is Havana's most architecturally eclectic square, where Cuban baroque nestles seamlessly next to Gaudí-inspired art nouveau…

4. Museo de Naipes

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Encased in Plaza Vieja's oldest building is this quirky playing-card museum, with a 2000-strong collection that includes rock stars, rum drinks and round…

5. Vitrina de Valonia

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Housed in a restored colonial mansion, this library and comic-book museum highlights the relationship between Belgium and Cuba, hosting Belgium Culture…

7. Palacio de los Condes de Jaruco

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This muscular mansion on Plaza Vieja's southwestern corner is one of the square's oldest, constructed in 1738 from local limestone in a transitional…

8. Casa de Carmen Montilla

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An important art gallery that is named after a celebrated Venezuelan painter who maintained a studio here until her death in 2004. Spread across three…