Statue of Cuban poet Plácido at the Plaza del Cristo.

©Diana Rita Cabrera/Lonely Planet

Plaza del Cristo

Habana Vieja

A little apart from the historical core, Plaza del Cristo hasn't benefited from a full restoration yet and this adds subtly to its charm. Here you can sidestep boisterous games of football, listen to the musical outpourings of several cool bars or sit down with half the neighborhood and hook up to the local wi-fi hot spot (in Cuba even the internet is a socially interactive experience!).

The square's chunkiest edifice is the Parroquial del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje, a recently renovated 18th-century church where sailors once came to pray before embarking on long voyages.

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