Vedado--A Less Traveled Neighborhood in Havana

Written by Sophia Bass

My first trip to Havana I stayed in Vedado, a modern part of the city that was developed in the first half of the 20th century. Vedado is interesting because it is known as a more affluent part of the city home to businesses and elegant neighborhoods. While staying in Vedado with a family, our homestay mother, Lucy, explained that Vedado was transformed by American investors and individuals benefiting from Cuba's sugar trade.

My favorite night in Vedado was when my partner and I decided to wander the streets and take in views of mansions, Cuban architecture, and government-sponsored cultural centers. One of the most famous landmarks in Vedado is the Hotel Riviera which was built in 1957. You can feel the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution simply by walking around this area of Havana.

Vedado's rich history is not the only reason to wander the streets. This residential neighborhood is filled with public parks where you can take a stroll and enjoy fresh air. We stayed a few blocks from John Lennon Park that features a sculpture of Lennon at the end of a bench. This sculpture was created by Cuban artist José Villa Soberón.

After talking with several locals, I learned that Vedado is becoming a favorite destination in Havana for a blossoming culinary art scene and exotic nightlife. I stumbled across a bar called Efe offering a variety of electronic, jazz, and Cuban music that easily became one of my favorite spots for local music in Havana.

Sipping on a fresh piña colada, I watched one of University of Havana's top five percussionists take the stage accompanied by a fantastic jazz guitar player and bassist. From vibrant eclectic music to modern Spanish tapas, I highly recommend spending an evening at Efe if you're staying in Vedado, Havana. 

Here is a link to Efe's Facebook Page 


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