Pedestrians-only Calle Obispo links Plaza de Armas  with Parque Central  and is Habana Vieja busiest street. The name means “Bishop’s Street,” supposedly because it was the path favored by ecclesiastics of the 18th century. It became [node:60564 link Havana ’s premier shopping street early on and was given a boost when the city walls went up in the mid-1700s, linking the major colonial plaza with the Monserrate Gate, the main entranceway into the city.
Begin at Plaza Albear and walk east. Fifty meters on your left you’ll pass the Infotur office and one block farther, also on your left, is the Casa Natal de Félix Varela (Obispo, e/ Aguacate y Villegas), the birthplace of the Cuban nationalist philosophy-priest.
The next few blocks are lined with boutiques, small art galleries, and simple cafés and bars.
Crossing Calle Havana, five blocks east of Plaza Albear, you arrive at Havana’s erstwhile “Wall Street,” centered on Calles Obispo, Cuba, and Aguiar, where the main banks were concentrated prior to the Revolution. The former neoclassical Banco Mendoza today houses the Museo Numismático (Coin Museum, Obispo, e/ Habana y Aguiar, tel. 07/861-5811, Tues.–Sat. 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., CUC1). The broad-ranging collection of coins and banknotes spans the Greco, Roman, and Phoenician epochs, as well as Spanish reales and escudos, plus Cuban money dating back to the republican era.
At Calle Aguiar, divert south one block to the Opera y Teatro Lírico San Felipe Neri (Aguiar, esq. Obrapía, tel. 07/862-3243), a converted church — Iglesia San Felipe Neri — now hosting performances by the Coro Nacional de Cuba (National Chorus of Cuba).
At the corner of Calle Cuba you reach theHotel Florida (Obispo #252, esq. Cuba, tel. 07/862-4127), a beautifully restored colonial mansion with a fine bar and restaurant. Cater-corner to the hotel, the former Banco Nacional de Cuba (Obispo #211, esq. Cuba), in a splendid neoclassical buildingfronted by fluted Corinthian columns, is occupied by the Ministerio de Finanzas y Precios (Ministry of Finance and Prices).
Havana  is replete with dusty old apothecaries, but the Museo y Farmacia Taquechel Taquechel (Obispo #155, esq. Aguiar, tel. 07/862-9286, daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m., free) is surely the most interesting, with its mixing vases, mortars and pestles, and colorful ceramic jars full of herbs and potions. Dating from 1898, it’s named for Dr. Francisco Taquechel y Mirabal.
Across the street, on the north side of Obispo, is the original site of the University of Havana , founded in January 1728. An antique bell that once tolled to call the students to class has been placed in a campanile on the north side of the new university building.
Fifty meters beyond Museo y Farmacia Taquechel you’ll arrive at the rose-pink Hotel Ambos Mundos  (Obispo #153, esq. Mercaderes, tel. 07/860-9530), dating from 1925. Off and on throughout the 1930s, Hemingway laid his head in room 511, where he wrote The Green Hills of Africa and Death in the Afternoon. The room is today a museum (daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., CUC2). Hemingway’s quarters — “a gloomy room, 16 square meters, with a double bed made of ordinary wood, two night tables, and a writing table with a chair,” recalled author Gabriel García Márquez — has been preserved, with furnishings from his home, Finca Vigía. The themed exhibitions change every year. Esperanza, the multilingual custodio, gives a great spiel.
One block farther brings you to Plaza de Armas .