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The hub of the old city is Zona 1, which is also the busiest part of town. This is the centro histórico, a world of low-slung, crumbling nineteenth-century town houses and faceless concrete blocks, car parks, noise and dirt. Signs of regeneration are emerging, particularly along newly pedestrianized Sexta Avenida as once-grand edifices are renovated and clusters of cafés are opening, but it’s a process that will take decades to achieve.

In the far south of the zone the streets broaden and the architecture changes; this part of town contains a mix of buildings (including the impressive Teatro Nacional) from different eras.

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