Havana Cuba Travel Guide
To be honest, I decided to go to Havana, Cuba when Delta emailed me that they had $140 flights from Miami. I booked the flight intending to go solo, but then convinced a group to go with me. My Havana Cuba Travel Guide is based on pure honesty. I am definitely glad I crossed this trip off the bucket list as it was a wonderful place to experience. The place kind of reminds me of a smaller Madrid with the romantic stone buildings and it’s exactly as you see in the travel blogs: old cars everywhere.
Havana Cuba Travel Tips
- Credit Cards are not accepted – bring $500 cash for every 3 days just incase
- The cab ride from Havana airport to downtown is about $30 USD
- Exchange money with your Airbnb owner, at a bank, or Hotel Nacional de Cuba
- There are 2 different currencies: CUC & CUP – go for the CUC
- Bring toilet paper in your purse as most bathrooms do not have it (or you pay)
Where to Stay
- Airbnb: Get $40 off your first stay
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba
- Four Points Sheraton Havana
- Melia Cohiba
How to get Wifi
Option 1: If you see a large group of people on their phones, then they are probably using wifi from someone nearby. Look for an individual with an iPad or Laptop and they will probably charge you $1 per hour to use the internet. This is not legal but it seemed to be very common in downtown Havana.
Option 2: Purchase an ETECSA card. The best place to do this is at the airport. You can get a card for $5 that is good for an hour. There are individuals that also sell these on the streets ranging from $5-$10. Do not pay more than $10. You can access the internet to use the card in various locations in downtown Havana. Popular restaurants (El Floridita) and hotels (Hotel Nacional de Cuba) will have this available. The internet is not very stable so be patient.
- El Floridita: Historic cocktail bar in the center of Havana
- Sala Cafe Fantasia: Great lounge that is open late – locals spot
- Casa de la Musica in Miramar: Best known for it’s live music
- Fabrica de Arte Cubano FAC: Multi floor bar, art museum, and dance club
- Rooftop Bar at La Guarida: The drinks are amazing and so are the views
From Havana, Cuba it is about a 3.5 hour drive to get to Vinales. There is not much to see on the way there, but in Vinales, there are several activities you can do:
- Horseback riding through Tobacco Fields
- Tobacco Fields – buy hand rolled cigars
- Hiking in the mountain
- Caves/Canoe Ride
While it was a great day trip, I do not recommend the trip if you are just staying the weekend in Havana. It is a very long car ride and there is not much to see. The cigars we bought from the Tobacco fields were very rough tasting. Also, we waited an hour in a Cave to only take a 5 minute boat ride after. Again, the food was mediocre. If you are traveling around Cuba for a week then I would say check it out. The owner of our Airbnb took us for the day and charged about $150 which was a little pricey.
Playa de Este
This beach is a great 15-20 minute ride from Central Havana and the cost in a cab is around $20. There is an old hotel and small market where you can buy some cheap souvenirs. There were two great experiences from this lovely little beach: the food and the rum. There is a tiny red tent you will see behind the hotel that sells whole grilled fish for about $10. This was my best meal in Cuba. There is also a man walking around with coconuts and bottles of rum; for about $30 he will open a live coconut and pour rum in it for you. Best $3 I have ever spent.
Where to Eat
I am going to be very blunt about this topic: Most of the food in Havana, Cuba is awful. But I did have a few good meals:
Havana Cuba Travel Guide Pics
I hope my Havana Cuba Travel Guide will give you all great ideas of places to go and help make your trip seamless. Please feel free to post on this page if you have any questions. Happy traveling!