Are you planning to visit Cuba and you are searching for practical information? You don´t know where to stay, how to get around or where to go shopping? With our travel guide to Cuba, you will learn all of that very quickly. Cuba is a very safe country and very simple for every traveller.

Given the political regime that has lasted in Cuba for several decades, be prepared that you will have a hard time to buy there nearly anything. If you forget to pack something at home, you won´t be able to buy it in Cuba. The absence of shops, stores, markets, stalls, and various similar establishments tell you where you are. Although people work normally on weekdays, people from our culture would constantly wonder what Cubans really do for a living. Restaurants and bars here are not definitely lacking as the number of tourists is growing. So, when you get your first Cuba Libre, you breathe in the smoke of the cigar and your ears get to hear salsa dance music, you will know for sure that you have arrived in Cuba.

If you don’t know how to get a visa, you can find useful information here.

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Cuba is full of beautiful historic towns

Accommodation in Cuba – Casa Particular

If you travel to Cuba on your own, we recommend you rely on local people for everything. It’s the easiest thing you can do, and you will be in close contact with the locals. Cubans are very friendly and very open. During our travel on Cuba, we stayed only in locals own houses – they call it Casa Particular. It is a room in the Cuban family, but nobody can guarantee you any standard scheme or quality. Some families offer you an entire floor, others only a room with a bathroom. Each accommodation varies depending on the family. Most Cubans offer you the best accommodation they have, and they live in modest conditions. Most of the families have access to the internet somehow so you can make your accommodation reservation even before you leave for Cuba.

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Locals live very simple, but we love it

Keep in mind that accommodation paid over the Internet is always more expensive than on-site. And you need to be careful during the high season when most accommodations are occupied and pre-booked! You can just make an email booking in some Casa Particular.

Get Travel Credit on Airbnb

What is beneficial is the very fact that you are staying with the locals. They will warmly welcome you everywhere, prepare a welcome drink and talk with you. They have a list of places and activities that can be done around. In fact, it is very comfortable. It was enough to tell the house lady what trip we had decided for and everything was taken care of. They called us a taxi, borrowed bikes or snorkel, arranged a horse ride, or prepared breakfast and dinner.

Local Cubans really represent travel agencies there but dealing with them is very convenient and fast because they are very good at it. They will give you all the practical information you need to know. Nowhere we did feel that someone would try to scam us. Shortly, it was an ideal trade exchange.

Check out what you should know before going to Cuba.

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Most Cubans will give you the best room they have in the house

tom_profilWhen we travelled to another city in Cuba, the house lady usually arranged accommodation for us in another city at her friends´ and even got us Colectivo taxi. The taxi driver knew where to take us already and we didn´t need to look for any accommodation ourselves when we were in Cuba. The local Cubans were welcoming us with warm smiles and we were completely satisfied. Even we got a discount at the first accommodation, then the other Cubans we stayed with later accepted the discount as well.

How does transport work in Cuba

The biggest curiosity in Cuba is surely local cars – Cuba is a country where they still use American veterans of the 1950s. Here you can meet Plymouth, Lincoln, Buick or Ford. Most cars are still holding on together thanks to the creativity of locals who are looking for spare parts wherever they can, often they even make them at home. Cubans know very well that these cars are a real experience for tourists, so they care about their veterans. Especially in Havana, where they drive tourists in pink, shiny cabriolets across the city.

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Cuba – it’s a show of American veterans

If you want to travel around Cuba by local transport, you have a choice of several options. In major cities, especially in Havana, you can ride several types of vehicles. There are plenty of options – horses, bike taxi, moto taxi or normal cars, both old and new.

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Cuba offer other ways of transport

If you are travelling for longer distances between Cuban cities, you can choose between a bus, a train or a taxi. We recommend a combination of both depending on price and distance. The so-called Colectivo taxi was the most favourable. It is a pre-arranged taxi driver who carries up to about 10 people at a time, depending on the size of the vehicle. All passengers are thus involved in the cost of the car, so the price will be much cheaper. If you stay with local people, they usually arrange it for you, so you don´t need to take care of it yourself.In this article, you will find the 6 most interesting places that the Northern part of the island offers.

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Cubans try to keep their cars in the best condition

How to know in Cuban currencies

Cuba has two official currencies – CUP – Cuban Peso and CUC – Cuban Convertible Peso. The difference between the two currencies is quite substantial. While the CUC faithfully copies US dollar by its exchange rate, CUPs are some sort of raffle tickets for which Cubans can only get certain goods. The existence of such two currencies implies two malfunctioning economic systems. State employees receive a CUP payment, for which they can only buy ration foods. While other Cubans who come in contact with tourists or have other sources, the CUC opens access to better and more luxuriant goods. As a tourist, you will only be able to meet the CUP rarely during your travel around Cuba. In addition to the CUC, you can also pay in US dollars or Euros in Cuba. You can rely quite well on local ATMs that give you straight CUC.

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Trinidad is probably the most charming city in the Cuba

tom_profilNow the government struggling to figure out how to unify both currencies with such a different rate. Carelessness, in this case, could mean a real economic problem. Cuba is, therefore, looking for inspiration in Germany, which faced this problem after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

How is with the Internet in Cuba?

Other practical information that you will find useful on your trip to Cuba is an internet connection. A few of years back the Internet access was impossible in Cuba. Nowadays, the situation is turning to better, and currently, it is possible to join the Wi-Fi in Cuba. You need to buy a special prepaid card for a certain number of hours, and then you just have to find a public place with a Wi-Fi. Most of the parks are known to be crowded by dozens of Cubans with mobiles in their hands and surfing the internet. Such a place can’t really be overlooked. If you buy a prepaid card and you don´t want to use the limit all at once, once you have logged out, you will be able to save the rest of your credit, which you can use later.

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You can recognize the public wifi network according to a large crowd of people

eva_profilIf you stay with local people, you sometimes find out that they have Wi-Fi at home. A Western person, accustomed to certain standards, is likely to be unhappy with the slow speed of connection, so be patient. However, it is almost rare nowadays to enjoy travelling and be offline all the time – so we had to use it and we did such an Internet holiday.

Do you want to know anything else about travelling around Cuba? Let us know in comments.