Travel tips: Cuba

Heading out from home? We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your trip is the smoothest it can be.

About Cuba

Cuba (/ˈkjuːbə/ Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkuβa]), officially the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba), is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. 

Using debit and credit card

Do I need cash in Cuba, or can I use my card everywhere?

Cuba is a cash based society. Be sure to withdraw enough cash ahead of time.

What currency do they use here?

The currency here is Cuban peso and Cuban convertible peso. The symbols are $ (for both) and CUP (Cuban peso) and CUC (convertible peso).

Which ATM’s can I use for free?

If you find one, help others by sharing it here!

If I want cash, how much should I take out of an ATM?

220 CUP should be enough for a few days.

Should I choose local currency or Euros when paying?

If you’re asked to choose between local currency and Euros, always choose local currency.

Staying connected

Can I roam, or should I get a local SIM?

Most EU mobile plans will charge you for roaming.

If you want to get a local SIM card, you can learn about your options here.

Useful things to know

How does tipping work?

It is common to leave a 10-15% tip.

How much does a 0.5L beer cost?

€ 1,40

How much does an average meal cost?

€ 4,50

What’s the emergency number?

There are different numbers for the different services here.

  • Police: 106
  • Ambulance: 104
  • Fire: 105

What type of plug do they use?

This one! It’s the standard American plug.

What side of the road do they drive on?

They drive on the right side of the road here.

How do I navigate my way around?

Google Maps works well.

Otherwise, we recommend Rome2Rio as the best way to find out how to get anywhere. It even tells you the cost of each option.

Any other good tips?

Rent a classic car and drive along the Malecón, Epic!


If you’ve been to Cuba share your experience! The following would be really useful for others to know:

  • Which ATMs are free to use? 
  • What card should I use and where?
  • Any other info you think may be useful.

Share your experience with us in the comments below! 

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