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Havana

Travel Guide Caribbean Cuba Havana

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Introduction

Havana/Cuba

Havana/Cuba

© All Rights Reserved marlis

Havana is the capital of Cuba, a sprawling city of 3 million. It lies at the very northwest of the island. Most people start their trip in Havana and it has a pleasant old and worn feeling to it. The local mix of cigars, rum and music, combined with the numerous vintage cars still driving the Havana streets, has a huge attraction to people. The old town (Havana Vieja) is on the UNESCO world heritage list and as a consequence has been given extra attention with new bright colours painted on the beautifully restored buildings. A stroll along the different squares and small lanes in between with some brief stops for a cuba libre or mojito is one of the highlights of any visit to Cuba.

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Sights and Activities

  • Havana Vieja (old town)
  • El Capitolio is the Washington Capitol lookalike.
  • Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana and Plaza de la Catedral
  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza
  • La Bodeguita del Medio is the famous bar where Hemingway had his drinks.
  • Plaza de La Revolucion
  • El Malecon - the water front of Havana

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Weather

Havana, like most of Cuba, has a hot and humid climate but with some significant differences between the summermonths of May to October and the wintermonths of November and April. Generally, the latter period is the best to visit with daytime temperatures averaging around 25 °C and nights dropping to around 17 °C or 18 °C. During summer, temperatures are about 5 °C to 7 °C higher and this is also the wet season, which basically starts in June and ends in October. The heat and high humidity combined can make it feel less comfortable walking around Havana during this time.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max25.8 °C26.1 °C27.6 °C28.6 °C29.8 °C30.5 °C31.3 °C31.6 °C31 °C29.2 °C27.7 °C26.5 °C
Avg Min18.6 °C18.6 °C19.7 °C20.9 °C22.4 °C23.4 °C23.8 °C24.1 °C23.8 °C23 °C21.3 °C19.5 °C
Rainfall64.4 mm68.6 mm46.2 mm53.7 mm98 mm182.3 mm105.6 mm99.6 mm144.4 mm180.5 mm88.3 mm57.6 mm
Rain Days553361079101165

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Getting There

By Plane

Havana's Jose Marti International Airport has a good deal of international flights from destinations throughout Canada, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. Some of the main destinations include Managua, Moscow, Cancun, Toronto, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Milan, Rome, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Panama City, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, New York City, Lima and London.

Cubana airlines has domestic flights to various destinations in Cuba. The most important routes are between Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero and the islands of Cayo Largo del Sur and Caya Coco. Flights are usually with smaller planes, sometimes propeller types. Other options include Aero Caribbean and charter flights by Aero Gaviota.

Taxis and shuttles (often operated by hotels) are widely available at all terminals. There are several car rentals located in the Arrivals Area, the companies represented include Cubanacar, Fenix, Rent a Car, Rex (limousines and luxury cars), Transtur, and Via Rent-a-Car.

By Train

Trains travel between Havana and Santiago de Cuba and stop at several places in between. Although cheap and relatively comfortable, some trips are delayed or cancelled and can take ages. Check Seat61 Cuba for more information.

By Bus

Viazul is the national bus company and their are numerous connections from Havana to all major towns in Cuba, like Santa Clara, Vinales, Trinidad, Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Aurora y NelsonCalle 15 number 962 apart. 5 Between Calle 8 y calle 10Guesthouse-
Hotel CaribbeanPaseo del Prado No. 164 between Colon and Refugio StreetHotel-
Casa KarlitaSan Lázaro Avenue 1207 apart E Mazón and Basarrate Street VedadoGuesthouse-
Casa de AniaJovellar #160 Apto. 9 Entre San Fransisco y EspaHostel-
Casa FiniLugareno 158 apto 1 ( bajo, interior )entre montor y pozo dulce // Pl. revolucionGuesthouse-
Hostel IraidaCalle No. 8 No. 656, apto. 4 Entre Zapata y 27 VedadoHostel-
Casa Novo Rent a roomConcordia #406(altos) between Centro Habana CityGuesthouse-
Casa ReyesAvenida de la Loma number 12 Between 37 y LinderoGuesthouse-
Casa TamaraBruzon 175 Pozos Dulces MontoroGuesthouse-
Casa colonial ElaineAvenida de los Presidentes 260 Between 11 & 13 Vedado PlazaGuesthouse-
Casa PetronilaCalle 20 #272 Apto. 6 entre calles 17 & 19Guesthouse-
Hotel ColinaL Street between 27th and JovellarHotel-
Hotel InglaterraPaseo del Prado 416Hotel-
Hotel PlazaNeptuno St. Corner to Zulueta St.Hotel-
Hotel RivieraMalecon Sea Shore and Paseo StHostel-
Hotel SevillaTrocadero 55 corner Prado & ZuluetaHotel-
Hotel St. JohnO Street (betw. 23rd. and 25th.)Hotel-
Hostal ValenciaOficios St. # 53 Corner to Obrapia St.Guesthouse-
Hotel VedadoO St. between 23rd. and 25th VedadoHotel-
Hotel LidoConsulado St. Animas and TrocaderoHotel-
Lunass ApartmentSan Francisco at 464 apto 5 Zanja an Valle Centro HabanaApartment-
Mabel´s HouseRequena #8 int, apt 5 e/ Carlos III y Lugareño. PlazaGuesthouse-
Hotel Occidental Miramar5th Avenida e 72 y 76Hotel-
The Orchid Residence28 Street #209 e/ 19 and 21 VedadoGuesthouse-
Hostal Los FrailesTeniente Rey St #. 8 Between Mercaderes and OficiosHotel-
Hotel Park ViewColon Street (In the corner with Morro St) Old HavanaHotel-
Casa Rolando y MagalySan Rafael 754 1st Floor e/Marquez Glez y OquendoHostel-
Private rooms Mylena y OttoCalle 20 # 257 Apto. 41, e/ 17 y 19 VedadoGuesthouse-
Casa Miriam Hostal ColonialLealtad 206 Entre Virtudes y Concordia Centro HabanaHostel-
Casa LillyAvenida de los Presidentes # 301 entre 13 y 15 Apt. 13 (13th floor) VedadoGuesthouse-
Lourdes HomestayBrasil (Teniente Rey) #361 1er. piso, entre Aguacate & Villegas. Habana ViejaGuesthouse-
Martha's Guest HouseAve. de los Presidentes No.301 (Btw Calle 13 & 15) Flat 14, 14th floor, El VedadoGuesthouse-
Hotel Ambos MundosObispo St. 153 and Mercaderes StHotel-
Habana LibreL Street between 23 and 25Hotel-
Hotel Comodoro3rd. St. and 84thHotel-
Saida HomestayCalle 24 #262 Apto. 5 entre 17 & 19 VedadoGuesthouse-
Vilma HomestayCalle 13 #1356 Apto. 3 entre 24 & 26 VedadoGuesthouse-
Hotel TritonAvenue 3ra Y 74 Miramar PlayaHotel-
Casa El Encanto27 1003 apto 8Guesthouse-
Hotel Panorama3rd. Avenue and 70 St. MiramarHotel-
Casa Daniel y FinaPadre Varela 360 Apto. 1 Entre S Rafael y S Martin Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Belkis y GuillermoCalle K No. 14 Apartment 8 e/ 7 ma. y Av. MalecónGuesthouse-
House in front of the seaMarina 111 Apartment 2-A Between Vapor and PrincipeHostel-
Colina HouseCalle San Lázaro 1219 Apto 2 Between Mazón & BasarrateGuesthouse-
Hotel PresidenteCalzada St. Nr. 110 corner G AvenueHotel-
Casa MargotConsulado #13 Apto. 5 entre Genios & Carcel Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa MarianaCalle 17 #1219 entre calles 18 & 20 VedadoGuesthouse-
Anita HomestayCalle H #554 entre 23 & 25 VedadoGuesthouse-
Elvira HomestayCalle B #716, Altos entre calles Zapata & 29 La HabanaGuesthouse-
Eneida HomestayCalle 26 #255 entre calles 19 & 21 La HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa Ana MoralesCalle Neptuno No. 519 apto 3Guesthouse-
Casa MirtaLuaces 16 entre Ave. Salvador Allende y Lugareño Plaza de la RevolucionHostel-
Zoe y VíctorAve. 20 de mayo No. 426 E Amenidad y Pedroso CerroGuesthouse-
casa de YoandrisSoledad No. 162 San Lazaro and Jovellar Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Ramiro's HouseCocos 216 (altos) between San Pablo and Auditor CerroGuesthouse-
Casa MaribelCalle Avenida 19 de Mayo # 5 B E/ Avenida Ayestaran Y Amezaga Plaza de la RevoluciónHostel-
Armadores de SantanderLuz St. 4 (corner to San Pedro St.)Hotel-
Milagros DiezCalle Manrique No. 208 (bajos) entre Concordia y Virtudes Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa de RosaOquendo 664 apto 15 entre Carlos III y EstrellaApartment-
Casa GoicocheaBruzon No. 103 altos / Luaces y Montoro Municipio Plaza de RevolucionHostel-
Almendares HostalAlmendares 110 Entre Buzón y DesagüeGuesthouse-
Ana Maria HouseAveniu Carlos III 1005 (bajos) e/ Requena y AlamendaresGuesthouse-
Casa OraliaCalle Bruzón 123Hostel-
Casa Emelina19 de Mayo Ave. #5 Apart. 3 e/ Ayestaran y AmézagaApartment-
Casa JustaSan Rafael #456 Lealtad y CampanarioGuesthouse-
Casa de ElinaNéstor Sardiñas 727 apartament 4 between Ayestarán & Panchito CerroGuesthouse-
Casa ZeilaConcordia #255 Apto. 301 e/ Campanario y PerseveranciaHostel-
Casa Isabel y RobertoCalle Soledad numero 166 aparment 1 betwen 27 Noviembre San Lazaro CentroHostel-
Casa AmadaLealtad No. 262 upstairs between Neptuno and Concordia Centro Habana, Ciudad HabanaHostel-
Casa Julio y FefaLugareño 109 entre Luaces y Montoro Plaza de la RevoluciónGuesthouse-
Villa LissetteLealtad #207 entre Concordia y VirtudesGuesthouse-
Casa VanaAve. De Los Presidentes Nro. 301 P. 5 Entre 13 y 15Apartment-
lunassAnimas # 562 Ap.3 Campanario y Perserverancia Centro HabanaHostel-
M’ AlojaMaloja 967 apto 2 e/ Infanta y Ayestaran, Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa Mary y ClaraLealtad 207. First Floor Entre Virtudes y Concordia CentroGuesthouse-
Casa MarthaLealtad 308 Entre Neptuno y San Miguel Centro Habana. City of HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa IsabelAnimas # 956-A / Oquendo y Soledad, Centro Habana.Guesthouse-
Casa OlenaLealtad 207. Entre Virtudes y ConcordiaGuesthouse-
Casa de CarmenGuesthouse-
Belky's HouseCalle Estrella no. 605 apto 3 Oquendo y Marques GonzálezApartment-
Casa Tayra y LeoEscobar 272. First Floor. Entre Neptuno y ConcordiaHostel-
Casa El MiradorSan Rafael 752, second floor between Oquedo y Marques Gonzalez, Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa Marta Anacalle 27 # 971 e/ 6 y 8 Vedado La Habana CubaGuesthouse-
Rolando´s BackpackerSan Miguel # 567. First Floor Entre Gervasio y Belascoain StHostel-
A Yali Hostal ColonialLealtad 206. First Floor. Entre Virtudes y Concordia Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
AlexcasahabanaZanja #502 apto 3 entre Rayo y Galiano Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Candy CasaSanta Rita 9807 CojímarGuesthouse-
Casa Isela & Leon35 #3406 e/34 y 36 Playa 53-7-20202723Guesthouse-
Casa YuniaPozos Dulces 105 between bruzon and desagueGuesthouse-
Casa Dra Flora Roca705 Calle B e/ 29 y Zapata Vedado Plaza de la RevolucionGuesthouse-
Carlos IIISalvador Allende # 1059 Apt #1 entre Luaces y Almendares Plaza de la RevolucionGuesthouse-
Casa Leo y Evel201 Lealtad Apt. 4-2. (Entrance on Virtudes) Entrada por Virtudes y LealtadGuesthouse-
Mary's House61Marina street Aparment 44 between Vapor and Hornos St. Centro HavanaGuesthouse-
Maria del Carmen RoomsCalle 15 No. 962 Between Calle 8 and 10 Plaza de la RevolucionApartment-
Danec ApartmentAvenue 20 de Mayo #475 Apartment 1Guesthouse-
Casa Lidia y ArgelioCalle Crespo # 105 e/ Colon y Trocadero Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Hostal Casa TarajanoCalle 21. 62, apto. 6Hostel-
Casa Buena VistaApartamento 601 Calle N n°408 between/entre Jovellar and 27 havana vedadoGuesthouse-
Casa MilaidysLuaces No 18 e/ Carlos III y Lugareño Plaza de la RevoluciónGuesthouse-
CASA TAMYJovellar (27 de Noviembre) 260 apto 12 between Ave. Infanta and N,VedadoApartment-
Casa AnteroPlaza de la RevolutionGuesthouse-
Casa de ElenaAve. Infanta #1151 esquina a Santo TomásGuesthouse-
La Casa de Zule5th avenueApartment-
Casa1932Campanario # 63 Bajos Between San Lázaro & LagunasGuesthouse-
Havana Backpackers20 de Mayo 428Hostel-
Villa Brisas RS43 40th street between B y F Brisas del MarApartment-
Casa Licet y PepeSan Lázaro 875 Apt. 48 Between Soledad y OquendoGuesthouse-
Casa MandyCalle Neptuno No. 519 Apto. 4 Segundo piso, centro habana Municipio centro habanaGuesthouse-
Casa Marta and YucimiCalle Jesus María No. 312 entre Picota y Curazao Old Havana, HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa Oscar y Nancy(Calle) San José Street No. 11 entre Basarrate y Infanta Plaza HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa SilviaSalvador Allende St. No. 1005, entre Requena y Almendares Plaza, HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa LadysCalle Obraría St. No. 461, Apto 2 Bajos, entre Villegas y Aguacate, old havanaGuesthouse-
Casa YanitzaObispo No 528 1er piso entre Bernaza y Villegas Old Havana, HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa Lucrecia y PelloCalle 29, esquina c, plaza revolucionGuesthouse-
Casa David y ElectraCalle Aguacate No. 13 Tejadillo y Chacón, old havanaGuesthouse-
Casa HabanaCalle Habana 209 e/ Empedrado y Tejadillo, Old HavanaHostel-
Casa Dra.Mary61Marina street Aparment 44 between Vapor and Hornos St. Centro HavanaGuesthouse-
Casa Tamara-ChenD street, # 258 1/2Hostel-
Casa Yovi JorgeCalle Soledad No. 161 entre San Lazaro y JovellarGuesthouse-
Casa BarbaraPaseo Street No.77 Apto.5C Corner 5ta.Guesthouse-
Casa Ayla y Julio8th Street, No. 655, between 27 Street and Zapata Street Vedado.Guesthouse-
Apartamento Manuel364 Concordia Street, Apt. 5Apartment-
Casa CaribeñaMarquez Gonzalez St, #270 San Rafael and San Miguel St.,Guesthouse-
Vlady & Yami Travellers Hostel20 de mayo # 428 Apt 25Hostel-
Casa UniversidadCalle Ronda 17 entre Neptuno y San Miguel apartamento 14. VedadoHostel-
Casa Maritza532 San Miguel Street between Gervasio and Escobar SHostel-
Casa Calle 131361 Calle 13 entre 24 y 26 Vedado, Municipio Plaza Municipio Plaza,Guesthouse-
miradordeconcordia457Concordia 457 Belascoain y GervasioGuesthouse-
Casa CondeLealtad 221 Ap.7 Concordia y VirtudesGuesthouse-
Casa Dalia y TeresaCalle Habana 209 Apto. 1 Entre Empedrado y TejadilloGuesthouse-
Casa Maria AntoniaCalle 8 656 between 27 and Zapata apto.3Hostel-
Hamel HostelCalle Hospital 308 Entre San Lazaro y HamelHostel-
La EstanciaNeptuno 515 2do Campanario y Lealtad Piso, Centro HabanaHostel-
Hostal Corazón del Vedado604 Avenida de los Presidentes Third Floor, Apartment 5 Building EHostel-
Casa Bella HostelSan Lazaro 1156, Apto #6 Entre Infanta y Calle NHostel-
A&G Guest HouseCalle H 211, Altos e/n 9 y 11 Vedado, Plaza, La HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa LuisoCalle 32 #958 apto 2 e/ 26 y 47 Nuevo Vedado PlazaApartment-
Casa YaraCalle 18 315 apartment 3Hostel-
Marluis HouseCalle Animas No. 968, bajos entre Soledad y OquendoGuesthouse-
Casa Villa el Porton203 Esquina TejadilloGuesthouse-
Hostel Casa Caribe Havana5th St #160Hostel-
Casa MelvisAguiar #114, Apartmento 801 (Between Chacón and CuartelesGuesthouse-
Travel - Guesthouse & AccommodationsBelascoain 360 Atp 4, 2do Piso %San José (San Martin) y San Rafael. Centro HabanaGuesthouse-
Casa ElenaAvenida Paseo 457Guesthouse-
VIlla ParaisoHabana Street 906Guesthouse-

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Keep Connected

Internet

In many cities the only way for tourists to access the internet is through the government's communications centers. Look for buildings bearing the name "ETECSA", which stands for Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. ETECSA also has internet stations in some of the larger government hotels and resorts. The connection speed is comparable to analog dial-up speed in Havana or slower in smaller locations, at a cost of 6 CUC/hour. This is payable by purchasing a prepaid scratch card with a PIN code granting you access for one hour. The same card can be used throughout the country at any ETECSA terminal, allowing you to disconnect after your session and use the remaining time on the card further at the next hotel/city you go to.

WI-FI in hotels and restaurants is certainly uncommon if not non-existent and tourists should not rely on this being available when planning their means of communication.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Cuba is 53. To make an international call from Cuba, the code is 119. The emergency number is 116 and information number 113.

GSM cell phones will work in Cuba (900 MHz). Cuba is one of the most expensive countries in which to communicate. When bringing your own cellphone, incoming phonecalls to Cuba cost about $1/minute. Outgoing calls from Cuba are similarly expensive, and can be as high as $5 per minute for making international when roaming with your cellphone from overseas.

A better way is to rent cellphones, which is possible at several stores in Havana, including one in the airport. The rates are 9 CUC per day (6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card), plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards. If you bring an unlocked GSM phone operating at 900 MHz (or quad-band world phone) you can buy a SIM card for 111 CUC, plus your prepaid minutes. If you're staying two weeks or more it makes sense to bring a cheap phone, buy a SIM card and prepaid minutes, then give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellphones are among the most desired items for Cubans (bring a case for the phone too, Cubans are very fussy about keeping their phones scratch-free). You will have to go to a cellphone store with your friend and sign a paper to give the phone to your friend.

Post

Correos de Cuba operates the Cuban postal service. They are generally quite slow, and delivery is never guaranteed. Mail is read by Cuba’s censors; avoid politically sensitive comments. Also, never send cash! Post offices (correos) usually are open weekdays 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm, but hours can vary widely. Most tourist hotels accept mail for delivery as well, which might be a better option. International airmail (correo aereo) averages from at least 2 weeks to over one month, and even domestic posts might take 1-2 weeks. When mailing from Cuba, write at least the country destination in Spanish (as well). International postcards, cost CUC 0.50 to all destinations; letters cost CUC 0.80. Within Cuba, letters cost from 15 centavos (20 grams or less) to 2.05 pesos (up to 500 grams); postcards cost 10 centavos. Stamps are available in US dollars as well (if buying at hotels, this is actually your only option) and can be bought at hotels and blue and white kiosks labelled Correos de Cuba. Parcels from Cuba must be unwrapped for inspection. It is far better to send packages through an express courier service, like DHL or the Cuban local one (called EMS), although the same regulation applies.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 23.133333
  • Longitude: -82.366667

On Travellerspoint

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