Havana: Useful Information
Capital of Cuba
- The US Dollar is no longer legal tender in Cuba, and a 10% charge is place on exchange transactions.
- Tourists are expected to use the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) for their transactions. This currency was created to replace the US dollar.
- It is possible to use a credit card in Cuba, although it is not advised. The system is often unreliable, charges sporadic, and fraud is a major problem. It is a much better idea to use cash.
- Cuban electricity runs on a 110V 2-pin system, with some luxury hotels also offering 220V supply.
- You need a visa to travel to Cuba, though this is easily arranged through your travel agent or nearest Cuban embassy or consulate. Your passport will also need to have 6 months remaining on it.
- Internet access is available in Havana. Most up market hotels will have at least one terminal, though don’t rely on an internet café on every corner.
- Having some basic Spanish is a good idea, although many service staff will speak a little English. Thankfully, Cubans are known for their patience!
- Cuban doctors are renowned as some of the best in Latin America, but basic pharmaceuticals are often in short supply. Taking a few essentially such as plasters, Paracetamol etc. is advised.
- Alcohol consumption in Cuba is a grey area. There doesn’t appear to be an official age limit, at least not for tourists, although you are advised to exercise discretion with your children.
- The majority of Cubans are Catholics, and numerous Catholic churches exist across the island. Other denominations are represented among the population.
- Gambling is currently illegal in Cuba, though this is rumoured to be under consideration by the state.
- Mains water in Cuba can cause stomach upsets, though most quality hotels have their own filtration system. Bottled water is advised elsewhere.
- There are several newspapers published in Cuba, though they are predominantly influenced by the state.