Havana City (Spanish: Ciudad de la Habana) is the capital city of Cuba, and one of the fourteen provinces of the Republic of Cuba.Before the Communist revolution and subsequent US blockade, Havana was one of the vacation hot-spots of the Caribbean, and since Cuba reopened to tourism in the 1990s, it has become a popular destination once again, albeit with many fewer U.S. citizens, due to an almost total ban on travel maintained by the U.S. federal government. However, there will be lots of tourists at any time of year, so expect huge crowds and long lines in places.El Habanero and Tribuna de La Habana [27] are the local periodicals. The H Magazine + Guide [28] is an interesting publication about Havana beyond common stereotypes.Cuba has a tropical climate, with warm, humid weather all year long, though cold temperatures have occured in the mountains before. Being surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba has warm water year round, with winter water temperatures at 24C, spring and fall temperatures at 26C and summer temperatures at 28C.Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). Most tourists will be using the CUC for all purchases, hotels, taxis and activities, but there is possibility to pay in equivalent in CUP (or CUC, when there is a CUP price), the rate is mostly 1 CUC = 25 CUP. The CUC was created to replace all the US$ that were used in the tourist industry until the late 1990s. For more information check the section on Money in the Cuba article.Jose Marti International Airport (IATA: HAV) has three separate terminals. Terminal 1 is for internal (domestic) flights, Terminal 2 is mainly for charter flights from the USA and Terminal 3 is used for all other international flights.To get in from the Airport to the city you’ll need to take a taxi (25 to 30 CUC) or book an airport transfer (30 CUC). If you are feeling particularly adventurous you can try taking the bus. A good explanation (with an interactive map) is here. The way to the bus stop isn’t difficult at all. When you leave the international terminal 3, turn right and follow the bigger road towards terminal 2. There’s also a connection bus, but you might have to wait some time. When you reach terminal 2 you turn left and keep on walking until you reach Boyeros Avenue. The bus stop is right on the other side. P12 and P16 go all the way to Plaza de la Revolucion. Price: 1/2CUP. If you don’t have CUP, throw 0,05CUC or even a CUC in. It’s still a lot cheaper than the cab.All luggage is scanned by X-ray after deplaning and after going through passport control. Customs officials can be very strict, and may snoop out any suspicious electronics or other items. However, if you are only taking a computer and camera equipment, they are more likely to just wave you through and not take a second look at your customs forms. Customs officials and immigration officials also work slowly and baggage reclaim is very slow, so expect a very long wait when entering the country.As of September 2012, new duties rules have been put in place affecting anything brought into the country, so pack accordingly. The first 44 kilos of your luggage is free (regardless of the content), however after that there is a 2 CUC per kilo charge for anything over that weight. Certain items (most electronics, small appliances, etc) will be charged a 100% duty relative to their value (it’s helpful to have a receipt for what it cost you in this regard, otherwise the customs officials will use their own price schedule which is often quite inflated). Any communications gear (two-way radios, satellite TV equipment, even walkie-talkies) will be confiscated with no questions asked. This applies not only to charter operators coming into the country from the U.S. but any entry into Cuba, regardless of the port of departure. The local airline, Cubana de Aviación offers decent service but reservations are notoriously hard to secure (usually two weeks in advance is a minimum). Check with HAVANTUR offices located throughout the city and at major hotels for reservations. Be prepared to pay in cash. Regular services from most South American and European countries, as well as Canada, are available. From Europe, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Air Europe and Air France all fly regularly to Havana.Most trains in eastern Cuba have been suspended due to poor track conditions. Only the following trains were operating to Havana in September 2007. All services run on alternate days only.Since these trains run every other day (when they are operating at all), you will need to confirm in advance that they are running on the day you wish to travel.There is also the Hershey electric train running several times a day between Havana (Casa Blanca station) and Matanzas (‘downtown’ – not the main Matanzas station). The Hershey train cars are very dilapidated and will appeal certainly to die-hard train enthusiasts – but will be a good adventure for many others. The trip takes a minimum of four hours regardless of what the schedule says. Most of the seats are at least partially broken – but you should be able to find someplace to sit down. At any point of time there are two trains running on this single-track railway: one Matanzas-bound and one Casablanca-bound, provided that both trains are operational. Theoretically you can get off at Hershey and catch the train way back by walking across the platform – either train will wait for another’s arrival because technically a train cannot leave Hershey station (which serves as the midway dual-track meetup point) while another is still occupying the only track of its onward leg. Note: as of April 13, 2018 the Hershey train was not running due to damage from Hurricane Irma.Car hires in Cuba are quite expensive, and the supply is quite limited, so if you do want to get around by yourself, book in advance and keep in mind you will pay significantly more for the convenience. All legal tourist rental cars have special tourist license plates (first letter of the plate is “T”), which means you will pay comparatively high prices every time you park your car in a city. Parking fees are generally taken by official workers wearing Havana Club vests and prices are variable depending on what part of the city you are in, but should never be more than 1 CUC/hour, and typically half that or less. Taking into account the all-around unreliability of Cuban transport, hiring a car can be the right choice for those who don’t want any hassle whatsoever. Please keep in mind that picking up hitchhikers is almost a moral obligation for the “aware” tourist, especially when travelling between cities. Picking up a hitchhiker can be the best way to arrive to your destination without getting lost. Beware of the scamsregarding the cost of insurance.Viazul [29] operates an inter-city coach service to/from most major destinations including Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Varadero and Viñales. Schedules are posted on the Viazul website. The main Viazul bus terminal is 3km southwest of central Havana. You can grab a cab next to the exit from the terminal to El Capitolio for 10CUC or less (make sure in advance that it is 10CUC for a group and not per person).Viazul can get you from Havana to almost anywhere in Cuba, but the prices will shock budget travellers (with prices from $15-50CUC). For major cities along Autopista, it’s about 1/4 the cost if you hitch-hike (and more fun).Guaguas or trucks are the local means of transport. You can get to Havana from almost every city in the east. Usually they stop at bigger crossroads near the motorway, you get in the back of some oldstyle GDR- or US-American truck, pay in national pesos and will be able to chat with Cubans. In comparison to Viazul the trucks are very cheap. Examples: Pinar del Rio – Havana – 50CUP (around 2USD), Matanzas – Havana – 30CUP (1,20USD). It takes a little bit longer, is less comfortable, but as authentic as possible. Trucks along the autopista stop under every bridge, where you will have a connection to nearby towns by Collectivo Taxi or horse carriage (both shouldn’t cost more than 20CUP, depending on the distance. 20CUP for 50km in a Collectivo should be fine). Ask people under the bridges how much they would pay – if you’re waiting at some crossroads to board a truck, straightly ask other passengers what the price is. At amarillo points you can also hitch a ride with cars – the amarillo gets 2CUP.Due to political circumstances, it is difficult to enter Cuba by sea. Visiting mariners need to make arrangements in advance of entering port to avoid difficulties. Also, most ports are closed to unauthorised visitors.As a tourist, the most convenient way of getting around Havana is by taxi. Some of the taxis are old American Chevys from the 1950’s, others are (somewhat) newer Russian Ladas, whilst most tourist taxis are modern Peugeots, Skodas and even Mercedes.It is illegal for tourists to ride in anything other than the official government taxis. However, it is often easier to wave down one of the old Chevys or Ladas. When riding in an illegal taxi, negotiate the fare ahead of time. The fare in illegal taxis will be no cheaper than the official taxi fare. Around the city, taking illegal taxis should be no problem. However, taking an illegal taxi to or from the airport may attract the attention of the police, so most of the drivers will let you 200 meters behind the terminal nearby the parking lot.Taxis collectives are the old, beaten-up yank-tanks with a taxi sign on the roof or in the front window. Tourists are not supposed to take them, but you will rarely run into problems and they are a fun and cheap alternative to the state-run taxis. In fact, the driving standards are pretty good, if you can cope with the loud reggaeton music blasting from their speaker systems – the volume of which is only lowered to hear the destinations shouted from the customers hailing the cab. Stand just off intersections of the major streets and flag down the taxi. Shout your general destination (neighborhood) through the window at the driver. He will either drive off (with no further words being said!) or stop for you. They have set fares and run set routes, so you may need some assistance when taking them the first few times. One useful shared taxi route for Centro Habana goes west along Neptuno -> San Lazaro -> Hotel Havana Libre -> east on San Lazaro -> south on Prado to start again.Another useful shared taxi route starts at Parque de la Fraternida (near Habana Vieja) west of Industria on Simon Bolivar. It travels west along Simon Bolivar, which turns into Avenida Salvador Allende, which turns into Avenida Manuel de Cepedes, which turns into Avenida de la Independencia. This route passes within 200 m of Habana Vieja, 50 m of Plaza de la Revolucion, 800 m of the Viazul bus station, and 500 m of Airport Terminal 2 (within 25 m of Avenida de la Indepencia at the shared taxi stop for Airport Terminal 2 is a bus shelter where passengers can take an hourly bus that stops on the main roadway, about 150 m from Terminal 3 for 1 CUP or the occasional taxi for 1 CUC).Fares are either 10 CUP for a short (5 km) journey during the day or 20 CUP for a longer run or at night (some drivers will accept a 1 CUC coin if you do not have CUP). The drivers are generally honest regarding the fares, but it is best not to appear oblivious by asking how much at the end of the trip. Always watch what the other passengers give: if in doubt, give only 10 CUP unless the driver asks for another 10. There can be a long wait trying to get a taxi collectivo as they are very popular with Cubans and often full, but the experience and the savings make it worthwhile. If a taxi sounds his horn as he approaches a crossroads then he has vacant spaces to fill. A typical taxi to (or from) the airport will cost 20-30 CUC depending on where you are staying in Havana, how good you are at haggling, and how much the taxi driver wants your business.Coco Taxis and yellow three wheel motorbikes are a cheap way of getting around central Havana.Havana used to have a public transportation service called the El Camello, a split-level bus pulled by a semi-truck, and resembling a 2 humped camel (thus the name). Camellos finished operation in April 2008 and were replaced by modern city buses imported from China.The cost of riding the new city bus is 1 national peso or sometimes even 0.40 national cents to anywhere in the city (the driver will not give you change). Expect some overcrowding, there are plenty of buses running though, so if the one you want is full simply wait for the next one. There are few clearly marked bus stops on route, but it’s clear where they stop usually as you will have other waiting at the side of the road

Airport: HAV Jose Marti International Airport Cities in Cuba

Country: Cuba