Our normal blog posts revolve around things to see, things to you, things to… (you know the drill) but Cuba was more about us getting surprised every hour about how old-school and non-globalised they were trying so hard to be. Cuba is becoming more and more westernised so get there soon if you want to witness the quirks and uniqueness of travelling to a country that is proudly stuck in the 50s!!!
Don’t let any of the tips but you off going – CUBA IS AMAZING and so different to anywhere else in the world. It’s just a cool and laid-back place that will give you so many unique experiences that you won’t get anywhere else in the world 😎
Tip 1: Sort VISAs out in advance
This is true for many countries, yes. But its not an e-VISA or a embassy – it’s a card that’s sent through in the post. Keep it safe when you receive it – if there is a slight bend or rip, you’ll have so much more faff at the airport check in!
Tip #2: Take cash (pounds/euros) and a few non-American bank cards!
The moment we step out of the airport, there are security guards protecting the cash points – it’s like they are the crown jewel or something. They only let you in one by one (even though there are three atms) and in the end our card didn’t work anyway. LUCKILY we had some cash which they love to exchange so we could survive a couple of days. We did find a working cash point every now and then – but the only card that worked was our quintessentially British Nationwide card!
Tip 3: They have two currencies and tourists will be ripped off
It’s the only country we’ve been to that has a currency for locals and a currency for tourists and everything has two price tags. You will be charged 10 times more for everything and there is no escaping it
Tip 4: Internet is non-existent
Do you’re research before you arrive!! You can’t quickly google restaurants or museum opening times – come prepared! Many cafes try and trick you into coming in by promising free WiFi – it didn’t work 100% of times we tried. There will be internet in some air-bnbs and hotels but you might need to take it in turns to log in
Tip 5: Enjoy the vintage cars!
Try and ride in as many as possible – they are awesome and they are everywhere!!! Any size, any colour, any style – try em all!
Tip 6: Havana is the chilled out city that never sleeps
Havana is one of the most chilled out places ever. People leave their front doors and windows wide open – you can literally watch them watching TV or cooking. Groups of friends are hanging out on the roads smoking cigars. Everyone knows everyone and casually says hello as you pass them in the street. The dogs are lazing around. Although it’s chilled, it’s the city that never sleeps – we could hear people drinking and chatting until 6am. Good vibes all around!!
Tip 7: If you think you can speak Spanish, you can’t in Cuba
The accent is SO different and the words are slightly different. We got some very strange looks…
Tip 8: Food is meh
It’s non-flavoursome rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. BUT on the bright side, the drinks are LIT and keep you going – RUM RUM RUM!!!
Tip 9: AirBnb is an experience
The most popular accommodation choice is AirBnb as many travel websites don’t promote their hotels (although they are available if you want to splash the cash). AirBNB is a great experience – the hosts are basically your full time concierge… they will offer to cook you breakfast, get your taxis, book your experiences etc. Our hosts were fantastic!!!
Tip 10: Do some trips outside of Havana
Final tip – Havana can be done in a couple of days. If you’re in Cuba check out Vinales (for horse-riding and cigars!) and Varadero (for some nice beaches!)
So get booking and go to Cuba before it changes!!! If you want actual recommendations of places to see, let us know 😍💕