Hi everyone! 😀
There’s one city that once confused me as I often casually played with words through abbreviations or even some puns. And that city is the one that we’re going to cover this week: Havana.
So, I know nothing about Cuba, except for the popularity of Fidel Castro back in the days. I wasn’t really familiar about the capital city Havana either. I wasn’t really familiar in a way that I didn’t know how it looked like or what you could find there, as we didn’t really focus on the region back when I was at school.
However, there’s one thing that made Havana so easy to remember for me: Havana is like something in-between heaven and nirvana. So I was like, does that make the city heavenly?
Anyway, this week we’re going to have the city covered by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World for our $10 series. So, how could you spend your $10 in the city?!
Never Confuse The Two Currencies in the Capital City of Cuba!
The first thing to keep in mind if you ever plan to visit Cuba is that there are two currencies there: the Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP), also known as MN (Moneda Nacional).
Foreigners should only be using the CUC, though the small things such as street food and minor shopping they can also use the CUP. $1 USD is exactly 1 CUC, which is equal to 26.5 CUP.
The Overview of $10 in Havana
Havana isn’t the cheapest of cities. $10 USD doesn’t get you that far in terms of accommodation, as a room in casa particular (private house) costs anything between $25 USD and $40 USD, whether or not you sharing it.
However, the $10 USD is more than enough for a good meal, unless you go to the most famous paladar (privately owned restaurant), where chances are you’ll be paying much more than that.
Beware of the Scams in Havana!
A drink at popular places such as Floridita or Bodeguita del Medio costs no less than $5 USD. However, you can get cheaper drinks in smaller, less famous bars.
Museums and places to visit are rather cheap, while some other are even free. A $10 USD is likely going to be enough to visit the most famous and historical places in Havana.
A good thing to keep in mind when visiting Havana is that scams are literally around every corner, and chances are taxi drivers and even restaurants may try to charge you much more than the actual price.
The key to avoid scams is to learn to haggle, and stand your ground when you have a feeling that you are being overcharged. Ask the owner of your casa particular how much a taxi ride from his place to the attraction you want to visit should cost, and make sure not to pay more than that.
Also, don’t trust overly friendly people who promise to take you to the best and most local bar or restaurant in town. Chances are, they are working for a commission, and you will be paying a very expensive bill.
Contributor: Claudia of My Adventures Across The World
Claudia is a former human rights lawyer and academic who abandoned her career to follow a life of travel. When she’s not busy hiking volcanoes and mountains, she lives in her beloved Cagliari, Sardinia.