There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Havana each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1-2: Triumph of the Cuban Revolution and Victory of the Armed Forces (national)
While celebrating the New Year, Cubans also get to pay tribute to the Triumph of the Revolution of January 1st 1959 which saw the victory of Fidel Castro and the fall of Fulgencio Batista on what became Liberation Day.May 1: Labour Day (national)
This large gathering commemorates Labour Day on Revolution Square.May 20: National Independence Day (national)
On 20 May 1902, Cuba proclaimed its independence. On the occasion of the commemoration, infantry, cavalry and military vehicles parade.July 26: National Rebellion (national)
On 26 July, the country commemorates the failed attack of Fidel Castro against the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba in 1953.August 1-31: Carnival of Havana (local)
You will come across congas, percussion of all kinds, flamboyant costumes and impressive effigies at the annual carnival in Havana. Along the Malecón, admire comparsas (troops of dancers), decorated floats and muñecones (papier-mâché giants).October 10: Grito de Yara or the Celebration of the Ten Years' War (national)
The Ten Years' War began on October 10th 1868 under the leadership of sugar mill owner and lawyer Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, assisted by a group of patriots installed in his Demajagua sugar mill. They demanded freedom and independence.25 December: Christmas (national)
Christmas is again celebrated in Cuba after being reintroduced as a holiday in 1998. Havana residents gather and march through the streets with maracas, castanets and bells and sing the praise of the Christ Child as they progress along their route.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||18 / 64.4||26 / 78.8||63 / 2.5||Good period to go|
|February||18 / 64.4||26 / 78.8||68 / 3.1||Good period to go|
|March||19 / 66.2||27 / 80.6||45 / 1.8||Good period to go|
|April||21 / 69.8||28 / 82.4||53 / 2||Good period to go|
|May||22 / 71.6||29 / 84.2||99 / 3.9||Good period to go|
|June||23 / 73.4||30 / 86||183 / 7.2||Not the best period to go|
|July||23 / 73.4||31 / 87.8||107 / 4.2||Not the best period to go|
|August||24 / 75.2||31 / 87.8||99 / 3.9||Not the best period to go|
|September||23 / 73.4||31 / 87.8||145 / 5.7||Not the best period to go|
|October||23 / 73.4||29 / 84.2||180 / 7||Not the best period to go|
|November||21 / 69.8||27 / 80.6||89 / 3.5||Good period to go|
|December||19 / 66.2||26 / 78.8||58 / 2.3||Good period to go|
José Martí International Airport in Havana
Several means of transport allow you to explore the city, but hitchhiking is not recommended.
Driving a car in Havana is a great way to get around the city with complete freedom. However, note that signage is often insufficient. You should also stay alert and avoid driving at night.
For short distances and under 160 kilometres (100 miles), it can be less expensive to order taxis.
Buses are a reliable and convenient way to travel in Cuba, at least in the most touristy areas. Apart from the Viazul company, there are also local buses called guaguas. Tickets cost CUC 0.40 to 1. Havana was recently equipped with a new fleet of buses (MetroBus de La Habana).
Most roads in Cuba are lined with bicycle paths. You can rent a bike for about CUC 3 per hour or CUC 15 per day. Cubans do not wear helmets, so bring your own. Remember to get a lock as bicycle theft is common.
Taxis have a CUC 1 pick-up charge plus CUC 1 per mile. They may also offer you an inclusive fare for the whole trip.
Please note, tricycle-taxis (three-wheel bicycles equipped with two seats behind the driver) are not authorised to take tourists.
Horse-drawn carriages (coches de caballo) are available on some fixed routes, for example, between the bus / train station and the city centre, for about CUC 1.
Upon your arrival in Havana, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.National Office of Tourist Information (Oficina Nacional de Información Turística)
See your doctor before you travel.
All travellers, foreigners and Cubans, are required to present documents proving they have a travel insurance policy covering medical expenses and assistance for repatriation. This certificate is issued free of charge by insurers and payment card companies (Visa and MasterCard).
No vaccination is required to enter Cuba. However, recommended vaccines before departure are:
For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:
It is recommended to:
Tap water is not safe to drink. Favour bottled mineral water instead.
Inquire at the Cuban consulate of the country of residence for your specific requirements. In most countries, a valid passport and a tourist card are sufficient. For more information, you may also consult the official website of the Cuban government: www.cubaweb.cu
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Havana, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few useful phrases in Spanish for your stay in Havana.
Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: ¡ Buenos días ! (morning) / ¡ Buenas tardes ! (afternoon)
Good evening: Buenas noches
No, thank you: No, gracias
Thank you very much: Muchas gracias
Please: Por favor
I don't understand: No entiendo
Could you repeat ?: ¿ Puede repetir ?
What time is it ?: ¿ Que hora es ?
Sorry: Disculpe (to say sorry)
Excuse me: Con permiso (to get past) / ¡ Por favor ! (to get attention).
Train station: Estación de trenes
I'm (…): Yo soy (…)
I'm looking for (…): Estoy buscando (…)
How much is (…)?: ¿ Cuál es el precio de (…) ? /¿ Cuánto es ?
Do you have (…)?: ¿ Tiene (…) ?
Where can I find (…)?: ¿ Dónde puedo encontrar (…) ?
Where can I buy (…)?: ¿ Dónde puedo comprar (…) ?
I'd like (…): Quisiera (…).
It is customary to leave a 10-15% tip in restaurants. For taxis you can also leave roughly a 10% tip unless you negotiated a special rate.