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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.

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Havana has a tropical climate. Average temperatures range from 22/28 °C (71.6/82.4 °F). The dry season (November to May) is generally considered the best time to visit the Cuban capital.

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 Good period to go
February 18 / 64.4 26 / 78.8 68 / 3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
March 19 / 66.2 27 / 80.6 45 / 1.8 Good period to go Good period to go
April 21 / 69.8 28 / 82.4 53 / 2 Good period to go Good period to go
May 22 / 71.6 29 / 84.2 99 / 3.9 Good period to go 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 Good period to go
December 19 / 66.2 26 / 78.8 58 / 2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
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José Martí International Airport in Havana

  • Four terminals
    • Terminal 1: Domestic Terminal
    • Terminal 2: US Terminal
    • Terminal 3: International Terminal (Air France)
    • Terminal 5: Caribbean Terminal

Travelling between the airport and Havana:
  • By car
    • From the Carretera Central and Calle 10 de Octubre, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the city centre.
    • There are two car parks near Terminals 2 and 3. The Terminal 3 parking lot has a capacity of 750 spaces and the Terminal 2 a capacity of 500.
    • The counters for car rental companies are located in the arrivals hall of Terminal 2 and 3.
  • Bus
    • The Viazul bus company serves Terminal 1.
    • The journey to the city centre costs CUC 133 (Cuban Convertible Peso) and tickets can be purchased directly at the bus station. Departures are every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and it takes about 30 minutes to reach your destination. Before your departure, you can check the schedule on their website (https://www.viazul.com).
  • Shuttles
    • Shuttles can take you or your group to the city centre. You can reserve in advance with your hotel or tour operator
  • Taxi
    • Taxis are waiting outside the Arrivals Hall of Terminal 3. The journey to the centre of Havana costs CUC 20 to 25 and takes 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Services: Bars and restaurants, shops, currency exchange counters and Wi-Fi access (for a fee). There is no baggage check.
  • Website: havana-airport.org
  • Telephone: +53 7 649 5777

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Several means of transport allow you to explore the city, but hitchhiking is not recommended.

By Car

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

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.

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Visitor information

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)

  • Address: Calle 28 No. 303 e/ 3ra. y 5ta. Ave., Playa La Habana
  • Telephone: +53 7 204 4016 or +53 7 204 6635
  • Website: www.infotur.cu

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Medical information

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:

  • Diphtheria-tetanus-polio
  • Typhoid fever
  • Viral hepatitis A and B.

Air France vaccination centre

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

Food safety recommendations

It is recommended to:

  • avoid ice cubes in drinks;
  • ensure that foods are sufficiently cooked, avoid eating fish, shellfish and seafood, carefully wash your hands before each meal.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Favour bottled mineral water instead.

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Administrative procedures

Entry requirements for the territory of Cuba

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


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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Havana, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

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

Goodbye: Adiós


No: No

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).

Airport: Aeropuerto

Train station: Estación de trenes

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Banco

Telephone: Teléfono

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 (…).

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Good to know

+ phone number
-13 : 30
of time difference with
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November


Usually open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Usually open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
110 V / 60 Hz


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.

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