The Daily Cost of Travel in Cuba: A Budget Breakdown
Well peeps, on my second and third trips to Havana not only did I have a bit more money available to me, but I also took the time to jot down everything I spent so I could share a true breakdown on the daily cost of travel in Cuba. It's worth noting that some of my costs were technically not costs (to me) because I stayed in my Dad's AirBnB and ate his breakfast...:D
That said, I've included those costs here at exactly the rate he charges so you can truly see what your week in Havana might cost you!
As always, these costs are "somewhere in the middle between super cheap and very comfortable" - please read the full details before jumping to conclusions about what will work best for you!
Jump to the bottom of the post if you're just after the cold, hard number ;-)
As always, hit me up in the comments if you have any questions or...comments...or wanna book that sweet sweet AirBnB...
My Dad's AirBnB is obviously the nicest - and I say that with tongue in cheek, of course - but actually, it IS one of the nicest. When he moved there he renovated the place from top to bottom and preserved as much of the art deco beauty as he could. It's stunning, with cathedral ceilings and gorgeous crown moulding and the rooms are basic but very nice and clean.
Casa el Remanso charges between $25-55 USD per night per room (sleeps 2), depending on the room itself and the season. Can you believe that!? The higher priced room even has its' own bathroom and the other two rooms share one.
Regardless of whether you stay here, those prices are mostly consistent for somewhere clean and in Old Havana, so you can bank on that for your stay.
Budget: $20 USD per person per night
eat. drink. repeat.
Cuba is not well known for their food...but that's not to say there aren't some yummy (or at least decent) treats to be found for a very reasonable price. Plus, there's rum in all of its' delicious iterations. I didn't particularly care for mojitos before visiting Havana, but let me tell you, Cubans get it when it comes to the right balance of sweet and tart.
As with anywhere, if you're in the tourist center you can expect to pay a bit more. Farther flung and a sense of adventure will find you eating for mere dollars. Most BnBs or cafes would serve breakfast for around $5, lunch and dinner with a couple drinks could cost anywhere from $2-22, realistically.
I always opt for a nice lunch on a patio with a few cold drinks to beat the heat, the standard breakfast fare at my BnB (or some fruit), and alternate nights out (pizza and pasta are good and usually inexpensive) with veggies and rice cooked as a family.
Beers run between $1-2.50, cocktails closer to $4. A croissant at a little bakery might be $0.40, a sandwich at a cafe $6, and a full plated dinner around $8-10.
Tip: If you're looking to eat for an actual dollar, check for places where Cubans are eating and that have - at first glance - high prices of about 22-26. These are likely prices in Cuban pesos and 25 pesos is about 1 USD/CUC. So you can get a big plate of basic food for, yes, $1. Be sure to ask for clarification if you're uncertain!
Budget: $30 per person per day (can vary widely and be much less or substantially more)
For me, Havana is best experienced mostly by foot! But there are times and places you may want to go to see more and get out of the center. Taxis and bicycle taxis will know if you're a tourist - consider what you think is a reasonable price to pay before flagging one and negotiate if you're feeling swindled.
A short bicycle taxi trip should cost no more than $1-2 per passenger. The Hop-On-Hop-Off bus costs $10 and is a cool way to get the lay of the land. A private taxi from one section of the city to the other will run you about $10.
Budget: $10 per day per person
see & do
Walk and walk some more. The beauty of this city is in the visuals and the history is everywhere you turn!
Museums generally run $5-10 each, give or take. A good cigar might set you back $5-10 and a mickey of rum is $4 if bought in the store. Renting one of the very fancy and pretty taxis for a little tour and some stops for photos costs $50 for an hour to an hour and a half (fill the car, the price is the same!). Souvenirs run around $5 for most items, give or take.
Budget: $20 per person per day
so how much do I need per day in cuba?
Given the above, and with total understanding that it's entirely easy to do this on much more or much less, I'd say you could travel in and around Havana for about $80 USD per person per day.
It's really a country where a backpacker could spend as little as $30 a day and where someone with deep pockets could spend hundreds per day. But I think to have enough money to eat out a bit, enjoy some cocktails on the patio, sightsee and explore, you'd be good with $80.