Budget for a trip in Cuba

Plan your Cuba trip's budget: cost-saving tips and insights

Vibrant beach cityscape with food, culture, and transportation.

Unlike other Latin American countries, the island’s cost of living is significantly higher, with tourists frequently paying more than residents for the same goods. Be prepared to encounter different pricing structures, as Cubans typically trade in pesos while tourists frequently use euros or USD. Prices can rival those in Europe or the US.

But how much will it set you back? Let’s unpack the cost of a Cuban escapade.

Breakdown of travel Costs

Seasons change and so do prices – high tourist season from December to May means shelling out more pesos.

Flight Costs to Cuba

Best Times to Buy Tickets

The early bird catches the worm – and the cheapest flights. Book at least a few weeks in advance, and if your dates are flexible, scour for those off-peak deals.

Average Prices from Different Regions

Flying from Miami? You might snag a round-trip for under $200. Crossing waters from Europe could cost from of 600€ to 1300€ depending on the season. The farther you are, the heftier the price tag.

Cost of Cuban Tourist Card

To travel to Cuba, you’ll need to obtain a visa. You can visit the Cuban Embassy or Consulate in person: it simply requires providing your personal information and paying a fee of €25.

You can apply for the visa online and have it delivered to your home : the cost varies by country but expect to part with about €50-€100.

If you have a layover in the US, be aware that the visa you obtained is not valid for travel from there, and you’ll need to apply for a special visa, which can be more expensive.

Travel Insurance for Cuba

Travel insurance is an essential requirement for visiting Cuba as a tourist. The cheapest one can start from 5€ per day, but we recommend getting travel insurance that provides medical coverage and 24/7 assistance for any unforeseen events during your trip.

Accommodations in Cuba

When it comes to accommodations in Cuba, there are two main options: private houses and hotels.

Private houses: known as casas particulares, are homes owned by Cubans who rent out rooms to tourists. These can be a great option, with prices starting at around €15 per night for a room with private bathroom to 75€ – 100€ per night for upscale places. You can find casas particulares throughout the country.

Hotels : They tend to be quite expensive. Even basic hotels can cost over €100 per night. However, if you’re visiting certain areas like the keys, hotels may be your only option. We recommend staying in casas particulares whenever possible, as they offer a more affordable and authentic experience.

Please be aware that platforms like Airbnb are inaccessible in Cuba; therefore, secure your accommodations in advance or consider obtaining a reliable VPN.

Transportation in Cuba

Buses : The most common way to get around Cuba is by using public buses operated by Viazul. The fares are reasonable, with tickets costing around €9 for routes like Havana to Varadero or €18 for Cayo Santa María to Trinidad. It’s a good idea to book your bus tickets in advance to ensure that you have a seat.

Colectivos : If you need to travel to destinations not covered by Viazul or prefer private transfers, you can arrange them through your casa particular. Private transfers between cities can be easily arranged, and you may even be able to share the expenses with other travelers.

Car rental with a driver: typically costs between €180 and €300, varying with vehicle size.

Renting a car: It is also an option but renting a car can be expensive, costing around €100 per day including mandatory insurance. It’s often more convenient and cost-effective to rely on buses and private transfers for transportation.

Tourist Activities

The good news is that most of the attractions in Cuba are free. Exploring the streets of Havana, relaxing on the beaches, and visiting many museums and historic sites won’t cost you anything. The only major expense in terms of activities is taking a ride in a classic car, which can cost around €30 per hour.

Food in Cuba

When it comes to food, eating in Cuba is affordable.

  • Paladars : Tourist spots can charge $10-$20 per meal. Wander off the beaten path and the prices may halve.
  • Street Food : A feast for a few dollars – street food is both wallet-friendly and a delicious slice of culture.
  • Mojitos: 2 euros. Tourist spots are obviously more expensive! You could pay up to 4 euros.

Tips for eating on a budget : Eat where the locals eat. Markets are your friend, Try the Ventanitas for local pizzas and icecreams (small windows). And remember, a packed lunch never goes out of style.


  • Internet Cards: 5 euros/hour
  • Phone Card Plans: Generally pricier compared to other countries, expect to spend 20€ to 30€ for essential messaging services.

Tipping in Cuba

Given that the salary of Cubans is very low (about 15 euros/month), tipping is common in Cuba and is a great way to help local Cubans supplement their incomes.

As a rough guide, consider tipping:

  • 2-5 $ per person per day for drivers
  • 3 $ – 10$ per person per day for your local guide
  • 10 to 15 % for the waitstaff.