With countless pristine beaches, mountain forests and bustling cities, Cuba is anything but an ordinary island. Although time has stood still in many respects since the revolution more than 50 years ago, the contrasts of sunny Cuba are fascinating. The historic cities of Havana and Trinidad have been faithfully restored; a walk through its streets feels like a journey into the past. If you stay in a casa particular (a private house with guest rooms), you get an interesting insight into the life of the normal Cuban. On the other hand, many luxurious hotel complexes on the magnificent coast of Cuba invite you to relax in a tropical setting. And of course, all over Cuba is an abundance of what the Caribbean island has become internationally famous for: upbeat music, rollicking dancing and, of course, rum cocktails. See other countries in North America on neovideogames.
Arriving by plane
Cubana (CU), the national airline, connects Madrid non-stop with Havana. Condor (DE) flies non-stop several times a week from Frankfurt/M. and Munich to Havana. Lufthansa (LH) connects Frankfurt/M. with Havana in cooperation with Swiss (LX) via Zurich, with KLM (KL) via Amsterdam and with Condor (DE) via Munich. Austrian Airlines (OS) fly in cooperation with KLM (KL) from Vienna via Amsterdam to Havana and Swiss (LX) via Zurich. Eurowings (EW) flies from Frankfurt/ aM to Varadero.
Note on arrival by plane
Direct entry into Cuba from US soil is prohibited for tourists of all nations under US law. U.S. cruise ships and private yachts, as well as U.S. private and business jets, are not allowed to dock or land in Cuba. However, commercial airlines are still allowed to fly direct between the US and Cuba. Travelers to Cuba must keep records of their trip, activities, contacts, etc. and keep them for five years and present them to the US authorities upon request.
Frankfurt/M. – Havana: 11 hours; Munich – Havana: 11 hours 30 minutes; Dusseldorf – Havana: 10 hours 50 minutes; Zurich – Havana: 10 hours 55 minutes (both non-stop); Vienna – Havana: 13 hours 20 minutes (with stopover).
Airport taxes are already included in the ticket price.
Arrival by ship
The ports of Havana and Santiago de Cuba are destinations for numerous cruise ships from Europe and North and South America. It is also possible to moor with a private yacht, but you should notify the official authorities in advance (Marina Hemingway in Havana, Tel: +53 7 24 11 50).
The Transocean cruise line also calls at Cuba on its cruises departing from Hamburg. MSC, Phoenix and Azamara Club Cruises offer cruises from other European cities with a stopover in Cuba.
Traveling by plane
Cubana (CU) has scheduled flights between most major cities including Havana and Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Cayo Coco and Cayo Largo. Aerogaviota (KG) serves other domestic routes and also offers charter flights.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network covers approx. 61,000 km; about half is paved. Signage is often poor or non-existent; it is therefore advisable to travel with good road maps. The A1 motorway runs from Havana in the west of the country to Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo in the east. Shorter motorways lead from Havana in a star shape to the surrounding towns. Tolls are only payable on the Via Blanca, the route between Matanzas and Varadero. Gas stations are plentiful throughout the country.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Road conditions are often bad. Travelers should always expect more or less deep potholes. Night driving should be avoided if possible.
The main motorways A1 to A4 (Autopistas) are signposted in white on a green background.
Cubacar, Havanautos and Rex are the three state car rental companies. Car hire is available in cities and tourist locations and can also be pre-booked online.
Taxis are ubiquitous, though often in poor condition; they can be stopped by hand signals. For tourists, better maintained and more comfortable taxis, which usually have meters, are waiting in front of the big hotels. For taxis without a taximeter, the fare should be agreed in advance.
Bicycles can be rented.
The bus company Viazul operates with its modern and comfortable buses between all major cities in Cuba. Tickets should be purchased in advance as they sell out quickly. Depending on the location, travelers must check in at the terminal half an hour to an hour before departure; otherwise the ticket expires. Transmetro buses are used almost exclusively by Cubans.
Traffic regulations: – Alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰. Passengers are also not allowed to consume alcohol while driving. – Telephoning while driving is prohibited. – Children under the age of 2 must be carried in a child seat and up to the age of 12 in the back seat. – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h (near schools 40 km/h); – on rural roads: 60 km/h; – on expressways: 90 km/h; – on motorways: 100 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns with the rental car, the lessor must be informed first. The ADAC partner club is the Federación de Automovilismo y Kartismo de Cuba (FAKC) in Havana, Tel. +53 7 209 02 88.
As a rule, the national driving license is recognised. However, it is advisable to carry your international driver’s license with you.
Note on travel by road
At night there are often unlit horse carts, pedestrians or animals on the streets. When driving at night, it is therefore important to drive very carefully and slowly or to avoid them if possible.
Traveling in the city
Buses, minibuses and many shared taxis run inexpensively in Havana for a standard fare. Buses run every 10 to 20 minutes depending on the time of day. The central bus station is located on Avenida 26. Old Havana can be explored in open horse-drawn carriages, so-called calezas. Cocotaxis, three-wheeled, motorized vehicles for two people each, offer another option for getting around the city.
Locally on the way by train
The railway network is mainly operated by the state railway company Ferrocarriles (Nacionales) de Cuba. Tickets are available at train stations. The railway network stretches from Guane in the west of the island to Guantánamo in the east. The main route runs west-east from Havana via Santa Clara, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey and Las Tunas to Santiago de Cuba. After damage from natural disasters, some branch lines are not served; including the route to Trinidad on the south coast.