Havana airport can be a confusing place to arrive.
If you are travelling to Cuba independently and need to get to Havana city centre from the airport, you can chose from several different modes of transport.
Some options are quick and more expensive, others are cheap and slightly more adventurous. A private Havana airport transfer will cost you around 25-30 CUC.
How to get from Havana Airport to Havana City?
Here we compare the different options available will discuss prices and exchanging money, so make sure you also read our ultimate guide on money in Cuba.
|Shuttle||Taxi – Airport||Taxi – Pre Booked||Bus||Colectivo|
|Cost||10 CUC||25 CUC||30+ CUC||3 CUC||<1 CUC|
|Duration||1-2 hours||30 mins||30 mins||1-2 hours||45-85 mins|
Airport Shuttle from Havana Airport to City
Havana doesn’t have an airport shuttle the way most international airports do. The taxis at the airport are quite effective at lobbying for less competition.
That being said, a Mexican tour company called Nexus/Amigo Tours is selling airport shuttles through Get Your Guide for 10 USD.
However, I advise you to read through the reviews online. The score overall is good, but some of the bad reviews illustrate the issues.
Some important points:
- It seems hard to find the tour operator. Keep in mind that GetYourGuide claims to operate it through Amigo Tours, but really it is run by Nexus. This can be confusing.
- They sometimes take hours to leave.
- They won’t drop you to your Casa Particular, only a nearby hotel.
Overall this option seems to be not that great value. If you are looking to save money, take public transport, if you want to be transported split a taxi or a private transfer with someone for pretty much the same price.
Private Transfers from Havana
You can book a private transfer at sites like ZunZunCar or other taxi companies. The price is usually around 30 CUC (up to 4 people) or 50 CUC (5 people or more). However, the 50 CUC fee can be negotiated if the clients are willing to carry the luggage inside the seating area.
If the visitors choose this option, a driver will be waiting for them, at the airport, with a sign with their name on it. That’s it. No hassle exchanging money in long queues, no haggling with taxis, no walking to bus stops.
This option is recommended for those who arrive tired from a late or long flight, people carrying a lot of baggage, old people and families with children, or anyone who prefers the least amount of hassle.
Using state taxis to get to from the Airport to Havana
Stepping outside the airport terminal, the traveler will find plenty of state owned cabs.
The official price to the city is 25 CUC. It should not cost you more than 25 CUC to get from the airport to Havana city.
You will most likely have to exchange money inside the terminal in order to be able to pay the driver, specially if you arrive late, as there are no open CADECA’s in town. The lines for the money exchange at night can be quite long though, so be sure to factor that in.
Beware: Taxi Scams
Unfortunately, there are a variety of scams associated with Cuban taxi drivers at the airport. Many taxi drivers will try to take advantage of the clients and raise the official price. After 8PM, many of the public taxi drivers increase their fare, so don’t be surprised if the cabdriver raises the price from the official rate to 40 CUC or 50 CUC at 22 h. Always insist on the official price.
If you do take a taxi be aware that many public taxi drivers will try to exchange money for the visitors. Please, do not exchange money with a taxi driver. Inside the airport, there are four CADECA (exchange houses) where you can exchange money at the current rate and receive a receipt for it. Don’t be fooled by the possibility of a better exchange rate. The taxi driver will not give you any receipt and there is a risk that the bills you get are fake or out of circulation.
The driver might also try to sell you accommodation. He will ask you the price of your accommodation and insist that he can get you a cheaper or better accommodation. Even if you don’t have a place to stay, insist that you do.
If you end up staying where he recommends you to, you’ll end up paying more, as the rental house has to pay 5 CUC commission to the driver per night. Be firm with your driver and ensure you get to your destination. It is not a pleasant experience to start your holidays in Cuba staying in an illegal rental house/hostel.
This option is recommend for all kind of travellers, above all for those who had visited Cuba at least once before.
Using public transportation to get from the airport to Havana
First, find out what terminal your flight will be landing. If your flight lands at Terminal 3 (most of the European and Latin-American airlines), prepare yourself for a long walk.
If you don’t want to walk until Terminal 2, you could try luck and go for a bicitaxi or almendron (stood at the nearby of the parking lot or the restaurant) and bargain with the drivers (no more than 5 CUC for a car or 1CUC per person for a colectivo, depending on luggage) for a ride to the P12 stop. This option is only recommended if you travel light or you are able to walk for 3 km and you arrive in a daytime flight.
Many Cubans would not recommend walking this route at night as the road is not suitable for pedestrians and is poorly lit. Moreover, as it gets dark, there is a sharp drop in the number of buses and collective taxis.
You must leave the airport and walk along the road that leads to Terminal 2. This stretch is 1 km long. Go until you reach Terminal 2, and look for the bus stop P12. If your flight arrives at Terminal 2, you have been lucky; you just need to walk circa 500 m until the airport exit and cross the road.
If you decide to go on foot, there are no sidewalks and therefore it’s necessary to pay full attention to the traffic. There are neither buildings nor trees to find shelter under. Before you leave the airport, it could be useful to get a sunblocker (+50 factor) all over the body and to buy some water. This is not a joke: the sun can be dangerous if you arrive straight from a European winter. Alternatively, it is also possible that it will be raining. Walking is not ideal if you are carrying a lot of luggage.
Once you have arrived at the stop past Terminal 2, there are two options: to take the bus (aka. GUAGUA) (P12) or to take a shared taxi (aka. ALMENDRÓN), which runs the same route that the bus does. The bus costs only 0.05 cents CUC and the collective taxi costs 1 CUC. The latter might try to charge you more if they realise you’re foreign or if it is late.
Taking a Bus from Havana Airport to Havana
Regrettably, the urban transportation in Cuba doesn’t work properly, hence the bus schedules are inaccurate: you can reach the bus stop and get straightaway the P12 and sometimes wait for it an hour or more. This route is long and crowded. Don’t be frightened if it’s seems impossible to get on and get off the bus with your luggage without being shoved around.
Do not take it personally, there are just many people trying to break the laws of physics in order to occupy the same space at the same time or to breathe a less stuffy atmosphere. If your destination ends at Vedado, you will suffer only half of the nightmare. You must get off at the bus stop for the National Terminus, cross through the Revolution Square down to 23rd avenue, where you will find several transportation options or keep walking until your B&B.
If you are staying in Center or Old Havana, then you must get off at the last bus stop, nearby the Capitol, from where you can walk or take a taxi or a bicitaxi (1 CUC up to 10 CUC) to your accommodation.
Taking a shared taxi colectivo from Havana Airport to Havana
At the same bus stop, you can get a collective taxi. You will recognize them easily because they are old American cars from the ’40s, ’50s or ’60s (remainders of Cuban American influenced past). These collective taxis usually take two front passengers and 3-4 back passengers. Wave your hand and they will stop.
If you come with a group of three or more people, it would be wise to split up and regroup at a certain point; it is unlikely that these cabs have more than two vacant places.
If you don’t want to carry the luggage on your lap, you can:
- ask the driver kindly to put the bags in the trunk or on the roof rack;
- in case he is not willing to do it for free, negotiate with the taxi driver a price; or
- put it on the seat next to you and pay for it.
Keep in mind that you should be patient because these collective taxis come and go at their will and it could pass some time before you can get one (especially at night).
Hitchhiking from Havana Airport into the city
How to hitchhike from Havana Airport to Havana city? As everywhere, people in Cuba also travel by hitchhiking. It’s just to walk 1 km until the road that leads to Terminal 2 and make signs to all the drivers that show up. Make sure your Spanish is good though, for you might be mistaken for a paying customer. Explain that you are hitching a ride before getting in.
This option is only recommended for the most adventurous travellers, less recommended for girls and the least recommended for girls alone at night.