How to get around Havana?

This post explains the different ways to get from A to B in Havana.

Havana is huge. A lot bigger than you think and walking is only an option if you want to limit yourself to the Old Town, Centro and Vedado. 

Here’s some more info about Havana, this post is about getting from A to B (and back).

You can use a multitude of public transport and different types of Taxi’s. But let’s be honest, taxis are for real tourists. Do you ever take a taxi in your home town?

Let’s just take an example to illustrate cost, speed and comfort.

Vedado to Old Town.

I’m on 23 in Vedado right now, also known as ‘La Rampa’ and I want to go to Old Havana, which the Cubans call ‘Havana’. These are the different ways to get there:

Rip off

The most expensive way is to say ‘yes’ to a guy that walks here all day and every day asking if you want a ‘Taxi Barato’. ‘Barato’ means cheap and saying yes to this guy will cost you about 5 CUC more than just finding a taxi yourself.

The official taxis are the most expensive but also fast and comfortable. If you drive a hard bargain you should be able to get to the old town for 5 CUC

Comfort ***    Price ***** Speed **

Different taxi’s

Official ‘modern’ Taxi’s

Taxi’s are negotiable

You can take an official (yellow) taxi that is waiting in front of a hotel. They typically start at 15 to 20 but can easily be talked down to 10 and to 5 with a lot of effort.

If you just get in without making a deal first it will cost you 20 to 25! Negotiate first! 

Taking an official taxi anywhere else will save you 2 to 5 CUC. In Vedado there are a lot of Taxi’s! 

Comfort * to *** Price **** Speed ****

Official Vintage taxi’s are normally not used as A to B taxi but for ‘tourist drive around for a lot of money’ 

Conclusion: The most expensive way to get from Vedado to Havana Veilla is a taxi.

The hop on hop of tourist bus is a great way to get to know Havana but also not a ‘how do I get from Vedado to the Old Town’ solution.

Moto Taxi

Moto taxi

Be a passenger on a bike. Only one person per bike! Same as with taxi’s you should negotiate! It can be done for 1 CUC, I can do it for 2 and you should be able to get the distance for 3.

Comfort * Price** Speed ****

Fixed route taxi’s

The next best option (and I would take one if I were you, just for the experience) is the fixed route taxi. Almost all the old American cars that drive down 23rdstreet are going to Havana (that’s how Cubans call the Old Town). Just stick you arm out horizontally and shout ‘Havana’ or point to the right (from the drivers perspective). Cost 10 MN but give the guy a CUC, you as a tourist should pay a little more.

Comfort ** Price ** Speed ***

To get deeper into the Havana transport system I suggest you download the app Habanatrans if you can find it. Google Playstore kicked it out, probably because it was made by Cubans and the embargo gets more and more severe. Here you find all the public transport routes and the stops.

Taxi rutero

Next up on the still cheaper ladder: Taxi ruteros. Yellow minivans and small busses will take you to Parque Curita, which is just behind the Capitolio for 5 Pesos per person! There are two types of yellow busses coming by. The one in the picture above is a fixed route Metrotaxi and it’s destination is painted on the hood. Check on Habanatrans if it’s going your way. The bigger yellow busses also do fixed routes and they indicate their destination with a piece of paper behind the windscreen. They are not on HabanaTrans. Just ask the driver. Also 5 pesos.

Personally these are my favorites. Once you’ve figuered out the routes it’s easy as pie, fast and comfortable.

Comfort *** Price * Speed **

Wanna realy cheap it? Take the bus. One of my favourites, because of it’s regularity, is bus 222. Most buses that drive down 23 however go to or trough the Old Town. Just ask the driver to be sure. ‘Havana?’

GuaGua (bus)

Bus to Old Town

1 Peso! (Actually 40 cents but you will not get change from a Peso. See post Cuban Jobs on how to make two trips on one Peso.

Comfort none if the bus is full (beware of pick pockets). Price: How do I rate a 1 Peso ride…? That is actually for free. Cheaper than wear and tear of your shoes walking the distance!

The 222 also makes for an interesting excursion. Have a Moneda Nacional day (only spend Pesos), get on the 222 in Parque de Fraternidad and stay on it until it’s terminal in Lalisa. No tourists there! Get to know Lalisa and hop on a bus back.

More tips and save yourself a lot of money and time?