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City Guide: Havana, Cuba

A typical residential street.

A typical residential street.

Havana in a word: Memorizing.

Chance of Hooking up (for free, if you learn Spanish): 2 / 5
Quality of Girls: 4 / 5
Nightlife: 4 / 5
Smoking tolerance: 2 / 5
Livability: 3 /5 (4 if you can handle no internet)

City guide ratings explained

Costs €$£

Bachelor’s budget: $60 per day.

Beer: $2 for a beer. $3 for a cocktail. $6 for a bottle of Havana club off-licence.
Bed: $20 for a private room in a casa particular.
Bud: $20 for a tiny bit of crap. Don’t bother.
Food: $3 for a decent meal.

Currency Conversion

Overview

Havana, and Cuba in general, is not like anywhere on the planet. It’s easily my favorite country in the Caribbean. It’s like somebody pressed the pause button in the 50’s.  This makes it an amazing place to visit, but it’s not without its frustrations. Communication is a nightmare. Internet is expensive and only available in hotels—and expect to queue an hour to put credit on your phone (that’s if you can even manage to get a sim card!).  Don’t expect any choice when going to the supermarket. Prostitution is endemic, few people speak English, and the nightlife can be a little spread out. But all that said, the pro’s far outweigh the cons. It’s just like you imagine it: The old 50’s cars rolling by, the sound of salsa bands coming from every corner, and sexy girls of every shade and shape abound. Unplug, grab a mojito and light up a Monte Cristo. You’re in Cuba, baby!

The Girls

ATTENTION: Before you read what’s below, read my guide: Sex in Cuba: 5 Tips for Hooking up.

Appearance: Cuba will surprise you. It’s extremely multiethnic. I expected the population to look like the Dominican Republic, but Cubans piss all over Dominican girls. The sheer diversity and caliber of women will cater for any man’s taste. You’ll be  surprised how white the population is. And if you’re into black girls you’ll see the best in the Caribbean. Latinas, mixed race, even the odd blonde—Cuban has it all. And as for their bodies? You rarely see obesity. Girls here know how to take care of themselves. They are quite petite and the average height is 1.560 m (5 ft 1 12 in).

If you’re looking for something a little different or don’t want to deal with the Cuban hustle, there’s plenty of tourists for Russia, Europe and East Asia as well. The bottom line? Cuba takes 1st place for women in Caribbean in terms of quality. 

Demographics: 63.4% white, 20.5% mulatto (Mixed black and white), 16.4% black, .02% Asian (Chinese).

Attitudes: Alas, this is the chink in Cuba’s armor. In a country where the average salary is around $20 (if you don’t believe click here, here, or here), most Cuban girls are only interested in one thing: money. Payment for sex is considered default mode in most sexual interactions, whether you meet her at a bar or in the street during the day. However, you can find genuine romantics who don’t play the game and just want to fuck you. Cuban girls are also quite sensual, feminine, and love sex.

Gaming Strategy: Just read my 5 tips for hooking up.

The Dirt

Accommodation: You’ll more than likely be staying in a Casa Particular, sharing a building for a family or private individual. Try and get a building with an independent apartment where you have full access. This way you can sneak girls in. Regardless, most casas will let you bring girls back provided they register. It’s the law there. Just ask your casa owner if girls are allowed back. I recommend staying somewhere on San Rafael in el Centro, as you’re in walking distance to every nightlife spot minus Miramar.

Gym: Cuban gyms are an experience. They’re basically people’s homes, crammed with ingenious machines made from scrap metal, with crude, unmarked weights of all sizes. They usually have everything you need. Just ask around for the nearest one. I used Raul’s place here.

Getting High: Havana sucks for drugs. Weed is hard to find,  expensive, and the quality is awful. The stuff we got barely gave us a buzz. Penalties for drugs are harsh in the country so the locals don’t risk dealing. Also, beware of scammers trying to trick you by wrapping up oregano and other herbs.

The Nightlife

Havana nightlife is a tough nut to crack open. As a tourist, finding out a good party scene is a chore. Hopefully, I can help. Havana’s nightlife is essential split up into four parts: Old Havana, Central Havana, Vedado, and Miramar.

Old Havana oozes charm. The main strip, Opisbo, has many small bars serving cocktails to a house Salsa band. A bar crawl is this part of town is mandatory on first arrival. Factoria (The Brewery) on Plaza Veija is a good drinking spot, too. However, while I love the vibes here, Old Havana is not the place for girls.

Miramar is the most affluent area of Havana. You  have a better chance at meeting non-pro and middle class girls here—but prostitution is still rife. It’s definitely worth exploring, but know that the venues are really spread out, it’s a bit out of town, and it’s only worth a trip on the weekends.

Casa de la Musica

Central Havana has a few popular options, but it’s 90% prostitutes. You will no doubt hear about Casa de la Musica. It’s consistently busy, but over-rated. It’s basically a large theater with a pricey admission where everybody spends the night sits down watching a live performance. It’s only late at night when everybody starts dancing.  There are plenty of hookers, but they’re also some genuine girls and tourists about. If you’re not in the scene here, check out the basement nightlife at BelleVue down the road. It’s a little pokey, but it’s cheaper and more of a club vibe. It’s pretty shit though, and full of hookers.

Vedado is the last place on the list. Hosting a university and a larger middle-class, I rate it the best place to meet genuine Cuban girls in Havana. Avenue 23 is the nearest thing to a nightlife strip in the area. Aside from that, the best places to meet people is drinking on the streets, which are literally swarmed with youths on the weekends. You will also notice a lot of rocker/emo types around. Check out Avenida de los Presidentes and the seafront, the Melancon Habanero, right around here. Grab a bottle of Havana club and make some friends.

My Havana Experience

I was in Havana for six nights with a group of four lads. I researched like a mad man in that time. I loved the city, taking Spanish classes by night, parting at night, but the first few nights were frustrating. I was getting a ton of make-outs and numbers, but they all either turned out to be hookers or hustlers. It was only when we started hitting the streets of Vedado on the weekend that things started to happen. I got my Cuban flag on the Saturday with a sexy student. And re-raised it with an expatriated Cuban singer I exchanged number with on the Malecon the same Saturday.

Mark Zolo in Cuba

Me in Cuba 🙂

Other Resources

Why not check out more cheeky City Guides?

For more info on Cuba, or if you have any questions, check out the links below or leave a comment.

Cuba Discussion on the Forum.

Havana Data Sheet by Doc-J @rvf

Havana Data Sheet 2 @rvf

 

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38 Responses to City Guide: Havana, Cuba

  1. TravelHardcore December 8, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    Great review including the tips for sex in Cuba. I can imagine it gets frustrating trying to find a regular girl when prostitution is that widespread.

  2. George December 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I love that hat in the last picture, it’s nice look with the sunglasses and cigar.

  3. Blacknight December 9, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    Go to Brazil man, are you ever gonna hit that place up?

    • geowulf December 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

      indeed, Brazil. Seems that you have been everywhere but haven’t visited the place of al places for players

  4. Spencer Mack December 10, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    I’m entirely crushed to hear that you were in Cuba whilst i was there. I even brought a pirate outfit, which i had intended on wearing but just never worked out.

    I should have zoomed by the site to update on your whereabouts..

  5. anonymous December 29, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    middle class Cubans ? i thought cuba was a classless country!! there class divisions in cuba as in you hve people there who are richer than others ?

  6. Jay January 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Nomad,

    Many friends stress that I get my ass to Cuba ASAP before they start opening up the country, and that all of the Communist architecture, the 50s cars – all of it – start to disappear.

    From your two week experience there, do you see such urgency for travellers to get down there?

    Thanks.

    • Naughty Nomad January 6, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Go down. After the embargo, it will be ruined.

      • Jay January 6, 2014 at 11:47 am #

        Will do. Thanks.

    • Orson April 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

      I have to “get my ass to Cuba ASAP before they start opening up the country, and that all of the Communist architecture, the 50s cars – all of it – start to disappear.”

      And what of the people? Are they your museum pieces too?

      • Naughty Nomad April 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

        So sensitive Orson.

  7. StoonDude March 25, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Good, Accurate Review, I have frequented Havana in the last 5 years. It takes about 3 trips to get a grasp on things down there. NN is totally right about the excess of hookers. Also right if you learn a little spanish, interact with girls at the right time and place, you may end up with a genuine girl. It is a very good idea to travel with a seasoned Havana veteran, in order to succeed. A traveller can find him self in a lot of trouble if you don’t know the laws down there. Even finding good restaurants is difficult unless you know where to go. Guys who frequent Havana will do better if they befriend an genuine cuban dude (hard to find), who will introduce the traveller to genuine girls, show him where the best clubs and restaurants are, the best Casa Particulars are, etc….
    my top 5 tips for travelling in Havana
    1-Rent a 4 door Car. Only way to get around. Havana Girls love to jump in the back seat as they hitch hike home from work or school. Great way to meet girls.
    2-Learn some spanish, but do not speak in spanish to cops when you get shook down (which you will), just give them 5 CUC or a pack of gum and they will beat it. Also leave the political talk at home.
    3-Stay in a Casa Particular, preferably in Miramar. Girls, and myself LOVE the privacy and romantic evenings enjoying rum and fine tobacco in the courtyard, or a quick salsa lesson before the clubs.
    4-Have a cell phone that works, get a CubaCel SIM card, for emergencies and for texting.
    5-Bring some girly toilletries/shampoos/fake jewlery/sex toys (don’t get caught)… I never give the girls money, but I leave some of these items down for them, they truly appreciate it.
    Going down for a week on Saturday. If anyone wants to hook up in Havana, reply on here.

    • temps September 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      hi,

      i was there last november but planning to visit again. i had good time but want to make sure this one is better.

      any help is much appreciated..

    • Zenmaster December 29, 2014 at 7:46 am #

      Hey, stoondude, I’d like to hook up, I’m going to Cuba the eighth. I was there last year but had no luck. Can you help?

    • bobby January 14, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

      hello

      thanks for the info stoondude, I am going in two to havana, so what is the best night club to pick up girls, hookers are fine with me, I am looking for just a good time and how much do they charge? where should I get a casa in miramar? and where is the night life district and universites? thank you for your help

  8. Zam July 9, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    Hey guys I’m going to Havana n than traveling all over Cuba. I’m staying
    One week. I’m going in end august if any1 is going around that time. Also any advice
    As to where to find light skin good looking girls I dnt mind paying as long as they r worth it.
    Any places u recommend to stay? Can I used us currency their? Thank you

    • Emil July 11, 2014 at 6:41 am #

      Hey whats up… I’m going to Cuba august 28th for my bday. Planning on staying 7 or 10 days… Lets talk to see if we meet over there…

  9. frenchy December 10, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    hi there !
    i m planning to go to cuba alone in january, i saw every post and i like it! is there anyone going there in january?

  10. Bas December 30, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi guys, i am also going to havana around january 6. 2015.
    I am traveling alone, is anyone around to meet up??

    • Zenmaster January 1, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

      I’m gonna be there the 11th

  11. Bish January 21, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Guys,

    I’m a 57 year old retired single male. I’m not looking for a young student to hook up with. What are the 30 or 40 something women like in Cuba? And does anyone know where to hang out to meet these ages of women.

    There is no free lunch (or dinner) so I understand paying, however do they like american dollars or do you need to exchange currency?

    And if there is any tips on where to stay it would be helpful. Is it safe to travel alone, because I don’t have a travel partner in my age group?

    Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

    • Mike D March 31, 2016 at 12:25 am #

      Hey Bish. I am a 42 year old single male. Going in 3 weeks. Staying at a casa de particular. How did your trip go? Any advice?

      Thanks.

  12. mason April 8, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Hey nomad! Love your blog/website/guide dude! Just a quick question for you, how do you manage to fund your perpetual adventures around the globe??? Keep up the great work, u need to hit up mainland south America!!!!

    • Naughty Nomad April 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Travel is cheap. I have a whole podcast on the question: Check out “Hangover Radio”.

  13. traveler xxx September 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    I went to Cuba summer 2015 an i can give you an update on the best ways to capture your cuban flag in Havana. I’m in love with havana. Everyone is flirty, the city has caracter, the rum is cheap, the woman gorgeous. Getting layd without paying, however, isn’t that easy. So prepare carefully and take these tips by heart.

    Preparation!
    – Learn basic salsa steps
    – Basic spanish is mandatory

    If you don’t speak spanish you better know how to dance and if you don’t know how to dance, then better learn Spanish. Cuban girls are very flirty and sexual. You’ll get stares and ‘que Lindo” (hey cutie) from just walking the streets. Cuban girls won’t take you serious, however, if you don’t speak Spanish or dance. One of the best tips i can give you is to be very very laid back and chill in this city. I can assure you it is SAFE. Don’t get fooled by the crumbling buildings, there is no violence in this city. Whether your talking to a girl, dancing with her or just walking the streets make sure you radiate a relaxed vibe. When negotiating prices for a cab, don’t play it hard. This will get you nowhere. Be calm and relaxed, chit chat for a bit, throw in the occasional ‘si, amigo’ and make friends.

    If you want to avoid all hookers, go to;
    – ‘Fabrica del arte’ (15 minutes by taxi and about 4-5 cuc)

    This club is amazing! Its about 60% art gallery and 40% club. People here are much more modern, so dress up fancy/arty/alternative. You’ll find jazz evenings or techno parties going on here. The vibe isn’t too Latin but still i love it. You can be assured that none of the girls here are hookers. The public is about 50% Cuban 50% tourist. “western” game works well here, your odds of finding English speaking Cubans here is high and you can just be yourself.

    That being said I fell in love with the regeaton and salsa culture in Cuba. This vibe, however, is not found in fabrica. You’ll have to go to the places with high hooker density for this.

    These clubs are found in!
    – ‘Hotel lobbies’
    – ’23 avenida’

    Cuban girls can dance regeaton like goddesses. If your in one of these clubs and just casually stand behind a Cuban girl she’ll start to grind on you like you’ve never been grinded on before. I’ve been walking trough clubs with big ass boners all the time. Once a girl is in front of you she’ll make sure that it is physically impossible for you to leave. Bottom line, you’ll get very horney and addicted to this animalesc sexual vibe.

    In my first days this was a bit of a culture shock for me, but after a while i could just relax and play along with the dry humping. As much as you’ll love this sexy latin vibe, it will bite you in the ass. Most girls out here are hookers. But i’d say it’s worth the risk.

    My strategy would be as follows. Initiating a dance or conversation is easy. I literally got 0,0 rejections so don’t be afraid to ask the stunner out for a dance or a chat. Once you opened the girl make sure you’re relaxed and a little macho and dance sexy and sleazy with her. Let her grind all over you and show her you’re impressed by obviously getting an erection. Dance close to eachoter, lead and grab her close to you. After a while just chill back and start to talk. But make sure you’ve been very sexual and man to woman with her.

    NOW THIS IS A BIG TIP I’LL GIVE YOU: in your conversation start addressing the fact that there are many hookers in Cuba. Muchas chicas son putas en Cuba, no? This line is so gold as it will make her explain to you why this is the case and why “she’s not like that”. My Spanish is very bad, so from here i would listen carefully and nod, until she started to qualify herself. get into conversation for about 40 minutes. They liked it when i joked around about wanting to find a girlfriend (novia) and that she perhaps could be mine (juntos).

    Take her to a cab. Police knows which girls are putas and which ones aren’t. These girls will get arrested and go to jail if their seen with a tourist. You won’t BTW. The girls i addressed above we’re putas (but i didn’t pay), so what you do is this; You grab a cab right in front of the club and take her to your casa particular.

    Fird a good casa particular!
    – ‘Ask streight up if you can take girls home to the casa when you check in’
    – If you get a “no” just take another casa, there are plenty.

    In my first week i was in a casa where i couldn’t bring girls. I took them to a 1 or 2 hour casa particular which are found all over Havana. The cab driver knows where they are and they’ll cost you 10cuc for 2 hours. So better check in with a casa where you CAN take girls. If you take Cubans home, lock all your bags and make sure they can’t steal shit.

    From here the story goes one of two ways. She either starts to negotiate for money, at which point i would throw them out. If they decided to give you the free ride, they first want to take a shower, after which you’ll experience the most shameless, dirty sex that will last in your memory for ever.

    Good Luck!

  14. Les December 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Hey, I’ll be there January 2-15 2016 (not 2015 like most of the posts here.
    lemme know if you want to meet up and do some hunting.

    • Jim February 9, 2016 at 9:11 am #

      I’m will arrived Hawana on 16th February.

  15. Phoenix February 9, 2016 at 1:00 am #

    Middle aged woman will be in Havana for a week soon. Where would you suggest I go for a little extra fun?

  16. Jim February 9, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    I’m will arrived Hawana on 16th February.

  17. James April 26, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    going to Havana June 29th to July 4th… Anyone going to be in town? If your interested send me a message.

    Gibby

  18. Mico July 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    Going 22 to 26 July to Havana. Any advice please for real booty Cuban girls? Where should I go?

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