Currency Exchange -- Currency exchange offices are ubiquitous around Havana. There are branches of the state-run casa de cambio CADECA (tel. 7/855-5701) throughout Havana, as well as at the airport and in the lobbies of most major hotels. Most banks will also exchange money.

Dentists -- Hospital Cira García, Calle 20 no. 4101, Playa (tel. 7/204-4300 or 204-2811;, and other major medical centers also provide dental care. If you want a specific recommendation, contact your embassy, or ask at your hotel's front desk. Alternately, you can contact Asistur (tel. 7/866-4499;, which can help you with dental emergencies.

Doctors -- Cuba has a surfeit of doctors and many hotels catering to tourists have one or two on staff. If not, your hotel is still probably your best bet for a recommendation. You can also try contacting your embassy or Asistur (tel. 7/866-4499;, which specializes in emergency medical care and insurance.


Drugstores -- Well-stocked drugstores are few and far between in Havana. There's a 24-hour pharmacy at the international terminal of the José Martí airport (tel. 7/266-4105). The pharmacies at the Hotel Sevilla (tel. 7/861-5703) in La Habana Vieja, and Tryp Havana Libre (tel. 7/838-4593) in Vedado, are usually decently stocked. In Miramar, you can try the Farmacia Internacional, Avenida 41 and Calle 20 (tel. 7/204-2051), also at Avenida 3 between Calle 78 and 80 (tel. 7/204-4515) and Avenida 7 and Calle 26 (tel. 7/204-7980).

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 106 for police; tel. 104, 838-1185, or 838-2185 for an ambulance; and tel. 105 for the fire department. At none of these numbers can you assume you will find an English-speaking person on the other end. Also, you can try contacting Asistur (tel. 7/866-4499), which specializes in emergency medical care for travelers.

Express Mail Services -- The main office of DHL, Calle 26 and Avenida 1, Miramar (tel. 7/204-1578;, will pick up and deliver anywhere in Havana. EMS Cubapost, Calle 21 no. 1009, between Calles 10 and 12, Vedado (tel. 7/831-3328), is a Cuban-run express mail service with a desk at most post offices.


Eyeglasses -- Look for the word óptica. Optica Miramar, Avenida 7 and Calle 24, Miramar (tel. 7/204-2269), is one of the better ópticas catering to foreign residents and visitors. It has a branch in downtown Havana at Calle Neptuno 411, between San Nicolás and Manrique (tel. 7/862-1292), and another at Obispo 364 between Habana and Compostela. For contact lenses, try the Centro de Contactología, Obispo 359 between Habana and Compostela (tel. 7/860-8262).

Hospitals -- Your best bet is Hospital Cira García, Calle 20 no. 4101, Playa (tel. 7/204-4300 or 7/204-2811;, which provides emergency services and long-term care. Another possibility is the Hospital Hermanos Almeijeiras, Calles San Lázaro and Belascoaín, Centro Habana (tel. 7/876-1000).

Internet Access -- Internet access is becoming more common and available in Havana, but it can still be a frustrating experience to try to use the Internet. The most popular Internet cafe in town is located at El Capitolio. The rate here is CUC$5 per hour, and the 14 machines here are often booked solid. Aside from this, your best options are the various hotels with business centers and/or Internet terminals in their lobbies; most of these charge CUC$6 an hour for use of the Internet terminals, and CUC$8 or more per hour Wi-Fi. Alternately, you can go to any Etecsa office. These offices sell disposable access cards at CUC$6 per hour, which are good at any Internet-equipped Etecsa office in the country for 30 days after first usage. There's one at Calles Obispo, corner of Calle Habana, in La Habana Vieja.


Maps -- The various Infotur booths and kiosks around town sell a pretty decent map of Havana for CUC$1; sometimes they'll even give you a copy for free. Most rental-car agencies and hotels can also give you a copy of the same, or a similar, map. The Cuban Geographic and Cartographic Institute publishes a couple of much more detailed maps of Havana, including the Ciudad de la Habana Mapa Turistica, which you can get at most tourist gift shops and Infotur kiosks. You'll also find good maps online at and The best road map to Cuba is the Guía de Carreteras published by Limusa; it can be bought at El Navegante, Calle Mercaderes 115 between Obispo and Obrapía, La Habana Vieja.

Police -- Dial tel. 106. Although it's possible for someone who speaks English to be rounded up, do not expect to find an English-speaking person on the other end. In the event of serious danger, you are probably better off contacting your embassy (nonlicensed U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Interests Section only as a last resort).

Post Office -- Most major hotels either have small post office branches, or will sell you stamps and post letters. This is generally your best bet, as the correos (public post office branches) are often crowded and inefficient. In La Habana Vieja, there's a correo on the west end of the Plaza de San Francisco. There's another on the side of the Gran Teatro toward the Capitolio. Both are open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 5pm.


Safety -- Havana is a very safe city. There's a strong police presence and street crime is uncommon, especially in tourist areas. But because streetlights are virtually nonexistent, it's wise to avoid the dark alleys and side streets of Havana after dark. Recently, there have been reports of muggings and pick-pocketing in Havana, so be aware of your surroundings. Solo female travelers should not walk alone through Centro Habana late at night, unless you're walking through Galiano or the pedestrian section of San Rafael. Popular tourist spots are relatively safe at night. Still, given the vast economic gap between Cubans and tourists, you should be careful about where you walk and whom you engage. It is best not to wear much jewelry or make other showy signs of wealth.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.