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Transportation in Havana

Coach

Travelling on Havana's public buses - called guaguas - is a bit of an experience. They are often very overcrowded with locals and tourists generally use other means of transport. The HabanaBusTour red tourist coach runs a hop-on/hop-off service on three routes. Buses run daily from 9am to 9pm and tickets are valid all day. All schedules are marked at the bright red bus stops. Journeys are not for those short on time.

Foot

Walking is by far the best way to see the intricate streets of Old Havana. A promenade along the Malecón at sunset is a must. If you get tired there are plenty of places to stop for a cool drink, or simply just sit and watch the world go by.

Taxi

There are plenty of metered yellow tourist taxis in Havana and these, or more expensive coco taxis - yellow, egg-shaped, three-wheeled motor scooters - are the best way to travel any distance around the city quickly and cheaply. Coco taxis are not necessarily the safest option. In taxis, always make sure the driver switches the meter on.

Rent your car

Although a car is not essential in Havana, you can hire a 1950s antique (with driver) for a unique experience or a modern car just to get you around. Most roads are in decent shape but you may come across potholes and other damage. Look out for horse-drawn carriages and people in the road.

Transportation tips

Gran Car, the state-run company for antique car rentals can be found outside major hotels. Trips always include a driver. In 2011, the Cuban government permitted Cubans to rent out their own classic cars for hire with themselves as drivers. The best way to find out about this legal method is via the casa particular (Cuban homestay) system. Flagging one down in the street is not legal. In the same way, bicitaxis (cycle rickshaws) with a special permit are also allowed to transport tourists, although most will not have the authority.

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