Cuba – Shops

Typical shop in Havana, Cuba
Typical shop in Havana, Cuba

I heard different stories about life in Cuba, it’s not easy, but apparently everyone’s basic needs are covered… As a tourist, when you go to restaurant you can get whatever you want, but when you visit one of the shops (today’s photo), you may be slightly surprised; unless you’ve lived in a communist country… There is not so much in shops, mostly some alcohol, oil, salt, ice cream… Some of the products have prices, that are much too high for many locals.

If you travel to Cuba, be aware that Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). Tourists use CUC, but locals CUP; the conversion rate is about 1 CUC = 25 CUP. And when going to Cuba, don’t bring US$, it may be difficult to exchange them; I have the impression the situation is not so strict right now, however euro may be the most convenient!


Słyszałam różne historie na temat życia na Kubie, nie jest łatwo, ale chyba podstawowe potrzeby każdego są zapewnione. Gdy jako turyści, wybierzecie się do restauracji, to wybór bywa ogromny. Jednak gdy zajrzy się do sklepu (dzisiejsze zdjęcie), można się dość zdziwić… Trochę przypomina dawne czasy w Polsce, prawda? Olej i alkohol pod dostatkiem, zawsze też było sporo lodów, choć ceny dość zawrotne nawet dla turystów…

Wybierając się na Kubę pamiętajcie, że można natknąć się na dwie waluty: CUP (peso kubańskie) i CUC (wymienialne peso kubańskie). Dla turystów jest CUC, jednak stosunek 1 CUC = 25 CUP sprawia, że ktoś może próbować Was oszukać… I jeszcze jedna ważna uwaga, nie planujcie na Kubie wymieniać amerykańskich dolarów na lokalną walutę. Choć wydaje mi się, że sytuacja się poprawia, wciąż US$ mogą sprawiać problemy. Euro jest najwygodniejsze.

23 thoughts on “Cuba – Shops”

  1. Wonderment #1

    Water rushes, tickling feet with sand.
    Gilgamesh relaxes by the sea.
    Purple Echinacea sends a cone into rain.
    Chopin laughs and strokes his polonaise.
    A beetle digs the desert, over oil.
    Chang Sung-Up daubs a mystery in ink.

    Water trickles down a granite wall.
    Lao-Tzu hikes through summer’s offerings.
    Yellow lilies waver in the wind.
    Tasman lacquers the last board of his keel.
    Crystals mingle with Icelandic ash.
    Lodi licks his chops, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

    Water batters barns from red to gray.
    Burck paints Frida as Leipzig hums along.
    Canandaigua feels the White Snake’s breath.
    Handsome Lake enjoys a drive-in movie.
    Sesame rice lands in a wooden bowl.
    Africa snaps a twig and starts to think.

  2. This is interesting …

    Do they maybe have these open markets every week, where they can find everything more or less in one place and reasonable prices ? They have to supply themselves with real food somehow. I would think that it might be a highly agricultural place, but the high prices can be explained by importation. It sounds weird …

    Thanks for sharing the useful info! 🙂

    1. Basics should be provided by government, but I guess to live better people have to know some tricks…

  3. I saw shops like this when I was in the former DDR (East Germany) under communist times – shops empty with only the bare necessities. You could manage on it but very sparse and boring. We were the lucky ones, who could take the train to West Berlin and stock up on extra food and biscuits etc

  4. That is similar to how Prague was when it first opened up to the West. Some funny takes on new ventures into Capitalism…..Pharmacies were also liquor and toy stores.
    Enjoying your explorations of Cuba. My generation doesn’t know much about it.

    1. I grew up in Poland and there was a lot of similarity, even I don’t remember so well, my parents told me many stories…

  5. We found exactly the same when we were in Cuba – plenty of goods for tourists, little in the way of basics for locals. 🙂

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