In Cuba, cash is king and credit/debit cards simply won't work. There are two currencies: Cuban Peso Nacional (CUP) for locals and Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) for foreigners.
CUP is the national Cuban currency, used primarily by locals. The exchange rate is around 25 CUP / 1 USD.
You might use it for street food, local peso restaurants, flea markets, ice cream or giving tips.
Cuban Convertible Peso is the currency used in the tourism industry. Travelers will need it the most.
Exchange rate for CUC is pinned to the US Dollar, which means 1CUC equals 1USD. All currencies have a 3% exchange fee, (US Dollars have an additional 10% tax upon exchange) Most hostels, restaurants, bars, museums and taxis only take CUC.
- Airports - Airport’s lines to exchange money can be quite long.
- Cadecas or exchange houses in the city. (Ask your casa particular owner or hotel front desk for the closest option, they may even offer to do it for you.)
- BFI and Banco Metropolitano.