Cubashopping



Find the good places to shop in Cuba

Don’t come to Cuba expecting to go on a shopping spree. The more than 30 years of communist rule here has restricted import and export laws and made international fashion, electronics and items difficult and expensive to procure. That said, most visitors to Cuba do some shopping, mostly for souvenirs to take home from their trip. Typical souvenirs from Cuba include Cuban cigars, paraphernalia of the Cuban revolution and items relating to guerilla fighter Che Guevara, Cuban rum, music and local artwork.

There are plenty of Cuba shopping outlets in which to find these types of souvenirs, such as markets, malls and small shops. Markets are generally the best places to find Cuban souvenirs, as here you can meet local artisans producing crafts and artwork. If you choose to purchase an expensive item or piece of art, be sure to retain your receipt, as it will likely be inspected at customs when you live, and may be confiscated without proof of purchase.

There a few good places to buy Cuban cigars and rum. Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagás (530 Industria St.is a historic cigar factory and store in central Havana that produces Habanos cigars. The factory offers a tour of its facility along with the chance to purchase the authentic cigars that have been made here since the 1840s. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in rum, check out the Fundación Destilería Havana Club’s Museo del Ron (Av. del Puerto 262, between Sol & Muralla, Havana; +53 (0)7 861 8051; www.havanaclubfoundation.com) is a good place to learn about Cuba’s top rum brand, Havana Club. Entry includes a sample drink and a chance to make purchases in the gift shop afterwards.