Cost of Living in Cuba

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Cuba?

Cuba is the country ideal for foreigners who earn their wages in their home countries, but come to enjoy a low cost life there.

However, if you are planning to look for a job in Cuba, it would be difficult to afford comfortable living conditions due to the low salaries and expensive daily costs.

Cubans struggle daily and have to face many living difficulties, because they have to cover some basic costs that factor into the cost of living and they cannot earn enough for that, but somehow they manage to survive.

Cost of Living Index:
45.37

Cuba FlagCuba : Cost of Living by City

Restaurants

RESTAURANTS

How much money you need to live in Cuba depends on how you live, and as a foreigner you can find a decent meal for as little as $5, but for a citizen of Cuba that is a luxury.

Alcohol is not expensive compared to American and European countries, as a bottle of beer is only $1.

Markets

MARKETS

High transportation costs and import taxes from other countries result in high prices for imported goods, and some of foodstuff are unaffordable to Cuban citizens.

Milk is very expensive, as one liter will take the whole minimum salary that a worker earns during one month.

Transportation

TRANSPORTATION

Compared to their salaries, one of the biggest expenditures for the average Cuban is transportation as for the person who earns the minimum wage of $9, it will take $6.5 and almost nothing is left for other costs.

A foreigner would, on the other hand, consider a monthly pass a bargain.

Utilities

UTILITIES (MONTHLY)

The Internet access is unaffordable and almost impossible to possess for Cubans.

The price of it exceeds three average monthly salaries, as it is almost $80 per month.

Other expenses are high, but still possible to be paid and services take 11% of the monthly salary.

Sports and leisure

SPORTS & LEISURE

If you want to know how much money would be necessary for some entertainment, you will be satisfied to hear that entertainment is not at all expensive when compared with other countries, as fitness clubs are $16 and movie tickets do not exceed $0.3.

Clothing and shoes

CLOTHING & SHOES

How much you will spend on clothes and whether it will be one of the most expensive things here depends on whether you want to live like a tourist or a Cuban here.

Cubans do not spend money on clothes, as it is extremely expensive compared to their budgets.

Rent per month

RENT PER MONTH

Due to the very low salaries, the government provides housing for Cubans, so they do not have to pay taxes, rent or mortgages, but you as a newcomer, would need to cover these expenses, too.

The difference in price between the apartment in the city center and out of it is huge, exceeding $350.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Cuba

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$5
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$1
Water (0.33 Liter)$0.73
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$8.46
Loaf Bread (500g)$0.48
Eggs (12)$0.90
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$0.10
Monthly Pass$6.50
Gasoline$4.22
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$9.25
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.34
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$77.50
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$16.25
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$7.5
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$0.28
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$37.33
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$45
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$80.83
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$448.89
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$72.26
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$537.50

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Cuba?

It is very difficult to compare your future costs in Cuba with the average spendings of its citizens due to the huge difference in the monthly salaries and spending habits.

As they earn pretty low amounts, they devote the majority of it for the expenses that are of the utmost importance, such as food, transportation and utilities.

If something is left, they will spend it on entertainment and clothing, but that rarely happens.

For foreigners whose salary is high, the monthly expenses might differ.

Average Costs Breakdown

11.8%
35%
19.4%
11%
3.1%
4%
15.6%

Cuba: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Considering the fact that the majority of Cubans receive a state salary of $20 per month, it is true that there is huge poverty and that coming there with the salary from your home country makes you so wealthy in these conditions.

What would be your cost of living in Cuba depends on your living habits, but due to the low incomes of its citizens, you can expect low prices and poor living conditions.

Buying a property here is possible, and the mortgage interest rate is 5%.

Average Salary$28.16
Minimum Wage$9
Mortgage Interest Rate5%

What About Travel Safety in Cuba?

Cuba Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Cuba Safety Review

Safety Index:
47
  • OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
  • TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
  • PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
  • NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
  • MUGGING RISK : LOW
  • TERRORISM RISK : LOW
  • SCAMS RISK : HIGH
  • WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Cost of Living by City in Cuba

CityCost of Living Index
Havana49.52

Where to Next?

See these related locations:

Or, browse the country/city indexes:

Cost of Living - Country Index Cost of Living - City Index

17 Reviews on Cuba

  1. L
    Lonnie Townsel says:

    I want to visit old Havana I just absolutely love Havana it’s people and culture I am extremely excited that now things are looking up for America and Cuban tourist travel between both Countries its way over due now America and Cuba kiss and make up because at the end of the day it’s the citizens of both Countries who suffers from discusting political views I say the hell with politics we are all human brothers and sisters we’re all child of God and politics should not come in between the relationship of man kind it’s wrong. I love everyone no matter where they may be from we’re all brothers and sisters under the eyes of god period 🙏 amen to that !!!

    I just love Cuba 😍😍😍

  2. W
    William Layton says:

    It is a very good article how about marriage can I leave the country if they’re married to an American

  3. J
    Jaime Real says:

    This article lacks in depth knowledge. having lived in Santiago de Cuba for 3 years I know you can survive on a dollar a day or live very well for 10 to 20 a day. More and you can live like a king. Cigars 1 CUP ( Peso ) Milk 1 CUC ( Dollar ) a litre High strength lager 5.5 proof 1 dollar a can or local bottle high strength 15 Pesos. ( 25 Peso to U S dollar or CUC . I could go on but do not want to as I miss the place very much but had to leave because of COVID 19 in march.

    1. Yeper there cost are way off 2 to 5 bucks hydro 3 bucks water eggs and buns and government meat free 10 lbs of chicken 🐔 7.50 a quarter pig 11 to 13 dollars

  4. N
    Nateslate2000@yahoo.ca says:

    Time end embargo,I see lots of health care there,,Canadians should flock their ,take as many things there as people there need and give out free,Canadians have gone ther for years,because they ate cheap and Americans wherr banned.its is known as little Canada,so lets make it more warm to Canada.not just in weather but inour hearts?

  5. R
    RoseAnn A. says:

    How about crime or violence? I am Cuban descendent but we are speaking of my grand parents who came to America late 1890’s and I was raised in a Cuban/Italian place in Tampa called Ybor City. Those days are gone and a hand full are left in area. Now I always wanted to go to Cuba and for one thing or the others years passed, didn’t go, I am in my mid 70’s and want to go and spend time there but am worried about crime. I have not heard of anything negative just curious and since I would be going alone and being female, I worry.
    Your view and knowledge would be immensely appreciated. Thanks, RoseAnn

    1. T
      Tammy O says:

      Go for it!

      I travelled to Cuba eight times in three years from 2016 to 2019… and the only thing they ever stole from me was my heart! ❤️
      I always travel as a single woman, and I actually felt safer in Cuba than I do in Canada!!
      Tourists are there number one source of money, so it is a precious resource that they protect.
      If you go there – be prepared to fall in love and be hooked! 🥰
      (Make sure you take toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bandaids, snacks, medicine & toiletries…those things are impossible to find there.)

  6. Hi, I’m Cuban, and I have lived all my life here in Cuba. I have never been abroad. First, my appreciation for the warm treatment of the Cuban people and the good intentions of the article. It is an useful article, except for one datum that makes a world of difference. IT IS NOT TRUE that the Cuban government provides housing for Cubans. It troubles me that most of the info that is published abroad is taken from the Marxist propaganda machine disguised with beautiful pictures and smiling children. And I wonder how many have been misled by reading the housing datum. All private property was confiscated in ~1959-1965. Since then, Cubans have lived in the house they had before 1959 (if it was a mansion, it was confiscated at gun-point, and given a poor apartment or the like in a compulsory exchange; if you had more than one house, you got to keep only one). After that, children and grand children have been living under the same roof. Only in the late 1970’s and 80’s when Cuban was living on the Soviet Union and other communists countries, younger generations were given the chance of BUILDING A HOUSE BY YOURSELVE, or with the help of neighbours. Ugly, dangerous, hardly functional concrete “cases” were built during those years. AND THAT WAS IT!!! You had to organize with other dozens of people, very few of who had some knowledge of just putting bricks together, work for years during your free hours until all of the “brigade” completed one of those blocks. Hence the name of many neighborhoods in Cuba. Micro (microbrigade) 1, micro 2, micro 3, etc. AND THAT WAS IT!!! Those were my parents’ generation. I’m 34 years now (2020), and I have not been able to buy anything, nor the government gives me any house, nor anything else “for free” as they said. If you have a house and a hurricane destroyes it, you have to spent years leaving a concentration space sharing the place with other families, for years. Until they put you to work also and maybe give you something that is not much better than you had. All te while you and all your family have been working for decades as slaves. It’s critical that people understand that there has been nothing free in Cuba, on the contrary it is one of the most expensive countries and disfunctional countries in the world, built and sustain on slavery.

    1. E
      Emm Dublew says:

      Thank you

      Thank you for opening the eyes of those that don’t live in Cuba. I have visited Cuba many times on vacation. Us visitors rarely see the truth of how the Cuban people survive.

  7. 29$ salary monthly then how can enjoy and how can he manage for me impossible

  8. B
    Bethany says:

    Thank you AX for your honesty. I was wondering the same as I know the family that I love there does not have anything for free. I was just today questioning if they own their house as I know the grandparents had bought it before the takeover but I do not know that answer. I wish to travel back in October and help as much as I can from the inside but idk how to do that or what I can offer that does the most. I am an American citizen and it very much on my heart to lend a hand because right now Cuba is being destroyed further and I can’t just sit and watch it happen.

  9. Confused reading all people story trying to find out how much cost live one person a month ever ago

  10. E
    Edgar Sanchez says:

    I have a friend that has an aunt that came to Florida, while they were in the family gathering, he was watching his aunt taking a BITE of an APPLE and hiding it! He keeps telling her that it was ok she didn’t have to HIDE to eat a fruit cause she wasn’t in CUBA!! How traumatized is the people from Cuba when their mentality of being watched on what to eat in their country, another friend that his dad was put in JAIL 180 TIMES!!because he was growing vegetables secretly in his basement because the food wasn’t enough!! Anybody 🤔🤔🤔🤔

  11. R
    Rudy James says:

    Anything you bring to Cuba is subject to import duties including personal items. I was charged $1080 usd for two suitcases by customs in Camaguey. I was told that failure to pay would result in sezsure of everything including my hand luggage. Donations are subjected to the same (taxes).

  12. R
    Ronnie Aceman says:

    How did you stay 3 yrs when a visa is only good for 30 days.? If your from the U.S. THAT IS.

  13. F
    Frank Wilson says:

    Havana is great

    Lived in Havana for a year (a work project) and loved the place. Cheap booze/cheap taxis/cracking weather and great locals. What’s not to like? The only downside is that Americans are now allowed entry to the place. Canadians visited when I lived there but I found them generally ok (a wee bit stinky though. Maybe too hot?) There are a few quirks about Havana which visitors should be mindful of. The obvious one is burping/farting in public, Cubans regard this an insult and it’s also a fineable offence too! Another strange quirk is the law re urinating in public. I was drinking all day in a park and was fined 3 times for peeing basically. Wasn’t too expensive but I was threatened with arrest if I continued basically. Another thing to remember if you’re enjoying outdoor drinking.

Rated 4.35 / 5 based on 17 user reviews.

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