Exchanging Money in Havana
If you need to exchange money in Havana, you will have to either use a CADECA
exchange office or visit a bank branch. Exchange rates at these locations are virtu-
ally identical. There are over 200 CADECA locations in Havana, usually clearly in-
dicated on street signs in front of the offices. Banks in Havana operate under the
Banco Metropolitano banner. Remember, while banks can exchange foreign cur-
rency into CUC, they cannot convert CUC into Moneda Nacional. The only way to
get Moneda Nacional is to use a CADECA. For speed and convenience, I always
recommend using a CADECA rather than a bank.
Below, I have listed some of the best and easiest to find CADECAs and banks in
the Vedado neighborhood.
Ground floor of the Focsa Building: This CADECA is tucked away, under the Focsa
building, in the small shopping plaza located on the ground floor. It is not well
marked. It is located beside a perfume shop and in front of small toy store. Ex-
change rates are listed in the window and are usually hand written. There is al-
ways a lineup at this location and sometimes the wait can be up to half an hour,
especially if you go around lunch time. There are only 2 tellers on duty. Hours of
operation: 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 9am to 1pm on Sunday.
Just around the corner from this CADECA is a Banco Metropolitano where you can
also exchange foreign currency into CUC.
23 near the corner of J: This is one of the most popular and prominent CADECAs
in Vedado. There are usually 6 or more tellers on duty. There is usually a long
lineup, but it tends to flow rapidly. On weekends, service is always slower and you
can sometimes wait over 30 minutes. Hours of operation: 8am to 6pm, Monday to
Saturday and 9am to 1pm on Sunday.
At the corner of 23 and J, there is a Banco Metropolitano where you can exchange
foreign currency into CUC.
19th between A and B: This is a tiny CADECA stand with only 2 tellers located on
the western tip of the 19th and B market. There is almost never a lineup at this loc-
ation; even on busy weekends, service is extremely fast. This location is closed on
Mondays. Regular hours of operation are 9am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
Linea between Paseo and A: The lineups at this location are short and service is
usually very fast. Hours of operation: 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 9am to
1pm on Sunday.
CADECAs in Other Neighborhoods
With over 200 exchange offices in Havana, it's safe to say that you will never be
too far away from one. A complete list of all locations would be far too long for this
guide. If you are having trouble finding a CADECA as you explore Havana, you