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A Different Kind of Adventure: Cycling in Havana

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What could be more exhilarating than pedaling through ancient cobblestone streets, breezing along the Malecon, and discovering Cuba’s most vibrant city on two wheels? Cycling in Havana offers a fresh perspective on the capital, allowing you to mingle with Cuban people and experience the city’s dynamic pulse.

This is exactly the kind of journey that changes you, showcasing how travel moves us in more ways than we know. In fact, Cuba is renowned as a top cycling destination, with its diverse landscapes and rich cultural tapestry, and Havana is the ideal starting point for your adventure.

Ready to embark on your two-wheeled exploration? Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just seeking a fun way to explore, Havana’s myriad routes and sights will keep you enchanted.

Is Havana, Cuba good for cycling?

Cycling in Havana is a great way to explore the city on a first time visit and take in the main landmarks, allowing you to cover much more ground than you would on foot.

You can easily navigate between the main districts of Miramar, Vedado, Centro Habana, and Habana Vieja (Old Havana), making stops for fresh juice, cold drinks or cocktails along the way. This mode of transport lets you effortlessly hop between art galleries, Hemingway landmarks, and renowned bars blasting Buena Vista Social Club.

With low elevation, virtually no big hills in the city centre and short distances between sights, cycling in Havana is accessible for people of various fitness levels.

However, it’s crucial to be mindful of road conditions as many streets and pavements have potholes. Since bicycles are the main mode of transportation for ordinary Cubans, drivers in the city are very aware of cyclists and you can cycle through the city with relative ease. As in any large city, ensure your belongings are secure and always lock your bike when unattended. Havana’s bustling and vibrant streets add to the charm but require you to stay alert.

In short: beware of theft, lock your bike when you’re taking a break, watch out for the many potholes and enjoy the view!

Bike rental in Havana: our top picks

If you think using a freebie hotel bike may be good enough in Cuba, think again. Hotel bikes are usually not well maintained and the last thing you want is to be miles from your hotel with a disabled bike. The best bet when thinking of cycling in Havana is to use a reputable Havana bike rental shop. They will supply well maintained (by Cuban standards, that is) bicycles, helmets (mandatory), locks and most will also provide maps of suggested city routes for easy biking.

Most of these companies also provide full and half day guided bike tours of Havana.

How much does it cost to rent a bike in Cuba?

Renting a bike in Havana varies depending on whether you join a guided group tour or choose to explore independently for a day.

If you opt for a guided group tour, you can expect to spend between $25 to $40 USD per person for each tour. These tours often include not just the bike rental, but also the expertise of a knowledgeable guide who can provide insights into Havana’s history and culture, making the experience both educational and enjoyable in various parts of the city.

On the other hand, if you prefer to hire a bike on your own, most rental companies offer daily rates of about $10 USD. However, it’s common for these companies to require a minimum rental period, often ranging from a few days to a week. This option gives you the freedom to explore Havana at your own pace, allowing you to create your own itinerary and revisit favorite spots as you wish.

The best cycling spots in Havana

Plaza de la Revolucion

We took our bikes from Old Havana to the Plaza de la Revolucion, transforming what would have been a hot, sweaty half-hour walk into a breezy 10-minute ride. This iconic site, with its towering monuments and vast open space, is best experienced on two wheels. It was exhilarating to wheel around the enormous plaza, taking in the impressive memorials to Che Guevara and José Martí without the fatigue of walking. Biking allowed us to cover the distance effortlessly and enjoy the sheer scale and historical significance of this monumental site.

Old Havana

Biking in the Old Havana district can be a mixed bag due to the throngs of tourists, often requiring you to walk your bike through the narrow, crowded streets. However, the ability to quickly navigate between all five of Habana Vieja’s historic plazas made it worth the effort. The charm of Old Havana lies in its colonial architecture, vibrant street life, and rich history, all of which are best savored at a leisurely pace. An added bonus is that much of this area is car-free, allowing for a more relaxed and safe cycling experience amidst the cobblestone streets and colorful facades.


Our favorite bike ride in Havana was along the Malecon, an 8-km seawall and esplanade that hugs the coastline. Despite the bustling mix of tourists and locals, there’s something magical about cruising along with the ocean on one side and gorgeous retro cars puttering along the road next to you. The rhythmic beat of salsa music from musicians gathered along the seawall provides the perfect soundtrack to this picturesque ride. The Malecon offers stunning views of the sea and the city, making it a stunning cycling experience that captures the spirit of Havana. Bliss!

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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