Cash and carry

Use cash and carry your own bag

If you go into a shop and the goods look like what you buy back home, you are in a Dollar store so you pay with Convertible pesos.

If you go into a shop where the merchandise is sparse, shoddy, cheap and unattractive, you are in a Peso store and need only pay in National Money, known as Cuban pesos.

Shopping tips

If you’re shopping at your hotel, there is no worry about bag checks. But when you shop in the bigger Dollar stores in Havana such as La Epoca on Neptuno, you are forbidden to take any bag or backpack with you into the store.

shopping bag check havana cuba

Look for the line-up and the sign Guarda bolsos

Just hand over your bag but take your wallet and valuables with you. The clerk gives you a ticket with a number to reclaim your bag later. Some even ask for picture ID to place with your bag and then ask your name when you return for your belongings.



When you exit from one of these shops, if you have purchased any item you must show the receipt to the guard at the exit. He will look into your bag and make sure the receipt matches the contents.

Use cash and carry your own bags

It’s always a good idea to carry plastic zip-lock bags while walking the streets of Havana. You never know when a delectable goody such as meringues or guava pastries will appear, and Cubans have no way to bag them for you. At four cents each, you will want to fill a bag.

When shopping for groceries, the shops supply only the thinnest plastic carry-bag so once again, have a sturdy folding bag to make sure your bottle of rum makes it back to your hotel.

envirosax shopping bag
envirosax rolled up











The Envirosax bag
is light, strong and can be rolled up and carried in your pocket. Perfect for Havana shopping.


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