10 Things Worth Buying in CUBA

what to buy in Cuba


During my trip to Cuba, many original items caught my attention in markets, state shops, farms and even in hotels. Here I have listed the most interesting of them so that you know what to look for in Cuba when deciding on gifts shopping. Take them home as a treasured memory of this Caribbean country changing so rapidly in the recent years. In addition to the 10 things every woman should know before visiting Cuba, here is a list of things worth buying in Cuba.


Cuba, local souvenirs market

The top things worth buying in Cuba – to wear, drink, visually enjoy  or decorate your home


things worth buying in Cuba

1-Cigars and rum

Cigars you can buy from a tobacco plantation (these cigars are lighter and more fragrant, but have much fewer tobacco leaves), or you can buy cigars with certification in the state stores, but basically, they are the same like in the shops all over the world.  



handmade leather sandals in Cuba

2- Leather sandals or bag

On the photo above, I’m choosing a pair of leather sandals in Pinar del Rio. It was not difficult – there just 2 or 3 models to chose from.



The leather is processed by hand, the design is simple, but the quality is very good and most importantly – with proper care, these leather items will serve you forever because they are made from natural materials and are possible to repair (unlike many of the things which we buy nowadays).




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3- Local natural beauty products

Cubans have one of the best medical industries in the world and the beauty products produced locally are not inferior in quality. The ingredients are completely natural.


unique gifts to buy when in cuba

4- T-shirt and/or hat

There are several choices – from T-shirts with the national hero Che Guevara or with the Cuban flag to copy of the Che Guevara’s hat and other, fancier brim hats.


cuba things to buy


“Serrano” is the premium quality packaged ground coffee; you can also buy coffee beans directly from farmers and the aroma of this coffee will stay much longer. Not to mention that it is much cheaper. See where in Havana you can taste and buy the best coffee. 


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Cuban paintings

6- Paintings and wood sculptures

They are all made by local artists and are very colourful. The disappointment is that there is no variety of themes and styles. Cienfuegos is a great place to find and buy some of the most beautiful Cuban paintings. 



Cuba, cotton hand embroidered tablecloth


7-Embroidered by hand cotton tablecloths

However, check the fabric by hand before buying, because between 100% cotton sometimes they are fabrics of not so good quality.



Cuban music buy cd

8- Cuban music CD by a local group

You will do so at many places because all the bands playing in restaurants, bars, and even tourist sites sell records with their own music. Not expensive (10 CUC, which is 10 $ or 9 €) and will bring you good mood and sweet emotions long after your departure from Cuba. Have in mind that these groups earn their living from tips and selling their CDs.



Cuba local jewelry

9- Bean necklace

Very cheap (1 CUC), completely natural and original. Bright red beans that resemble corals are strung on a necklace that will add colour to your outfit without danger to darken or change its colour as often happens with jewellery from other materials.



Cuba cloth dolls to buy

10- Cloth dolls 

The funny thing about these dolls is that they have two faces. One, for example, black, but when you turn the doll upside down appears the white one. There is some symbolism in these dolls. The two faces of one person, two colours of a nation – as it is in Cuba, the heirs of the Spanish plantation owners and their slaves. White to black, black to white, everything is now one.


Small market in Trinidad

Small market in Trinidad


Do you have favourite items you always buy from your trips? What they are – practical, gifts for other people or food/drinks? Share them in the comments!



10 Things Worth Buying in CUBA


DISCLAIMER:  This post contains affiliate links. However, the information shared and opinions expressed are as always independent and sincere. Purchasing a product via one of these links will be at no additional cost to you but will help me keep updating this site.

8 Comments on “10 Things Worth Buying in CUBA

    • Hi Sam,

      unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact place. It was a small shop somewhere in the central part of the town, something like a square. Sorry, I can’t help with this.

  1. Hi Geri – I read both your articles, which were super helpful as my best friend and I are planning a trip to Cuba in May. Can you tell me more about where to buy local beauty products?

    You mentioned bringing mascara to give away because it’s hard to find…but what’s the context for doing this? In a casa where you stay? Trading for local beauty products?

    Thanks for your advice; so glad I found your site!

    • I am happy to be of help! And envy you 😉 because I miss Cuba tremendously.

      I meant to bring mascara (or small, hotel size soaps) as a gifts to the people you meet. During your trip you will meet many nice Cubans and giving them these small items is like a “thank you” for their kindness and help. But the mascara is for someone who was really helpful to you. For me it was our guide Gladys.

      Wish you wonderful time in Cuba!

    • About the beauty products you should ask at place. There are some in the hotel shops but the best is to visit local shops and for that you will need the guidance of someone local.

  2. Very nice idea! I remember buying the coffee for our friends..the bean necklaces are great idea too – they are really nice and handmade 🙂 What a coincidence I am about to post an image from Trinidad later today and here it is, I saw your post with pictures from Trinidad 🙂

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