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eyond the usual t-shirts and souvenirs in the tourist shops in and around the larger hotels there is very little to buy in Cuba. A general lack of disposable income means shops simply cannot afford to stock many ‘non-essentials’.

Rum is certainly worth looking at – especially bottles of the older, more matured brands. Cigars however are probably the most popular item on the average visitor’s shopping list. see buying Cigars
 

Casa Albertina

Budget Accommodation
in Vedado, Havana

Hotel Nacional

Recomended Hotel
in Havana

There are also several handcraft markets in havana and all around cuba, in havana you can find it on havana cathedral on Tuesday and thursdays. Also there is a big handicrafts market in "malecon y C". We recommend not to buy rum in the black market it is much better at store and the difference is about 2 usd per bottle, so it don't worth.
The best craft market takes place on the large expanse behind the Plaza de la Catedral in Old Havana. There, you'll find Cuban painters, sketchers and sculptors selling their work, as well as other vendors offering handmade clothing, dishes and trinkets.

Also in old havana you can find besides the "Palacio de Capitanes Generales" old books, stamps (including stamps of the former Soviet Union), original Cuban paintings or prints, CDs and tapes of Cuban music (Artex stores and Casa de la Musica, both in Havana, are good places to look), Che Guevara T-shirts, lacework and hand-embroidered clothing. Other possibilities include photos of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba and souvenirs featuring images of African-Cuban fetishes. We weren't so impressed with the Afro-Cuban wood carvings and masks we saw at street markets. Most were of poor quality. Whatever you're buying, be aware that bargaining is common in Cuban markets.

U.S. citizens returning from Cuba are subject to stiff government restrictions on the import of Cuban products: If you traveled to Cuba legally, you can bring back a limited amount of goods for personal use. If you traveled there illegally and you re-enter the U.S. with Cuban items, they are subject to seizure. (We don't advocate breaking the law, but if you're an unlicensed visitor and do happen to return to the U.S. with a dozen or so Cuban cigars, we suggest you take the bands off of them before you go through customs. If the stogies aren't easily identifiable as Cuban, officials are less likely to make a fuss.)

 

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