One of the trickiest things to understand about backpacking in Cuba is how the Cuban money works. We’ve written much more about the different currencies in our Ultimate Cuba Backpacking Guide (link), but here’s the lowdown: bring cash.
In some cities, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs as long as you’re not using an American bank card. Here and there, you might also come across a company or restaurant that accepts credit cards. But in the big picture, you definitely need to bring enough cash to last your entire trip (or at least close to that).
Keep in mind that not all currencies are accepted in exchange offices in Cuba. In fact, your safest bet is to only bring euros, British pounds, or Mexican pesos. US dollars are accepted, but you’ll get a crappy rate and will have to pay a fee on top. And, as all budget backpackers know, there are more fun ways to spend your hard-earned money than getting swindled at the exchange office.