While Havana puts the hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs of all the other Cuban cities to shame, hanging around outside most of these places, and patrolling the streets in between them, are legions of jineteros – street hustlers and opportunists. The government now takes the high levels of tourist harassment here very seriously, posting policemen all over Habana Vieja and the streets around the Habana Libre hotel, areas where jineterismo has traditionally been most concentrated. Even so, many foreign visitors are still surprised by what can seem like an onslaught of touts peddling anything from cigars and taxi rides to a place to stay and a young woman to stay with.

Habana Vieja, the old town, is not only a magnet for jineteros but is also the bag-snatching centre of the city, with an increasing number of petty thieves working the streets, so take the usual precautions. Even at night, however, there is rarely any violent crime.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cuba features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. And, as relations with the US thaw, the country's p…

23 May 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

From the gorgeous countryside of Viñales to the brilliant beaches of Varadero – not to mention the atmospheric, timeworn streets of Havana – Cuba is a begu…

15 Mar 2017 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

15 of the most romantic places in Cuba

Cuba and romance go hand-in-hand. The isolated island's whitewashed beaches and balmy climate make for a romantic escape in the traditional sense of the word - …

14 Dec 2016 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month