There are some international stereotypes about clothing that are actually true.

In some parts of Australia it’s perfectly acceptable to be dressed in swimwear and a pair of flip-flops and nothing else, no matter whether you’re at the beach or buying groceries.

In some parts of Paris the sounds of the city are almost drowned out by the click-clack noise of elegantly attired ladies walking along the street in their high heels.

Since Cuba is an island with a delightfully warm climate, you might think that beachwear is pretty much all you need. There’s a little more to it when it comes to what to wear in Cuba.

So when you’re planning your sensational Cuban getaway, what exactly do you need to pack?

On Your Feet

You’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so you’re going to need a pair of very comfortable shoes.

Hiking boots are fine, but if you’re not actually going to doing any epic hikes, a good pair of sports shoes will do the trick.

You really just need something with good arch support for all that walking.

If you buy a new pair of shoes just for the occasion, make sure you wear them in before you arrive in Cuba.

Cuba is warm pretty much all year round, and it can become extremely humid during the summer months. This heat and humidity when combined with a new pair of shoes can result in blisters, although this risk is greatly reduced if you wear the shoes in first.

Bring a box of band aids (just in case), as these can be rather hard to track down in Cuba and are almost seen as a luxury item.

Sandals are also a nice idea, and flip-flops are great for the beach—although you might attract a few curious glances if you try to wear these when going out for dinner.

It pays to have a nice pair of shoes if you plan on dining out in some of the upmarket restaurants in Cuba, but a clean, dark pair of sport shoes can suffice when it comes to what to wear in Cuba.

Daily Wear

Yeah, you’re on holiday, and yeah, it’s a warm country.

You don’t need to get dressed up in your best clothes each time you set foot outside, and it’s certainly not as though the locals will.

Dress for comfort, and not for style.

Light, airy clothing is best for day to day wear, and you might find that you wear little more than a pair of shorts and a T-Shirt during the day. A light sweater is also a good idea for when the sun goes down, but only in the winter months.

If you come from a colder climate, you might not necessarily notice that it’s winter, so it’s not as though you need to worry about getting cold.

The weather can occasionally turn on you, so it can also be smart to take a lightweight parka with a rain hood, or even one of those plastic ponchos that you see at music festivals.

In the Evening: What to Wear in Cuba

While it’s not a particularly formal society, it’s really not smart to think you can get away with dressing casually all the time when it comes to what to wear in Cuba.

If you show up to an upmarket bar or restaurant looking like you’ve spent the entire day on the beach (which might actually be the case) then the chances are that they will politely decline to let you in.

You don’t need to bring a suit or a formal dress, but something “nice” to wear is highly recommended.

A pair of light pants and a cotton shirt will be more than enough, or a light dress. Since Cuba can be such a warm country, the keyword is light.

Opt for cotton or linen—something that lets your skin breath.

Synthetic fabrics can mean you might spend the evening with your arms clamped firmly to your sides to hide those pesky pit stains. Formal shoes can be a nice touch, but only if you have room in your suitcase.

As mentioned, you can probably get away with a pair of clean, dark sports shoes.

When you hit the clubs and bars, a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt will be absolutely fine.

The party scene in Cuba can be compared to many other countries, and it’s really a case of being casual, and yet presentable. Most venues don’t have a clearly defined dress code, but if you look too shabby then you might have a few problems.

It’s always good to have a few different options (without cramming your suitcase full of clothes, of course).

Accessories and Extras

You’ll notice that Cubans don’t dress all that brightly, and this is also the case when it comes to accessories.

Women don’t wear a lot of flashy necklaces or earrings, and you should follow their lead when deciding  wear in Cuba.

Subtle is the keyword here.

Street crime is extremely rare in Cuba, so it’s not as though you really need to worry about being mugged.

At the same time it’s not as though you’ll even want to take a lot of expensive accessories with you when you go on holiday in case you lose them.

A pair of dark sunglasses are always a wise idea (naturally) and a sunhat can be smart if you’re sensitive to the sun. Speaking of which, be sure to bring sunblock with you when you travel to Cuba.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find on the island nation, and even if you can, it’s going to be rather expensive. You might also want to bring a few travel packs of tissues to carry around with you.

You will feel that heat, and it can be nice to have something to mop the sweat away before you go into a store or cafe.

You could even take the old school option and bring a cotton handkerchief.

Still not sure what to wear in Cuba? Feel free to send us an email!

One Comment

  1. Steve Handyside

    Going for 10 days in febuary
    Whats the weather like then for clothing apparell

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