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Written by Kieran Proctor

Guide To Using Mobile Apps In Cuba (2024)

This guide addresses all the ‘can I use it’ or ‘will it work’, mobile app related questions regarding Cuba. This guide ...

This guide addresses all the ‘can I use it’ or ‘will it work’, mobile app related questions regarding Cuba. This guide is updated regularly, based on current information and my own experience using these apps in Cuba. And if you want to know whether or not a particular app will function in Cuba, start by reading this guide.

For all the other Cuba related questions that I often get asked (exchange rates, women and dating, travel insurance, visas etc.), I’ve made a Cuba FAQ page available. And you should definitely read the Cuba FAQ page before traveling to Cuba. It will save you time and money.

Using WiFi In Cuba

Wifi is both legal and ubiquitous in Cuba. Wifi is to be found everywhere in the places frequented by tourists. You can get online at any hotel and most AirBnB’s (called Casa Particular’s in Cuba), now come with free Wifi.

Tourists can still buy Wifi cards from hotels and ECTECSA outlets. And they can use these wifi cards in public wifi parks. But the need to use wifi cards is quickly fading by the day, as internet connectivity in Cuba grows.

For those staying in Cuba for a week or longer, it makes more sense to buy and use a Cuban SIM card with a local phone number. The Cuban cell phone network is capable of 4G LTE speeds.

NordVPN
The VPN that I always use in Cuba

VPNs are legal in Cuba. And you will definitely need a VPN loaded onto your phone before you travel to Cuba. particularly if you want to access the Apple App Store, Google Play store or virtually any of the popular social media applications, that are covered in the following sections and elsewhere on this website.

You will also want to be picky when choosing a VPN for Cuba. All VPN’s seem to work on Cuban Wifi, but not all VPN’s will work well on the Cuban cell phone network. And some don’t work at all.

I personally use and recommend NordVPN for Cuba. Other VPN applications have intermittent connectivity and may not work for you. Which will mean that you will go through the much more difficult process of adding NordVPN to your device while in Cuba, to replace whichever junk application one of the other ‘Cuba experts‘ sold you.

A VPN can be loaded onto a phone in Cuba without paying for a service. Though it is quite challenging and it took me 2-3hrs to work out how to do it. It’s something that I’ve done for friends, many times, and that I try to avoid whenever possible.

You should expect a high degree of difficulty to add a VPN to your device while in Cuba, if you do not load one onto your phone before traveling to Cuba. Or if your other brand VPN, stops working.

Pro tip: Turn off all automatic software or app updates to avoid losing your VPN while in Cuba.

Best VPN For Cuba
Using NordVPN on my laptop in the Suburbs of Havana Cuba

The Most Useful Mobile Apps In Cuba

There are four (4) mobile applications you should have on your device when visiting Cuba. They are:

You will find that all four of these apps will provide you the most value while you’re in Cuba. And they will make your holiday travel experience, just a little more enjoyable. For a full rundown of what each mobile app is and what it does, see this article.

Further Reading – Useful Resources For Cuba

I’ve written extensively on the use of mobile technology and apps in Cuba. And below is a list of helpful articles that you may find useful when researching your next holiday in Cuba.

Here’s a list of articles you should read (click each to open) before visiting Cuba:

Using a VPN in Airbnb
The best VPN for Cuba in my opinion

Will My Mobile Apps Work In Cuba?

Some mobile applications will work without a VPN, like Instagram or YouTube. But they will give you a lower quality third world version, with basic functionality and some features withheld. Yet, the bulk of the mobile applications and websites below will not work without a VPN.

Common to all of the mobile applications and websites, is the need to switch off any two-factor authentication (2fa) before arriving in Cuba. And this is because your mobile phone number to which the apps send a code, won’t work in Cuba. And you won’t be able to receive the login SMS code while you’re in Cuba.

You need to switch off two-factor authentication before traveling, because to even switch it off, requires a code. And if you can’t receive 2fa codes, you won’t be able to login or switch off the 2fa login, during your vacation.

Using iPhones In Cuba

It’s best practice when traveling to Cuba with an iPhone, to switch off ‘wifi assist’ and ‘location services’. Some apps and websites will work better with them switched off and others won’t work at all with them switched on.

To turn off ‘wifi assist’ and ‘location services’, do the following:

  1. Switch off ‘wifi assist’ (settings > mobile data > slide ‘wifi assist’ to off)
  2. Switch off ‘Location Services’ (settings > privacy & security > ‘location services’)
Filming and uploading YouTube content from Havana Cuba

Can I Use Airbnb In Cuba?

You can use Airbnb while in Cuba. In fact, most of Cuba’s ‘casa particulars’ are listed on Airbnb. You will need a VPN to access Airbnb in Cuba and I recommend (only) NordVPN.

I recommend booking a ‘casa particular’ on Airbnb while in Cuba, as opposed to the hotels. Not only will your casa particular not explode like some hotels, the casa particulars on Airbnb will often be much cheaper while also offering a maid service and free wifi. It’s my experience, that casa particulars are both better value and nicer than the Government run hotels.

If your Airbnb account uses any form of two-factor authentication (2fa), you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account won’t work in Cuba. And it’s highly likely you will not be able to access the code Airbnb will SMS as part of 2fa.

If you leave two-factor authentication on when coming to Cuba and can’t access the text message code, you will be locked out of your Airbnb account for the duration of your stay in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Instagram In Cuba?

Instagram is big business in Cuba. And almost every young Cuban aspires to being an Instagram influencer or model. Just remember, you shouldn’t believe what you see on Instagram about Cuba.

You can use Instagram coupled with WhatsApp to look up a venue and make a booking. You should also keep in mind that if there are a lot of young Cuban’s posing for photo’s on a venues page, they’ve probably paid those individuals and staged a photoshoot.

You should also be aware, that venues will use photo’s of meals they’ve found elsewhere on the internet and misrepresent the image as food they’ve prepared on their Instagram pages.

You will need a VPN to access full functionality on Instagram. Or you’ll get Cuba’s third world version of Instagram.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will likely not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Facebook In Cuba?

You can use Facebook in Cuba. You will need a VPN to access full functionality.

Facebook is fading into the dustbin of history, much like Myspace did. And you’ll find most venues in Cuba are advertised on Instagram and it will be more useful for you in Cuba. Use Instagram to find venues, goods and services and then use WhatsApp to contact them.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will likely not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use WhatsApp In Cuba?

You can and should use WhatsApp in Cuba. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging application in Cuba. And it’s one of the most important applications to have on your phone when traveling to Cuba.

WhatsApp groups can provide you with access to virtually anything. And most businesses will communicate via WhatsApp for bookings and deliveries.

I’m personally able to access WhatsApp without a VPN. And yet I’ve heard conflicting information from others. I’d recommend using WhatsApp with a VPN to ensure it works properly for you. Plus, you’ll need a VPN for most other apps anyway.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will likely not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Telegram In Cuba?

You can use Telegram in Cuba. However, fewer individuals and businesses use Telegram in Cuba, as compared to WhatsApp. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in Cuba.

I’ve only ever been able to access Telegram with a VPN. But again, I’ve heard of others using it without a VPN. Your milage may vary and I’d recommend having a VPN to ensure it works as intended. And I’d recommend also ensuring you have WhatsApp.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will likely not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Skype In Cuba?

You can use Skype in Cuba. But you will need a VPN to access Skype in Cuba. I’ve used Skype coupled with NordVPN for some calls from Cuba to Australia. And those calls had clear audio and all Skype functions worked as intended.

Most Cubans do not use Skype, or know what it is. Don’t expect to connect with Cubans or see Cuban content on Skype. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app in Cuba.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will likely not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Zoom In Cuba?

You can use Zoom in Cuba. You will need a VPN. I’ve used Zoom coupled with NordVPN and made calls from Cuba to Australia via the 4G LTE network, in Havana Cuba. All functions of the app worked and the video and audio were clear.

Most Cuban’s don’t use Zoom and most would not know what it is. Don’t expect to connect with Cubans via Zoom. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app in Cuba.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will, in all probability, not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Spotify In Cuba?

You can access Spotify in Cuba. You will need a VPN. I would also recommend setting Spotify to download your playlist for offline listening, before heading to Cuba to save on mobile data.

I’ve used Spotify everyday via both wifi and mobile when I’m in Cuba. I use Spotify combined with NordVPN. And I’ve never had a problem. My own Spotify Premium account, with a VPN, works as it would in any other country.

If your account uses any form of two-factor authentication, you should switch it off before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number linked to your account will not work in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Netflix In Cuba?

You can use Netflix in Cuba. You will need a VPN to access Netflix in Cuba.

If Netflix texts you a login code (2fa), it’s very likely you will not be able to access that login code and will be locked out of your account for the duration of your stay in Cuba. Turn off two-factor authentication (2fa), before traveling to Cuba, to avoid being locked out of your Netflix account.

Cuban television is horrible, so I use Netflix daily when in Cuba. And if you’re staying for long on the island, I’d recommend ensuring you too have something like Netflix, so you can avoid watching Cuban TV.

NordVPN

Can I Use Snapchat In Cuba?

You can use Snapchat in Cuba. You will need a VPN.

You will need to switch off two-factor authentication (2fa), before traveling to Cuba as the phone number to which Snapchat sends a login code will not work in Cuba. And if you can’t access the 2fa code, you will be locked out of Snapchat for the duration of your stay in Cuba.

Cuban’s don’t use Snapchat often. So don’t expect to see a lot of content from Cubans or to connect with Cuban’s on Snapchat. Some Cubans do use it, but it’s rare. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Viber In Cuba?

You can use Viber in Cuba. But you will need a VPN. You will need to switch off two-factor authentication, before traveling to Cuba. The phone number to which Viber sends a login code, will likely not work in Cuba.

Cuban’s don’t use Viber often and most wouldn’t know what Viber is, or what it does. Don’t expect to see a lot of Cuban content or to connect with Cubans on Viber. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use WeChat In Cuba?

You can use WeChat in Cuba. You will need a VPN. You will need to switch off two-factor authentication, before traveling to Cuba. The phone number to which WeChat sends a (2fa) login code, will likely not work in Cuba.

Most Cubans would not know what WeChat is. Don’t expect to connect with Cubans or see Cuban content on WeChat. WhatsApp is the most commonly used messaging app in Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Use Tinder In Cuba?

Yes, you can use Tinder in Cuba. You will need a VPN to access Tinder in Cuba. You will need to switch off two-factor authentication, before traveling to Cuba. Because the phone number to which Tinder sends a (2fa) login code, won’t work while you’re in Cuba.

You should note, that most Cuban’s do not have and do not use the Tinder app. The Cuban’s who do use Tinder are often looking for tourists. And you should beware, as most of the Cubans who do use Tinder are after money.

If you do use Tinder in Cuba, you can expect to encounter a lot of Jineteros/Jineteras, who are on the platform in an attempt to scam tourists. And it’s my personal recommendation, that you disable Tinder while in Cuba.

Using Tinder on my own account while in Cuba – The YouTube short was filmed in 2023 and uploaded while in Cuba, using NordVPN.
NordVPN

Can I Uber In Cuba?

No, Uber is useless in Cuba. With a VPN the app would work, but there are no Uber drivers in Cuba. The Cuban Uber equivalent of Uber is called La Nave. And you should download and use la Nave as your ‘Uber in Cuba’.

The previous Cuban Uber, was called Bajanda (pronounced ‘bah-han-dah’). But the owner of Bajanda fled Cuba and it no longer works. La Nave is one of the four most important apps to have in Cuba.

NordVPN

Does UberEats Work In Cuba?

No, UberEats is useless in Cuba. With a VPN the app would work, but there are no UberEats delivery drivers and no restaurants on the UberEats app.

The Cuban equivalent of UberEats is called ‘Mandao.’ And Mandao is one of the four most important apps to have in Cuba. Because it lets you find and order from a host of local ‘paladars’ (private restaurants), that you’d never find without the app.

NordVPN

Can I Use Apple maps In Cuba?

Apple Maps works in Cuba, with or without a VPN. Some functions are occasionally missing without a VPN. For full functionality I’d recommend using a VPN.

Compared to Maps.Me in Cuba, Apple Maps is rather useless. Apple Maps will frequently send you the wrong way down oneway streets. And you shouldn’t drive in Cuba using Apple Maps for directions.

NordVPN

Can I Use Google Maps In Cuba?

Google Maps works in Cuba, with or without a VPN. Some functions are occasionally missing without a VPN. For full functionality, I’d recommend using a VPN.

Compared to Maps.Me in Cuba, Google Maps is rather useless. Google Maps will occasionally send you the wrong way down oneway streets. And the key points of interest are continually moved around by scammers, using the maps application.

NordVPN

Can I Use LinkedIn In Cuba?

You can use LinkedIn in Cuba. But you will need a VPN. If your LinkedIn account uses any form of mobile number authentication, or two-factor login, you will need to disable it before traveling to Cuba. As your mobile number will likely not work in Cuba.

Also, most Cubans don’t use LinkedIn and wouldn’t know what it is. You will not connect with Cubans or see a lot of Cuban content on LinkedIn.

NordVPN

Can I Access The Apple App Store In Cuba?

You can use the Apple App Store in Cuba with a VPN. The Apple App Store will not function in Cuba without a VPN. You will absolutely need a VPN to access the App Store in Cuba and I recommend using NordVPN.

If you arrive in Cuba without a VPN, you will be unable to access the App Store. And it will be quite difficult to put a VPN onto your phone after arrival, as most VPN apps come from the App Store for Apple users.

It creates a kind of ‘chicken vs egg’ problem. Because you need a VPN to access the Apple App Store, but you need the App Store to get a VPN. If you get to Cuba without a VPN, you can pay local stores to put a VPN onto your device. But having someone add a VPN to your device in Cuba, is not optimal for cost or security.

It will cost you more to add a VPN in Cuba and your confidential information (bank logins, ID details etc.) could be stolen in the process. Don’t travel to Cuba without a VPN if you’ve got an Apple iPhone or other Apple device.

NordVPN

Can I Access The Google Play Store In Cuba?

You can use the Google Play in Cuba, but only with a VPN. The Google Play store will not function in Cuba without a VPN. And you’ll have the same problems Apple users have when trying to access the Apple App Store (see above).

You will need a VPN to access the Google Play Store in Cuba. And I recommend that you come to Cuba with NordVPN preloaded onto your phone.

NordVPN

Can I Use TikTok In Cuba?

The TikTok mobile application does not work in Cuba. It does not matter if you have a VPN for the TikTok mobile application, as it will not work. Yet, the website browser version of TikTok will work with a VPN.

How To Use TikTok In Cuba

Before traveling to Cuba, you should turn off all two-factor authentication (2fa). And you should ensure that you have a VPN preloaded onto your device.

Turn your VPN on and set it to your home country. Then, login to the TikTok website via your website browser (Apple Safari or Google Chrome) on your device (mobile phone or laptop).

Upload and view TikTok content via your devices website browser. The TikTok mobile application will not work in Cuba. Only the website browser version of TikTok will work with a VPN. And I use the website browser version to upload my own TikTok content (like the below video) from Cuba.

NordVPN

Can I Watch YouTube In Cuba?

I use YouTube in Cuba, both with and without a VPN. Yet, to upload my YouTube content, I need to use a VPN. You can see the content I upload to Youtube from Cuba here.

NordVPN

Does BeReal Work In Cuba?

The French social media application BeReal, is a relative newcomer to the social media landscape. Yet, it got slapped with the same restrictions, as all the other applications above.

Get NordVPN and BeReal will work for you in Cuba. Without a VPN, sadly, it’s blocked too.

Does Sube Work In Cuba?

Sube was the first generation of mobile ridesharing apps in Cuba. It ceased functioning in late 2019 or early 2020. Sube no longer works in Cuba.

Sube was replaced by Bajanda, which also stopped working in early 2022. La Nave is the sole ride-sharing mobile app that works in Cuba.

Does Bajanda Work In Cuba?

Bajanda was the second generation ridehailing mobile app in Cuba and it replaced Sube in early 2020. Yet, Bajanda ceased functioning and was replaced by La Nave in early 2022. Bajanda no longer works in Cuba.

Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it, before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My Cuba travel guide will save you a lot of time and money on your next trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can arrive unprepared. Read the most complete Cuba Travel Guide.