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Havana does well on price, but 14% costlier than Delhi, 50% cheaper than Honolulu

With an average tariff of $40 (Rs2,616), an Airbnb in Havana is more than half the average tariff for a three-star hotel in the city

Beyond North America, the rupee travels a good distance in many parts of Central America, though not quite in South America. In our set in this region, the closest thing that comes to Delhi is Havana. Its mark-up over Delhi in our index is just 14% and it is the ninth-lowest across our larger set of 50 cities. The capital of Cuba ticks in nearly 50% cheaper than the most expensive in this set, namely Honolulu, capital of Hawaii.

In Havana, as in Lima, Peru, you can lower your costs significantly by opting for a homestay instead of a hotel. With an average tariff of $40 (Rs2,616), an Airbnb in Havana is more than half the average tariff for a three-star hotel in the city. By comparison, two other cities in this set, Rio de Janeiro and Honolulu, are the rare exceptions across our larger set of 50 cities where a homestay costs more than a hotel. Rio makes up for this with cheap hotels, relatively speaking, but Honolulu’s hotel rates match the most expensive in North America and Europe.

Havana, which drew 3.7 million visitors in 2016, has many pockets of price advantage. Like restaurants, which in this set serve the cheapest three-course meal, beer and coffee. Like market produce: white bread is 64% cheaper than the next best in this set, local cheese 57% and bananas 48%. Like a jeans and running shoes. Like the cost of a bus ticket (10 cents, or Rs7) and a movie ticket (40 cents, or Rs26), both of which are not only significantly lower than Delhi, but also the lowest across our set of 50 cities.

In South America, the Peruvian capital of Lima is more cost-effective than Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. In our index of 50 cities, Lima slots in at number 11, with an overall cost of our basket of goods being 27% above Delhi.

Rio slots in at 16 and Buenos Aires at 22. Both these cities are reasonable on basic market goods, but get expensive in terms of shopping and entertainment.

Even so, these two cities figure in the top half of our overall set of 50 cities, and come out much cheaper than most cities in Europe and in the Australian sub-continent.

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