All UK and EU passport holders need to obtain a visa to travel to Cuba, and what they need is officially known as a ‘Cuba Tourist Card’, though often referred to as a ‘Cuba Tourist Visa’. This is issued as a piece of paper with your name and other details on it. It is a physical document, so you cannot get it sent to you electronically. You need get hold of this before you fly.
Pink or Green?
There are two types of Cuba Tourist Cards, and they are visibly different. One is pink, one is green.
The pink Cuba Tourist Card is for visitors to Cuba that are entering Cuba from the United States. That is to say, it doesn’t matter what your nationality is, or if you started your flight journey in the UK, so long as the flight that enters Cuba is from the United States, you need to get a pink coloured Cuba Tourist Card. These are easy to obtain as they are issued at the American airports from which you are flying or changing flights, so you don’t need to do anything in the UK before you leave, unlike the green version.
The green Cuba Tourist Card is for when you are entering Cuba from any country except for the United States. That means that if you are flying from the UK to Cuba, either directly or via a country that is not the United States, then it is essential that you have got your Cuba Tourist Card BEFORE the date of your UK flight to Cuba. This is because you cannot get the green Cuba Tourist Card from a UK airport.
So, unless you are flying from the UK to Cuba via the United States, you need to obtain the green Cuba Tourist Card, and you need to get it arranged in advance of your travel date. This can be done by going to the Cuban Embassy in London, or a much simpler, hassle-free process is to use Visa Cuba, The Cuba Tourist Board’s official partner.