Best Tourist Places to Visit in Benin, Porto-Novo, West Africa, Africa

Best Tourist Places to Visit in Benin, Porto-Novo, West Africa, Africa

Benin is an African country located in the western part of the continent, having borders with Nigeria towards the east, Burkina Faso and Niger towards the north and Togo towards the west and the Gulf of Guinea towards the south. Porto-Novo is the capital city while Cotonou is the largest city of Benin. Benin spans a total area of 115,000 square kilometers.

Agriculture is the backbone of the Benin economy and is one of the member countries of the United Nations, the African Union, La Francophonie and many other international organizations. The geographical coordinates of Benin are 8.8333° N, 2.1833° E.


History of Benin:

Benin received its present name on November 30, 1975 replacing its earlier name Dahomey and the today’s name derived from the Bight of Benin on which the nation is positioned. The Kingdom of Dahomey is the most important name in the Benin’s history, which ruled the Benin from the 17th to the 19th century and during that period, slavery was largely practiced in Dahomey. Following the end of slavery, the French occupied Dahomey in 1892 and ruled until 1960 when Benin became independent from France.


Connectivity to Benin:

Cadjehoun Airport is the most important airport of Benin, situated around 7 kilometers from Cotonou. This airport operates flights to and from many global destinations including Paris, Brussels, Douala, Nairobi, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and Moscow.

The intercity transportation of Benin is catered by both buses and trains. Confort Lines are the prominent bus company serving the Beninese cities and along the buses services, taxis and rental cars are commonly used.


Culture, Shopping and Food in Benin:

Fon and Yoruba are the widely communicated languages while French is the official language of Benin. Roman Catholics constitute the greater percentage of the Benin’s population, followed by Islam, Vodun and other religions.

The West African CFA franc is the currency used in Benin and for the shopping of traditional Beninese specialties, it is recommended for visitors to step towards Dantokpa Market in Cotonou.

Some kinds of practice cuisines in Benin are Wagasi cheese, Acarajé, Akpan, Aloko, Fufu and Garri.


Must see in Benin:

Cotonou Cathedral:

The Cotonou Cathedral is situated in the city of Cotonou in Benin, famous among visitors for its white and burgundy striped exterior architecture. This Roman Catholic cathedral gained the status of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cotonou in 1955.


Pendjari National Park:

A nature and adventure lovers’ area, the Pendjari National Park are spread over an area of 2755 square kilometers, housing a wide range of animal and bird species including West African lions, Western hartebeest, Violet Turaco and hippopotamuses. Tanguieta is the nearest city to the park.


W National Park:

Covering around total 10,000 square kilometers area of the three West African countries like Niger, Benin and Burkina Fas, the W National Park was established in August 4, 1954 and it gained space in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1996. Mammals are the highlights of the park, of which the most identified ones are cheetahs, elephants, baboons and hippopotamuses. In Benin, Kandi is the closest city to the W National Park.



Abomey is a city and the former capital of Benin, renowned for its historical palaces, of which most come under the UNESCO World Heritage Site List like Akaba Royal Palace, Palace of King Glele, Gbehanzin Royal Palace and Palace of King Tegbessu.


Cotonou Central Mosque:

The Cotonou Central Mosque is the focal point of the Muslim groups in Algeria, situated in the city of Cotonou. One can find a wide range of traditional hotels around the mosque.


List of the other attractive places in Benin include:

  • Musée en Plein Air de Parakou
  • Ancien Pont Bridge
  • Royal Palace in Porto-Novo
  • Basilique de l’Immaculée Conception
  • Alexandre Sènou Adandé Ethnographic Museum


Ideal time to visit Benin:

The best and most popular time to visit Benin is from November to February when the weather remains dry and supportive for outdoor activities.


Where to stay in Benin?

The hospitality industry of Benin is concentrated in the city of Cotonou with around 50 modernized accommodation centers, including hotels, holiday rentals, resorts and BB and inns. Hotels price are not very much, affordable. Here are some top end hotels in Cotonou in Benin:

  • Myosotis Residence Hotel & Spa
  • Ibis Cotonou
  • Maison Rouge Cotonou
  • Benin Marina Hotel
  • Novotel Orisha Cotonou
  • Hotel du Lac
  • Hotel du Port
  • Sun Beach Hotel
  • Benin Atlantic Beach Hotel
  • Residences Celine Hotel
  • Ancrage de l’Ocean
  • Azalai Hotel De La Plage
  • Sea View Hotel
  • Hotel Le Zenith
  • Rivoli Hotel Benin

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