Cotonou Tourist Places to Visit in Cotonou, Benin, Porto Novo, South Africa, Africa

Cotonou Tourist Places to Visit in Cotonou, Benin, Porto Novo, South Africa, Africa

Cotonou is the commercial capital and the largest city of Benin located in the extreme southern part of the country on the Atlantic Ocean coast at 6°22′ N 2°26′ E, around 33 kilometers southwest of Porto Novo, the capital of Benin. Cotonou houses many important government and diplomatic offices of Benin and also hosts the National University of Benin.

Some important tourist favor features of Cotonou include the Cotonou Central Mosque, Cotonou Cathedral and Ancien Pont Bridge. The Dantokpa Market with around one billion CFA Francs business per day and the Port of Cotonou are the other highlights of Cotonou. Cotonou spans over an area of 79 square kilometers and at an elevation of 51 meters above the sea level.


History of Cotonou:

Earlier called Kotonou, Cotonou originated as a small fishing village in the beginning of the 19th century and becoming a part of the French in 1851 with a treaty with the Dahomean King Ghezo, Cotonou began to develop since then.


How to reach Cotonou?

Cotonou hosts the most important airport of Benin, Cadjehoun Airport, is located around 7 km away from the heart of the city. Along with connection to most African capitals, Cadjehoun Airport also handles flights from Brussels and Paris.

Cotonou is linked to all the important Beninese cities by bus services, but its railway connection is limited to Bohicon and Parakou cities.


Culture, Shopping and Food in Cotonou:

Cotonou is culturally rich city home to many renowned cultural centers, including the French Institute’s Cultural Centre.

The Dantokpa Market is the center of the Cotonou and shopping of Cotonou is the largest local market in West Africa. Other than traditional handicraft products and clothes, visitors can also buy nice goodies imported from France here.

Some nice food corners in Cotonou are as follows:

  • Mamma Mia
  • Le Sorrento
  • La cabane du pecheur
  • Maquis du Port


Things to do in Cotonou:

  • Beach exploration
  • Learning local Fon language
  • Walking


Tourist places in Cotonou:

Lake Nokoué:

Situated north of Cotonou, Lake Nokoué is a beautiful lake, measuring a length of 11 kilometers and a width of 20 kilometers. The water town of Ganvié is situated on the northern edge of the lake known for fishing, fish farming and boating and is the part of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.


Ancien Pont Bridge:

The Ancien Pont Bridge is one of the landmarks as well as tourist attractions of Cotonou known for its historic significance and grand constriction with a modern touch.


Cotonou Cathedral:

The Cotonou Cathedral is a symbolic structure featuring a blend burgundy and white striped architecture, situated in the proximity of the Ancient Pont Bridge, the Cotonou Cathedral serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou.


Cotonou Central Mosque:

The Cotonou Central Mosque is the center of the Muslim devotees in Benin and can reach it by foot or vehicles from the city center.


National University of Benin:

The National University of Benin is the most important university of Benin holding 6 campuses and 19 institutions and its main campus at Abomey-Calavi and was established in the year 1970.


List of the other attractive places in Cotonou include:

  • Dantokpa Market
  • Cotonou Friendship Stadium
  • Fondation Zinsou
  • Bab’s Dock
  • Coco Cocktail
  • Fidjrosse Beach
  • Marche Dantokpa
  • Artisanal Center


Ideal time to visit Cotonou:

Cotonou experiences a tropical wet and dry climate and the ideal months to visit Cotonou are January, February, August and December.


Where to stay in Cotonou?

Being a commercial city and top tourist destination of Benin, Cotonou holds an upgraded hospitality industry with around 50 modernized accommodation centers, including resorts and spa, hotels, BB and inns of which most offer advance booking facility through online for visitor conveniences. The major hotels in Cotonou in Benin include:

  • Ibis Cotonou
  • Novotel Orisha Cotonou
  • Myosotis Residence Hotel & Spa
  • Hotel du Port
  • Sun Beach Hotel
  • Benin Atlantic Beach Hotel
  • Azalai Hotel De La Plage
  • Ancrage de l’Ocean
  • Hotel Acropole
  • Residence Ilefie
  • Sea View Hotel
  • Hotel Le Zenith
  • Hotel de l’Entente
  • Rivoli Hotel Benin
  • Hotel Residence les Cocotiers

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