I am used to changing my local currency at the boarder with the local bureau de change, although it may sound cute, you can lose a lot of money during this very short trade.
Unique Suggestions: The only advice i'd give, is to change very little at the boarder... just enough to get a cab into town ( that's if you don't have transportation arranged for you) then use the banks or a proper bureau de change.
Fun Alternatives: Please as much as possible avoid changing at the market's bureau de change. Find a proper Bureau de change like the picture above.
Somebody in the Government of Benin realised that they could make money from Tourists wanting to post their postcards and letters from here.
They could make money - quickly. Very quickly.
So quickly that they already had printed the price of 200 CFA (30 Euro cents, 39 US Cents). Then they promptly printed 600 CFA over all of them. So tripling the price instantly! So all my cards seemed to require at least 1200 CFA.
Decide who your real friends are before you get here. Its hard enough finding postcards to buy. And they are not cheap either. Its actually cheaper to do all this from London than here!
Send La Poste du Benin a nasty letter or email. If you can get their website to work !
This place is called a must see in so many guidebooks. The locals feel the same way. To get there you go to a little port where 'boat captains' vie to ferry you out. You cross a stinking oily shallow lake and arrive in a village built on stilts. It has a motel with a restaurant and gift shop. Didn't buy anything because it was all cheesy. Had a beer and went back--and on the ride back the outboard motor almost fell into the lake! And the people in the village hate to have their photos taken.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the fishing boats with brightly painted hulls and colorful sails.