Cotonou Travel Guide

  • Newly renovated House
    Newly renovated House
    by Lennyx
  • The ever picturesque Beaches of Benin
    The ever picturesque Beaches of Benin
    by Lennyx
  • A great place for picnics and fun
    A great place for picnics and fun
    by Lennyx

Cotonou Highlights

  • Pro
    janiebaxter profile photo

    janiebaxter says…

     Close to Ganvie and Porto Novo 

  • Con
    chicknlady profile photo

    chicknlady says…

     filthy air 

  • In a nutshell
    Joris09 profile photo

    Joris09 says…

     http://members.lycos.nl/atlantisnightclub/ 

Cotonou Things to Do

  • Haie Vive is changing, Beninoise is...

    Over the years, one of my favorite places in Benin is changing. These pictures are for those a little home-sick, and would like a little peek at what is new in Haie Vive, Benin

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  • Erevan Beach

    Benin is blessed with beautiful beaches. This beach is next door to the Erevan Hypermarche (Shopping Mall), which makes shopping for your picnic a walk in the beach...

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  • Take that Ride, and Ride, Ride, Ride...

    The keke ride is one of the things i like to enjoy whenever i visit. I want to know the town almost like the back of my hand, and the best way to go about this is riding around town on a nice keke

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Cotonou Hotels

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Cotonou Restaurants

  • PARANOID ABOUT TOURISTS

    I decided I would splurge a little with my money and dine at what my guidebook said was an excellent restaurant. The book told me to make reservations, so I walked there to see the restaurant and hopefully make a reservation. The gate was open so I walked towards the entrance up some stairs. As I began to look down at the small garden they had - 2...

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  • AGGRESSIVE AND RUDE

    I had read about this place as being an ex-pat heaven in the middle of an ex-pat area and decided I would go for a beer and maybe eat here. I wish I had not. I pulled up on my motorcycle taxi to see a packed outside terrace at the front. I made my way inside for a beer and a seat. After a long period of trying 3 different ladies to order a beer- I...

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  • MOST EXCELLENT

    My guidebook said this was a good restaurant and I must say I had a nice meal. The surroundings are an airy tastefully decorated, open area with some nice ceiling fans. The temperature was exactly right. The service was friendly and I was given a nice dish of popcorn and peanuts while I waited for my food. A nice cold Flag beer arrived and I...

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Cotonou Nightlife

  • le yes papa: really dissapointing

    I went to the yes papa with some of the girls because of the comment here from missmango.And we were shocked, we made similar experience like linda2011 described it. It seems to be right that the yes papa is not a commercial bar, it is very humble equipped and dirty, but there a lots of people who really stare at us... maybe because we are...

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  • A real Beninese Place for Handmade Music

    I have been to the Yes Papa very often now and when I read the other comments here I am a bit surprised. I guess there is a misunderstanding that easily occurs if you do not really make the effort to actually talk to the people there. The Yes Papa is not a commercial bar as such but a cultural NGO trying to provide a platform for Beninese...

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  • Cool place for starting into the night

    This place is called "Bar Cafe Cappuccino" and it is one of the best places in town to begin the weekend. A rally cosy drinking spot located in a sidestreet of rue des cheminots. And I easily found it because of the desciption given here. It is really closed to the concrete water tower called "Chateau d'eau Maro Militaire". Go there and enjoy the...

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Cotonou Transportation

  • TAXI-MOTO !

    The cheapest, fastest, easiest – and most common – way to travel around Cotonou is the Taximoto. You can get a ride form one side of the city to the other for 250 CFA (49 US Cents or 38 Euro Cents). You can get shorter rides cheaper by really haggling. Some Taximotos – being Taxi Drivers – will try and explain about the Official Rates. Apparently...

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  • Zemijan's motorcycles

    A lot of Zemijan motorcycle taxis are cruising around with their yellow waistcoat. Just make a "psst sound", and the nearest one will stop. Just say where you are going and settle the price. To ride them expect to pay anything from 200 to 500 CFA (less than 1 USD). But make sure you have the exact amount of money. Most of them will not change. To...

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  • Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport

    Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport is located in the western side of Cotonou. It is an old and small airport terminal with both arrival and departures in the ground floor.The check-in procedure and the security was fast in african terms the evening I left for Paris. Air France had its own computerized passport control which made a small queue before the...

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Cotonou Shopping

  • Biggest supermarkt ever

    This was a wunderful tip. It is really the biggest supermarkt I have ever seen in Benin. You can get everything you want in this supermarket. But dont forget you wallet, because all is imported and costs more than elsewhere in this airconditioned shopping mall you can get ererything here: food, drink, clothing, bath & beauty etc. This is the...

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  • Biggest at westcoast

    This is the biggest supermarkt I have ever seen at the African Westcoast. It is a bit prica, but here you can get everything like in a European supermarket. It's definetely one of the best places to buy food, drink, clothing, bath & beauty, even xmas stuff :-) It's amazing. It is a bit pricy, but therefore you can get everything at one place.

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  • Chinese motorcycles

    A Chinese motorcycle is a bargain compared with other japanese brands. There are motorcycles shops everywhere in Cotonou. Chinese motorcycles

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Cotonou Local Customs

  • THE CURRENCY OF BENIN

    The currency of Benin is the West African CFA Franc. You may see it written as "F CFA" and you will hear it pronounced "see-fuh" or "see-fah". Officially it is the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) Franc issued by the Central Bank of the States of West Africa (BCEAO). If you are looking for the exchange rates for their currency you will need to...

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  • Some customs

    Like everywhere in West-Africa, hishing to someone, when you wants his attention, is very common. In West-Africa there is also a special way of handshaking with a fingerknip. Learn it, but don't use it with traditional or older woman and with old men. It's to them to choose for it. And when you shop it's ofcourse very usual to bargain. However it...

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  • Cotonou Hotels

    6 Hotels in Cotonou

    39 Reviews and Opinions

Cotonou Warnings and Dangers

  • Cotonou at day is harmless

    Cotonou is said to be a dangerous city. That is true if you behave like a fool, but if not, everything is fine. I didn't experince any trouble, too. You can cross all areas in Cotonou without trouble. I even visited the big marked at Dantokpa. It is like every other market in the world, you can find pickpockets there as well...You should avoid...

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  • Crime in Cotonou

    Cotonou is said to be a dangerous city. Even though I didn't experince any trouble, there are some areas in Cotonou you should avoid. The Plakodji area close to the beach is a place where even locals avoid. Also the harbour area (1 km to the west) is also dangerous. The big marked at Dantokpa (Grand Marche) is very crowded, and pickpockets are not...

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  • Horrible traffic and pollution

    This was by far the most nervewrecking city I visited in West Africa - I was afraid to walk across the street because of the many semijans and as far as I noticed there was no specific rules (that could just be me though). The pollution was also worse than anywhere else I've been and if I ever decided to visit cotonou again I would definitely...

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Cotonou Tourist Traps

  • Changing money

    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. 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...

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  • POSTAGE PRICES

    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...

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  • Ganvie--Town on the water

    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...

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Cotonou What to Pack

  • Dressing

    It's sandy everywhere and most of the women/girls I saw wore flip flops. I like sandals with a bit of height since the sand can be a couple inches deep. I'd recommend a light overshirt for sun protection if you're fair skinned.If you'd like an outfit in the local style have it made in Cotonou. The cost is much better than what you would pay in...

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  • Mosquitoes and the Sun

    I would recommend using suntan lotion if you're fair skinned. I used Autan bug spray on myself in the evening and didn't have any problems. I note that even with a nightly spraying (provided by hotel) in our room and closed windows the little devils would get in. I took malaria pills (Larium) once a week on the first trip (2 weeks) and didn't...

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Cotonou Off The Beaten Path

  • Ganvie Lake Village

    Ganvie is 18km North of Cotonou and is well worth a visit if you are Cotonou - it is one of Benin's best tourist attractions, yet is not really crowded with tourists. Boats depart from the Lakeside village of Abomey-Calavi which is a short drive from Cotonou, by car, taxi or taxi motorbike. Tickets for boats are available at the office by the...

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  • Smoking grass with the Rasta-people

    In some area's in Africa, inclusive Benin, it can be quite hard to find some trustable friends, with exception of the rastapeople who are in most cases quite trustable. They're peacefull and have a lot of musical talent. Try to make contact with them, for just making some music and smoking a lot of grass. It's so f*cking relaxing, and they're so...

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Cotonou Sports & Outdoors

  • by Moesasji Written Nov 27, 2003

    There are possibilities for sporting at the Stade de l'amitie, and you can also join a soccermatch almost everywhere in the city. You will be very welcome. People invited me for joining a match very often, but I am a very bad soccer-player and also very lazy, so I only watched some games. They like that too.

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Cotonou Favorites

  • Boulevard Steinmetz

    Boulevard Steinmetz is one of the most famous streets in Cotonou. The large 4 lanes street goes all the way from the Vossa area at Lake Nokoue, crossing Avenida van Vollenhoven and down to the Cathedral Librairie Notre-Dame.

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  • The lizard

    A lizard takes a sunbath close to Obama beach in Cotonou. The lizards here can change their color of skin according to the environment.

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  • In the streets of Cotonou

    The streets in Cotonou are wide and crowded. A lot of Zemijan motorcycle taxis are cruising around in the streets with their yellow waistcoat.

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