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Abomey is a town and former capital of Benin.


One of the Royal Palaces.

Abomey used to be the former capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey and a bustling center of slave trading.

Snapshots of the lifestyle of the grand royal dynasty are still visible in Abomey’s majestic palaces, the tombs of long departed monarchs and the extensive-collection housing museum. The ancient palaces have the distinction of being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are thousands of tourists who come here every year to witness the opulence of a rich monarchical legacy. The places itself are charming earthen structures that were erected by the Fons.

Get in[edit]

Bush taxis from nearby Bohicon will cost CFA 300, and from Cotonou will cost about CFA 2000 for the three hour ride. Another option is to catch a bus or train from Cotonou to Bohicon, and use bush taxis for the remainder of the trip.

Get around[edit]

Zemi-johns are a popular, cheap and efficient way to get around. They are simply a scooter-like taxi popular in the country.

See[edit][add listing]

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people of the Dahomey Kingdom between the mid-17th and late 19th Centuries. One of the most famous and historically significant traditional sites in West Africa, the Palaces are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Each king had a new palace built for himself. They are filled with larger numbers of bas-reliefs and artwork that display everyday life, including war, sacrifices and torture methods. The palaces are:

  • Akaba Royal Palace
  • Gbehanzin Royal Palace
  • Palace of King Glele
  • Palace of King Agaja
  • Palace of King Tegbessu
  • Palace of King Agoli-Agbo
  • Palace of King Ghezo
  • Palace of King Angoglo
  • Palace of King Kpengla

It is also worth visiting the nearby museum:

  • Musée Historique d'Abomey (Historical Museum), 2150 0314, [1]. M-F: 8:30am-6pm, Sa-Su: 8:30am-5pm. Houses a number of artefacts and relics from the area. Some of the banners show torture and war tactics of the former Kingdom. The throne of Ghezo is exhibited, which was built on top of human skulls. Admission includes a guided tour, which takes about an hour. CFA 2500.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • The Musée Historique d'Abomey sells souvenirs, including banners and bronze figurines.
  • Chez Yemadje, Rue du Palais Royal, 9540 6697. 7am-7pm. Owned and maintained by the family that once embroidered for the previous kings. Sells various craft work.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Auberge d'Abomey. Has a nice terrace with WiFi - though a small beer is quite expensive at 850 CFA. (Nov 2016)  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a few motels in town, but none are of particularly good quality.

Get out[edit]

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