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Praia is Cape Verde's capital and busiest city. Settlements in Praia started in the 1615 which then became capital of the country in the year 1770. The city is located in the southern end of Santiago Island and has year round good weather. The city is divided into various small unofficial districts, the most important ones being, Plateau (city center), Achada Santo Antonio, Palmarejo, Fazenda, Achada Grande, Varzea, Safende, Sucupira(bazaar area), Calbeciera, Terra Branca, Vila Nova, Achadinha, Bairro, Prainha, Monte Vermelho, Achada Mato, Achada Sao Felipe, and other smaller ones. Most part of the city are residential areas, so probably not worth visiting in itself, but worth a half-day exploration if you are passing through to another destination.

The center of the city lies on a plateau overlooking the bay to the southeast. The airport lies a few kilometers to the northeast.

Get in[edit]

Praia has an international airport. TACV (national flag carrier)[8] and TAP airlines fly to various destinations in Europe, Africa, South America and United States. Taxis from the airport to Plateau cost 800/1000. You can pay in Euros (10€ to Praia in June 2016). There is one bus line that serves the airport but it’s better to just take a taxi since there is actually only one or two buses that serves this line. You can also enter the city through the port. There are ferry boats that have irregular service to and from the islands of Maio, Boavista, Sal and Sao Nicolau, and more regular and scheduled service to and from Sao Vicente and Fogo. You can exchange money at hotel (1 €= 105 Escudos) or in the city (1 €= 110 € in June 2016).

Get around[edit]

The city has countless bus stops, and taxis are everywhere waiting for customers. There are two main bus companies that serve the city, Moura Company and Sol Atlantico. Each route has their own numbers. The main lines are from Safende to Achada Santo Antonio, Vila Nova to Achada Santo Antonio, Calbeceira to Palmarejo, Pensamento to Terra Branca, Achada Grande to Achada Santo Antonio, Sao Felipe to Plateau, Ponta D'Agua to Plateau,Achada Mato to Palmarejo. Most of these lines pass by Plateau (city center), Varzea and Terra Branca, the bus fair is about 35 escudos. When it comes to taxis you should be careful with illegal taxis that sometimes roam around and might rip you off. The normal taxi fare between two furthest points of the city shouldn’t be more 1500 escudos in daytime and 1800 escudos at night time, example Pensamento to Palmarejo, or Palmarejo to Achada Mato. Taxi drivers usually expect to get a tip, give around 50 escudos to 100 escudos. Just be careful and always drive with the taxis that have a taximeter, so that they don’t overcharge you.

The city doesn’t really have a good way to navigate because of the lack of an official map. This is because large part of the city doesn’t have their names or house numbers yet. In the city center and in the more important parts of the city most streets have names and numbers. However, most people are friendly and will give you directions. Walking by foot between the different districts is not recommended, especially since most of the city's side walks are made out of loose cobblestone and is difficult to walk, also because the city is full of hills that can be tiring to walk. But if you want to have a good cardio-workout try it!

See[edit][add listing]

  • Praia town hall. (14.917112,-23.509324) edit
  • Praia Cathedral. (14.917389,-23.508751) edit
  • Palácio da Justiça. (14.917710,-23.508626) edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Av. Amircal Cabral is the main street. Parallel to this, you have a pedestrian street with some shops including a Souvenir Shop. Normally close at 18 h.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Cybercafé Sofia. A great place to eat local food and watch the world go by. (14.919648,-23.507438) edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Residencial RosymarInn, 16 Rua Tenente Valadim (known as Rua Madragoa) Praia, Santiago, (+238) 2616345 (), [1]. checkin: 01:00; checkout: 11:00. Newly renovated bed & breakfast located in the heart of the city of Praia, known as Plateau, near the Presidential Palace. Friendly staff, very clean and quiet rooms. Breakfast included. 30 to 50 Euros. (14.983333,23.433334) edit


  • Hotel América, Achada St Antonio - Praia - CP 55/A, (+238) 262 1431 (). In Praiha, south of the centre of town near the beaches sgl 4500$ dbl 5500$ suite 7200$ including breakfast.  edit
  • Benfica Pensao, 30 Rua 5 de Julho | Plateau Praia, Praia, Santiago CP 273A, Cape Verde.  edit
  • Beramar Restauracao Hotelaria e Tourismo, Cha De Areia, Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde.  edit
  • Perola Hotel, Cha de Areia, Praia, Santiago 129A, Cape Verde.  edit
  • Residencial Praia Maria, 30 Rua 5 de Julho | Plateau Praia, Praia, Santiago CP 273A, Cape Verde (In a quiet area near the main market), [2]. checkout: 12:00. This three star hotel is a bit past its prime, but is bright and clean. Sgl 4200-6000$ dbl 5200-7000$ triple 6500-8000$ includes breakfast.  edit


Praia's high-end options are located south of the main town in the area of Prainha.

  • Pestana Trópico, Caixa Postal 413 Cidade da Praia Cabo Verde, (+238) 2614200 (, fax: (+238) 2615225), [3]. 10min to centre of the Praia. 5km from the airport.  edit
  • Oásis Atlântico Praiamar, Prainha, Cidade da Praia, Ilha de Santiago, (+238) 261 3777 / 261 4153 (, fax: (+238) 261 2972), [4]. Decrepit infrastructure, outrageously overpriced.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

Being the capital and biggest city of the country, Praia has a higher crime rate than most parts of the country. Most crimes involve petty thievery and these are mostly focused on actual residents and not on tourists, although there have been a few cases which involved tourists. So Praia is still a very safe city, just be careful with flaunting any expensive jewelry or gadgets like iPhones and such. Cape Verde in the past few years has seen an increase of petty crimes which are done mostly by groups of young people so avoid groups of young men especially at night.

Praia is also a badly illuminated city at night, so be careful in places that might not have street lights and is somewhat isolated, always travel in pairs or in groups for safety. However if anything does occur there are police stations in various parts of the city and a general hospital in the city center.

The stairs at the edge of Achada Santo Antonio towards Plateau are unsafe, also during the day, avoid that neighbourhood.

At night, take a taxi.


Embassies & Consulates[edit]

  • Gr-flag.png Greece, C.P. 578, Plateau, Praia, Cape Verde, 238-261-5980 (, fax: 238-261-5981).  edit
  • Po-flag.png Portugal, Avenida OUA, CP 160 Achada de Santo António, Praia, Cape Verde, 238-262-36-26-60 (), [7].  edit

Get out[edit]

Cidade Velha, the historic capital, is an easy half-day trip. You can rent a car or ask for a full day tour (9 hours) for a round trip island.

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