São Tomé is the capital city of São Tomé and Príncipe, located on the the island of São Tomé.
Sao Tome is the largest and capital city of The Sao Tome and Principe islands.It's the commercial zone of the islands meaning it's the largest port and economical affecting area. It is very quiet, provincial with virtually no nightlife or much organized entertainment. On the other hand, it is safe, human-scale and full of pretty if decrepit colonial architecture. Most tourists will only spend time there to shop or take care of official matters, but with its parks and playgrounds and friendly people, families with small children can also find spending an afternoon in the city pleasant. The city is seeing some development due to the European,American and Chinese development aid.
There are various ways to enter Sao Tome mentioned in the following.
There are direct planes heading straight to Sao Tome mainly from Portugal, Gabon and Angola. Some flights might be available from Nigeria as well as from Cape Verde, too. You'll arrive at Sao Tome Airport (TMS) which is quite crowded (and where things take their time) but don't let that put you off. Taxi easy to find on TAP Portugal Arrival Flights. Fixed price>: 10 €. or one hour and 15 minutes pleasant walk along the beaches to city center. Moto taxi is Les than 4 €.
Although some rocas had narrow-gauge railways in the past to ferry goods, the ruins of which are visible in places, São Tomé has never had a passenger railway system.
Travel by car is an alright option as there are basically only existing 3 main directions: southwards on the eastern coast via Pantufo, São João dos Angolares till Porto Alegre, westwards via Conde till Neves, plus the island inland with Trinidade, the mountains, etc.. Within Hotel Agosto Neto, at Netu Service you can rent a car or motorbike.
Buses arrive from all parts of the island to bus station near the market.
You could travel from the south coast to the North where Sao Tome is or come from Cameroon's city of Doulala.
Go and a hire a scooter from the locals! They are friendly and Hotel staff will assist you with this. Cost is roundabout US$ 20 per scooter.
Around the mercados there are a swarm of collectivo vans hawking for riders. Vans serving different routes cluster together. In the absence of any signage about routes drivers will point you towards the area to find a suitable van. Collectivos are always crowded and cheap.
A variety of nice things to see would be the Cathedral de Sao Tome (On Avenida da Independencia) , Fort de Sao Sebastiao (On the North of Avenida Marginal 12 Julho) and Estadio Nacional 12 de Julho (On the East Coast of Sao Tome , Atras do Estadio Ponta Mina). Also, the Claudio Corallo chocolate factory's showroom is on the coastal road. Call ahead 222 2236 as they are open only a few times during the day.
For lively entertainment play volleyball at the East Coast on Campo de Voleibol. Unfortunately, the city's only cinema has closed. There are also soccer games to watch at times at the National Stadium, near the two Pestana hotels. Games usually start early in the afternoon.
For calm entertainment swim in the ocean out in the Central Coast just in front of Rua do Municipio. Other popular beaches are at the National Museum and next to the new Pestana hotel. You can also play minigolf at MINIGOLF opposite Parque Popular which is on Avenida da Independencia.
Nightlife is very limited but there are a few discos in town. The disco next to the Pestana hotel also has a casino.
The islands Sao Tome and Principe and the Capital City (Sao Tome) were a colony of Portugal up until 1975. This means everyone in Sao Tome speaks Portuguese. Learning Portuguese will guarantee your enjoyment of visiting the City of Sao Tome. French is also spoken or at least understood by most adults in the city. English tends to be spoken only by those in the tourism industry and a few of the young and well-educated.
However many people speak Angolares and Kriolo(Both african sounding versions of Portuguese) so to learn those from natives would be a great help.
Sao Tome not being such an advanced city in terms of work hasn't got many options to choose from. 70 percent of the people there sell food, clothes, and drinks on the streets or in markets and only the small 30 percent pursue careers like hotel managers, businessmen and doctors.
(However due to the rise in Taiwanese, Indian, American and Chinese investment in the City a few Sao Tomean (or Tomean) construction workers are building new facilities for people to work in.)
Shop for food , drinks and gifts at the bustling markets of Mercado de Fardo and Mercado Munincipal (Both on Avenida Geovany). Also there is modern supermarket called Colombo Supermarket which is situated on Avenida Kwame N'kruma near Estadio Nacional 12 de julho.
[Opinion]. The mercados are two of the saddest meat and vegetable markets you may ever visit.
Eat tasty traditional African and modern Portuguese dishes at the great Restaurants:
Churasquiera do riboque (On Avenida Geovany)
Esplanada Jasmine (Rua da Guine)
Café e Companhia
The Hotels in Sao Tome are expensive but top quality these hotels include:
Hotel Agosto Neto(On Avenida Amilcar Cabral )
Pestana Sao Tome(On Estr de Pantufo)
Sao Tome is very safe and probably the most Peaceful African Nation since Independence.
US Consulate, United Nations House, Angolan Embassy , Nigerian Embassy, Taiwanese Embassy, Portuguese Embassy as the focal point for Europeans.
Remember to have your 18 EUR or 20 USD or similiar in cash, as this will be charged as the official exit fee at São Tomé Airport. You will not be allowed to leave the country without paying this fee.