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. Probably not worth visiting in itself, but worth a half-day exploration if you are passing through to another destination.
The centre of town lies on a plateau overlooking the bay to the southeast. The airport lies a few kilometers to the northeast.
Praia has an international airport. TACV (national flag carrier) and TAP airlines fly to various destinations in Africa, and to Portugal. Taxis from the airport to Praia cost 500$. After 18:00 the cost is 1000$. 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.
- Praia town hall. (14.917112,-23.509324)
- Praia Cathedral. (14.917389,-23.508751)
- Palácio da Justiça. (14.917710,-23.508626)
- Cybercafé Sofia. A great place to eat local food and watch the world go by. (14.919648,-23.507438)
- Residencial RosymarInn, 16 Rua Tenente Valadim (known as Rua Madragoa) Praia, Santiago, ☎ (+238) 2616345 ([email protected]), . 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. dpl 3500 to 5500$. (14.983333,23.433334)
- Hotel América, Achada St Antonio - Praia - CP 55/A, ☎ (+238) 262 1431 ([email protected]). In Praiha, south of the centre of town near the beaches sgl 4500$ dbl 5500$ suite 7200$ including breakfast.
- Benfica Pensao, 30 Rua 5 de Julho | Plateau Praia, Praia, Santiago CP 273A, Cape Verde.
- Beramar Restauracao Hotelaria e Tourismo, Cha De Areia, Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde.
- Perola Hotel, Cha de Areia, Praia, Santiago 129A, Cape Verde.
- Residencial Praia Maria, 30 Rua 5 de Julho | Plateau Praia, Praia, Santiago CP 273A, Cape Verde (In a quiet area near the main market), . 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.
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 ([email protected], fax: (+238) 2615225), . 10min to centre of the Praia. 5km from the airport.
- Oásis Atlântico Praiamar, Prainha, Cidade da Praia, Ilha de Santiago, ☎ (+238) 261 3777 / 261 4153 ([email protected], fax: (+238) 261 2972), . Decrepit infrastructure, outrageously overpriced.
- United States, Rua Abilio Macedo 6 Praia, Cape Verde, ☎ 238-260-8900 ([email protected], fax: 238-261-1355), .
Cidade Velha, the historic capital, is an easy half-day trip.