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Praia

Travel Guide
  • The capital city of Cape Verde, Praia means 'beach' in Portuguese.
    © Axel Lauer / 123RF
  • The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, on the island of Sao Tiago, is less attractive than Mindelo and its colonial houses have unfortunately not been maintained as well as they could have been. It does have, however, the old Council House, built in the 19th century, the law courts, and the Igreja Martiz church. Another attraction is the African market, which is as interesting as that of the village of ...
    © Axel Lauer / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Cape Verde

The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, on the island of Sao Tiago, is less attractive than Mindelo and its colonial houses have unfortunately not been maintained as well as they could have been. It does have, however, the old Council House, built in the 19th century, the law courts, and the Igreja Martiz church. Another attraction is the African market, which is as interesting as that of the village of Assomada.

Praia: what to do?

The African influence can be felt all over the city of Praia (the market, the colours, the clothes, the music, etc.). To the west of Praia lies the small town of Cidade Veilha, which was the first city in Cape Verde. The beaches of Tarrafal and Châo Bom are very busy at the weekend since the locals come here to relax and party.

The island of Santiago is not only the most African of Cape Verde, it is the largest and most populated. The villages further inland have kept their Creole identity and the traditional Cape Verdean culture remains very strong.

 Cape Verde  Cape Verde
Praia: the key figures

Surface area : 1557.0 km2

Population : 516733 inhabitants

  • Great cultural and historical interest thanks to a rich past.

Reminders

Beware of the strong tides when swimming, as they are a common cause of drowning.

To avoid

Avoid drinking the tap water and having ice in your drinks.

Praia: what to eat?

The national dish is called 'cachupa': it is made of corn, bacon and chorizo and looks a bit like a stew. The food staples here are fish, chicken, pork, rice and vegetables. You can find some excellent grilled rock lobsters. Typical of the archipelago, 'grogue' is a white or brown rum served like a punch.

Praia: what to buy?

Unfortunately, the artisanry here is not very developed, being mainly limited to crochet items (tablecloths, place mats, bedspreads, etc.), naïve-style paintings, some batik items, straw hats, and objects made from sea shells.

Praia Reviewedhotels
  • 6.75 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Tropico
    Praia - Cape Verde
    Hotel Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    The Tropico is a hotel without any particular charm, but well ...

  • 6.15 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Residencial Praia Maria
    Praia - Cape Verde
    Hotel Hotel 3 Etoile(s)

    This small boarding house is very well kept and perfectly appropriate ...

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