Top ChoiceGardens in Porto Novo

Centre Songhai

The Centre Songhai is a major research, teaching and production centre in sustainable farming. There are one-hour guided tours to visit the plantations and workshops. You can also buy the centre's produce –...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Ouidah

Zinzou Foundation Museum

This museum of contemporary African art, housed in a stunning 1920s Afro-Brazilian villa, displays paintings and sculptures as well as light, video and sound installations. It's a classy affair, run by the Zinzou...

Memorial in Ouidah

Route des Esclaves

The Route of the Slaves includes the slave auction plaza, the Tree of Forgetfulness (where slaves were branded with their owners' symbols and, to make them forget where they came from, forced to walk around the...

Market in Cotonou

Grand Marché de Dantokpa

Grand Marché de Dantokpa

The seemingly endless Grand Marché du Dantokpa is Cotonou's throbbing heart, bordered by the lagoon and Blvd St Michel. Everything under the sun can be purchased in its labyrinthine lanes, from fish to soap,...

National Park in The Atakora Region

Parc National de la Pendjari

Parc National de la Pendjari

This 2750-sq-km national park is one of West Africa's best for wildlife. Visitors may spot lions, leopards, elephants, baboons and hippos. The best viewing time is near the end of the dry season (November to...

Museum in Abomey

Musée Historique d'Abomey

Abomey's main and seriously impressive attraction (and a World Heritage site since 1985), this sprawling museum is housed in two palaces, those of the ancient kings Ghézo and Glélé. The museum displays royal...

Gallery in Cotonou

Fondation Zinsou

Named after the family that started it, this fantastic exhibition space seeks to promote contemporary African art among Beninese people through photography, paintings and sculptures. The chic boutique sells...

Church in Cotonou

Cathedral de Notre Dame

With its vibrant red and white stripes, this Catholic cathedral is not just a place of worship but also home to a small bookshop selling titles by regional writers as well as a handful of academic texts. The...

Museum in Ouidah

Musée d'Histoire de Ouidah

Ouidah's main site is its Musée d'Histoire de Ouidah, housed in the beautiful Fortaleza São João Batista, a Portuguese fort built in 1721. It retraces the town's slave-trading history and explores the links...

Village in Ganvié

Ganvie Stilt Village

This stilt village, located in the lagoon of Lake Nokoue, was created for the Tofinu people to stay safe from slave hunters. It has become part of their culture and way of life. The teetering houses, schools,...

Market in Cotonou

Fetish Market

This market sells anything associated with voodoo, including varieties of tree barks and dried plants (both used in traditional medicine) and stalwarts for voodoo rites, such as dried animal parts, particularly...

Museum in Porto Novo

Musée Honmé

This museum is housed in the walled palace of King Toffa, who signed the first treaty with the French in 1863. It focuses on the alounloun musical instrument, a long piece with a sliding metal ring, the key...

Museum in Natitingou

Musée Régional de Natitingou

Housed in a colonial building built by slaves at the beginning of the 20th century, this museum gives an overview of life in Somba communities. The exhibition includes various musical instruments, jewellery,...

Waterfall in Natitingou

Kota Falls

Fancy a refreshing dip? Consider heading to the Kota Falls, 15km southeast of Natitingou, off the main highway. You can hike around in the hills, swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls or just sit down and...

Museum in Porto Novo

Musée Ethnographique de Porto Novo

Housed in a pretty colonial building, this museum is well worth a gander. The top floor is organised thematically around birth, life and death, with everything from costumes to carved drums. Downstairs there's an...

Temple in Ouidah

Python Temple

Those interested in voodoo could visit the python temple, home to some 60 sleepy snakes. The guide explains some of the beliefs and ceremonies associated with the temple.

Cultural Centre in Grand Popo

Villa Karo

On the main road through the village, Villa Karo is a small gallery with great exhibitions focusing on local art.

Mosque in Cotonou

Mosque

This mosque's two white towers stand out in this city of low-lying structures. It's an interesting place to pause for a few moments for a spot of people-watching and to observe the coming and goings of...

Beach in Cotonou

Fidjirossé Beach

This pretty stretch of sand is a lovely place to embrace local culture and cool off. It's a favorite spot for Beninese to retreat to with families and is lined with coconut palms and a handful of buvettes for...