Southern Benin attractions

Top Choice Gardens 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 – anything…
Top Choice Museum 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 fo…
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 tree…
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 thrones…
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 between …
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 element …
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 im…
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.
Market in Porto Novo

Grand Marché

Manic, chaotic, full of questionable smells, this is your typical fresh produce plus anything market. Excellent for picking up picnic supplies.