Top things to do

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 Beninese in Abomey

Chez Delphano

This delightful maquis is a winner. Marguerite prepares exquisite Beninese cuisine in a jovial atmosphere. She also prepares crêpes in the morning, with freshly ground coffee and a mountain of fruit. Yum! Chez Delph…
Top Choice Bar in Cotonou

Buvette

This place with no name is brilliant for sundowners. Tables spill out of nowhere as soon as darkness falls and there is often live music.
Top Choice European in Route des Pêches

Bab's Dock

This hidden gem near the Route des Pêches is on the edge of the lagoon. Food is European in style but local in production. A secure car park is signposted from the route; from there, a boat takes you to the restaura…
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…
Top Choice French in Cotonou

L'Atelier

Considered by some connoisseurs to be one of the most refined restaurants in town, with excellent French and fusion cuisine, and an ambience that's as optimal for business lunches as it is for a romantic evening out…
Top Choice French in Cotonou

Chez Clarisse

This small French restaurant, in a pretty residential area next to the US embassy, is a perennial favourite that churns out excellent French and local specialties, such as fish with moyo sauce, as well as pancakes a…
Top Choice Bar in Cotonou

Le Livingstone

One of the most atmospheric spots for a drink is the terrace of this pub in Haie Vive, which serves as one of the biggest expat hangouts in town.
Top Choice Beninese in Cotonou

Maman Aimé

This is a super atmospheric Beninese maquis (rustic open-air restaurant) with little more than a few wooden benches and tables under a corrugated iron roof. Here you'll get a blob of pâte (starch staple, often made …
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…