Top 5 Must Do's in Cotonou

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While visiting Cotonou, Benin, here is a list of the Top 5 Must Do's (in no particular order).

Artisanal Center -  The center is located off Boulevard Saint Michel, and sells traditional art and crafts from all over Benin. Here you will find wood and metal sculpture, tapestries, drums, and unique items made by Benin's talented craftsmen. The entrance is free and prices are relatively reasonable. Never accept the first price, this should be used as a bargaining tool.  However, make sure to give the local craftsmen a fair price for their goods as a lot of work and time went into them.

Fidjrosse Beach - Located in the neighborhood of Fidjrosee, the beach is public and free. There are little huts for rent here, if you are looking for a little shelter from the sun. Fidjrosee Beach has many cafes, bars, and inns, perfect for a nice, refreshing cold drink and lunch after a day in the sun. Its best to hit the beach in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't at its peak, it can get very hot here.

Marche Dantokpa - One of the largest open air markets in West Africa, the Marche Dantokpa is also located on the Boulevard Saint Michel. Much like the Artisanal Center, you will find many local craftsmen selling their sculpture, art, wood carvings, and drums, but in addition to the arts and crafts, you can also find many other items such as colorful African cloth, household goods, food items, leather good, and souvenirs. Like everywhere else in Benin, the prices are not set here and you should bargain with your seller, but make sure to give the seller a fair price. 

Ganvie - About 45 minutes from the city of Cotonou is the Lac Nakoue, a one of kind town. Unlike Venice in its beauty and splendor, Ganvie does however rival in its impression. This village is built entirely on stilts, and is home to nearly 26,000 inhabitants. Unlike Venice, Ganvie is not built around the water, but rather on top of the water. The locals here eat, sleep, work, and play on the water. This attraction is a must see for everyone. Boat ride prices are usually fixed.

 Foundation Zinsou -  The Foundation Zinsou is an African Arts & Culture Gallery featuring contemporary African arts and culture exhibits. The gallery is well equipped with excellent facilities, is very modern, and has a cafe on the ground floor. There is a great collection of African Art books in the bookshop, however most are written in French.

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