The 10 Best Things to Do in Cotonou, Benin

October 1, 2017 Esmeralda Fenner

Home to many diplomatic services and the largest population in the country, Cotonou is the de facto capital of Benin, although not the official one. Its location at the crossroads between numerous neighboring countries makes it a commercial hub, instrumental in opening trade to the African interior. From Cotonou travelers may depart for tours of the outlying regions. The nearby stilted village of Ganvie is a short day trip from the bustle of Boulevard St. Michel and the Dan Topka market.
Restaurants in Cotonou

1. Fondation Zinsou

Quartier Cadjehoun, Cotonou, Benin +229 21 30 99 25
Excellent
42%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 64 reviews

Fondation Zinsou

Reviewed By Bjorninbrussels - Brussels, Belgium

We were lucky to be at the Fondation Zinsou at the time of a Keith Haring exhibition. There are excellent guides and the place is very well organised. I recommend strongly a visit! There is also a nice small shop and café.

2. Artisanal Center

Boulevard Saint Michel, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
18%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
8%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 72 reviews

Artisanal Center

Reviewed By constanttraveler71 - Nairobi, Kenya

A collection of small shops with bargaining on objets d'art. I went on a Sunday morning, and therefore was not surrounded when I exited the taxi.

3. Marche Dantokpa

Boulevard St. Michel, Cotonou, Benin +229 61 78 95 80
Excellent
21%
Good
61%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 37 reviews

Marche Dantokpa

Reviewed By ttarlton31 - Washington DC, District of Columbia

Marche Dantokpa is huge. Anything you want, you can find here, but be prepared to walk around. The only way to really appreciate the market is to walk around and see the different vendors and bargain. The best time to go is at the end of the day when vendors really want to sell you can get your best deals. Aside from shoppoing for goods you can also by local food here. Make sure you have a strong stomach and a healthy appetite.

4. Fidjrosse Beach

Fidjrosse | Route Des Peches, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
22%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
1%
Terrible
9%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 54 reviews

Fidjrosse Beach

Reviewed By Pastor Donchris... A - Kumasi, Ghana

Very good place for my quiet time, not so popullated like other beach in Cotonou on every sunday. There are many beach more beautiful that this Fidjrosse side like OBAMA beach and CHARCOL beach by airport side. But Fidjrosse beach is located at residential estate side and it's very far from these beach i mention, and Fidjrosse has many beautiful entertainment BEACH TERRACES, but one thing is that Fidjrosse beach has a paid ticket gates to enter the beach site not just paid to enter a beach Terraces. Good place for Lovers and hide & sneak dating.

5. Palais des Congres

Boulevard de la Marina, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
39%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
12%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 8 reviews

Palais des Congres

Reviewed By mahme - Monte-Carlo, Monaco

The building itself is one of the more recognizable buildings in Cotonou.
It can only be seen from the street though and one is not allowed to walk into it.
Be careful when taking pictures, if guards see you, they may make a scene and you might have to delete your pictures. Best is to ask for permission if you see anyone around.

6. Etoile Rouge

Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
9%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
55%
Poor
9%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 11 reviews

Etoile Rouge

Reviewed By mahme - Monte-Carlo, Monaco

It's a big roundabout with a tall monument in the center, and shaped like a red star (as seen from the sky)... Interesting to drive by or check our for a few minutes, nothing more.

Ancien Pont Bridge, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
25%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
25%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 4 reviews

Cotonou Cathedral

Reviewed By spanspan - Kaizuka, Japan

元々は1883年に建設された教会をで、地元ではカテドラルといわれている。外観がとても特徴的だ赤と白でシマシマにあしらわれた二色のカラーリングはとても印象に残る。カテドラルはコトヌーを代表する二つの教会の一つ。

8. Obama Beach

Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
0%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
42%
Poor
14%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 7 reviews

Obama Beach

Reviewed By ELHERFI - Pretoria, South Africa

This is such a great place to go to!
The beach is great, there is a a restaurant with good food at really reasonable prices, a beach that is quite beautiful and plenty of things to do!
You can sun tan, swim, play football with any of the locals having a beach soccer game, play volley ball or simply take a long walk on the beach!
A worthy place if you just want to have a good time, with simple activities requiring little money

9. Stade de l'Amitie

2651 Rue, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
18%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
55%
Poor
18%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 11 reviews

Stade de l'Amitie

Reviewed By mahme - Monte-Carlo, Monaco

The stadium itself is very rundown, and typical of 1980s built African stadiums.
It is the national stadium, and if you ask the guards, they will let you in for free to see the track and soccer pitch (when I visited it, the grass had grown over 15inches tall). Despite the appearance, it is still used for the National team's matches.

10. Saint Michel church

San michel avenue, Cotonou, Benin
Excellent
50%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
50%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Saint Michel church

Reviewed By spanspan - Kaizuka, Japan

コトヌーを代表する教会の二つのうちの一つが、サンミシェル教会で、元々は1937年に建設され、改築を重ねて現在の姿に。規模的に言えばカテドラルよりも大きいように感じる。外には十字架に縛られた大きなキリスト像もあり、場所はすぐわかる。

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