Boats in Praia

Travel to Praia – Capital of Cape Verde

With a distinctly African-Mediterranean feel, the city of Praia is the administrative, political and economic capital of the country. Built on an elevated basaltic plateau overlooking the bay, the setting of the old town is actually quite dramatic.

Following the construction of the first administrative buildings and the town’s fortifications, Praia became the official capital of Cape Verde in 1770. The city underwent rapid growth following independence and is today, the countries largest urban centre. Much of its growth is due largely to migration of people from the interior and from other islands in search of work.

Originally called Praia de Santa Maria, a walk through this lovely town, stopping for a coffee at one of the pleasant esplanades or just relaxing in the gardens is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. A visit to the local municipal market and stroll along the bustling streets of the Plato are other alternatives.

Prainha is the name given to the area right next to the sea noteworthy for the presence of several embassies and refined residences. The Hotel Praia Mar is also here and its small beach is a popular local meeting place. Another delightful beach is Quebra Canela.

Taxis are cheap and plentiful, though the city centre and ‘plateau’ are small enough to explore on foot.

  • Discover old town architecture and real local Cape Verdean atmosphere on Praia’s ‘Plateau’.
  • Widest choice of accommodation on Santiago Island.
  • Vibrant start and end point of island explorations.


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