Porto Novo

Porto Novo Mosque

Travel to Porto-Novo – The Capital of Benin

Porto-Novo is the capital of Benin but it is a pleasant city which differs from the other bustling and busy cities of this fascinating country. It is a port on an inlet of the Gulf of Guinea, in the southeastern portion of the country. Porto-Novo is Benin’s second largest city, but the city of Cotonou is more important, culturally and politically.

Located close to the beach and with numerous attractions such as museums and palaces, the city makes an interesting place to visit.

Porto-Novo was once a tributary of the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo and there continues to be a sizable Yoruba community in Porto Novo today. The city’s name is of Portuguese origin, meaning “New Port.” It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade.

Places worth visiting in Porto-Novo include Museé Ethnographique de Porto Novo; a museum that takes an intensive look into the past of Porto Novo’s kings, Palais Royal du Roi Toffa; the former residence of King Toffa and Museé da Silva which is a museum that celebrates the Afro-Brazilian influence on the city. Also worth a look is the 19th century Brazilian style church which is now converted into a mosque; a colourful and unique building.

There are two nice parks in which you can enjoy walking or in January you can attend a fete which celebrates Afro-Brazilian legacy and is a large festival of food, music, and dancing.

Relax in the two parks which have pleasant walking paths as well as some restaurants in which to sample the local food.

Traffic isn’t overwhelming like in Cotonou. However, like Cotonou, the best way and easiest way to see Porto Novo is by zemidjan.

  • Attend lively and exciting festivals.
  • Visit museums and palaces.
  • Take a gentle stroll in beautiful parks in order to relax.


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