Sunday, December 3, 2023
Praia Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

The capital and main city of Cape Verde, an island republic in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal, is Praia, which means “beach” in both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole.

It is located on the southern shore of the Sotavento Islands group’s Santiago island. It has one of the country’s four international airports and serves as the island’s ferry port. Because of its position on a tiny plateau, the city center is known as Platô.

Praia is Cabo Verde’s capital, a commercial hub, and a port where coffee, sugar cane, and tropical fruits are shipped. There is also a fishing business in Praia, as well as tourist beaches nearby. It is the administrative center of the Praia municipality.

Praia has a temperate desert climate with a brief rainy season and a long, noticeable dry season. In reality, Praia receives very little precipitation outside of the months of August, September, and October.

Its temperature patterns mimic a tropical climate since the coldest month is far over 18 °C (64 °F), but it lacks enough precipitation to be categorized as such.

Due to its oceanside position on Santiago Island, Praia seldom gets particularly hot or very cold, despite its dry climate. With an average high temperature of 27 °C (81 °F) and a low temperature of 23 °C (73 °F), the weather is pleasant and consistent.

Praia may be regarded as a collection of plateaus and their adjacent valleys from a geographical standpoint. These plateaus are often referred to as achadas (Achada de Santo António, Achada de So Filipe, Achada Eugénio Lima, Achada Grande, Achadinha, and so on — achada is a Portuguese term for a volcanic plateau), but the central one is referred to as Plateau (in Portuguese itself). The majority of the urban settlement is built on top of the plateaus and along the valleys. The Santa Maria islet is located in front of the same-named beach (today more known as Gamboa).

For a long time, only the Plateau was considered the city, with the rest of the communities being demoted to the status of outskirts. The Plateau did not unite with the other areas until after independence to form what is currently known as the City of Praia.

Praia’s economy is based mostly on services, with some industries thrown in for good measure.

Some industries, like as fishing, are situated on the shore or in distant districts (rendering of agricultural products, materials for civil construction, etc.)

Praia’s primary economic activity are in the tertiary sector. Aside from municipal and national administration and government, there is a plethora of trade, services (health care, education, tourism, restaurants and hotels, public events, and so forth), and other liberal activities.

Flights & Hotels
search and compare

We compare room prices from 120 different hotel booking services (including, Agoda, and others), enabling you to pick the most affordable offers that are not even listed on each service separately.

100% Best Price

The price for one and the same room can differ depending on the website you are using. Price comparison enables finding the best offer. Also, sometimes the same room can have a different availability status in another system.

No charge & No Fees

We don’t charge any commissions or extra fees from our customers and we cooperate only with proven and reliable companies.

Ratings and Reviews

We use TrustYou™, the smart semantic analysis system, to gather reviews from many booking services (including, Agoda, and others), and calculate ratings based on all the reviews available online.

Discounts and Offers

We search for destinations through a large booking services database. This way we find the best discounts and offer them to you.

Praia | Introduction

Praia – Info Card

POPULATION :  City: 130,271
LANGUAGE :  Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
RELIGION :  Roman Catholic (infused with indigenous beliefs), Protestant (mostly Church of the Nazarene)
AREA :  102.6 km2 (39.6 sq mi)
COORDINATES :  14.918°N 23.509°W
SEX RATIO :  Male: 49.80%
 Female: 50.20%
ETHNIC :  Creole (mulatto) 71%, African 28%, European 1%

How To Travel To Praia

Get In - By Plain

Praia is serviced by Nelson Mandela International Airport, which is located around 3 kilometers northeast of the city.

TACV (the national airline) and a few European and African carriers provide flights to a variety of locations across Europe, Africa, South America, and the United States. Domestic flights are also available, both to Sal, Cape Verde’s major airport (45 minutes), and to smaller airports across the nation. Flights to Boa Vista take around 30 minutes.

The cost of a taxi from the airport to Plateau is $500. After 18:00, the price increases to $800. There is one bus line that services the airport, although it is recommended that you hire a cab instead, since this line only has one or two buses.

Get In - BY Boat

Additionally, you may access the city through the harbor. There are ferry boats that operate on an inconsistent timetable between Maio, Boavista, Sal, and Sao Nicolau, as well as more regular and scheduled service between Sao Vicente and Fogo.

Travelers arriving by boat arrive at Porto de Praia. As of 2014, frequent boats from Fogo (4 hours) and Brava were available (just 40 min from Fogo). The sea, on the other hand, is often turbulent and would almost certainly make you seasick – flying is much more relaxing. Porto de Praia is also the port of call for cruise passengers.

How To Get Around In Praia

Get Around - By Bus

The city is served by two major bus companies: Moura Company and Sol Atlantico. Each route is assigned a unique number. Safende to Achada Santo Antonio, Vila Nova to Achada Santo Antonio, Calbeceira to Palmarejo, Pensamento to Terra Branca, Achada Grande to Achada Santo Antonio, Sao Felipe to Plateau, Ponta D’Agua to Plateau, and Achada Mato to Palmarejo are the major lines. The majority of these routes travel through Plateau (the city’s central business district), Varzea, and Terra Branca; the bus price is around $35.

Get Around - By taxi

When it comes to taxis, you should be cautious of unlicensed cabs that sometimes cruise the streets and may attempt to scam you off. The standard cab charge between the city’s two most remote places, for example, Pensamento to Palmarejo or Palmarejo to Achada Mato, should not exceed $1500 during the day and $1800 at night. Taxi drivers often demand a gratuity of between $50 and $100. Simply be cautious and only choose cabs equipped with a taximeter to avoid being overcharged.

Get Around - By car

Rental vehicle agencies are mostly located near airports, although with the increase in tourist, downtown sites have arisen as well. Rates are around $4500 per day, tax and insurance included. Typically, the first 100 kilometers are included in the purchase; beyond that, $0.10 per extra kilometer is charged.

Get Around - By foot

The absence of an official map makes navigating the city rather difficult, all the more so given that significant sections still lack formal street names and house numbers. Fortunately, the majority of streets in the city center and more significant areas of the city have names and numbers, and the majority of people are kind and willing to assist you. Walking between districts is not suggested, all the more so since the majority of the city’s sidewalks are composed of rough cobblestone that makes walking difficult. Additionally, bear in mind that this village is very forested, making walking difficult. However, if you want a nice aerobic exercise, give it a try!

A bike is an excellent method to navigate around Praia and the island. The issue is that bicycle rentals are few, which means that if you’re planning a bike holiday, you may need to bring your own.

Prices In Praia


Milk 1 liter $ 1.10
Tomatoes 1 kg $ 0.85
Cheese 0.5 kg $ 7.00
Apples 1 kg $ 3.40
Oranges 1 kg $ 2.20
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 0.85
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $ 5.50
Coca-Cola 2 liters $ 1.90
Bread 1 piece $ 0.65
Water 1.5 l $ 0.85


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $ 20.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $ 45.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $ 61.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $ 4.30
Water 0.33 l $ 0.75
Cappuccino 1 cup $ 0.60
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $ 1.45
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.30
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $ 1.75
Coctail drink 1 drink $ 4.00


Cinema 2 tickets $ 8.00
Gym 1 month $ 38.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $ 2.80
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $ 0.12
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $ 2.60


Antibiotics 1 pack $
Tampons 32 pieces $
Deodorant 50 ml. $ 3.50
Shampoo 400 ml. $
Toilet paper 4 rolls $ 1.50
Toothpaste 1 tube $ 1.60


Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $ 46.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M….) 1 $ 24.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas…) 1 $ 70.00
Leather shoes 1 $ 50.00


Gasoline 1 liter $ 1.40
Taxi Start $ 1.10
Taxi 1 km $ 1.30
Local Transport 1 ticket $ 0.45

Sights & Landmarks In Praia

The plateau is home to a significant number of attractions. It was defended from enemies approaching by water by the ancient city wall, equipped with antique cannons. The governmental district is located in the city’s southern section.


  • Praia town hall (Antiga Câmara Municipal). The town hall, built in neoclassical style with a square central tower, is one of the greatest specimens of colonial architecture in the area. It is still in use today. Make sure to have a peek inside while the doors are open. Visitors may even get some background information on the building’s history.
  • Praia Cathedral (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça). The city’s cathedral was built in the classicist style in 1902.
  • Supreme Court (Palácio da Justiça).The supreme court is housed in a beautiful structure on the Praça Alexandre Albuquerque. It’s conceivable that you’ll be able to get inside as well.
  • Presidential Palace (Palácio Presidencial). The presidential palace was built in the late 19th century as the house of the Portuguese governor. It was recently refurbished with financial assistance from China. Other government buildings may be found in the area.
  • Quartel Jaime Mota. The old barracks next to the presidential palace are in need of repair.
  • Igreja do Nazareno. A Protestant church.
  • Palácio da Assembleia (Assemblada Nacional). Cape Verde’s national assembly.
  • Praça Alexandre Albuquerque. A plaza at the ancient town’s heart. Albuquerque was a governor who was a card player, and hence each of the square’s four corners is designated by a suit.

Museums and culture

  • Museu Etnográfico. An antique structure in the old town has a museum that tells the tale of Cape Verdean history via daily things.
  • Fundação Amílcar Cabral. Amlcar Cabral Cultural Center is a cultural center devoted to the revolutionary leader Amlcar Cabral (1924-73). It’s known for its murals.
  • Estado da Varzea. The city’s football stadium has a capacity of 10,000 people.

Geography and viewpoints

  • Praia de Gamboa. The beach that gave the city its name is called Gamboa. It is not, however, ideal for swimming.
  • Ilhéu de Santa Maria. A tiny island located right beyond the harbor’s entrance. Previously, leprosy patients were isolated on the island; now, Chinese merchants are intending to build a casino.
  • Cruz do Papa. A big crucifix with a wonderful view of Quebra Canela beach from where it sits.
  • Diogo Gomes monument. A monument honoring the explorer of the islands, Diogo Gomes. It is positioned on the plateau’s southern edge, with spectacular views of Praia do Gamboa and Ilhéu de Santa Maria.

Food & Restaurants In Praia


  • Sovaco de Cobra. Locals love this down-to-earth eatery.
  • Café Cachito, Praça Albuquerque,  +238 2 619278-9 915740. The town’s oldest bar, situated in the main plaza.
  • Cybercafé Sofia, +238 2 617546. It’s a nice spot to enjoy some local cuisine while watching the world go by. Expats and the chess community in the area love it.


  • Restaurante Punto D’Incontro, Avenida Cidade de Lisboa,  +238 2 617090, e-mail:[email protected]. Cuisine from Italy and Cape Verde.
  • Restaurante Panorama, Rua Serpa Pinto,   +238 2 614100, fax: 2 613076, e-mail:[email protected]. Located downtown in the Hotel Felicidade. Open all day. The business community enjoys its feast.
  • Restaurante Flor de Liz, Rua 5 de Julho 43,  +238 2 612598. Cap Verdean cuisine with a vast menu and generous portions.
  • Churrasqueira Dragoeira, Achada S.Antonio, +238 2 623335. This restaurant is known for its barbecue chicken and is also a wonderful place to meet locals.
  • Restaurante Marisqueira Rosita, Hotel América (Largo da Europa, Porta Nº 09, Achada S. Antonio),  +238 2 38 2622888, fax: 2 621432, e-mail:[email protected]. 10-23. $500-2200.
  • Churrasqueira Benfica, Achada S.Antonio,  +238 2 622195. Barbecue restaurant with a Brazilian flair.
  • Restaurante Nova Luar, Terra Branca,  +238 2 614009.


  • Beramar Grill, Chã D’Areia,  +238 2 612826. Specializes in seafood and is known for its tuna and bacalao served with white wine.
  • Restaurante Gamboa, Cha D’Areia,  +238 2 611115, e-mail:info@[email protected]. African food with generous portions. They offer a good assortment of local wines as well. Service that is pleasant.
  • O Poeta, Achada de Santo António,  +238 2 613800, fax: 2 611603, e-mail: [email protected]. O Poeta is a popular hangout for the upper crust and visitors, located next to the Portuguese embassy with a great view of the city. Barbecued squid with veggies and cheese is a house speciality.
  • Restaurante Avis, Rua 5 de Julho,  +238 2 613079, e-mail:[email protected]. Good cuisine is said to be available right in the heart of the city, although service is sluggish, as is customary in Cape Verde. Live music is performed on occasion.

Shopping In Praia

Praia has a number of marketplaces. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t plan to purchase anything if you want to see a true African market. One of the patterned, colorful linens manufactured in the countryside is a nice keepsake to carry home.

  • Mercado Municipal (Mercado Central), Avenida Amílcar Cabral. From early in the morning, there will be food and handcrafted products for sale. It’s a vivid, colorful area that every visitor should see, yet it’s not a good location to come if you have claustrophobia since it can be fairly crowded here. Pickpockets should also be avoided.
  • Mercado de Sucupira. Another market to see, with the same safety measures.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Praia

Praia, being the nation’s capital and largest city, has a higher crime rate than the rest of the country. The majority of crimes involve minor stealing, with the majority of victims being locals rather than visitors, however there have been a few occurrences involving foreigners. So, although Praia is still a fairly secure city in general, take cautious not to flash any costly jewelry or technology like as iPhones. In recent years, Cape Verde has experienced an upsurge in minor crimes perpetrated mostly by groups of young males; thus, avoid gatherings of young men, particularly at night.

Praia is very poorly illuminated at night, so be cautious in areas where there are no street lights when you are alone, and always go in couples or bigger groups for safety. If anything does happen, there are police stations located around the city, as well as a general hospital in the city center.



South America


North America

Read Next

Kuwait City

Kuwait City is the country’s capital and biggest city. The metropolitan region has a population of 2.1 million people. Kuwait City is the country’s...


Timișoara is the county capital of Timiș and the primary social, economic, and cultural hub of western Romania. Timișoara, one of the major Romanian cities...


Dili is East Timor’s capital, biggest city, main port, and commercial center. Dili is located on East Timor’s northern shore, sandwiched between the central highlands...


Havana is Cuba’s capital, biggest city, province, main port, and most important commercial center. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million people and...


Iran, commonly known as Persia, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is formally known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is...


Salzburg is the capital of the federal state of Salzburg and Austria’s fourth biggest city. Salzburg’s “Old Town” (Altstadt) is one of the best-preserved city...