Top Places to Visit in Benin
If you’re in Africa, you must find a way to visit and do a “side trip” to Benin. It is not a large country compared to other nations in the continent but you will find it very interesting. The people are so keen with their cultural heritage and you will see that in their way of life, their establishments and the place itself. There are about eight important landmarks in the country and all of it are listed in this Benin travel guide.
8. Musée Da Silva
Musée Da Silva or Da Silva Museum is a tourist attraction located at Porto Novo, the capital city of Benin. It is one of the places to visit in Benin if you are up for a history and heritage day trip. The structure looks like a medieval age building and it will really give you a feeling of nostalgia. Once inside, you will see Afro-Brazilian relics which date as early as 1870. This tourist attraction is one of the country’s landmarks.
7. Place de I’Etoile Rouge
Place de I’Etoile Rouge or Red Star Place, in English translation, is like a rotunda situated in Cotonou City. It is a memorial during the Marxism period of Benin and it is the biggest monument of that kind in the whole country. The place was established in 1975 by the fearless leader of Benin at that time, General Mathieu Kerekou. He was so inspired with the Marxism-Leninism, he advocated the ideology all throughout Benin and this is the most famous structure attributed to that in the entire country.
6. Ancien Pont
Ancien Pont is the name of the most notable bridge of the country and is one of the places to visit in Benin. It is conveniently located above Lagune de Cotonou and it connects two part of Cotonou City which was separated by the bay. This massive and beautifully lighted bridge, a landmark in Cotonou of Benin, was erected back in 1928. Renovation of the bridge transpired back in 1981. This is an important bridge because it is being used by residents and passersby for their personal and business reasons.
5. Musée en Plein Air de Parakou
Musée en Plein Air de Parakou is another tourist attraction and important museum in the country. The museum is within the vicinity of Parakou City – actually, it is less than a mile from the city center or about 1 and a half kilometers away. There are five circular structures within the open air museum and it depicts how the Batanou people of Benin live. There is a small entrance fee to this lovely museum, about 1500 CFA Francs and that is for preservation expenses.
4. Ouidah Museum of History
When you are looking for a history show in Benin, you have to go and visit Ouidah Museum of History. This history museum is located within Ouidah City of Benin and it has everything cultural and historical about Ouidah and Benin, as well. They have six exhibitions within the museum which are the Kingdom of Xweda, Kingdom of Dahomey, Slave Trade, Vodun, and Cultural Links between Benin and the Whole World. It would be a refreshing tour and in fact, it is one of the recommended places to visit in Benin.
3. Royal Palace, Porto-Novo
The Royal Palace of Porto Novo is a museum called King Toffa’s Palace or Musee Homne. They call it a Royal Palace because at one time, it was indeed a royal residence to the royals of Benin. Today, it is an important museum which displays remnants coming from King Toffa’s collection and relics saved during his reign. At this time, the Royal Palace is awaiting recognition from UNESCO and it is still in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
2. Pendjari National Park
Like all the other countries in Africa, Benin also has a national park and this is the Pendjari National Park. It is one of the top tourist attractions in the country because of its natural habitat. The park is also among of the attractions in the tentative list site of the UNESCO World Heritage webpage. This national park has an area of 2,755 square kilometers. It has elephants, hippopotamus, buffaloes and antelopes. The park is also known for its bird species.
1. Royal Palaces of Abomey
One of the places to visit in Benin is the Royal Palaces of Abomey. This is a tourist attraction in Benin which is recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It has criteria iii and iv designation and was inscribed back in 1985. The place, though, has been under the Endangered List but it was lifted after 2007. The Royal Palaces of Abomey is a very ancient structure which was established back in 1625. Various kings have lived here until the 1900’s.