Porto Novo is the capital of Benin. founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century,and still retains much of that influence. It is the second largest city in Benin and home to a handful of tourist attractions, including many of the country’s most outstanding museums. The capital is also a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of Benin, including the nearby city of Cotonou.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Porto-Novo is mid-January when the streets erupt in celebrations of the country’s Afro-Brazilian legacy in annual voodoo festival. The enormous festival includes plenty of food, dancing and music sponsored by the Musée de Silva.
Top Places to Visit in Porto Novo
1. Musée da Silva
Musée da Silva is one of the most popular highlights of Porto-Novo. The museum celebrates the city’s Afro-Brazilian heritage through an interesting collection of artwork, artifacts and photographs. The complex also houses a small library, hotel, traditional home and an open-air cinema that regularly shows French films.
2. Musée Ethnographique de Porto-Novo
The Musée Ethnographique de Porto-Novo is also worth a visit. The well-curated collection highlights the kings who once ruled over the region, and the small entrance fee is definitely worth it to see the rich selection of Yoruba masks, musical instruments and costumes.
3. Palais Royal du Roi Toffa
The former home of King Toffa. Also known as the Museé Honmé, the well-maintained palace details royal life in the late 19th-century.