West Africa is host to the top tourist attractions in Benin. Benin is one of the few safe places you can travel to in the region. The country is fairly stable and offers an array of sights. Tourist attractions in Benin range from pulsating wildlife to grand palaces and temples, some of which in ruins. As the birthplace of Vodun or “Voodoo”, you are bound to see and experience many more things there.
Benin belonged to the Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. Back then, it played a major role in slave trade. In Quidah, you will find Route des Esclaves, a memorial for locals who were kidnapped and sold as slaves to other parts of the world. Quidah also has a museum with heavy focus on the slave trade along with other facets of Benin’s culture, history, and religion. Situated in a Portuguese fort, it is a must-see for anyone who travels to the country.
Abomey, the capital of the Dahomey Empire, has ruins of royal palaces and temples as its main attractions. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site it is one of the top tourist attractions in Benin. The Abomey Historical Museum housed inside the royal palace, grand ruins, and bas-reliefs testify to the wealth acquired by the Dahomey kings through slave trade. The museum also reveals the brutality of Dahomey rule. It has a collection of grisly tapestries and a throne made entirely of human skulls.
As the birthplace of Vodun religion, voodoo is widely practiced throughout Benin. You will also find fetish markets almost anywhere. Grande Marche du Dantopka seems to be the most popular because of the skulls and skills sold there. The Dankoli fetish located near Savalou is also a great place to buy items if you wish to call upon the gods.
Benin also possesses inherent beauty as seen from the likes of Ganvie. Home to Lake Nokoué, Ganvie is one of the largest lake towns in West Africa. The best places for wildlife viewing are W National Park and Pendjari National Park. Both nature preserves are shared by Benin to Niger and Burkina Faso.
Port Novo is another interesting city for travel in Benin. Many of its structures are reminiscent of the French colony. Grand Popo is a good place to relax mainly because of its beaches. West of Djougou you will find tower houses made of mud and clay. They are called tata and serve as homes to the Somba people. The tata are some of the top tourist attractions in Benin because they are unique to the country.