Around Praia, Cape Verde
I believe in Santiago Island, where Praia is located, you might need about 3-4 days to get to see a lot. But in my case, since I was visiting family that was living there by that time, stayed there for 2 weeks, I took my trip very slow. Plus this is a great place to relax.
Few steps away from where I was staying, I visited Praia Shopping. Beautiful view from here and where I had my 1st dinner in town.
On my 1st Sunday, we decided to go to Plateau (the city centre), because… well… It’s Sunday! But everything was closed! We walked for a little while until we reached a bakery that was the only thing opened. And good place for a coffee and something sweet: Pao Quente. You can actually find it in different places around the city.
The following day, a Monday, I went back to the Plateau. Really nice place to see. If you want to get closer to the locals and walk freely this is a good area.
I first visited a good point view. I saw it from the road below and I thought it was going to be a great place for photography and see part of Praia.
From there, I started walking by ‘Avenida 5 de julhio’, a pedestrian road with lots of stores and even a small market with local souvenirs and more. Although, my brother went 3 weeks after I left and told me the market it was only for a while, so maybe it’s an annual thing or every other time… I visited in May 2016.
As a female solo traveler, I needed to pay attention at everything and everyone around me. A lot of people in town (including my sister-in-law) told me to be careful. Well, yes, I heard few whistles but not big deal, just be prepare and don’t pay attention to them. I never had my camera like tourist, but most of time I tried using my phone since it’s easier and faster to put in my purse. Not showing it around freely.
To go around, I saw taxis everywhere. From Praia to the Plateau it’s about 200 escudos (about $2). Always ask about the price because they don’t have a taximeter. From the airport to Palmarejo (where I was staying) it was 1000 escudos, my sister in law even told me if they charge me more than 1200 don’t take it (+200 because maybe they charge something extra because it was midnight).
In my opinion the beaches nearby weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. I love going to the beach, I’m a Caribbean girl and I’ve been living in Florida for a really long time, but even when they looked good I rather visit other places. However, there are some restaurants that you can enjoy in front of the ocean like at Praia Shopping or by “Quebra Canela” beach.
I also visited Farol de D. Maria Pia. One thing you have to pay attention to, kids asking for money. One came closer to me, he asked me first if I spoke Portuguese, I said no, English, I said no, and without asking ‘Spanish’ or any other language, he asked me for money in different languages. It was funny (in a way) he learned to say ‘money’ in Spanish, Italian, English and French. I had few coins in my pocket, because I was prepared for it, I gave him that and kept asking me for more, I just said with a strong voice ‘no’ and he left. I guess that works. 🙂
There are some places you can visit for a day trip from Praia like the Old City. I would love to go back to Cape Verde again, as a traveler and not just for a quick visit to family but it was really nice to see around.