Tenders will often be used.
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Praia is the capital of the Cape Verde Islands and its biggest city with over 113,000 inhabitants. Praia became capital in 1770, following the decline of nearby Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha) and was granted city status in 1858. Nowadays, as well as being the country's administrative center, it is also an important port which exports coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits.
Most of the interesting colonial buildings and museums are located on or are near to the Praca Alexandre Albuquerque, an impressive square in the old part of the city known as Plato (Plateau). Highlights include the 19th Century Palácio Presidencial (Presidential Palace), the Igreja Nossa Senhora da Graca (Church) and the Palacio da Cultura which also houses an Internet Cafe and Bookshop. Nearby, views over the bay and the Ilheu de Santa Maria can be enjoyed from the City's (slightly derelict) fortified walls complete with canons.
When it comes to taxis you should be careful with illegal taxis that sometimes roam around and might rip you off. The normal taxi fare between two furthest points of the city shouldn’t be more 1500 escudos in daytime.
The city doesn’t really have a good way to navigate because of the lack of an official map. This is because large part of the city doesn’t have their names or house numbers yet. In the city center and in the more important parts of the city most streets have names and numbers.
15km from Praia, Cidade Velha (literally ‘Old City’) has won Unesco World Heritage status as the first European settlement in the tropics. Taxis charge about CVE4000 for a return trip, including an hour or two to visit the sites.
Fish lovers will be in heaven on Cape Verde. The grilled lobster is superb as are the fresh tuna, octopus and multitude of other delicacies.
The bustling Fruit and Vegetable Market, located on the Avenida 5 de Julio, is worth a visit to see the Island's agricultural produce and taste one of those Bananas!.
Opening hours are generally Monday to Friday 0800-1300 and 1500-1800; Saturday 09:00-13:00; closed on Sundays
Cape Verde Escudo (1 Euro= 113 Escudos)
Hotels and banks may charge slightly more.
Credit cards are accepted at an increasing number of up-market hotels,
but not all of them. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted
Everything is closed on public holidays and on Sundays, and many
shops also close early on Fridays. Opening hours tend to be Mediterranean
- that is, Monday-Friday 08:00/08:30 - 12:00/12:30 and 14:00/14:30
- 18:00/18:30; Saturday 08:30 - 12:00. Banks are often shut in the
afternoon. Restaurants operate from about 19:00 - 23:00. Nightclubs
tend to open at midnight.
1 January New Year
20 January National Heroes Day
1 May Labour Day
5 July Independence Day
15 August Nossa Senhora da Graça [Our Lady of Grace]
12 September Nationality Day
1 November All Saints Day
25 December Christmas Day
Mardi Gras and Good Friday are also national holidays.
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