Flights to Praia The capital and largest city of the island nation of Cape Verde is Praia. Praia is situated on the island of Santiago, on the southern coast, and the whole archipelago lies off the coast of Senegal. In Portuguese, Praia means beach, and the city does have attractive beach resorts as well as a colonial centre.
The city of Praia is served by the nearby Praia International Airport (airport code: RAI). It’s about 3 kilometres away from downtown Praia and easy to get to. You will be able to book either a 1 or 2 stop flight to Praia if you are departing from Johannesburg. With South African Airways, you will connect in Dakar, and Angola Airlines make a stop-over in Luanda. You can also book a flight to Praia with TAP Air Portugal and have a route that goes through London and Lisbon instead.
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The Tourist Attractions of Praia:
Cape Verde is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination over the last decade or so, and being the capital, largest city and location of the airport, Praia is a good place to start a visit to these islands. In the city centre you’ll find several hotels, but the more luxurious ones, and usually more popular ones, are located outside the city centre in the beach resort areas, especially in the suburb of Prainha.
The beaches are always a popular attraction in Cape Verde, so while visiting Praia you can certainly enjoy those to be found here, however, Praia offers more than just its namesake and has several landmarks to visit including the colonial town, the Presidential Palace and more.
Praia Colonial Centre
Praia is quite an interesting city as it was originally constructed on top of a plateau overlooking the bay, and hence its city centre is often referred to as ‘Plateau’. The size and shape of this restricted how the town could originally be built, but since colonial times it has expanded along the shoreline and back behind the plateau. The colonial centre will therefore be found on here and at the heart of it is a public square named Albuquerque Square. The square is attractive, if a little empty, with a fountain in the centre and important buildings lining its edges such as the Supreme Court of Justice, and the Old City Hall which was built in the 1920s.
The Presidential Palace is just a block away from the square and it was built in the late 19th century as the home of the Portuguese Governor.
Most of the buildings are younger than this, but one of the oldest in Praia is the Jaime Mota Barracks which was built in 1826.
Museums in Praia
At this time Praia does not have a National Museum, but with the city becoming more popular who knows what will happen in the future! In the meantime there are several museums to visit if you want a change from the beaches – the Ethnographic Museum is the most recommended.
When Should You Visit?:
Praia has a lovely warm climate that’s very dry but has a short, sharp wet season in August and September, spilling over slightly into October. The rest of the year it is essentially arid and temperatures, which peak in August to October, stay within a few degrees across the year. 29C is the average high from August to October, then it drops to an average high of 25C in January.