Welcome to Benin

The Republic of Benin (French:  République du Bénin) and formerly Dahomey, is a country located in West Africa bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of the government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital. Not to be confused with the former Benin Empire; the country of Benin has no connection to Benin City in modern Nigeria, nor to the Benin bronzes. The form “Benin” is the result of a Portuguese corruption of the city of Ubinu (now Benin City) and the new name; Benin was chosen for its neutrality.

Life is relatively cheaper. Bargaining is a way of communicating with the merchant and the small providers. In general, when the price is displayed, it means that it is non-negotiable. Bank notes of 5,000 FCFA or 10,000 FCFA are difficult to use, try to make change as soon as possible (for example by buying phone recharge cards, chocolates and cookies).

1 US Dollar = 565,075 FCFA

1 Euro = 655,957 FCFA

200 Naira = 318 FCFA

1 Ghana Cedis = 120, 27 FCFA

There are Public Transit Companies at a reasonable cost. But when it comes to moving a few kilometers inside the city of Cotonou there are motorcycle taxi drivers commonly known as “Zemidjan” who offer varying prices between 100f CFA and 700f CFA at least according to the place of destination. There are also various Taxi companies that you can take for a round  from 2000 to 5000 CFA francs.