- Ζώνη Ώρας
- Τηλ. Κωδικός
- West African Franc (XOF)
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Dakar, the precious gem of Africa! Searching for cheap air tickets to Dakar? You are about to discover a beautiful city that stretches across the Cape Verde Peninsula and encompasses a region of idyllic little villages and French colonial towns. And yet the beauty of Dakar lies someplace else; the beauty of Dakar are its people! The hot and dusty streets of Dakar thrive with open-air markets, a feast of colours, textiles and costumes. You will most probably find the city crowded and noisy, but everything seems perfectly fine when you listen to the continuous murmur of the city, the gossip of local women, the laughter of the drivers. Find easily cheap hotels in Dakar, plan your journey and get ready to submerge into a revolution of sounds and colours, in a city that dances to the beat of Senegalese mbalaz and offers wholeheartedly its legendary teranga (hospitality)!
Dakar is the capital of Senegal and a much-loved travel destination for those who know how to travel. This vibrant cosmopolitan city is also a major trade and financial hub of Senegal, where the heart of the social and artistic world beats; a focal point not only for the African and European cultures, but also for the dozens of nationalities and religions that make up the Senegalese horizon.
Often described as the “Paris of Africa”, Dakar ranks among the top travel destinations in Western Africa!
Don’t be fooled though: Despite the unbreakable bonds with the French colonialism, the historic buildings and the rich architectural heritage, Dakar, above all, retains the African element, this fascinating, mesmerising melting pot that is called African culture.
A precious experience, not to be missed!
The airport of Dakar (Aéroport international Léopold-Sédar-Senghor) is located 10 kilometres north of the city centre and is served by bus line No.8.
Getting around Dakar
You can get around Dakar using the city’s extensive bus network. Fares start at 239.46 XOF and minimum taxi fare costs 1456.32 XOF.
Begin your acquaintance with Dakar at the Place de l'Indépendance, the central square of the city that is surrounded by a series of impressive colonial buildings, near the Gouvernance (Governor’s Office) and the Chambre de Commerce (Board of Trade).
- Your eye will be caught by the Presidential Palace (Palais Présidentiel) and the traditional colonial costumes of its guards. Surrounded by elegant gardens, the presidential palace was built in 1907 as the residence of Dakar’s governors, while today it serves as the home of the Prime Minister.
- Next stop is the Museum of African Art (Musée Théodore Monod d'Art Africain), one of the most notable museums in Western Africa. Dedicated to the African art and culture, this museum boasts collections of over 9,000 items, including masks and traditional costumes from all around Africa.
If you wish to see more art, don’t forget to pass by the Dak’Art Biennale, an art exhibition with major masterpieces of art from contemporary African and international artists.
Continue to Medina, a colonial neighbourhood with narrow streets, tiny shops and traditional markets. Medina was built by the French colonists as a community for the local population and is the proud birthplace of Youssou N’Dour, Senegalese favourite singer, actor, activist and Minister of Culture!
Apart from its original beauty, Medina represents a primary hub of art and creativity, housing 1,664 art galleries!
Don’t miss the Grand Mosque (Grande Mosquée), built in 1964 and inspired by the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. Climb up to the top of the minaret and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the city; just make sure it’s not Friday, as this is a national day of prayer and entrance to the mosque is prohibited.
Lac Retba, Lac Rose or Pink Lake is the name of an extraordinary beautiful lake, just half an hour drive from Dakar; and it’s literal, the lake is actually pink! Owing its colour to the presence of bacteria that metabolise certain salts that have accumulated at the region since thousands of years ago, this pink pigment is produced as a by-product. The result? The most photogenic, fascinating scenery you have ever witnessed!
As you’re making your way back to the Place de l'Indépendance, take the ferry to the Ile de Gorée. Part of the European colonies in Western Africa, this small isle is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to have played a crucial role at the transportation of slaves to America. If you wish to know more on this subject, you should definitely visit the House of Slaves, a museum focusing on the history of slave trade in Dakar.
The official language of Dakar is French, but the most widely-spoken language is Wolof, spoken by over 80% of the population. 36 more languages are spoken by the local population, in small or larger percentages.
To enter Dakar, you need:
- a passport with a validity of 6 months after your travel dates
- a tourist Visa, issued by the Embassy of Senegal