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 The Cape Verde Peninsula sticks out westward into the Atlantic Ocean, reaching from the Old World to the New, harbouring the westernmost city on the African mainland: Dakar. A city that represents Africa's development better than almost any other, Dakar boasts the comforts and luxuries of modern living, while firmly keeping a grasp on its history and traditions. The bustling markets of downtown are juxtaposed with the laid-back pace of Île de Gorée and the surrounding beaches, making a visit to Dakar a fascinating experience of contrasts.

currency

West African CFA franc
1 XOF = 100 centimes

phone

Police: 17
Fire: 18
Medical: 33 889 1515

newspaper

Enquete Plus
La Gazette
Le Quotidien
Le Soleil
Sud Quotidien
Wal Fadjri

hours

Most businesses and shops generally open at about 8:30am and close around 7:30-8:30pm. Some establishments may close for a few hours during the early afternoon. Some places may also open on Sunday morning, and others will remain closed on Mondays.

population

City: 1,056 million (2011)

Panorama of Dakar, Senegal

The City

Dakar has been for centuries a vital hub for travel and commerce, connecting Africa, Europe and the Americas. Once an important point for the Atlantic slave trade because of its strategic location, it still holds an important position for trade, transport and communication.

Dakar's rich cultural heritage and a diverse and often difficult colonial history have bred a unique social blend that incorporates European, North African and West African elements, but stands out from all three. It is a blossoming city with a vibrant art scene, exciting diversity and enough natural wonders in the vicinity to warrant a few day trips. The mix of cultures is clearly visible in every aspect of the city, from the art and architecture to the cuisine and religious practices, and every quartier holds new things to discover.

Welcome to Dakar

Do & See

Giant bronze statues, fantastic art museums, mosques, cathedrals and tons of fascinating history mean that you're sure to find plenty to do in Dakar. If you feel like exploring a bit further outside the city, attractions like the pink Lake Retba, the Village des Tortues, and the nearby Gorée Island make for great day trips.

African Renaissance Monument

Théodore Monod African Art Museum

Ile de Gorée

House of Slaves

Le Village des Tortues (The Turtoises' Village)

Grand Mosque of Dakar

Médina

Hann Park and Zoo

Lake Retba

Village des Arts

Place de l'Indépendance

Palais Présidentiel

Our Lady of Victories Cathedral

Océanium

Layen Mausoleum

Lamb and sweet potato peanut stew served with white rice. Caribbean and West African dish.

Dining

Like its population, Senegal's cuisine draws from North African, French and Portuguese influences, all of which are mixed with local ingredients and the gastronomic traditions of the country's diverse ethnic groups. Fish is an important part of the food here, as are lamb, peas, peanuts, cous cous and lentils. Also, be sure to try some of the delicious juices made with fresh fruit like mango and soursop.

La Cabane du Pêcheur

Ali Baba

Chez Loutcha

La Fourchette

Lagon 1

Le Patio

Noflaye Beach

Close up image of tan stylish woman shaking her morning coffee, wearing summer trendy dress and accessorizes , siring alone at cafe. Bright colors.

Cafes

Coffee culture in Dakar has its quirks. There's nothing quite like buying a tiny plastic cup of extra sweetened coffee from a street vendor. But as the city has become ever more cosmopolitan and worldly, and as international influences have become more and more a part of life in the Senegalese capital, Western style cafes have been popping up throughout the city. Below are some suggestions for those wanting to escape the hustle of the city to enjoy a hot coffee, a quick snack or a creamy dessert.

Simone Cafe

Times Cafe

Sweet Coffee

Presse Cafe

Nescafe Stands

Cafe Touba

The still waters of the Atlantic ocean reflecting the colourful lights along the shores of downtown Dakar

Bars & Nightlife

Dakar boasts some of the best, liveliest and most varied nightlife in West Africa. Bars provide cool and refreshing drinks, while nightclubs keep the crowds dancing till morning. The selection of musical and cultural events is staggering, with concerts, movies and performances always available throughout the city.

Phare des Mamelles

Bayékou

Le Thiossane

Institut Français de Senegal

Kadjinol Station

Théâtre Daniel Sorano

A lot of baskets of sea grass made by women in Africa from Senegal

Shopping

The best shopping to be found in Dakar is at the abundant and colourful markets all around the city. Some specialize in certain types of products, like fabrics or local produce, while others seem to offer just about anything you can think of. Be sure to haggle to ensure getting the best possible price, and beware of pickpockets, who tend to take advantage of the hectic bustle of markets.

Marché Sandaga

Marché Soumbédioune

Marché HLM

Marché Kermel

Sea Plaza

horse on the beach of Senegal

Tourist Information

Passport / Visa

Citizens of the following countries can visit Senegal visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days: European Union citizens, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Japan, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea, Togo, Tunisia, United States. They need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months from the date of arrival.
Visa for up to 90 days can be obtained upon arrival by citizens of 69 countries and territories including Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,Egypt, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Monaco, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Seychelles, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. They need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
Note that evidence of return or onward travel may have to be presented in order to enter the country. A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever might also be necessary if travelling from endemic countries.
If you're not sure whether or not to apply for a visa, we recommend that you contact the embassy or consulate in your country.

Website: www.diplomatie.gouv.sn

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Dakar is during the dry season, namely from November to May, when the average temperature is around 20°/68°F and rain is basically non-existent. Of course, this is also high season. From June to October it’s wet season, with hot, humid days and frequent rainfall. During this period, you can find good deals and still have a pleasant stay, but note that some business may be closed.

Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport

Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (DKR) is located in the area of Yoff, in the northwest part of town. It is the main air travel hub of the country and handles numerous flight to major international destinations in Africa and Europe, as well as to New York.

If you haven't arranged for airport pickup, taxis are your best bet to get to the city. There is a taxi stand outside the terminal, but many illegal taxi drivers will try to offer rides before you can get there. Ignore them and only take the registered taxis. Bus number 8 also goes to the city from the airport. It is much cheaper than a taxi, but can also take much longer.

Address: Yoff, Dakar

Phone: +221 33 869 50 50

Public Transport

Dakar's public bus system is called Dakar Dem Dikk. It is relatively reliable and very affordable, but the bus network can be very difficult to figure out if you're not already familiar with it. Be sure to ask a local if you're not sure which bus to take to get where you're going.

Website: www.demdikk.com

Taxi

Taxis are ubiquitous in Dakar and can be flagged down anywhere. They are fast and safe as well, but you must haggle and agree on the fare before getting in. Taxis can also be caught in front of major hotels. They are usually yellow and black with a printed number on the side.

Post

There are several post offices in Dakar.

Main Post Office:

Address: 12 Boulevard El Hadji Djily Mbaye, Dakar

Pharmacy

Pharmacie Mandela:
12 Avenue Nelson Mandela, Plateau, Dakar
Open 24h
+221 33 821 21 72

Pharmacie Guigon:
Avenue G. Pompidou, Dakar
Monday-Saturday 8.00-23.00
+221 33 823 03 33

Pharmacie Mame Oumy Gueye
125 Sacré çoeur 3 Pyrotechnie, Lot 87, Dakar
Monday-Saturday 8.30-23.00, Sunday 9.00-22.00
+221 33 825 59 99

Telephone

Country code: +221

Area code: 8

Electricity

230 V / 50 Hz
Type of power sockets: C / D / E / K