Best Cities, Towns to Visit in Cape Verde | Major Cities in Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a country full of natural beauty with a beautiful list of beautiful cities to visit in Cape Verde. Cape Verde is fairly difficult to spot on a world map as well as on a map of Africa but the country has a lot of beautiful cities and small towns. A year-round tropical climate, deserted beaches, outstanding mountain landscapes, amazing fish and seafood, and the welcoming Cape Verdean people, make it the perfect year-round vacation destination. The archipelago of Cape Verde straddles the continent of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. The country is more westernized than the rest of the African continent and facilities for travelers are, by and large, better. With that being said though, the country still feels like an African destination. The fantastic music and the bustling markets in every city are clear signs that you are not far from the African coast. Each island serves up a different set of attractions and reasons to visit and each island feels vastly different from the last.

Those seeking nightlife with its loud and vibrant music scene, Cape Verde can accommodate a please outdoor enthusiasts with its perfect and picturesque terrain for hiking or watersports. But if you are simply looking to relax by the sea, then Cape Verde can also fulfill your desire with its perfect golden sandy beaches and healing black sand beaches. Here are the best cities in Cape Verde all offer truly authentic experiences.

Cape Verde City List

1. Praia

best cities in Cape Verde, top cities in Cape Verde

Praia is situated on the fertile island of Cape Verde considered in cities to visit in Cape Verde. Praia is also the capital city of Cape Verde. Like many capitals, Praia is the political and economic home of Cape Verde. The town does have plenty to explore although it is not as focused on tourism as many destinations in Cape Verde.  The old colonial buildings in the city’s old town make for some pretty photo opportunities and great for exploring in the sunshine. There are also churches, the parliament and a presidential palace building to be seen. You will surely enjoy beautiful sandy beaches nearby although it should be noted that the nearby Praia de Gamboa is not recommended for swimming.

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2. Santa Maria

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Santa Maria, top cities in Cape Verde is a lively and developed city. This beautiful city in Cape Verde is situated on Sal Island. The hotels in the city are of the highest standard and will comfortably meet, if not surpass, the expectations of travelers from Europe and North America. If you want to spend your holidays on a classic beach resort, Santa Maria is one of the most ideal locations in Cape Verde. The sandy beaches that lie only a few minutes walk from the luxurious hotels offer clear blue water and watersports such as jet-skiing and scuba diving. For tourists looking for culture and history, the main sight here is the Weighhouse in the old harbor which was used in the past to weigh salt before export.

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3. Palmeira

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Palmeira is a busy harbor town responsible for many of Cape Verde’s imports and exports. Palmeira is also situated on Sal Island and counted as famous cities in Cape Verde. There are many things to attract tourists to the town including many restaurants, beautiful architecture and lively bars. The town is also revered amongst divers who flock from around the globe to experience the reefs located just off the coastline of the town and the many underwater caves. If you want to cure some aching muscles after hiking or even just exploring the town then take the salt baths here are perfect for soothing relaxation.

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4. Mindelo  

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Mindelo city of Cape Verde has a reputation for being home to a real mix of cultures. It is well known as popular cities in Cape Verde Mindelo. It is located on the island of Sao Vicente and due to a decline in the economy and harbor here in the last decade, the city is now home to many people living in slum-like conditions. The island maintains its claim of must-visit for travelers hoping to experience lively nightlife in the country and being the cultural capital of Cape Verde, despite various conditions. The bars and music clubs here will keep you entertained until the early hours. In the daytime, the fish market and harbor in the town are worth exploring.

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5. Ribeira Grande

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Ribeira Grande is a cozy but stunning city on the Santo Antao island and  known as the best cities to visit in Cape Verde. Ribeira Grande is nestled in a valley of the same name.  The winding streets here are as charming as the small restaurants and guesthouses that occupy them. The attractions for travelers include clothes market and a lively food market, as well as the Nossa Senhora, do Rosario church.  You can try the hot springs in the city which are a popular tourist attraction but also retain a calm and natural feel, for relaxation.

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6. Porto Novo

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Cape Verde city name list is incomplete without Porto Novo. It is located on the island of Santo Antao.  Porto Novo has a constant dry feeling exacerbated by the hot dusty wind that blows here. The city is home to a great museum which gives you detailing the lives of Porto Novo’s past kings as well as a royal palace colonial buildings worth visiting and several governments. The royal palace was formerly occupied by King Toffa. It is one of the best ways to experience and learn about how African royalty lived.

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7. Ribeira Brava

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Ribeira Brava is a small city with a grand natural backdrop. It is the capital of the island of Sao Nicolau. The entire city is surrounded by mountains, the city is a lively one and begins the day early with traders setting up and selling from wooden crates all along the narrow streets. The colorful buildings that line the streets of the town center are worth visiting.  The city has ample accommodation options and also a modern market hall where food, clothing and other amenities can be purchased by the tourists.

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8. Tarrafal 

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If you take a 20-mile drive from Ribeira Brava you will reach the city of Tarrafal. Tarrafal has more inhabitants than its close neighbor. The city is one of the most popular places for beach swimming on the island as it has easy access and the black sands here are rumored to relieve pain due to minerals such as Iodine. Tarrafal is home to the largest harbor on the island of Sao Nicolau as well as beaches. this city also has many quality restaurants and shops to keep tourists entertained.

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9. Morro 

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Morro is only a small town located on the island of Maio is worth mentioning. It is considered as the most beautiful towns in Cape Verde. The beaches here are the finest in Cape Verde. Morro is entirely surrounded by palm trees with golden sand, the beaches are idyllic.  The sea turtles that visit the island to lay their eggs in the summer will surely seal the deal if you are not already tempted to visit Morro.

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10. Sao Filipe

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Sao Filipe is home to the island airport and most beautiful cities in Cape Verde on the island of Fogo. This truly picturesque city has black lava beaches. The lower and upper sections of the city are separated by the Alto San Pedro which is essentially a large plaza. The city should be visited for bustling markets, which take place every morning, brightly colored buildings and of course the nearby volcanic craters. If you are looking to visit a beach while in Sal Felipe, it is best to travel a little distance from the city where the beaches are much cleaner.

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