Praia is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde. It is located on the island of Santiago island in the Sotavento group and has a population of about 100,000 inhabitants. It is the administrative, cultural and economic centre of the country and is home to one of several international aiports. It also functions as the major port in the country, mainly for import and export of many of the island's products. For travellers, there are abundant hotels, restaurants and a great nightlife, as well as cultural activities. Features include the Palace of Culture, the Ethnographic Museum and the National Historical Archive.
February sees the most colorful and spectacular festival of the island’s calendar and is one of the best times of the year to visit Cape Verde. No matter where you go, it is virtually impossible to escape the party and endless music in full swing. The most elaborate and hedonistic celebrations take place on the streets of Praia and Mindelo where everyone pulls out their fancy costumes and puts away their inhibitions. The dancing, drinking and debauchery goes on for days, with music, fireworks and huge parades.
Started in 2009, the Kriol Jazz Festival is held in the capital of Praia every April and attracts artists from around Cape Verde and abroad. The event promotes Cape Verde’s rich musical heritage, which hails from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Performances are held at locations around the city and get the community moving to the music all weekend long.
A raucous event which is celebrated on every island, Independence Day festivities are held July 5, commemorating the day the country gained its freedom from Portugal. Colorful celebrations complete with serious drinking the local favorite grogue and feasting are the norm and the fun carries through into the evening. It’s a great time to visit and experience the pride and light-heartedness of the locals.
TACV Cabo Verde Airlines is the national airline of Cape Verde and flies from Praia International Airport (RAI). There are connections to Banjul, Boston, Dakar, Fortaleza, Lisbon and London.
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