São Tomé City In Focus

Travel Team
Travel Team 2 Min Read

São Tomé City is the islands’ capital – a port city surrounded by beaches. Although it has gone into an economic decline since the departure of the Portuguese, it has several interesting attractions and a ‘leve leve’ (easy easy) attitude that makes it worth a visit.

For a start, there are some interesting colonial buildings, mostly located near Independence Square. These include Nossa Senhora da Graça, one of Africa’s oldest cathedrals, and São Sebastião, a small fort which houses the national museum. CACAU, or Casa das Artes, Criação, Ambiente e Utopias (House of the Arts, Creativity, Environment and Utopias), is an ambitious cultural centre with a restaurant, theatre and exhibition space. Meanwhile, for a taste of local culture, head to the city’s largest market, the chaotic Mercado Grande.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the city. Jasmin is a restaurant in a restored colonial mansion, where you can enjoy pizza and hamburgers on a quiet terrace. Thanks to its proximity to the ocean, there are plenty of places to pick up excellent seafood dishes, ranging from beach-front shacks to more upmarket offerings.

The city is well-positioned as a base for exploring the rest of the island. Hire a taxi for the day and visit places such as Roca Agostinho Neto – once the largest coffee plantation on the island – or the beautiful Blue Lagoon Bay.

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