ROL Cruise recommends…
Praia’s shining beacon
One of Praia’s most popular landmarks is its lighthouse, the Farol da D. Maria Pia, named after Maria Pia of Savoy, who was queen of Portugal when the structure was built in 1881. Also known as the Farol da Ponta Temerosa, the lighthouse stands at 21m and is 10m above sea level from its vantage point on the Lazeto head. Take a free guided tour of this historic attraction, which affords you fantastic views.
The beating heart of Praia is Platô, so called because it is built on a plateau, nestled in the old town district of the city. You’re sure to be charmed by the Portuguese architecture, quaint shops and bustling marketplace. Edifices worth a visit include city hall, the presidential palace and the Nossa Senhora da Graça church. After sightseeing, you can drink in pretty vistas of a neighbouring bay from Platô’s elevated viewpoint.
Learn something new
To find out more about the Cape Verdean islands, pay a visit to the Museu Etnográfico da Praia (Praia Ethnographic Museum) in Platô. This nineteenth century, colonial-style building opened as a museum in 1997 and today houses culturally significant artifacts from Santiago, Santo Antao and Boavista Brava. These include two cavaquinhos and a cimboa, musical instruments of Portuguese origin. Other exhibits tell a story of food production and cattle breeding, while there are also pieces on display from a number of sunken ships.
Feel the rhythm
For an authentic taste of Cape Verdean life, make your way to Quintal da Música in Platô where traditional local music is played live almost every night. You’ll experience a range of styles, from morna to coladeira and batuko, with some tasty local delicacies just waiting to be sampled. The faces of the musicians who have frequented the nightspot will be looking down on you from the walls as you dance and dine.