Cotonou, Benin: What to pack, what to wear, and when to go [2024]

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Ready to pack for Cotonou, Benin? If you're planning to go to Cotonou, here is some important information about when to go, what to wear, and what to pack.

Contents

When to go to Cotonou, Benin

Based on the climate and weather in Cotonou, Benin, the best time to go is January. See below for details.

What to wear/what to pack for Cotonou, Benin

Already know when you're traveling?

Here are some general tips on what to wear in Cotonou, as well as several items to remember to pack when traveling there.

What to wear/what to pack for Cotonou, Benin by month

January

January here can be sweltering, somewhat hazy and very dry with almost no rain. Temperatures average in the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports repeatedly losing luggage nowadays, an AirTag can help you find it anywhere on earth: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge large amounts for overweight luggage. Save money with this

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel pillow

    A good option is this one

  • Travel voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Take care to find the necessary kind. The vast majority of adapters available are just plugs and require your electronics to adjust the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could burn up. This one should be sufficient for most countries.

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

February

Traveling to Cotonou in February, you will notice that it can be very hot and dry with little rain. Daytime temperatures are in the high 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports repeatedly losing luggage nowadays, an AirTag can find it anywhere on earth: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge huge penalties for overweight luggage. Save money with this

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Make sure to pick the necessary kind. Most adapters currently available are just plugs and require your devices to adjust the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get destroyed. This one should work in most areas.

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel neck support pillow

    An excellent option is this one

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

March

Traveling to Cotonou in March, you will notice that it can be sweltering. Expect it to rain occasionally. Daytime temperatures are in the high 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines constantly losing luggage nowadays, an AirTag can locate it anywhere on earth: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. It's important that you choose the necessary type. Many adapters currently being sold are just plug changers and expect your devices to change the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could get destroyed. This one should be appropriate for most areas.

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge huge amounts for overweight luggage. Save money with this

  • Travel neck support pillow

    A versatile choice is this one

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

April

If you visit Cotonou during April, you will probably see that it is extremely hot and somewhat stormy. Temperatures tend to hover around the high 80s F (low 30s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the high 70s F (mid 20s C). Humidity is generally between 70 and 80% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain about a third of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines constantly losing bags these days, an AirTag can help you find it anywhere in the world: AirTag for iPhones.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel pillow

    A versatile choice is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge huge penalties for overweight luggage. Save money with this

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Be careful to find the necessary type. A lot of adapters currently being sold are just plugs and expect your devices to adjust the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get destroyed. This one is sufficent for most areas.

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

May

May is constantly hot, somewhat rainy and somewhat stormy. Temperatures average in the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day. It rains 5-10 days this month.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports always losing bags these days, an AirTag can find it anywhere in the world: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel neck support pillow

    Our favorite is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Plug adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Ensure that you pick the necessary kind. The majority of adapters for sale now are simply plugs and require your electronics to adjust the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could burn up. This one should be sufficient for most countries.

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge excessive prices for overweight luggage. Avoid surcharges with this

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

June

If you vacation in Cotonou during June, you will probably notice that it is extremely warm, somewhat rainy and somewhat stormy. Temperatures tend to hover around the low 80s F (high 20s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the 70s F (mid 20s C). Humidity is generally between 70 and 80% during the day. In terms of precipitation, you can expect it to rain about half of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports frequently losing bags nowadays, an AirTag can find it anywhere in the world: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge large penalties for overweight luggage. Avoid penalties with this

  • Travel neck pillow

    Our fave is this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Check that you choose the necessary type. The vast majority of adapters on sale are simply plugs and require your electronics to convert the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could burn up. This one should work in most places.

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

July

In July, Cotonou is extremely warm and somewhat rainy. Temperatures routinely are in the low 80s F (high 20s C) range. At night, lows are in the low 70s F (low 20s C). This is also a rainy time for Cotonou, with several of the days of the month having rain. In July, humidity reaches as high as 80%.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines always losing bags recently, an AirTag can find it anywhere anywhere: AirTag for iPhones.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Be careful to get the necessary kind. The majority of adapters that you can buy are simply plugs and require your electronics to adjust the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could get fried. This one is sufficent for most locations.

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Travel neck support pillow

    Our fave is this one

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge excessive prices for overweight luggage. Avoid penalties with this

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

August

August here is extremely warm and somewhat rainy. Temperatures average in the low 80s F (high 20s C) during the day. It rains 5-10 days this month.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports always losing bags nowadays, an AirTag can find it anywhere on earth: AirTag for iPhones.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel neck pillow

    An excellent option is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Plug adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Be sure to find the correct type. The majority of adapters that you can buy are just plug changers and expect your electronics to change the voltage themselves. If your devices can't do that they could burn up. This one is sufficent for most countries.

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge huge prices for overweight luggage. Avoid surcharges with this

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

September

Traveling to Cotonou in September, you will notice that it is extremely warm and somewhat rainy. Expect it to rain about half of the time. Daytime temperatures are in the low 80s F (high 20s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airports constantly losing bags these days, an AirTag can find it anywhere in the world: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel neck support pillow

    A good option is this one

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge large prices for overweight luggage. Avoid penalties with this

  • Voltage adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Check that you find the right type. The majority of adapters on sale are simply plug changers and expect your electronics to change the voltage themselves. If your electronics can't do that they could get destroyed. This one works in most areas.

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

October

October is hot, somewhat rainy and somewhat stormy. Temperatures average in the low 80s F (high 20s C) during the day. It rains a bit less than half of the time.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines frequently losing luggage these days, an AirTag can help you find it anywhere on earth: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your things.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge excessive prices for overweight luggage. Avoid penalties with this

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Voltage step down adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Be careful to find the right type. The vast majority of adapters currently being sold are just plug changers and require your electronics to adjust the voltage themselves. If your electronics can't do that they could get fried. This one should work in most countries.

  • Travel neck pillow

    Our fave is this one

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

November

If you visit Cotonou during November, you might notice that it is consistently hot and dry with little rain. Temperatures tend to hover around the 80s F (low 30s C) during the day, while at night they can dip into the high 70s F (mid 20s C). Humidity is generally between 70 and 80% during the day.

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a little peace of mind, an anti-theft backpack protects your belongings.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines repeatedly losing things these days, an AirTag can locate it anywhere anywhere: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel neck pillow

    What we like is this one

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge large prices for overweight luggage. Avoid surcharges with this

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Plug adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Be careful to find the right type. The majority of adapters currently being sold are simply plugs and require your electronics to adjust the voltage themselves. If yours can't do that they could burn up. This one should work in most areas.

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

December

If you are traveling to Cotonou in December, you will notice that it can be very hot and dry with little rain. Daytime temperatures are in the 80s F (low 30s C).

What to wear/what to pack:

Clothes + Footwear
Health
Safety + Security

    Given current world events, Benin has travel concerns that you should consider before going. Click for more information.

  • AirTag to track your luggage

    With airlines repeatedly losing luggage nowadays, an AirTag can help you locate it anywhere anywhere: AirTag for iPhones.

  • Money/passport pouch

    A money pouch is vital for protecting your passport and credit cards.

  • Emergency phone

    For this area, we suggest a good satellite phone. We recommend this satellite phoneHowever, in cities, a SIM card that works in Cotonou may be sufficient. A good global SIM card is this one, but check the details before buying.

  • Anti-theft backpack

    For a bit of protection, an anti-theft backpack protects your stuff.

Comfort + Essentials
  • Travel adapter

    A plug adapter that supports outlet types C and E. Make sure to choose the correct type. The majority of adapters available online are just plug changers and expect your electronics to convert the voltage themselves. If your electronics can't do that they could burn up. This one is sufficent for most countries.

  • Airplane phone mount

    Make your flight more comfortable with an airplane phone mount

  • Travel pillow

    A top rated pillow is this one

  • Power bank for devices

    A portable power bank, like this one

  • Luggage scale to avoid fees

    Airlines charge excessive penalties for overweight luggage. Save money with this

If you are intending to see the heavenly Cotonou Cathedral, it's recommended to wear modest clothing:

What to do in Cotonou, Benin

Cotonou, the largest city and the economic capital of Benin, is a fascinating travel destination that deserves to be on every traveler's itinerary. The city has a blend of African and European cultures, a lively nightlife, and numerous tourist attractions that make it an ideal place to visit. Here are the top tourist attractions in Cotonou, Benin:

1. Fidjrosse Beach

Fidjrosse Beach is one of the best beaches in Cotonou. It is a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The beach is popular among locals and tourists and has several restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the local cuisine.

2. Ganvie Village

Ganvie Village is a unique tourist attraction in Cotonou. It is a village built on stilts on the water, and it is known as the Venice of Africa. The village is home to over 20,000 people and has schools, clinics, and churches built on stilts. You can take a boat ride to the village and enjoy the breathtaking views of the village on the water.

3. Dantokpa Market

Dantokpa Market is the largest market in Benin and one of the biggest in West Africa. The market has everything you need from textiles, electronics, jewelry, and art to food and spices. It is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and experience the local culture.

4. The Palace of the King of Abomey

The Palace of the King of Abomey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved palaces in West Africa. It is located in the historic city of Abomey, which is about an hour's drive from Cotonou. The palace has several museums and galleries that showcase the history and culture of the Benin Kingdom.

5. The National Museum of Benin

The National Museum of Benin is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history and culture of the country. The museum has a collection of traditional artifacts like statues, masks, and textiles, as well as modern art from local artists. The museum is located in the heart of Cotonou, and admission is free.

6. W National Park

W National Park is a protected area that straddles the borders of Benin, Niger, and Burkina Faso. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and antelopes. You can take a safari tour to the park from Cotonou and experience the beauty of the natural environment.

In conclusion, Cotonou is a traveler's paradise with a variety of tourist attractions that appeal to all kinds of visitors. From the stunning beaches to the unique Ganvie Village, the fascinating Dantokpa Market to the historic Palace of the King of Abomey, and the cultural National Museum of Benin to the awe-inspiring W National Park, there is something for everyone in Cotonou.

About your travel guide

Hi! I'm Dev. I've traveled all over the world and in my travels, I have made many packing lists. In this series, my team and I have compiled the most useful information, as well as things we couldn't live without, to help you plan your trip.

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