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Where air kissing upon meeting is de rigueur and you will be invited to join in for dinner by friendly locals, Praia is not the city to eat in public, as it is considered rude to stuff your face in front of others without sharing.
The capital and largest city of Cape Verde that is an island west of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean, Praia is the commercial hub perched on a small plateau that more resembles a fortress overlooking the ocean. Coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits are shipped from its port, resort beaches flank its shores and it has a thriving fishing industry.
The area is a popular beach holiday destination oozing local ambiance of bustling market places, quaint restaurants and plenty of water sport facilities to keep most enthusiasts happy. You can grab a ferry and head off to one of the other islands around such as São Vicente and Santo Antão, or shout out to a passing bus overflowing with people and packages to get around the town. Remember to negotiate a price before getting into a taxi, as the drivers like to be creative where their pricing is concerned, despite having meters.
Forget about shopping excursions as most items are imported (apart from local items) so top up the tan, dine out to your heart's content and indulge in the local alcoholic drink "Grogue". Meander around the bustling local markets overflowing with handicrafts such as stunning basket woven items or gape at the artisans' typical "Cape Verdean" figures. When the sun goes down, the hotels pump out the music of Creole origins or the unique sounds of Cape Verdean "morna" music (a combo of violin and guitar with a mournful love song accompanying the sounds).
A little note of warning to make sure you hang on to your belongings, as petty crime especially at night, is on the rise.
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