Grand Popo, Benin Travel Guide

My arrival in Grand Popo was among the strangest of my adventures in Africa.  Imagine having just come off of a serious fight with malaria, being still weary from the drugs and virus, and arriving at a beach town full of Rastafarians at dusk and you have my situation.  Though I was only here a day, it will be a memory that I won’t ever forget. I needed a rest stop like Grand Popo like nothing else, and though I’m not about to go planning a vacation here in the future, it was exactly what I needed at the time.

Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: $30-40USD

Grand Popo

Things to Do and See in Grand Popo

Basically just a stretch of wide beach, there isn’t a massive amount of things to do in Grand Popo.  But for many, that relaxation is exactly what they’ll be looking for.

  • Beach: The beach in Grand Popo is huge, but it’s also a little bit dirty.  Though, if you’re looking for an escape, this isn’t the worst place to do it.  You’ll have miles of sand to yourself.
  • Drumming Classes: At Lion Bar, the Rastafarians can offer you drumming lessons.
  • Learn the Rasta Ways: Again, at Lion Bar, the Rastas are really keen to teach you their ways of life.

Where to Eat in Grand Popo

There’s not a great selection of food spots in Grand Popo, but there are some maquis along the main strip entering town.  If you go down to a place called Chez Desir, they have good fish dishes.  The can also make dishes at Lion Bar.  The bar at Lion Bar is a good place for a drink too.

Where to Stay in Grand Popo

I opted to stay at the Rasta confines of Lion Bar which was a good decision.  They have simple rooms for $10 a night that are each themed to a different reggae artist.  I stayed in the Peter Tosh room.  They have shared bathroom facilities, a bar, and offer food as well.

Getting out of Town

Since Grand Popo is basically just off the main highway in the south of Benin, you’ll just have to go to the main street to catch public transport.  You should be able to flag down mini-buses to Cotonou, Ouidah, or the Ghanian border fairly quickly.

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