One of the hippest cities in Africa, Dakar in Senegal is a magical place. Stroll down dusty sun-baked streets with immaculately dressed locals, dance through the night to fantastic music before spending the day recovering on the beaches.

Dakar’s most distinctive attraction is the African Renaissance Monument. Taller than the Statue of Liberty, this enormous statue shows a couple with a baby pointing dramatically towards the horizon. It’s free to explore the park around the base of the statue, but paying the entry fee gets you inside the building and up to the crown of the male figure. Offering great views over the city, it’s a perfect spot to get your bearings. Next visit the Musée Théodore Monod and find out more about the art and culture of Senegal. The collection is comprehensive but well curated, giving an easily understandable overview of West African culture through masks and traditional costumes.

If it all gets too much, catch a boat out to nearby Île de N’Gor. There are incredible waves on the north side of the island but if you aren’t a surfboarder it’s still worth hanging out and people watching. The southern beaches are better for swimmers and sunbathers, with plenty of picturesque village streets and beachfront cafes to check out.

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Read more on Dakar below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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