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Lomé

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Lomé is the capital and largest city of Togo.

Understand[edit]

In 1897 Lomé became capital of the German colony Togo.

In 1975 the Lomé Convention was signed between the European Economic Community and 46 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

Get in[edit]

Lomé-Tokoin Airport

The main border crossing from Ghana is Aflao, less then two kilometers from the city centre. Visas cost CFA 10,000 and are good for two weeks.

The international airport has nonstop flights from Casablanca and Paris. Ethiopian Airlines uses Lomé as a hub, with flights from Addis Ababa, Dakar, Kinshasa as well as two transatlantic flights from Newark and São Paulo. Regional carrier ASKY Airlines connects Lomé with capitals of neighbouring countries.

Get around[edit]

Motos are plentiful throughout the capital, and a good distance on a moto will cost you CFA 300. Taxis can be rented from around CFA 500, with CFA 2000 getting you basically anywhere in town. There are route taxis, costing normally CFA 200-400, but if you are visiting they are difficult to figure out and only ever really used by local folks.

There are rental car agencies downtown, but if you are just coming for a few days motos are your best option.

The beach road runs directly beside the ocean from Ghana to Benin. The Boulevard Circulaire (le 13 Janvier) acts as a main artery through downtown Lomé, a hemisphere that encloses the Marche and Government buildings. It starts at the beach in Kodjoviakope and wraps around to the beach in Bea.

See[edit]

  • 1 Togo National Museum (Musee National). Housed in the Palais du Congrès (National Assembly) complex, this museum contains collections, jewellery, musical instruments, dolls, pottery, weapons and many other objects showing the arts and traditions of Togo.

Do[edit]

Afternoon near the harbour of Lomé in 2013

Buy[edit]

Lomé's biggest attractions are its markets. The Grand Market with a large 3-storey hall, sells everything from red peppers, green lemons, and dried fish, to combs, travel bags, and traditional medicinal remedies. On the first floor is the Nana Benz, which is noted for its clothing. The smaller and more specialized Fetish Market sells voodoo fetishes, gongons, and gris-gris.

Eat[edit]

Local street food is plentiful, and a large plate of rice or pate will cost you 200CFA.

Lebanese restaurants are peppered throughout Lomé, with the best being in Kodjoviakope and wrapping around with the Boulevard. Recommended are Al Mohatas by the Route de Kpalime and Al Sultan's in Kodjoviakope. Most plates run CFA 1000-2000.

There are two Chinese restaurants, one in Kodjoviakope, the other in Asigame, down the street from the Togocel main offices.

The Galion, a Swiss owned hotel near the beach in Kodjoviakope, has an excellent restaurant serving steaks, salads, deserts, etc. Mains run CFA 3000-5000, but it is worth it.

  • La Belle Époque French Restaurant on the backside of the German embassy. Menu of the day from CFA 6500. Hamburgers from CFA 1500.
  • 1 Marox Bena Grill, 24 Rue du Lac Togo, +228 22 224138. Official name is "Bena Grill", but no one uses this. German-style Schnitzel from CFA 3300, fries start at CFA 900, and a liter of beer will cost you CFA 2200.
  • 2 Alt München, Boulevard Du Mono (Near the roundabout at the freeport.), +228 22 276321. Munich cuisine, but a little bit expensive.

Drink[edit]

Lomé really comes alive at night, the local Loméians dressing to the nines and going out to the numerous bars and discothèques. There are many western style dance clubs downtown. Two of the best (and most expensive) are Privilege, attached to the hotel Palm Beach and 7Clash, in Dekon on the Boulevard.

For a more relaxed time, check out the beach close to the border with Ghana - seating is plentiful and, if you're lucky, the Castle Milk Stouts are pretty cold. Be sure to get off of the beach soon after nightfall, as it is easily the most dangerous part of the city.

Local drinks can be found if you dig a little deeper. The local brew of choice is Tchouk, locally brewed millet beer. A calabash full at a tchouk-stand costs CFA 100 in the city. Other drinks are Deha - palm wine, and Sodabe - Togolese bathtub hooch - grain liquor that burns going down and coming back up. Be wary, it is only for the truly initiated.

Sleep[edit]

Decent hotels (as in there is a bed, sink, and shower) are in northern Lomé and cost about CFA 15,000 - 16,000 (about $30). Hotels are a dime a dozen the closer you get to the beach, the most expensive being the 2 Fevrier and Hotel Sarakawa, on the beach road. Amenities are very accommodating, but they are incredibly expensive for Lomé - from CFA 100,000 per night.

There are a few nice hotels with A/C in Kodjoviakope and surrounding areas that will run you CFA 7000-15000. Check out The Galion, My Diana's, and for the budget traveller, ask for Mammy's, down the road from the Angolan Embassy (CFA 3500 per room, rooms fit 2-3).

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • 1 Hotel Bellevue (Behind German embassy), +228 22 202240. Has wireless internet access, and a lovely atmosphere with a waterfall running into a small swimming pool. The food is delicious, and it's a pleasant nice place to stay. The owners are French, and very welcoming.

Splurge[edit]

  • 4 Radisson Blu Hotel 2 Fevrier, Place De Independence Bp 131, +228 22238600. With its 36 floors this is Togo's tallest building, and is visible from anywhere in the city. Built in 1980 and refurbished. Prices from €175.

Connect[edit]

Lomé has Internet cafés, and they are cheap. You buy time by the hour (something like a couple dollars an hour), but most of the cafés feature very slow computers and Internet connection speeds.

Note that Togo's telephone numbering plan changed in 2011; see Togo#Connect for details.

Cope[edit]

Embassies[edit]

  • United Kingdom British Honorary Consulate, Rue de Canaris, Be Château, Lomé, +228 22 22 27 14, fax: +228 274207.
  • United States United States, Boulevard Eyadema B.P. 852, Lomé, +228 22 61 54 70, fax: +228 261 5501. Mondays-Thursdays: 7:30AM to 5PM, Fridays: 7:30AM to 12:30PM.
  • Egypt Egypt, مدينة الاتحاد الأفريقى بجوار رئاسة الوزراء , Lomé, +228 22 26 24 43, fax: +228 2261012.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Lomé is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.