3 Best Sights in São Tomé and Príncipe


The initials stand for “Casa das Artes da Criacao Ambiente e Utopias,” meaning House of Environmental and Utopian Arts. The former public works warehouse serves as a multi-cultural experience, with art shows, film events and weekly jam sessions featuring local musicians, plus regular markets where crafters sell all kinds of wares. Many offerings are edible, and you might be able to try island cuisine at a grand buffet. The exhibition space hosts a bar, café and restaurant. Activities are not only for fun—there's also a commitment to preserve local culture and build entrepreneurship to fuel happy lives and a successful economy.

Largo das Alfândegas, São Tomé, São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe

Palacio do Povo

You can’t go inside, and stern-faced guards in camouflage uniforms will dissuade you from snapping photographs. Their serious demeanor sharply contrasts with the palace's happy pastel pink color. With tall palms lining the front, it looks more like a resort than a place of political business. The complex stands next door to the Cathedral of Sao Tome. With the waterfront and Parque Popular also nearby, the sights together make a nice morning or afternoon stroll.

Av. de Indenpedencia, São Tomé, São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe

São Sebastião Museum

The ruins of this fort recall a period of history difficult to imagine against the stunning view of Ana Chaves Bay. It was built in 1585, at a time when Sao Tome exported 5,000 to 6,000 slaves annually. Most were sold to the Americas, but thousands were held on the island to work sugar plantations. By the 1800s, fugitive slaves regularly protested the colonial order. The Portugese finally surrendered the fort in the 1960s. The museum, founded in 1976, exhibits African and religious art and bits of colonial history, including the bones of a Cacao king, which are stored in a box under his portrait.

Av. Marginal 12 Julho, São Tomé, São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe

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