Cotonou is the largest city in Benin Republic and the country’s primary port of entry for visitors. The city is located on the country’s coastline in the south and it is where most of the real action takes place.
Historically, the area known as Cotonou was settled as a fishing village during the time of the Dahomey Kingdom. When the French arrived, they were given permission to build a trading post and then later governed region altogether in 1868.
Cotonou, the city which was used to defend against the British in their conquests, grew to become the largest city in the country. Although the capital is located at Porto-Novo, Cotonou is still the nation’s economic and population centre.
The city also attracts many government institutions and embassies, regardless of Porto-Novo‘s status, leading to the city being referred as Benin’s de-facto capital.