According to wholevehicles, Saint-Louis is one of the most interesting cities on the continent, concurrently the oldest city in the country and the first European settlement in West Africa. Founded in 1659, it was considered an important commercial center from the end of the 19th century, having even managed to “light up” as the capital (from 1872 to 1957). In 2000, the historic center of Saint-Louis was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and there is something for it: a huge number of old colonial mansions, the Governor’s Palace with Fayderbe Square, the Cathedral and a unique Muslim cemetery have been preserved here.

The very center of the city is a miniature island on the Senegal River (the locals call it that – island, island), stretching for 2 km in height and about 400 m in width.

How to get to Saint Louis

Between Dakar and Saint-Louis, seven-seat minibuses run at bargain prices (and this despite the considerable distance – 260 km, departure from Pompier station). Travel time is about 5 hours, the fare is no more than 10 US dollars. Passengers are dropped off at a bus station 4.5 km south of the city center. You can get to the center of life of Saint-Louis from there for only 1 US dollar.


You can travel around the city on a budget by taxi (in the center – no more than $ 1) or public transport, the fare on which is completely ridiculous – 100 West African francs. However, Saint-Louis is not so large that it cannot be walked around.

To see more in the city itself and the surrounding area, you can rent a bike or scooter. The rental office is on the corner of Rue Blanchot and Quai Roume on the island. A scooter will cost about $20 a day, a bike from $10.

Saint Louis beaches

20 km south of Saint-Louis, on the coast of the Langhe-de-Berbéry peninsula, you can spend a glorious day on the beach. In addition, the National Park of the same name is located here with graceful pink flamingos, sedate white pelicans and mysterious cormorans.

Shopping and shops

Saint-Louis offers great shopping, from the huge mainland markets to the miniature fish market at Guet N’Dar. Small shops throughout the city sell almost everything that a tourist may need during a walk: water, sweets, souvenirs.

In addition, Saint-Louis has many boutiques selling crafts made by local craftsmen – clothes, woodwork, jewelry, postcards. Check out Chez Adja Sokho Creations, which sells many of these trinkets; The store is located on Rue Blanchot and Rue Blaise Diagne. Also worth a visit is Keur Fall on Quai Roume Street, where goods come from 15 surrounding villages. Other pretty places are Galerie N’Dar, Cadeau and Souvenir Mama Africa on Rue Blaise Diagne.

Every day in the morning, a market opens on Avenue General de Gaulle where you can buy vegetables, fruits, clothes, souvenirs and other completely unnecessary, but terribly attractive rubbish.

Attractions and attractions Saint-Louis

The old city is comfortably located on the coast and islands connected by small bridges. One of them, Faidherbe Bridge, connects the ancient center of Saint-Louis with the mainland, and is considered a real work of art. It was originally created for installation on the Danube, and it is not clear how miraculously ended up in Africa in 1897.

In the office of the Syndicat d’Initiative, which is located on the island in the Governance building, it is worth taking a map with a plotted walking route. The most remarkable buildings, picturesque streets and charming views of the city are marked there.

It is worth taking a walk to the fishing village of Guet N’Dar, which is located on the Langhe de Berbéry peninsula, to observe the life and work of simple Senegalese fishermen.


There are also a couple of museums in the city: l’Aéropostale Jean Mermoz, tel.: +221 33 961 24 55, open from Mon to Sat, admission ~5 dollars. It tells about the role of “air mail” in the colonial Saint-Louis, as well as the legendary pilot Jean Mermoz. And Institut Français, tel.: +221 33 938 26 26, opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30-12:30 and 15:00-18:00, Sat 8:30-16:00. This is not exactly a museum, but rather a meeting place and cultural life of the townspeople, here you can sit in a cafe, look into a library or a concert, watch films and temporary exhibitions. Look for the program for the next month directly at the institute or at any nearby hotel.


Every year in May-June Saint-Louis hosts the famous Jazz Festival, which lasts about a week. The most famous musicians and singers from all over the world flock here, and concerts and meetings with the “stars” are held throughout the city. This festival is considered the largest in all of Africa.

Saint-Louis, Senegal

Saint-Louis, Senegal
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