Serving as the capital of Togo, Lomé is a bustling West African city overlooking the Gulf of Guinea. It lies in the far south-west of the country on the border with Ghana’s Volta Region and is an important port for exporting coffee, cocoa and palm oil. Originally founded by the Ewe people, Lomé became the capital of Togoland (a German Empire protectorate) in 1897 before the country gained its independence in 1960.
Things to do in Lomé
For a dose of local history, visit the Togo National Museum, which is housed within the monumental Congressional Palace. It showcases artefacts dating back thousands of years, including clay pots, wooden carvings and metalwork. You can admire West African musical instruments such as the xalam, as well as calabashes and baskets.
No visit to Lomé is complete without getting lost in the Grand Marché, where you’ll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothing and local handicrafts. It’s located alongside the Sacred Heart Cathedral, which was built by the Germans in 1902 and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the market streets. Also of note is the Akodésséwa Fetish Market, which is packed with voodoo-related goods.
Extending along the city’s waterfront is the Plage de Lomé, which is dotted with lively beach bars. Backed by palm trees, it’s a popular spot for locals to play soccer and volleyball, as well as swim and surf. Overlooking the western end of the beach is the Palais de Lomé, the official residence of the President of Togo.
Getting around Lomé
Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across the globe. Long-distance buses connect to Lomé while local services travel throughout the city. Motos and taxis are readily available for getting around.