Eco-friendly travel guide to Lomé advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Lomé, Togo.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 2.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $120
- Budget per day: US$150 - $250
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Although Togo is one of the world’s poorest countries, people do not fail to visit it, and their first point of call is usually Lome, its capital city.
Lome is the biggest city in the country and where all its economic activities happen. Typically, the locals are welcoming and friendly, and you would see them always trying to start up a conversation.
It is in your best interest to relate with them the same way as it helps you bond better and faster. It is also not out of place to show interest in their culture as that is usually a great conversation starter.
Air Quality and Pollution
Lome’s air usually borders between being low and moderate, so we cannot say that it is perfect. The different activities that happen in the city determine its air quality.
Whenever you are indoors, it is advised that you close your windows to protect yourself against air pollution. If you are in public and think that the air is not conducive, you should wear a nose mask.
Although this city’s air quality is not high, we cannot say that it is intolerable. Thus, living in the city is not unbearable, so you can cope and survive for your holiday or visiting duration.
Respect the Culture
If you want to be in the local’s good books while in Lome, you need to be respectful. By being respectful, you are showing them that you are ready to come to a compromise and cooperate with them.
You should know that homosexuality is banned in this country. If you swing that way, you need to pipe down on it while in this city. It would also be best if you are friendly with the locals to direct you on things to do.
One needs to be careful about where they swim in this city due to the current in some of the water bodies, and the only way to know safe options is to ask the locals.
Top 10 Places to Visit
If you are in Lome, here are some of the places you should visit:
- Lomé Grand Market: It is safe to say that this is the city’s biggest market, and you would not have a complete stay without visiting it. Asides from the numerous items you can see to buy, you also learn and enjoy some of the cultures. There are usually live musical performances in the market.
- Kodessewa Fetish Market: If you did not know, Togo is known for its voodoo practice, which is the world's largest voodoo market. If you are curious about voodoo, this is the best place to visit.
- Monument de l'independence: One can say that this is the city’s square, and it usually gets a lot of attention from foreigners. It is hard to miss it when in Lome, so you should visit it.
- Cathédrale du Sacré-Cœur de Lomé: It was the first Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lome and the mother of the Archdiocese of Lome. Its architectural features also make it outstanding, so the building is hard to miss.
- Palais de Lomé: While in the city, you can also visit one of its presidential buildings. It is where the first minister resides since 1991 and one of the top tourist attractions in the city.
- Lac Est: If you are looking for a serene place in the city, you should visit this lake.
- Lac Ouest: It is one of the lakes in the city, and different activities happen there. You can also connect with the locals at this place.
- Presidential Palace: You can also visit the presidential palace when in Lome. We are sure that you would learn much about their political culture.
- Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba: It is an area with mud houses that promote sustainability and preserve skills. These houses are interesting to explore, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Abdoulaye Faunal Reserve: If you want to explore nature in Lome, this is one place to visit. It was established in 1951.
We are not surprised when people ask questions about places to explore when in Lome, as it is the typical nature of any foreigner. Tourists usually have the energy to visit the different exciting places in a city as they wish to add to their knowledge bank and create memories.
If you are the type, who does not like to explore, allow us to tell you that you would be missing out on all the fun, so ensure that you visit different places when you are in a new city.
By going out, you also connect with the foreigners, making your stay in the city smoother.
You can visit the city parks in a new place. It is called a city park because it is unique to that area. The goal is to have fun at these places, so you should be friendly and open to the idea of making new friends.
We would not say that there are many city parks in Lome, but you would see some. One of the city parks in Lome is:
- Funny Park: As the name implies, you will have fun to the fullest if you visit this place. It is an amusement park, so you are sure to engage in different activities. Some people lose track of time while ta this park, while others do not mind visiting it numerous times before leaving the city.
In some cities, you can find both city and national parks. These national parks are not unique to only that city, so one can say that it is a national treasure.
If you are looking for such in Lome, you will be disappointed as there are no national parks. Thus, a foreigner has to stick to visiting city parks alone.
However, that does not mean you will not have fun as the city parks are amazing and serene. It is usually a nice atmosphere to explore, so you do not have any excuse. If you are looking for a place to have a quiet time, you should visit them.
If you are a lover of water and water bodies, it would not be shocking that you want to explore the different beaches in a city. Thus, one of your fun things to do would be to hang out at the beach.
The experience is usually thrilling, especially as you get a calm feeling when looking at the water and meet and connect with new people.
It would be best if you do not try swimming or surfing in any of the water bodies until you are given the go-ahead by a local as they know when it is safe. Pure and Marcelo beach are some of the beaches in Lome.
When you think of a landmark, it is not out of place to imagine a grand structure as a typical landmark needs to be viewable from a distance. It would interest you to know that these landmarks are things and places foreigners wish to explore as they use them as a guide while exploring the city.
Some of Lome’s landmarks are:
- Colombe De La Paix: One can say that this is a roundabout in the heart of the city. It is hard to miss this structure as it is outstanding. It also lights up during festivities. It serves as a directional guide to foreigners.
If you would love to explore a museum in Lome, some of your options are:
- Togo National Museum: It was founded in 1975 and has served in preserving culture and history. You will see artifacts that depict different exciting stories, and one can say that they have proper knowledge of Togo after taking a tour.
*International Museum of the Gulf of Guinea: The stories are encompassing as it is not about Togo alone. However, you should know that you cannot take pictures while there. It is a fascinating place, and you should ensure to include it as a part of the places you must visit.
If you are curious about what people eat in Lome, you are on the right page as we would explore their traditional local meals, which would be available when you are in the city. You may already be used to some of these local meals, while others will be strange. However, they are all tasty.
Fufu is one of their local delicacies, a meal made from peeled or boiled yams. It is typically eaten with a soup or sauce. Most of their sauces have chili pepper as an ingredient. You should also know that the people of Lome eat grasscutters (Agouti).
There are many delicious options in Lome.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Some of your available options are:
- La Table Du DG: People love to eat here because of the warm nature of the hosts, as they are welcoming and accommodating. They ensure that customers are served to their satisfaction, and their menu is usually rich. We have not seen anyone who had complaints after eating at this restaurant.
- Le Caliendi - Café Bar Restaurant: It is an encompassing restaurant that gives a cozy feeling. There is almost nothing you desire that you cannot get at this place. Both the exteriors and interiors of this restaurant are topnotch. It is one of those places you must visit and eat in Lome.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Vegans are always happy when they visit a place and see that some restaurants consider their preference as it shows that they can freely eat and gives them a sense of welcome.
We cannot say that there are many vegetarian restaurants in Lome, but you would find one if you prefer it. Some people say that vegetarian meals are usually more healthy than other options.
A restaurant that caters to vegan’s needs in Lome is Noble Veg. this place has many tasty options, and people give great commendations to their salad. If you are a vegan, this is where you should be eating.
Street foods are those meals you can get from roadside stands. It is not always the same option in all cities, so you may or may not know Lome’s available options.
We do not know if you eat groundnuts, but they are among Lome’s available street food options. You will also see that they sell corn-on-the-cob and omelets. The idea here is that you can easily them without any hassle.
We will have an incomplete list if we do not add cooked prawns as they are also a part of the street food delicacies. We are sure that you will like the different options, so you should not hesitate to buy anyone.
When it comes to drinks, there are different varieties of local beverages in the city. Anyone can drink the non-alcoholic options, but you must be up to 21 years before drinking any alcoholic options.
You should know that the locals of this city are lovers of beer, so you will see it almost everywhere. You can also decide to hang out with people and share beers as it is an extension of a friendship branch.
There are also different wines in the city, so you can choose if that is your preference. Lome does not lack beverages, so you should not worry as you would see drinks in abundance.
When it concerns tap water in Lome, we cannot say that you should drink it as we cannot tell if it will be contaminated. Some locals are used to drinking this water, but it is not recommended for a foreigner as it may upset your body system.
If you decide to use the water for brushing, there would be no issues. Thus, you can use it to brush, but do not drink it.
One may begin the option of getting drinking water in the city. While in Lome, you are either buy bottled or sachet water. Another name for sachet water in the city is pure water. You are covered with any of these options.
If you are looking for a place to get meals in Lome, you can also buy from the different organic cafes. At these places, you are sure of getting healthy options.
They are usually welcoming to foreigners, so you are sure to be carried along. If you have a problem understanding the menu, there will always be someone to help out. We do not know what you expect or what comes to mind concerning organic cafes, but the ones in Lome will surpass your expectations.
These organic cafes are usually clean, and they have outstanding aesthetics. There is no reason why you would not want to eat in such a place.
It is only normal that you would expect to see breweries in Lome since there are many beverage options. The idea is that these breweries produce the local drinks that people enjoy.
If you decide to visit a brewery, it would be that you want to get these drinks directly from the source instead of buying from retail shops. If this is what you wish to do, you will realize that others have the same mindset.
You will see breweries in Lome, and you can relate with others when you visit a brewery as people say that happiness comes when you share a beer.
Do not let anyone deceive you by saying that there are no activities to do in Lome. There are numerous activities a person can do, but it depends on your preference.
If you do not have a water phobia, you can engage in some aquatic activities like fishing and kayaking. You would need a local’s supervision to embark on such activities, but they are usually exciting.
If you are interested in any of these activities but do not know how to do them, you can ask a local to teach you. Due to their warmness and openness, they will be willing to teach you.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is another activity people do in Lome, and you can join in the fun if you wish to stay fit and flexible. These are some of the reasons why people engage in yoga, but it goes beyond that. The peace of mind that doing this activity brings is usually undefeated.
There are many yoga studios within the city, so you do not have any excuse not to engage in yoga if you are a yogi. After all, we know that you would be happier around fellow yogis.
It is also not out of place to see some people desire to learn yoga. If you are in such a category, you can learn at any of the studios, as the instructors are usually happy to help out.
It may not be a big deal to some people, but one significant problem that many people encounter when deciding to travel to a new country is accommodation as they need a place to stay. If you already know someone in the city, we know that this will not be a problem.
It does not make sense to go to a place when you do not know where to stay. Thus, it is only logical that an individual would research to know the available accommodation options before leaving their current location.
You get to know if an option is feasible for you and probably make bookings ahead by researching.
Here are some of the green hotels in Lome:
- Hôtel 2 Février Lomé: It is one of the top recommended hotels in Lome, meaning that you would not make a mistake staying at this place. It is at the heart of the city, making navigation to different areas easy. It has a pool and a bar, with other amenities to ensure maximum comfort. If you have any issues, customer service is always ready to help.
- Hôtel Sancta Maria Officiel: One unique feature about this place is it is a smoke-free property. It also comes in handy that you can easily navigate this hotel from the airport. Your comfort is always assured if you lodge at this hotel.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Another available accommodation option in Lome is to lodge in a hostel or guest house. These places are usually smaller than a regular hotel, but we cannot say that the prices are lower as they depend on the one you pick. However, there is a homier feeling that comes with staying in either of these options.
You should expect to see a clean, calm, and enthralling environment when you stay at any of these places. It also has facilities that foster interaction between lodgers, so you get to connect with others and have fun.
The management is also always on standby if you have a complaint as they wish to resolve it immediately.
If you are looking to stay in a space that reminds you of home, there is no better option than to stay at an apartment. At this place, you get access to different facilities that ensure you do not get homesick.
Most of Lome apartments are serviced, so you do not need to do any stressful work as all they want is for you to have a refreshing stay.
It is not hard to get an apartment in this city, so you should start your research if it is your preferred option. Some people say that it is more expensive to stay in an apartment, but we know that it is dependent on your budget.
You should know that you do not always have to pay for accommodation when you visit a new place. We know that some people may be keeping a confused face already, but allow us to explain.
We do not know if you have heard the concept of Couchsurfing before, but it is gradually gaining popularity worldwide. It is a situation where a local of a place opens up their home to a foreigner. By doing this, you do not need to bother about having a budget for accommodation.
Some people might be skeptical about staying with a stranger, but others say it is the best way to experience a new place.
We do not know if you are used to camping, but we can say that you will have one of the best camping experiences of your life in Lome.
There are many locations within the city where a person can decide to camp, so you can also do the same thing if you love camping. By going camping, you get to explore, learn, and connect with nature.
It is usually a fun activity, especially when you are not alone as you get to do different things with others. We also know that you will see some things from a different perspective after camping. Ensure to join in one when in Lome.
How to Get There
For those who have never been to Lome, we know that you will be curious and ask questions about how to get there if that is your choice city for a holiday. After all, it does not make sense to want to go to a place when you do not know the directions.
Everyone needs directions at a point or another, so it is not out of place for you to ask questions. If you have difficulty getting answers to your question, worry no more as we would be highlighting some ways you can get into the city.
Getting is usually not a hard ordeal.
Since Lome is in the West African region, it should not be surprising that you can easily get into this city if you are within this region.
You can get a direct flight to Lome from most West African cities. However, if you are not within that region, we doubt that you would get a direct flight. Instead, you can fly to any of these cities and get a connecting flight.
If you love to use air when traveling, you are assured of finding a way to Lome since it has an airport. It is also easy to access different areas in the city from the airport.
It is impossible to access this city if you are not in Africa, so this option should not be in your mind. Instead, you can choose other options like using air.
It is usually a fun ride when using a bus as you get to mingle with others, and people share interesting stories. There is never a dull moment, and you also get to appreciate vegetation.
Using a bus to Lome is a feasible idea if you are within the West African region.
Another option that comes in handy when traveling is to use a train. However, that is only feasible in places with a railway connection that links different cities and countries.
We cannot say that using a train is a feasible way of reaching Lome as there is no linking train connection. This comes as a relief to some people as they do not like to use a train because of its time. However, others are disappointed as they wish to explore the train experience.
If you love to use a train, it should be to other places, but not to get to Lome.
Hitchhiking is a process of getting a free ride to Lome. We cannot say that this would always happen, but people are usually positive because of the locals’ friendly nature.
Typically, you would see more motorbikes than cars. Thus, it is more feasible to get a free ride on bikes than cars. However, some drivers would also not hesitate to give a free ride.
It also comes in handy if you can speak French as communication would be smoother. It is always best to confirm it is a free ride before entering so that you do not face an embarrassment.
Although you should not always bank on it, one can say that hitchhiking happens in Lome.
Some people are usually on the lookout for more ways of getting to Lome as they love to have different options. Thus, we get questions about the feasibility of using a ship to this city.
To use a ship to any place, the city or country needs to have water bodies. Yes, there are water bodies in Lome, but you cannot use a ship to reach the city.
If this is the method on your mind, you should cancel the thought and stick to the other available transportation means not to be disappointed. After all, it comes in handy when you have information.
If you have chosen a means of reaching Lome, another thought on your mind would be how to move around when you get to the city.
It is an issue that everyone faces, irrespective of whatever means you choose in reaching the city. If you decide to use air, you need to know the available means of moving from the airport to your hotel and other areas.
We usually tell people to have an open mind as you might see some means of moving around different from your home city. You cannot say that you would not use them because you are not used to them. If you do such, you would have difficulty with navigation around the city.
Some people say that the best way to know an area is to walk. It is an acceptable ideology, but we cannot say that it works for everyone. However, walking is a means of moving around in any place, and Lome is not an exception.
If you decide to walk around in Lome, you will get a welcoming reception from the locals. These people would wave at you, and some of them might invite you to their homes or offer you food. It is also a great way of interacting with them.
It is not out of place if you take a camera along so that you can capture moments.
Using a bicycle to move around in Lome is common, so you should also join in the fun. Cycling around the city gets better when you see that others are doing the same thing.
If you are concerned about getting a bicycle, that should not be an issue as you can rent from any of the rental shops. By using a bicycle, you get to reach your destination at your pace.
The idea of using a scooter in Lome is feasible, but it is not something you would see everyone doing. Typically, the locals see a scooter as a luxury vehicle, so not everyone uses it as a means of moving around.
If you love to ride a scooter, you can also rent one. However, ensure that you are a professional at riding it so that there would be no mishap.
The public means of moving around in Lome is called motos. You would also see taxis, so you can choose your preference.
Typically, you need to pay a fare to get to your destination. However, it is not always expensive.
It is best to ask the locals questions so that you can understand the payment system better. They would also explain how to flag down or get on these vehicles. However, it also comes in handy if you know how to speak French.
Tram, Train and Subway
One might think that they can use a train as a means of moving around in Lome, but you will be disappointed. Since there are no railways, you should not have that mindset.
Some people hope that the government would install railways soon. However, it would be best if you stick to other available transport means until it happens.
One cannot complain about traffic in Lome. Thus, you would not be stuck on the road if you use a taxi or other transport means.
The act of patronizing businesses of the locals while in a new place is called sustainable shopping. It is not everyone that practices this, but we urge all foreigners to do it.
By patronizing these people, you are helping to grow their business and economy. You also get to foster relationships as it secures you a spot in their hearts.
It is best not to look down on these businesses as you can get many items.
We know that you would find many of the local meals appetizing, and it is not out of place if you want to learn how to cook them. What better place to get the local ingredients than at a food market?
The Lomé Grand Market is the perfect place to get these ingredients. If you understand French, you will find it easy to relate with the locals.
You will also see flea markets while in Lome. You should not be scared of visiting such markets even if you do not know how to speak French. After all, the vendors always wear a warm smile, and they are welcoming.
There are different options to get at a flea market, so we know that you will be satisfied. You can get to engage the vendors in friendly banter while negotiating.
Second Hand Stores
What do you think about shopping at a second-hand store? Some people might have reservations about these stores because the items are not new. However, it does not mean that you cannot purchase them.
Typically, a vendor would inspect any item they are outing up for sale to ensure that they are conducive for people to buy.
It would be best if you do not worry about shopping from second-hand stores as you would still get quality items.
It is recommendable when people turn discarded items into something useful. It brings the idea of eco-fashion, which is a way of making clothing from recyclable items.
Some people might feel that this concept is weird, but we would call it innovative. If you did not know, many models use eco-fashion clothes to walk the runway.
We recommend that you buy an eco-fashion item before leaving Lome.
The people of Lome are aware of recycling, and they try their best to ensure that it happens. You would see them picking items they feel can be used again and sending them to recycling companies.
As a foreigner, you should help support this cause. It is why we encourage that all foreigners should be eco-friendly.
If you see an item you feel can be recycled, ensure to gather them, ask questions, and send them to the right quarters.
Since Lome strives to be seen as a place people can visit, they are concerned about environmental sanitation. Thus, littering is frowned upon.
When you visit this country, you should only put waste into the right channels. If you are caught littering, you will pay a fine.
People, groups, and organizations strive to ensure that they clean up the environment and present it as a conducive space.
Work and Study Abroad
Some people might desire to school at a place, but they are concerned about working and might change their mind if they cannot work while studying.
It would be best if you do not have such worries in Lome as students can work while studying. Thus, it becomes your responsibility to combine both aspects of your life effectively.
We always advise that you do not allow one aspect to suffer for the other.
We know that some Lome schools have ongoing exchange programs with schools in other cities and countries. Thus, if you want to join an exchange program that allows you to study in Lome, you should check if your school does an exchange program with anyone in Lome.
If yes, you are in luck and can become an international student in the city. You will not have any problem when it concerns mingling and associating since the people are friendly.
People sometimes complain that it is hard to get jobs in Lome, especially as a foreigner. When we hear such complaints, we usually advise them to try the au pair system as it is an easier way of getting jobs.
Although these jobs might not be lucrative, it is usually a starting point. Thankfully, the au pair system is popular in the city.
The au pair system is a channel that easily connects employers and employees.
You can also go to a place to be a volunteer. It is a way that the city would benefit from you, and you can also learn about their customs and traditions.
It is not always easy to be a volunteer, as you would encounter hurdles and obstacles. However, that should not make you give up.
If you want to be a volunteer, ensure that you go through due procedures not to have issues.