Guided tour

Santiago Island: Highlights of Cidade Velha with Local Guide

4.9 / 5

15 reviews

Activity provider: Bu Country Tours
Guided tour

Santiago Island: Highlights of Cidade Velha with Local Guide

Activity provider: Bu Country Tours

From US$ 52.54 per person

Explore the first city built by Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa: Cidade Velha. Enrich your knowledge of the history of colonization and slavery in Cape Verde, take in the city's highlights, and enjoy the views from the top of the Royal Fortress.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 3 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Spanish, English, French, Portuguese
Pickup included
Pickup from your accommodation in Praia.
Private or small groups available


  • Explore the birthplace of the Cape Verdean nation and culture
  • See the fortress built to protect the island against pirates
  • Visit the former slave market in Pelourinho
  • Discover the ruins of the first sub-Saharan African cathedral
  • Choose between a shared group or private tour
Full description
Explore the highlights of Cidade Velha, a World Heritage Site that represents the cradle of Cape Verdean nation and culture, on this full 3-hour morning tour. After pickup from your accommodation in Praia, head to Cidade Velha. Your first visit will be to the Royal Fortress of São Filipe. Built originally to defend the city against pirate attacks, the fort makes an excellent viewing point from an altitude of 120 meters above sea level.   Next, explore the ruins of the first sub-Saharan African Cathedral, and see fishermen returning from the water with their traditional boats full of fresh fish. Head to the former slave market in Pelourinho, the famous Banana Street with its traditional houses, the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Church, and finally, the Convent of São Francisco.   At lunch, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the city and taste some local delights in a typical restaurant right on the seafront. The tour finishes with drop-off back to your hotel in Praia.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from Praia
  • Transportation
  • Tour Guide
  • Liability insurance
  • Lunch
  • Entrance Fee for fort (5 Euros/person)

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Water

Know before you go

  • Shared Group Tour option is subject to a minimum of 2 participants. In the event that the minimum number is not met, we reserve the right to propose an alternative date; to charge an extra fee to run the tour privately or to cancel a customer's booking for a full refund.
  • Note that the São Filipe Fortress is closed on holidays.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 15 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Service

Sort by:

Traveler type:

Star rating:

Staff knowledgeable of the things they show, although always receptive to knowing more, they create a relationship with the customer that, combined with a natural friendliness, makes visits into something more than a simple visit, but often an interactive discovery that benefits both the parts. Ailton is a young man with a promising future in this area and he has all these qualities.

Read more

March 11, 2022

We had a wonderful experience today . We visited Ciudade Velha and with us therewas Maria as guide. She is so nice as person and so professional . She could even help us to find the tickets to Mail island as we could book by ourselves. Thank you so much !

March 6, 2022

Great visit with an awesome guide named Maria :)! She really made us discover the Cidade Velha in an enriching way, with lots of anecdotes and historical explanations! We also had the chance to meet locals, we were very well received :)! I recommend this 4 hour visit and thanks again to Maria :) Julie and Sylvain

January 27, 2022

Product ID: 344086