Visa and entry requirements Benin:
Passport required
German citizens are required to have a visa when entering the Republic of Benin. It is therefore advisable to try to obtain a visa well before the start of your trip and, if necessary, to obtain further information from the consular department of the Embassy of the Republic of Benin in Berlin.
Visa costs: 75 euros

Information from the Foreign Office about your trip to Benin:

Benin is a country in West Africa with around 10.8 million inhabitants. The country borders on Togo in the west, Burkina Faso and Niger in the north, Nigeria in the east and the Bay of Benin in the south. The state was called Dahomey until 1975, and the capital of Benin is Porto-Novo. The official language of the country is French and the national currency is the CFA franc BCEAO, where 1 euro corresponds to around 655 XOF.

The country's greatest north-south extent is 650 kilometers, while the stretch from west to east is 320 kilometers long.

Benin is a fertile and intensively agricultural plain, with the savanna being the predominant vegetation type, where elephants, lions and numerous other typical large animal species also occur.

The country's largest cities include Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Porto-Novo, Djougou, Parakou, Bohicon, Kandi, Lokossa, Ouidah and Natitingou.

Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world, where more than 42% of Beninese live below the poverty line. Approximately 66% of the population under 15 years of age are illiterate. The country's economy is mainly shaped by agriculture and the goods handled by the seaport of Cotonou.

More than two thirds of the population work in agriculture and primarily grow corn, cassava, sorghum, yam, sweet potatoes, legumes, cotton, cashews and pineapples.

In April 2005, the state of Benin was the first African country to decide to end the circumcision of young girls.

Cotonou is the largest city in Benin with almost 700,000 inhabitants. The city is the country's economic center and seat of government, although the capital and parliament are located in Benin's second largest city, Porto-Novo.

The seaport of Cotonou is a transit port for the surrounding neighboring countries and is now one of the most important ports in all of West Africa. The majority of goods transport for the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger also runs through it. Cotonou is also the country's central hub thanks to its airport and road connections.

The main exports are petroleum products, iron and bauxite, while the city also produces motor vehicles, bicycles, palm oil, beer, textiles and cement.

The most important sights in Cotonou include the Congress Palace, Fondation Zinsou, the Artisanal art gallery, the Marche Dantokpa street market, Fidjrosse Beach, the symbol of the city - the high column of the Etoile Rouge, the Cotonou Cathedral, the Stadium de l'Amitie, the Saint Michel Church, Martyrs' Square, the Grand Mosque de Zongo, Obama Beach and the Visitor Center.

In August 2016 I visited Cotonou in Benin as part of my trip to West Africa. My planned one-day stay turned into a two-day stop because I missed my onward flight to Mali due to a flight delay in Nigeria. The many friendly airport officials even let me into the country without a visa. They just took my passport when I entered the country, which I then got back the next day before my departure.

At first impression, the city of Cotonou seems very Chinese, due to the many Chinese-owned shops and hotels. Basically, Cotonou is very clean and surprisingly atypical for West Africa, so I had a pleasant stay there.