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Benin > Activities > Parakou railway

Parakou Railway

Parakou railway
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Witness the natural beauty between the contrasting towns on Benin while being soothed by the sound of the train’s progress on the rails. Benin’s only operational railway line, links Cotonou with Bohicon, Savé and Parakou. Upholstered seats are only available in first class and it is crucial to book these seats as it takes approximately 13 hours to travel from Cotonou to Parakou and being uncomfortable for half the day will be a nightmare ride.

Report to the station in Cotonou and start the journey from the commercial centre of Benin before forgetting the city when you pass fertile plains, known as Terre de Barre, rocky areas and valleys. The train stops at various small towns before reaching the trade centre of Parakou. This city has been named the "the city of everyone" to represent the diversity of ethnic groups. This market town that drew many people as a stop off point in trading when Parakou grew initially from revenue generated from passing merchants.

Being an important stop over in the distribution of goods and slaves around Africa, this railway served the town well to transport goods. Browse the markets, buy some presents and snacks for the trip and return to the station. After the round trip, return to the most urban part of Benin, your Cotonou hotel, to experience African nightlife and good shopping. This is the best way to move between towns and experience the countryside of Benin without having to buy maps, hire cars and walk too much.

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