Explore a vibrant city bursting with culture and creativity. Discover what makes "Lomé la Belle" so special
When it comes to African destinations, Lomé, the capital city of Togo, may not be the first place that comes to mind. But don't let that fool you – Lomé is a vibrant and exciting city with so much to offer, from fashion, history and art to delicious food, nightlife and more. One of the highlights of Lomé is the International Festival of Fashion in Togo (FIMO228), which has been promoting local and international designers for the past decade. But there's so much more to explore in this fascinating city. My name is Serge Gakpé, i was born and raised in Paris with Togolese roots.
A double culture that's ingrained in my identity.
Now take a closer look with me at some of the "hidden gems" of Lomé.
First, let's talk about fashion. As mentioned earlier FIMO228, founded by Jacques Logoh is a must-seen event for anyone interested in fashion. The international festival of fashion in Togo, has been promoting local and international designers for over 10 years now. But even outside the festival event, Lomé has a thriving fashion scene.
A journey to the bustling textile markets of Lomé will introduce you not only to its colorful fabrics, but also some remarkable women – The Nana Benz. These powerful businesswomen have become an inspirational legacy for African females in entrepreneurial endeavors throughout West Africa and beyond. The name "Benz" was borrowed from the popular brand of Mercedes-Benz cars, which many of these successful Nana ladies drove. Step into their lively world filled with determination and strength that continue to drive change within the country's textiles industry today.
The so-called Asiganmé (Grand Marché) or central market, is the perfect place to find anything you need, from clothing to souvenirs and household items. You can also find many local designers creating unique and beautiful clothing, accessories, and jewelry. For a truly immersive experience, head to The Korner Shop, where you'll find a refined selection of art, jewelry , home decor and other accessories crafted by local and international artists. The shop is a true reflection of the creativity and the art scene of Lomé.
Art and culture are also an essential part of Lomé's identity. You will find many galleries in the city, showcasing the work of both local and international artists. One highlight is the Galerie Negrillis, where you'll find an impressive collection of contemporary African art. A great place to explore and get familiar with the city's culture.
No trip to Lomé is complete without tasting the delicious street food. You can have it all, from grilled meat and fish to delicious pastries and desserts. A must try local dish is the "Fufu", a delicious pounded yam served with a spicy ground peanuts or palm nut sauce with your choice of meet.
For an elegant dining experience, head to Le Patio. The food matches the luxurious atmosphere of the restaurant. Enjoy live music and stunning decor while treating yourself to a delicious selection of local or international dishes.
Surround yourself with a serene and tropical environment. Admire the colorful flowers and fruit trees in the luxurious garden. To immerse yourself in captivating art exhibitions that will surely stimulate your senses, ÔTsunami Hôtel Restaurant is another popular option located just 200m from the beach. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the sea, making it also the perfect spot for food and entertainment. Live bands perform on weekends, and the menu features a range of options, from seafood and steak to vegetarian dishes.
The Onomo Hotel in Lomé is a great choice for travelers. The hotel features an interesting art gallery showcasing works by local artists, a lively bar with a good selection of drinks, and a spacious restaurant serving delicious local and international cuisine. The staff are attentive and courteous, and the atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable. Overall, the hotel offers a great experience for art lovers, and anyone looking for a welcoming place to stay.
Once you've enjoyed food, art and fashion, it's time to explore the city's other attractions. To fully experience the city, take a ride on a Zémidjan, a local motorcycle taxi, and explore Lomé's bustling streets.
Located in the colorful city of Lomé, is home to two remarkable monuments that honor its journey through history. The Independence Monument - erected in 1960 and stands tall as a symbol of the nation's struggle for independence - surrounded by gardens and fountains that add to its natural beauty. And at the heart of this bustling capital lies Cathédrale Sacré Coeur with stunning stained-glass windows depicting past centuries, intricate carvings honoring faith, and a peaceful courtyard inviting passersby into spiritual retreat. Lomé is an absolute must-see destination for anyone wanting an immersive cultural experience!
For those looking to take a break and sunbathe, Lomé Beach is the perfect spot. Experience beaches like Blue Turtle, Pure Plage or Marcelo Beach, and you will not regret it. There's something for everyone! Experience the ultimate beach vibes with white sands, groovy beats, enticing cocktails, delicious food and lively company. You really will enjoy yourself from sunrise to sunset!
Finally, let's talk about nightlife. With many bars and clubs to choose from, La Villa is a popular spot with great atmosphere and a mix of music genres. The bar is particularly known for its signature cocktails, which are made with locally sourced ingredients and unique flavors.
Visiting Other Cities
If you have more time, consider visiting Kpalimé and Aného, two amazing destinations in Togo. Kpalimé has beautiful natural landscapes, mountains and some memorable Waterfalls.
Aného is an historic coastal town with a sobering House of Slaves and a lively market. Visitors can take a pirogue ride on the Lac Togo, enjoy the beach, and explore the local culture. Both towns offer a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors.
Lomé city in Togo may not be the first place that comes to mind for a vacation, but it truly is a hidden gem located on the West African coast waiting to be discovered. From the vibrant fashion scene to the delicious food and beautiful beaches, there's something for everyone in this exciting city. So next time you're planning a trip, don't overlook Lomé – you will surely be surprised by how much it has to offer.
Footnote: images credit
1- Royal air Maroc 2- @sathiapatherphotography 3- Togo Archives 4- The Korner Shop 5- Atelier Negrilis 6- @lacuisinedeviiey 7- Le Patio 8- ôtsunami Hotel 9- Onomo hotel 10- Kossi Kunakey 11- Carlos Braga 12- Alamy 13- Pure Plage 14- La Villa 15- Tripadvisor, Expedia, Joel Anani