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What to do in Dakar

There is a lot to do in Dakar on the weekend, between the beautiful beaches, thriving art scene, and cultural exhibits. You can learn more by reading Culture Trip's Top 10 Things to Do and See in Dakar, Wanderlust Magazine's 5 things to do in Dakar, or the New York Times' 36 Hours in Dakar. or watching Anthony Bordain's Parts Unknown: Senegal.

Here is a list of popular activities in Dakar!

1. Spend the Day on Ngor Island

Ngor Island is just a two minute boat ride off the coast of the Ngor neighborhood, and the island has some of the nicest beaches for sunbathing and relaxing in Dakar. Getting to the island is an adventure in itself. You can either take a private boat for 2,000cfa or the public boat for 1,000cfa. Either way, you end up on the colorful and relaxing island of Ngor, where you can find a surf camp, Italian and Senegalese restaurants, and plenty of beach chairs for rent. 

2. Learn to Surf

Surfing in Dakar is world-class and largely undiscovered compared to the crowded beaches of California. There are a few surf schools in the city that take beginners out to learn how to surf! ISD even has a surf school that picks up students directly from our campus to catch some waves after school!

3. Visit Goree Island

Goree Island is off the coast of the Plateau neighborhood in Dakar. The ferry over leaves on a schedule and costs 1,500cfa for Dakar Residents, or 5,000cfa for tourists (ISD will help you get your Dakar Residency permit when you arrive!). You can pay a visit to the Slave Museum, where tour guides bring you through a colonial slave house that held slaves before they were shipped to the Americas, or roam around the pastel-colored island and buy art from local artisans. 


4. Get Lost in a Local Market

There are plenty of local markets in Dakar, no matter what you're in the market for. From fabric to fish to vegetables to voodoo objects, markets abound in Dakar. 

5. Relax on Mamelles Beach

Mamelles Beach, formerly known as 'secret beach,' is a secret no longer. This small but sandy beach is perfect for a quick no-hassle weekend trip to the ocean. Located just 5 minutes drive from both Almadies and Mermoz, the beach is popular with both foreigners and locals, and is the perfect place to catch some rays on the weekend. 

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