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Practical information


  • The time difference with Europe is 2 hours in the winter and 3 hours in the summer time.
  • The official language is Portuguese, but the people speak Criol between one another. Each island has it's own dialect. Some Cape Verdians speak Italian, French and English (mostly on Sal and Boa Vista).
  • Vaccinations are not obligated before entering the country. Some of them, like DTP (diphteria, pertussis and tetanus) are recommended.
  • The currency used is Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE). The offcial course is 1 euro for 110 CVE, but in most of the shops and restaurants the course is 1 euro for 100 CVE. In Sal and Boa Vista euro's are accepted everywhere, on the other islands you can only pay with Escudo's. You can't get Escudo's in European banks, so the best thing to do is get some out of the cash machine as soon as you arrive. Don't take too much Escudo's out because you can't change them anymore in Europe. 
  • There are cash machines available, next to a bank in town or in the bigger hotel resorts. Sometimes there is no cash in the machine, just try another one when this happens.You will be charged €2 transaction fee for every withdrawl. Make sure to activate your bank card for out of Europe before you leave. 
  • The prices are a bit lower, but some products stay quite expensive, because of the import.
  • Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the country.
  • You don't need a visa any longer to visit the country for a stay less than 30 days. On arrival at the airport you pay a €30 airport tax.
  • A European driving license is valid to drive around. It's not necessary to get an international driving license. 


  • International airports: the airports receiving international flights are on the islands: Sal (SID), Boa Vista (BVC), Santiago (RAI) and São Vicente (VXE). 
  • National airports: These airports can only receive the smaller airplanes from the national flight connections. They aren't frequent and connected with a stop-over on another island: Maio (MMO), São Nicolau (SNE) and Fogo (SFL). The islands Santo Antão and Brava can only be reached by boat. (See transport for more info).
  • Electricity: 220-230 Volt.
  • These days most of the accommodations offer free Wifi, usually only in the reception area. More and more rental appartments; bars and restaurants make a free Wifi connection as a service for their clients. In the central square of the bigger villages the people are offered free Wifi from the government. Most airports also offer free Wifi. 
  • The land code of Cape Verde is +238. Phone calls are quite expensive here. It's better to buy a local simcard (Unitel or CV Movel store) with internet data to make calls online.
  • Drinking tap water is not possible. It's best to buy bottled water in the supermarket. The hotels, restaurants and bars use filtered water for their ice cubes and do you no harm. It's only in the real local small bars that they don't.
  • The consul/embassies for most European countries are only located in Praia, the capital on Santiago island.
  • Cape Verde is in general a safe country to travel to. With the rising tourism, the numbers of street robberies also went up. Don't take too many valuable items with you on the street and spread out money in different bags. When you are out make sure to keep a good eye on your phone.
  • The opening times from the shops are a bit South-European. In general they are open between 08h00-20h00. Chinese shops are open all day round, but some shops close around lunchtime. On Saturday many shops close at 13h00 and are closed on Sundays and public bank holidays.