The population of Cape Verde only counts about 600,000 inhabitants and is one of the smaller countries in the world. The majority of the population lives on the island of Santiago, followed by the island of São Vicente. The inhabitants are very diverse and have influences from African, European, and Portuguese cultures. Ranked by population, the largest cities in Cape Verde are: Praia, Mindelo, Espargos, Assomada, Pedra Badejo, Porto Novo, Sao Filipe, Mangui and Santa Maria. Below, we briefly highlight the five largest cities in the Cape Verdean islands.
More about the five largest cities of Cape Verde
Praia is the vibrant capital city of Cape Verde, located on the island of Santiago. With an estimated population of 130,000 people (2016, National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde), Praia serves as the political and economic hub of the country. As a blend of modern and historical architecture, Praia boasts numerous attractions to visit. Its must-see landmarks include the Nossa Senhora da Graça Cathedral, the Fort Real de São Filipe and the City Hall. You can also explore the bustling port or relax on the beaches of Praia, Quebra Canela, or Kebra Kanela. But the city’s charm does not stop there. Praia’s cultural and arts scene is lively and diverse, featuring events such as the Kriol Jazz Festival and the International Film Festival of Praia. When it comes to dining, drinking, and shopping, you will find no shortage of options in the city’s many restaurants, bars, and stores.
Beyond its attractions, Praia is home to significant government institutions such as parliament and government buildings. The city is also a hub for higher education and research, hosting renowned institutions like the University of Cape Verde and the Cape Verdean Institute for Ocean Science and Sustainable Development.
Mindelo (Sao Vicente)
Mindelo is a picturesque port city located on the island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde. With a population of around 70,000 people (2016, National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde), Mindelo is the cultural capital of Cape Verde and a hub for music, arts, and entertainment.
The city’s vibrant streets are lined with colorful colonial buildings, charming cafes, and bustling markets. Mindelo is also famous for its music scene, with many bars and clubs offering live performances of traditional Cape Verdean music and other genres.In addition to its cultural offerings, Mindelo boasts stunning beaches, including the popular Laginha Beach. The city is also a great starting point for exploring the island’s rugged and scenic landscapes.
Espargos is a charming city located on the island of Sal. With a population of around 17,000 people (2016, National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde), Espargos serves as the main administrative center and transportation hub of Sal. The city is named after the wild asparagus that once grew in the area, and is known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. Visitors can explore the local markets, museums, and historical sites, such as the Nossa Senhora das Dores Church and the Monumento de Diogo Gomes.
Espargos is also a great starting point for exploring the rest of the island, including its stunning beaches and salt flats. The nearby Pedra de Lume salt flats offer visitors the chance to float effortlessly in its salty water, while the Praia de Santa Maria is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Assomada is a lively city located on the island of Santiago (2016, National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde). With a population of approximately 12,000 people, it is the second-largest city on the island, after Praia. Assomada is a bustling market town, known for its colorful street markets and artisanal crafts. Visitors can explore the traditional houses and cobblestone streets, and visit the local museums, including the Museu da Tabanka and the Museu Municipal. The city is also home to the beautiful Nossa Senhora da Graça Church, a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. Additionally, Assomada is located near the stunning Serra da Malagueta Natural Park, a popular destination for hiking and nature lovers.
With its blend of cultural and natural attractions, Assomada is a great destination for travelers looking to experience the authentic Cape Verdean way of life. The city’s warm and welcoming locals, along with its vibrant and colorful atmosphere, are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Pedra Badejo (Santiago)
Pedra Badejo is a charming coastal town located on the eastern coast of the island of Santiago in Cape Verde. With a population of approximately 10,000 people (2016, National Institute of Statistics of Cape Verde). It is a relatively small city but one that is rich in history and culture.
Pedra Badejo is known for its picturesque streets lined with colorful colonial buildings, charming cafes, and local markets. The town also boasts a beautiful beach with clear waters and golden sands, making it a popular destination for swimming and sunbathing.
Visitors to Pedra Badejo can explore the nearby Ribeira de Principal, a lush valley dotted with traditional Cape Verdean villages and scenic hiking trails. The town is also home to the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário, a beautiful colonial-style church that is worth a visit.
Are you curious about all cities, towns and villages Cape Verde? In one handy overview we have bundled most place names with number of inhabitants.