Home to many diplomatic services and the largest population in the country, Cotonou is the de facto capital of Benin, although not the official one. Its location at the crossroads between numerous neighboring countries makes it a commercial hub, instrumental in opening trade to the African interior. From Cotonou travelers may depart for tours of the outlying regions. The nearby stilted village of Ganvie is a short day trip from the bustle of Boulevard St. Michel and the Dan Topka market.
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