Travel guide to Port-au-Prince

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Facts

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Local name
Port-au-Prince
Inhabitants
2,000,000
Timezone
Haiti is four hours behind GMT. When it's noon in the UK, it's 8 am in Port-au-Prince.

Best time to visit

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The Haitian capital does not experience high and low seasons as such. If you want to get the most of the Haitian Rara bands, the best time to come is in the weeks before Easter when many bands will be rehearsing and playing in the streets. The Lent Carnival in January or February also draws colourful crowds to the streets. For the best chance to catch a Voodoo ceremony come around Christmas, All Souls Day (November 2), or January 6, which is the Voodoo New Year.

Culture and entertainment

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If you are going to Haiti to experience a Voodoo ceremony, you must realise that you need to be a little lucky to convince the locals to let you see part of one. It can be done, though, if you ask nicely and have the patience to explain your interest in the religion. Port-au-Prince has good clubs for dancing. To hear live music, you go to Pétionville.

Accommodation / Hotel

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Most of the accommodation is in Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. If you want the excitement of the big city twenty-four hours a day, it is also possible to find a downtown hotel. Be aware that the level of comfort is not very high, and you may not get electricity all through the night. But if you're willing to rough it a little, you get the Haitian way of life up close in return. Book your hotel in Port-au-Prince here

Local transport

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Taxi

Taxis are easy to flag down in the street. To go around Port-au-Prince, you can also take a Publique, which is a shared taxi. You should not pay more than ten Gourdes for a ride.

Other transport

Busses and Taptaps are very cheap in Port-au-Prince. They are either mini-vans or amazingly decorated Japanese pick-ups with wooden benches. They'll stop for you if you whistle and wave.
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