Praia (pronounced Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɾajɐ], meaning "beach", in both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole), is the capital and largest city of Cape Verde, an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean west of Senegal. It lies on the southern coast of Santiago island in the Sotavento Islands group. It is the island's ferry port and is home to one of the nation’s four international airports. The city centre is known as Plateau due to its location on a small plateau. Praia is located at 14°55' North, 23°31' West (14.91667, -23.51667).
Praia is Cape Verde’s largest city, a commercial centre, and a port that ships coffee, sugar cane, and tropical fruits. Praia also has a fishing industry and there are resort beaches nearby. It is the seat of the municipality of the same name.
In cultural terms, the city of Praia is a notable contrast to the rest of the island of Santiago.While the rest of the island, having been first to be inhabited, maintains conservative and traditionalist characteristics, Praia possesses a more cosmopolitan outlook. In its overall culture, Praia has easily absorbed influences from the outer islands due to inter-island migration, as well as influences from abroad due to the concentration of population of foreign origin and the relative ease of communication with other nations. It is easier to find “authentic” cultural elements of Santiago the further one goes from Praia.
Precisely because Praia is the capital, maintains communications facilities with the world, and has the greatest concentration of diversity, it is one of the best places in Cape Verde for cultural experiences. Cultural activities that occur occasionally include openings of works, expositions, and shows. To support these there is an infrastructure that includes various show halls, the Palace of Culture, the Ethnographic Museum and the National Historical Archive. Praia also enjoys a diverse array of options for nighttime entertainment.