The Top Things to Do in Yaounde

Many attractions can be found around 20 May Square
Many attractions can be found around 20 May Square | © fr.wikipedia / WikiCommons
Photo of Tony Vinyoh
Writer17 August 2018

Yaoundé is a fantastic city to explore for food, music and entertainment. With some of Cameroon’s best restaurants, hotels and monuments, there are many sites and attractions to discover. From the great live band at Yao Ba to a walk around EcoPark, here are the top things to do in Yaoundé.

Take a walk along 20 May Boulevard

Building, Museum, Post Office, Church, Shop, Cathedral
20 May Boulevard Yaounde
Many attractions can be found around 20 May Square | © fr.wikipedia / WikiCommons

National days and events are celebrated with parades at Yaoundé’s 20 May Boulevard. The attractions nearby are endless; Musée de la Blackitude, the National Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a buffet in the woods at Bois Sainte Anastasie, shop at Mahima or continue your walk to the Hilton Hotel. The Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Higher Education are two of the street’s standout buildings.

Dine at Yao Ba Restaurant Cabaret

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, African, European, $$$
Yao B Restaurant & Bar
Yao Ba is a great place to eat dinner before a night of fun at its cabaret | © Edsel Little / Flickr

Dress up for a fun night out at Yao Ba, with a great live band on the ground floor cabaret and a restaurant serving delectable cuisine above. The band plays bikutsi, soul, jazz, makossa, and pop. They will surprise you with the odd international hit. Enjoy wines, cocktails, beer and games.

Go for a run at Omnisport

Building, Stadium
Players gather to pick a game in Yaounde
Players gather for a game of football in Yaoundé | © Tony Vinyoh / Culture Trip

Yaoundé is a sporty town, with countless groups that organise early morning work outs. Its seven hills and open spaces offer great tracks for runners, with sandy playing fields for team sports. The Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium draws many athletes to its terraces day and night. Many of the country’s football stars are products of the sandy pitches that are found across Yaoundé’s neighbourhoods.

Walk around Hôtel De Ville

Building, Park, Shop
Calafatas bakery is a must-visit when near Independence Square | © Pavlina Jane / Flickr

Calafatas bakery, which has been baking since 1935, is a good place to stop on your way to Hôtel De Ville, which sits on Independence Square. With seats, a garden and lighting, it’s a great place for an evening picnic.

Watch a play at Goethe-Institut Kamerun

Cinema, Concert Hall, Library, Music Venue
Goethe Institute
Workshop at the Goethe Institute in Yaounde | © Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group / WikiCommons

Yaoundé’s Goethe-Institut organises workshops to promote cultural exchanges between Germany and Cameroon. Art exhibitions, poetry readings and music festivals are all part of its strategy to spot emerging talent in the arts. Similar art projects take place at the Institut Français.

Walk around Marché Mokolo

Mokolo Market
People go to Mokolo to buy clothes, food, and household items | © gtankam / WikiCommons

Go through the crowds at Mokolo Market to experience the Cameroonian hustle first hand. Add a few pairs of second-hand jeans to your collection and look through different departments selling shoes, clothes, food and housewares.

Marvel at wildlife at the Mvog-Betsi Zoo

Park, Zoo
Mvog-Betsi Zoo
There's a small jungle on the edge of town | © Eleazar / WikiCommons

Visit the Mvog-Betsi botanical and zoological park and meet the royal lion couple. The king and queen of the jungle are accompanied by a congress of primates, birds, a hyena, crocodile, monkeys, and snakes, in a park sheltered by very tall trees, with the animals kept in large see-through cages.

Enjoy barbecue around Yaoundé’s Grand Mosque

Sheep barbecue
Briqueterie is the best place in Yaoundé to eat grilled meat | © mari / Flickr

The Grand Mosque was established in the Briqueterie neighbourhood in 1952 and now has a library, a school and conference hall. It plays a major role in the lives of Muslims all over the city, especially during festivities. The area is famous for its colourful fabrics, grilled chicken, and soya, sold on a stick.

Relax at EcoPark

Amusement Park, Park
Ecopark Yaounde
EcoPark's zoo is a refuge for endangered animals and rare plants | © gaikokujinkun / Flickr

Its developers have an ambitious plan: to create a ‘Cameroon in miniature’. This idea is already manifesting in Yaoundé’s ecological park, that grows plants, keeps animals, maintains fish ponds, operates a restaurant, and has spaces for exercise and playgrounds for kids. The site is still partly under construction but is already attracting those who love the outdoors.

Dine at Etok Koss

Restaurant, African, $$$
Grilled Fish
Etok Koss is the best place in Yaoundé for roasted fish | © Seph Swain / Flickr

Enjoy a quiet evening on the outskirts of Yaoundé in one of the gazebos built around a fish pond. Etok Koss restaurant serves delicious grilled goose and rabbit, and will let you catch your own fish if you get there early enough. It’s perfect for a family outing, with boat rides across the fish pond and a carousel for kids.

Explore Palais des Congrès

Building, Hill Station, Natural Feature, Shop
Palais des Congrès Yaounde
The Yaoundé Congress Hall can be seen from many places in Yaoundé | © Ruediger Nassauer / WikiCommons

Venue to many cultural festivals, the Yaoundé Congress Hall is also a great place for a workout, with its slopes and vast yard. The hill provides possibly the widest view of Yaoundé and the perfect environment for a picnic. Nearby is Hôtel Mont Fébé, where you can swim and enjoy a meal, and the Benedictine Museum, both of which look over a number of embassies.

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