Dakar might be known as a pretty Atlantic port city of the Cap-Vert peninsula, but it really packs a punch in terms of the attractions it offers. The capital of Senegal has a rich and complex culture and history. And there is no better way to get introduced to Senegal than discovering the best art galleries and museums in Dakar. Delve into new worlds by visiting Dakar’s museums, where you can explore a diverse range of topics, including art and history, culture and learning about Senegal’s heritage.
We also recommend our guide to Oumar Seye and Surfing Waves in Dakar, Senegal.
IFAN Museum of African Arts
The IFAN Museum of African Arts also known as the Musée Théodore Monod is one of Senegal’s best museums. Guests can take individual or group tours to explore over 9000 objects on display here. IFAN brings together works from Senegal as well as African art from West African countries including Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Benin and Nigeria. This is a historical and educational museum in Dakar with special dedication in displaying and teaching African art.
Henriette-Bathily Women’s Museum
It’s always a unique and very emotional moment when at the Henriette-Bathily Women’s Museum. Once located in Gorée, the museum is now located in Dakar since 2015. Museum exhibition in this Dakar’s museum include items from the colonial period, musical instruments, pottery as well as photographs that gives a better grasp of the daily life of women in the country. It is truly a celebration of the creative nature of Senegalese women.
House of Slaves
The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) is for people with interest in African history and slave trade visiting Dakar. This is one of the few slave houses still open to the public, and it holds great information archives of activities in the region during the slave trade and other historical details. If you’re only looking for an engaging insight on transportation of Africans to British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese colonies of the Americas, don’t pass up this museum. You can only imagine what other treasures are housed in this museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade in Dakar, Senegal. Make sure to visit the museum and its Door of No Return, we’d recommend a guide if you want to know the history of what happened.
Located in the city centre of Dakar, the Galerie Arte is regarded as the first contemporary art and design centre in Senegal. This exceptional art gallery in Dakar brings to life scenes and pieces from Senegalese unique art creations. And allows African art enthusiasts a chance to explore and indulge some creativity of the African continent.
Museum of Black Civilisations
Opened in December 2018, the Museum of Black Civilisations (Musée des Civilisations Noires) has been a stunning addition to Dakar’s cultural scene as well as a being a magnificent inclusion to Senegal’s cultural landscape. If you’re looking for an insight into African civilization and culture, the region’s past, take a trip to the Museum of Black Civilisations. The museum is great to visit as many exhibits features diverse African art and covers histories and contemporary cultures of Black people across the world. Highly recommended museum to visit in Dakar, the guided tours last about one and a half hour, and they are truly fascinating.
Village des Arts
Your cultural and art journey in Dakar is not complete without making a stop at the colourful and famous Village des Arts. This art complex in Senegal’s capital is a creative hub where most of the country’s established as well as up and coming artists create and display their works. You can make a purchase of handicrafts from the original painters on-site. Prices can be a little high to start, but if you bargain well, you’ll strike a good deal. Village des Arts is not to be mistaken for Dakar’s Village Artisanal.
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