Praia is the largest city in Cape Verde. It has a commercial port, where it exports coffee, sugar, and tropical fruits. It also has an important fishing industry.
In the neighbourhood Plateau, near the sea, you can find public buildings of great importance, such as the Presidential Palace, built in the late nineteenth century to be the residence of the Portuguese governor, the City Hall, building with classical façade and a square central tower, the Church of Nossa Senhora da Graça, also with a classic style, the Ethnographic Museum and the Monument of Diogo Gomes, Portuguese navigator and the discoverer of Santiago Island in 1460.
The city of Tarrafal has the few white sand beaches of the island, in a bay surrounded by coconut trees.
Tarrafal prison, situated in the place called Chão Bom, was established by the Portuguese Estado Novo. The Concentration Camp Tarrafal, as it became known, began operations in 1936, with the arrival of the first prisoners. This prison was closed in 1954 and was reactivated in 1961 under the name of Field Chão Bom to receive prisoners from the Portuguese colonies.
The Resistance Museum is part of the preservation project of the former concentration camp Tarrafal.
Cidade Velha, formerly known as Ribeira Grande de Santiago, was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin. Due to its rich history, manifested by an interesting architectural heritage, in June 2009, Cidade Velha was considered to be an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Assomada, also known as Santa Catarina, is an important commercial center. The city has several Portuguese colonial style buildings.
The market is considered the largest and busiest of Santiago, with a wide variety of products you can buy and sell.
The Tabanka Museum and the Cultural Center of Assomada, located in the building of the old Post Office, which has a great historical, cultural and architectural importance, are also places of reference.