Benin logo-v2 Dark

Travel Requirements

Benin travel requirements

If you’re planning a trip to Benin, it’s important to know the travel requirements before you go. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your journey:

  1. COVID-19 Requirements
  2. Visa Requirements
  3. Health Insurance
  4. Currency
  5. Culture and Etiquette

COVID-19 Requirements

Proof of COVID vaccination or a negative PCR test is no longer required for all travellers to enter Benin. 

Visa requirements

Passport validity

If you are a resident in Benin, your passport must be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.


Most foreign passport holders need a tourist or business visa to enter Benin. Benin has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel. 

Visa-Exempt Countries:

Stay without a visa 90 days

 All African Union nationals (except SADR)


Stay without a visa 14 Days

 Hong Kong


Health insurance

When planning your trip to Benin, one of your top priorities should be safeguarding your health and safety. Securing comprehensive health insurance that covers potential medical expenses while abroad is an absolute must. While Benin has made strides in healthcare, it’s crucial to be prepared for any unexpected medical situations.

Healthcare facilities in Benin vary in quality, and medical costs, particularly for foreign visitors, can be substantial. Reliable health insurance ensures you have access to necessary medical services without the worry of overwhelming expenses.

In case of illness, accidents, or any medical emergencies, having valid health insurance offers peace of mind and ensures you can receive appropriate medical care without financial strain. Comprehensive coverage also includes medical evacuation, which may be necessary for severe cases requiring specialized treatment available in neighboring countries.

Benin’s diverse landscapes and the allure of adventurous activities bring certain inherent risks. It’s always wise to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. With comprehensive health insurance, you can confidently explore Benin’s natural wonders, partake in exciting adventures, and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, knowing you’re well-protected in case of any health-related incidents.

Never underestimate the significance of health insurance when traveling to Benin. Prioritize your well-being by securing a reliable insurance policy covering medical expenses, emergency treatments, and potential medical evacuations. With comprehensive health insurance, you can focus on enjoying your journey, secure in the knowledge that you’re prepared for any unexpected medical situations. Your adventure in Benin begins with peace of mind.


Benin’s official currency is the West African CFA Franc (XOF). When preparing for your trip to Benin, it’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand for daily expenses and transactions, as the West African CFA Franc is widely accepted throughout the country.

Exchanging foreign currency into West African CFA Francs is relatively straightforward, and you can do so at banks, authorized Forex bureaus, and some hotels in major cities and towns. To ensure fair rates and avoid counterfeit notes, it is recommended to exchange your currency at official establishments.

While the West African CFA Franc is the primary currency, US Dollars may also be accepted in certain situations, particularly in larger hotels, tourist areas, and for major transactions. To facilitate this, carry small denomination US Dollar bills, preferably in good condition, as larger bills may not always be accepted or may receive a less favorable exchange rate.

Credit cards with Visa or Mastercard logos are generally accepted in larger hotels, restaurants, and major businesses in urban areas. However, keep in mind that smaller establishments, local markets, and rural regions may operate primarily on a cash-only basis. For this reason, it is advisable to have some local currency for everyday expenses, especially when exploring more remote areas.

ATMs are widely available in major cities and towns across Benin, allowing you to withdraw West African CFA Francs as needed. To ensure smooth access to your funds, inform your bank in advance about your travel plans to ensure that your cards are authorized for use in Benin. Additionally, it’s prudent to carry a backup payment method, such as cash or a second card, in case of any issues with ATMs or card acceptance. Your trip to Benin will be more enjoyable with the convenience of local currency readily available for your expenses.

Culture and Etiquette

Benin is a culturally diverse country with a rich heritage, and it’s essential to show respect and appreciation for local customs and traditions during your visit. Beninese people are generally warm and welcoming, and demonstrating an interest in their culture will be highly appreciated.

When interacting with locals, it is customary to greet them with a handshake and to use appropriate titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Doctor when addressing someone. Politeness and respectful language are expected in conversations, and making an effort to learn a few basic phrases in the local languages, such as greetings and simple expressions, can help build positive connections.

Modest clothing is generally recommended, especially when visiting rural areas or religious sites. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing clothing and should opt for attire that covers the shoulders and knees as a sign of respect for local customs and traditions.

Public displays of affection should be kept discreet, as they may not align with local societal norms. It’s essential to be culturally sensitive and mindful of local expectations regarding personal interactions.

When visiting someone’s home or a local community, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering as a sign of respect. It’s also common to be offered food and drink during visits, and accepting these offers is a polite way to show appreciation for local hospitality.

Benin is renowned for its flavorful cuisine, and trying traditional dishes is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. When dining, it is customary to eat with your right hand, as many Beninese people traditionally dine this way. However, it’s also acceptable to use utensils if you prefer. Embracing these cultural customs will enrich your experience in Benin and help foster positive connections with the local community.

Travel details

  • Passport
  • Visa if not from visa-free country
  • West African CFA Franc (XOF), or USD, GBP or EUR cash for exchange
  • You do not need to show a COVID vaccination certificate or negative COVID test to enter Benin.