Cotonou [read kotonu] is the largest city in Benin and is also the gateway for visitors to the country.
Being the largest city in the country, it is also the city of the government; although Porto-Novo is the official capital. It is home to all government offices and diplomatic services – embassies. The city also has a port, the largest and only airport, and a railroad linking Cotonou with Parakou.
Cotonou is located on the coast of Benin, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué. The city is divided into two parts by a canal, which was built by the French in 1855. These two parts are connected by three bridges.