There is an understandable lack of tourist traps in Monrovia Ð but all the better to see the local flavour. The National Museum (Broad Street, open every week except Sunday and Monday) is worth a visit. About three-quarters of its once glittering collection of 6,000 artefacts were looted during the war, so it is both an example of and a chronicler of Liberia’s recent history.
Waterside market (Mechlin Street) is definitely the place to go for souvenirs, especially beautiful textiles and intricately-made handicrafts. The market is big and bustling, so it’s also a great place to people-watch. Be your own oasis with a cool drink as the frenetic atmosphere surges around you.
There is an extensive array of good food in Monrovia, both on the street and in restaurants, especially around Sinkor. Liberian chop shops are as close as you can get to home cooking here, and fortunately they are located on almost every street. The long-standing Golden Beach restaurant (Tubman Boulevard) serves fine food and, as its name suggests, is a great place to grab a cocktail and watch the sunset.
Business travellers will find comfort at The Cape Hotel (Mamba Point; +231 -77-006633; www.thecapehotel.com.lr), which offers internet and all other modern conveniences with a smile. The restaurant here comes particularly recommended. For comfy and affordable accommodation, the Mokos Bed and Breakfast (19th Street Payne Avenue; +231-11-23165-15897) is clean, homely, and very good value for money with TV, A/C, and internet included. By far the best thing about Mokos, though, is the good security and very friendly staff.
Head to Robertsport (Robert’s Port), a small fishing village near the Sierra Leone border, for some great surfing. It is also the home of the Robertsport Community Works, which alongside their community outreach programs also offers eco-tourism, sea turtle rescue and free yoga lessons.