capital of Haiti

Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of Haiti.



The city's recent history has been dominated by the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in 2010, which leveled many buildings and left hundreds of thousands dead. Reconstruction efforts are ongoing but many historic sites were lost.

Get in


By plane

  • 1 Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP  IATA), Blvd Toussaint Louverture, Tabarre (9 km NE of where the National Palace once stood in the Central Port-au-Prince and 10 km due north of Petion-Ville). Port-au-Prince Airport is served the following major airlines:    
  • 2 Sunrise Airways is in operation since 2010 as the national airline based in Port-au-Prince. They offer domestic & international flights from Port-au-Prince to Camagüey, Cap-Haïtien, Fort-de-France, Havana, Holguín, Jérémie, Les Cayes, Panama City–Tocumen, Pointe-à-Pitre, Punta Cana, Santiago de Cuba, Santo Domingo–La Isabela. Domestic flights operate from a separate Guy Malary Terminal (location of marker) east of the main terminal on Blvd Toussaint Louverture. Check with the airline for check in and departure location of your Sunrise Airways flight.

Other airlines that fly into Port au Prince main terminal include:

By car

  •  RN-1  Route Nationale 1 (RN-1) heads north, passing through Saint-Marc and Gonaïves to its terminus at Rue 22 in Cap-Haïtien. It goes through downtown as the main north-south thoroughfare before becoming RN2 south of town.
  • Blvd des Industries, north of town, provides the most direct route towards the airport terminal from RN 1 via a roundabout. From the roundabout go on Blvd Toussaint Louverture to get to the main terminal.
  •  RN-2  RN-2 is commonly known as “Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines” within Port-au-Prince and as “Route du Sud” outside the capital region. After heading south through downtown Port-au-Prince, it travels west through the capital's western boroughs and then through Petit-Goâve and Aquin to its terminus at Avenue des Quatre Chemins in Les Cayes.
  •  RN-8  RN-8 provides the most direct route towards the nearest border crossing into the Dominican Republic. It passes by Jct RN-3 at Croix de Bouquets, and the cities/towns of Carrefour Beauge and La Source. In Dominican Republic the road becomes RN-48 into Jimani (nearest Dominican border town, 54 km east of Port au Prince).
  •  RN-101  Route de Delmas (RN-101) connects from RN-1/2 in Port au Prince to the Marigot (76km /3-4hrs) in the south coast through Petionville and Marche in Ouest and Sud Est Departments.

By bus


Except Terra Bus the following bus companies offer direct connections from Santo Domingo to their own stations in Tabarre and Petion-Ville. If coming in from Santo Domingo after dark, Petion-Ville is a safer area to go to. It is recommended to arrange local pick-up from a trusted local contact for the ride from bus station to accommodations:

  • 3 Caribe Tours, El Services Travel Agency on Blvd October 15, Tabarre, +509 3274-4344.
  • 4 Capital Coach Lines, Tabarre 41, Blvd 15 October (Next to US Embassy), +509 2813-1880, +1 610 232-9534 (USA). M-Sa 07:00-16:00, Su 07:00-13:00. Connects Tabarre and Petionville to Santo Domingo on two separate routes. $40 one way or $75 return.
  • 5 Terra Bus (Chatelain Tours Travel Service), Tabarre 37, Blvd October 15, Tabarre, +509 3701-4750. Connects Tabarre to Santo Domingo.

Another, less expensive, option is to take a guagua (Dominican minibus) from Santo Domingo departing 4 blocks NW of Parque Enriquillo, just West of Av Duarte, from a small parking lot within the elevated expressways of Espresso 27 de Febrero). suggests guava buses leave every 45 min, but this is not always the case. Price is RD$400, allow about 5 hr for the journey including a quick rest/meal stop) and arrive in the border town of Jimani. From there it is a 4-km walk or a RD$50 or more ride by motoconcho to the border post. The border is apparently open 08:00-18:00 (if it respects its times).

In the past it was very easy to cross the border without submitting to any immigration procedures on either side, and although probably illegal, saved a few dozen dollars in bribes and was much faster too. Things are changing: passport control is now generally required leaving the Dominican Republic, not just entering the DR. Entering Haiti legally is quick: fill out the green form and pay whatever amount the official asks (around RD$100). There are no ATMs at the border. Moneychangers give Haitian gourdes for Dominican and US currency. Rates are fair. Protect Haiti's small green card in your passport, allowing you to leave Haiti without risking a penalty.

There's usually plenty of local transportation from the border to Port-au-Prince. Crowded tap-taps and buses can take you to Croix-des-Bouquets for about G75 (1-2 hr), from where it is another hour to Port-au-Prince (bus, G5+ per route, summary network map. Road ranges from very bad to good, and is prone to flooding. Peruvian UN soldiers at the border have confirmed that the road to Port-au-Prince is safe to travel with no incidents of robbery or kidnappings, but definitely try to arrive in Port-au-Prince before dark.

By boat


Get around

Port-au-Prince shared taxi or TapTap

Tap-taps run along prescribed routes throughout the city. Most routes cost G15-25 (US$0.25-0.50), although to get across the city you may need to utilize multiple routes, each of which charges separately.

Street taxis are typically about G500 and should be used only during daylight. After dark, prices rise substantially, and you are at substantially greater risk of being mugged. Street taxis downtown are signified with a red ribbon hanging from their rear-view mirror.

Premium Rapid taxi has an app can be downloaded from iTunes and Google Play stores. Al's Taxis in the Thomassin area serve the whole of PAP and can be reached onoy by phone. Nick's Taxis (fleet of 6-7 yellow cars) can still be found but are looking very dated and tired. These taxis all have positive reports for safety and reliability giving visitors and locals more options to get around both during the day and at night.

The National Palace after the earthquake
...and prior to the earthquake. The rubble has now been removed.
  • 1 National Palace (Palais National). The National Palace collapsed during the earthquake and offers one of Port-au-Prince's most startling reminders of the quake's power. Adjacent to the palace used to be one of Port-au-Prince's many tent cities, whose over 1000 residents occupied what used to be the most beautiful park in Haiti, the Champs-de-Mar, but the residents have now been evicted. As of 2018, the ruins of the palace has been removed and construction of new, identical, palace is to commence.    
  • 2 Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de L'Assomption). Port-au-Prince's largest cathedral is just down the road from the palace and is likewise a shell of its former glory. Residents continue to pray outside its broken husk, and funerals are frequently held in a plaza behind the main building.    
  • 3 Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, Avenue de la République. A museum featuring the heroes of the independence of Haiti and the Haitian history and culture. Individual guided tour through a chronology of Haitian history are available. Each period has its own mural and contains paragon items of that time: the anchor of the Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus's flagship, is the centrepiece of the exploration age section. Free entrance, guided tours US$1.    
  • Audel Marseille, +509 36523629, . The experienced moto taxi driver will pick you up in your hotel and show you every corner of Port-au-Prince. Audel is fluent in English, French and Spanish and normally charges US$20 for 3-4 hours trip through the city. He will wait while you visit museums and lead you through Marche de Fer.


  • 1 Marche de Fer (Iron Market). A densely packed market of vendors selling everything from crafts such as voodoo paraphernalia to fresh food such as turtles. It a challenging, stressful, and maddening place to walk through as throngs of desperate merchants grab you and tight huddle of shoppers, stalls, and moving goods impede your every step, which requires you to swim through humanity. You will find a breathtaking inventory of hand crafted art: sculptures, masks, staves, paintings, globes, tea sets, coconut belts, etc.



ATMs are widely available throughout the city at bank branches such as Unibank and Sogebank. ATMs can also be found at some of the larger supermarkets and hotels such as Marriott and Karibe. The US embassy recommends that travellers stay safe by changing currency in advance (so you can avoid banks and ATMs).

Eating out in Port-au-Prince is surprisingly expensive. Even at modest restaurants a full plate of food will usually cost around G200. A good amount of food from street vendors will even cost up to G100.


  • Foodies (near the National Palace) A clean fast food joint serving hamburgers and fries. Expect to spend about G120 for a cheeseburger, fries, and drink. Ask for the owner, a Haitian of Lebanese ancestry, who will answer your questions in Brooklyn English.


  • 1 Pizza Garden. One of the best pizzerias in the whole city, although it is hard to find if you do not know its location. There is "Old" Pizza Garden and "New" Pizza Garden, the latter being as a result of a split in co-owners. The décor is typical of a Haitian café, with hand-crafted tables and lamps. The atmosphere feels intimate due to the soft lighting. Try the extra cheese pizza.





There are grocery stores all over town among which: the 2 Big Star Market in the Champ-de-Mars area.


  • Crémas, an alcoholic beverage made of coconut and vanilla.
  • Rhum Barbancourt
  • Biere Prestige
  • bottled water



There are no cheap places to stay, just less expensive choices.


  • 1 Tabarre's Palace, +509 4859-0742. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. The cheapest hotel in the centrally located Champ-de-Mars. A good choice if you want to stay out late as the hotel is so easy to return to. A faded grand balcony occupies the entire second floor. There is a vintage feeling of being where aristocrats used to hang out. It can be a lonely place as there are almost no other Western travellers. The accommodations are rough: electricity and running water (no hot water) are on and off. The cost of a double can be negotiated down to US$40.
  • 2 Wall's Guesthouse, 8 Rue Mackendal, Delmas 19, +509 3703-4788, +509 3397-4582. A clean secure compound popular with missionaries located in Delmas, a residential neighbourhood, far from the action of Port-au-Prince. The electricity is constant and so is the cold water. You may be placed in a room with other people but that is unlikely; however, you will be sharing a bathroom. A buffet-style breakfast and dinner are complementary. If you do not mind the toilsome journey from the guesthouse to interesting parts of Port-au-Prince, then consider the place for US$30 per person.


  • 3 La Maison, 27, Route de l'Aéroport, Zone Cargo, Tabarre (across the street from Guy Malary (Domestic) Terminal (Sunrise Airways)), +509 2813-1067. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00.


  • 4 Hotel Oloffson, Ave Christophe 60, +509 2223-4000. An illustrious hotel with unmistakable past grandeur which has served as a mansion and a marines base and is now a popular hotel for Westerners in Haiti. The guests--such as UN employees, film makers, academics--all mingle easily with the owner, Richard, and each other on the long front desk, which also doubles as a bar/restaurant. If you are travelling with many people, consider a suite; they are huge. Singles from US$70, doubles from US$80.    
  • 5 Karibe Hotel, Juvénat 7, Pétion-Ville, +509 2812-7000, toll-free: +1-800-615-6377 (US). Nestled in the hills above Port-au-Prince, in the neighboring city of Pétion-Ville, this hotel offers with excellent views over the city.
  • 6 Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel, Ave Jean-Paul II 147. Modern, if somewhat bland, luxury hotel near downtown.
  • 7 Servotel, Route de l'Aéroport, Zone Cargo, Tabarre (near airport), +509 2812-7500, toll-free: +1 800 503-9801. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. They also provide airport pick-up and drop off.



Stay safe


See the warning on the Haiti article for information on the security situation.

You should not be outside on the streets after dark unless you are wandering around the busy Champs-de-Mars area.



Embassies and consulates


The majority of embassies and consulates are in Pétion-Ville in the south part of town. They can also be in other parts of town too. Other countries maintain (non-resident) diplomatic representation to Haiti through their embassy in Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Washington DC, their UN Mission in New York or elsewhere in the region:

Go next

  • Pétionville, a wealthy suburb with lots of nightlife, bars and restaurants.
  • Fort Jacques cool air in one of Haiti's few national parks, together with the view, should refresh you; about 45 min up a mountain

This city travel guide to Port-au-Prince is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.