"Djibouti City" Top 5 Page for this destination Djibouti Favorite Tip by traveldave

Djibouti General: 10 reviews and 6 photos


Favorite thing: Djibouti City is Djibouti's capital and largest city, with about 400,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area. The nation of Djibouti actually took the name of its capital when it became independent from France in 1977. Prior to that, the territory was called the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. The city is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Tadjoura from the Gulf of Aden.

Djibouti City was founded by a Catalan, Eloi Pino, in 1888 as a seaport. He chose the site because of its strategic location at the crossroads of shipping lanes serving the Red Sea, the East African coast, and the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. (Nowadays, Djibouti City is a regional shipping hub for the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia). In 1891, Djibouti City became the capital of French Somaliland, replacing Tadjoura as the capital.

During French rule, Djibouti City was divided between European and African quarters. That division still remains in effect, for all practical purposes. The small downtown area consists of French colonial buildings and pleasant, tree-lined streets, while the outskirts contain mainly run-down and dirty shantytowns.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 30, 2007
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