Destination Guide: Bamako
Authentic West African music and soul
Marvel at the colourful chaos of Bamako’s street markets while shopping for exotic curios.
Browse museums rich in ancient relics and Mali’s tribal history before dancing under the
starry desert sky to the fervent beat of the djembé drums.
Food and Drink
Mouth-watering street food and spicy local cuisine. Dive into fragrant
boulangeries for baguettes in the morning before taking up offers of spicy kebabs
and fried millet doughnuts from street vendors. In the evening dine out on fragrant hibiscus
rice with banana and chilli-laced la capitaine sangha fish off central Place de la
Sightseeing and relaxation
Learn about Mali’s proud heritage. Admire colourful dresses at the Musée de la
Femme then see impressive sculptures, ancient textiles and terracotta at the Musée
Nationale. The tranquil botanical gardens and their native plants offer respite from
the crowds, while the soaring minarets of the Saudi-style Grande Mosqué make for a
Hunt for hand-crafted gifts in bustling markets. The Grand Marché’s stalls
tumble with fruit, earth-dyed fabrics and exotic remedies. For carved fetishes, tribal masks
and leather crafts from Timbuktu visit the Marché Rose. The covered Maison des
Artisans sells wood carvings and Tuareg nomadic jewellery.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Modern beats and traditional Malian music. Watch Maninca folk music and
dancing at the Carrefour des Jeunes or a French play at the Palais de la
Culture. Cool down with a local Castel beer or tamarind juice on Rue Dafaka
before heading to a club to dance to the rapid drums and blues-inspired guitars of
Bamako-born Ali Farka Touré.