Bamako travel guide

Bamako Tourism | Bamako Guide

You're Going to Love Bamako

Bamako lies on the Niger River in West Africa, a historic center for arts and culture along with commerce and trade. From the busy and colorful open air markets to the many museums, with the area's natural beauty close by, Bamako offers visitors classic West African hospitality.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bamako

1. The Music

Bamako is the heart of Mali's thriving and internationally recognized music scene, and exploring the city's musical artists through its nightlife is simply a must on any visit.

2. Parks and Gardens

Take a break from sightseeing with a visit to the city's lush botanical gardens, a feast for the senses, or wander through the great outdoors at the extensive Parc National du Mali.

3. History and Culture

There are many museums in Bamako where you can learn about the traditions and past of the city, including the National Museum of Mali with its archaeological exhibits, along with art galleries and much more.

4. The Niger River

Take a few hours or even a whole day and experience a leisurely trip down the river on one of the many boats to rent, with day cruises on motor boats available to as far away as Guinea.

5. Local Arts and Crafts

You'll be able to find truly one-of-a-kind souvenirs, crafts, and other artisan work at the city's many open air markets.

Where to Eat in Bamako

Experience classic Malian specialties with live music at San Toro, where main dishes start at about CFA 8,400. You can dine on traditional French cooking and wines at Hotel Le Campagnard, starting at around CFA 12,000.

When to visit Bamako

Bamako in September
Estimated hotel price
C$ 50
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bamako in September
Estimated hotel price
C$ 50
1 night at 3-star hotel

With its tropical climate, Bamako draws tourists during the relatively cooler and drier months of November to February, when temperatures average between 90 and 95.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Bamako


The Bamako-Sénou International Airport (BKO) lies about nine miles from the city center. A taxi to Bamako should cost around CFA 7,000.


There is limited train service to Kayes and Koulikoro.


Roads are generally unpaved throughout Mali and tourist travel by car is not recommended.


Bus service links Bamako to other cities in Mali, including Ségou and Mopti, with connections to other West African centers.

Airports near Bamako

Airlines serving Bamako

Good (3,813 reviews)
Good (30,777 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,370 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,640 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,564 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (2,081 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (2,431 reviews)
Royal Air Maroc
Good (2,715 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Good (1,261 reviews)
Okay (419 reviews)
Air Algerie
Good (85 reviews)
Good (74 reviews)
Air Senegal
Good (9 reviews)
Good (167 reviews)
Air Côte d’Ivoire
Good (75 reviews)
Mauritania Airlines
Good (11 reviews)
Air Burkina
Good (21 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Bamako

The Hotel Le Loft is one of the city's older hotels, offering a stylish blend of old and modern decor. At the Radisson Blu, you'll enjoy a trendy take on modern African design and furnishings.

Popular neighbourhoods in Bamako

Downtown Mali - this is the modern heart of the city, where you'll find luxury hotels and a busy dining and nightlife scene.

Quartier du fleuve - this district around the river is where you'll find fresh fish for sale, along with upscale restaurants and accommodations.

Torokorobougou - this riverside area is where you'll find the Torokorobougou market and other local shopping opportunities.

Where to stay in popular areas of Bamako

Most booked hotels in Bamako

La Venise Malienne
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 50+
Onomo Hotel Bamako
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
C$ 162+
Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako
Poor (0, Poor reviews)
C$ 337+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Bamako

Public Transportation

There is limited government-run public transportation in Bamako, consisting of a few bus lines. Private companies run minibus services, which are more popular with locals.


Taxi motorcycles are a popular way to get around town for locals and visitors alike. Fares are cheap and start at about CFA 100. Negotiate your price up front.


Many of the city's roads remain unpaved, and street signs aren't always available, so driving on your own is not recommended.

Car rental agencies in Bamako

The Cost of Living in Bamako

Shopping Streets

Look to the Marché de Medina, where locals shop for bargains and you'll find open air stalls with handicrafts along with food and other items. For modern shopping opportunities, look to the malls on the outskirts of the city, located on either side of the river.

Groceries and Other

ALS and Supermarket Le Miniprix are located throughout Bamako, with good prices and well-stocked shelves. A quart of milk costs about CFA 1,500, and a dozen eggs about CFA 1,100.

Cheap meal
C$ 3.21
A pair of jeans
C$ 21.14
Single public transport ticket
C$ 1.93
C$ 2.37