Top Things to Do in Bamako - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

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2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

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4. Zoo National du Mali

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5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

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7. Bamako Artisan Market

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8. Cathedral of Bamako

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9. Bamako City Centre Market

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10. Dandan waterfalls

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11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

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Bamako Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Bamako, Mali

Bamako, the pulsating heart of Mali, unfolds along the majestic Niger River, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences that defy expectations. It’s a city where every sunrise illuminates a vibrant mosaic of cultures, histories, and daily life played out against a backdrop of natural beauty and urban dynamism.

Visit Timbuktu after Bamako

A Melting Pot of Markets and Melodies

The grand marché: a bazaar of dreams.

The Grand Marché, Bamako’s bustling epicenter, is not just a market; it’s an adventure. Here, narrow aisles brim with vibrant textiles, aromatic spices, and intricate crafts, each stall narrating its own story of Malian heritage and craftsmanship. The air is thick with the languages of West Africa, a testament to Bamako’s role as a cultural crossroads.

Echoes of Mali’s Musical Soul

In Bamako, music is the lifeblood, a force that permeates the city’s veins. Jazz clubs, tucked away in lively streets, offer a fusion of African rhythms and Western melodies, while traditional griot performances connect the present with the echoes of the past. The city doesn’t just celebrate its musical heritage; it lives it, breathes it.

Journey Through Time and Art

The national museum: a gateway to the past.

Nestled in Bamako’s heart, the National Museum of Mali is a sanctuary of history and culture. Ancient artifacts stand alongside contemporary art, weaving a narrative of Mali’s rich past and vibrant present. The museum’s gardens are a serene escape, where sculptures merge with nature, inviting reflection.

Architectural Harmony

Bamako’s architecture is a visual symphony of styles, from the mud-brick grandeur of the Grande Mosquée to the colonial elegance of the Quartier du Fleuve. The cityscape is a canvas, reflecting Mali’s journey through epochs, each building and monument a note in its harmonious melody.

Culinary Crossroads

The streets of Bamako are a culinary mosaic, where the aromas of street food stalls mingle with the scents of open-air markets. From the hearty flavors of tigadegena (peanut sauce) to the freshness of mafe (meat stew), Bamako’s cuisine invites exploration. It’s a place where food tells the story of a people, rich in diversity and bound by tradition.

Embracing the Niger River

The Niger River, a lifeline, winds through Bamako, shaping its landscape and rhythms. Cruises at dusk offer views of fishermen silhouetted against the setting sun, a timeless scene. The riverbanks come alive with the chatter of markets and the laughter of children playing, a testament to the enduring spirit of the city and its people.

Bamako, with its relentless energy, cultural richness, and historical depth, offers a journey that challenges perceptions and enchants the soul. It’s a city where every corner tells a story, waiting to be discovered, lived, and remembered.

Bamako Travel Guide: Things to do in Bamako, Mali

Bamako City Guide: A Brief History Of Bamako, Mali

Nestled along the banks of the Niger River, Bamako, Mali’s bustling capital, tells a story that spans centuries. From its humble beginnings as a seasonal settlement to its rise as a thriving metropolis, Bamako’s history is a fascinating tale of resilience, culture, and transformation. Let’s take a closer look at the layers of history that have shaped this vibrant city.

The Early Days

A seasonal haven.

Originally, Bamako served as a safe haven for traders and travelers. Its strategic location by the Niger River made it a perfect stopover. Markets sprang up. Bamako became a melting pot of cultures and goods.

Village to City

What started as a small village grew exponentially. By the late 19th century, French colonial influence began to shape its destiny. Bamako was on the brink of transformation.

Colonial Crossroads

The french footprint.

In 1883, Bamako came under French control. It quickly evolved into a significant administrative center, railways were constructed, and infrastructures improved. The city’s fabric began to change.

Toward Independence

Despite colonial rule, the spirit of Bamako’s people remained unbroken. The city became a hotspot for anti-colonial movements. By 1960, Mali gained independence, and Bamako was at its heart. The city breathed freedom.

Post-Independence Boom

Capital of a new nation.

With independence came the title of capital for Bamako. It symbolized a new beginning. Development surged. Populations grew. Bamako was shaping into the metropolis we know today.

Cultural Renaissance

Post-independence Bamako experienced a cultural renaissance. Music, art, and literature flourished. The city became known for its vibrant arts scene, echoing Mali’s rich heritage.

Bamako Today

A modern metropolis.

Today, Bamako is a city of contrasts. Skyscrapers tower over traditional mud-brick homes. Bustling markets coexist with modern shopping centers. It’s a place where history and modernity intertwine.

Heart of Mali

Despite its rapid growth, Bamako retains its soul. The Niger River, lifeblood of the city, continues to nurture its lands and people. Festivals, music, and dance remain integral to its identity.

Bamako’s story is one of resilience and growth, a testament to the strength and spirit of its people. From its days as a trading post to its status as a capital city, Bamako has retained its warmth and welcoming nature.

Bamako lush green views

Bamako Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Mali

Bamako has had a history of human habitation that stretches well back into pre-historic times. However, colonial times elevated this humble settlement’s importance considerably, as the French made Bamako the capital of French Sudan in the 19th century.

Independence has led to slow and halting progress in Mali since its inception in the mid-20th century, as authoritarian rule, corruption, and terrorism have all done their part to keep the country poor.

However, Bamako contains most of the conveniences which make it a good base, so plan to spend a couple days here on either side of your trip.

Soon after your arrival, check out the Musee National de Bamako . Containing archaeological and anthropological artifacts that tell the story of this nation, this institution is a must for those looking to gain an initial understanding of what Mali is all about.

More Attractions

Throughout its hallways, you’ll find examples of traditional dress, ritualistic items, musical instruments, and other pieces that people have used to live life through previous generations.

Outside, there are scale models of some of this country’s most famous mosques, such as the Grand Mosque of Djenné and the Djingareiber Mosque in Timbuktu, so if you are unable to travel to these parts of Mali, you’ll get an idea of their brilliance by checking out these sculptures.

Mali is a country that is 98% Muslim, but in Bamako, you’ll find the Sacred Heart Cathedral , the most significant Christian structure in this country. While it is a modest church compared to other Christian buildings found elsewhere in the world, the experience of attending mass here is well worth your time, as it is conducted with a rich African flavour.

As mentioned previously, Mali is a majority Muslim country. Within the capital, the Grand Mosque of Bamako is the finest example of an Islamic house of worship. Unlike the mud brick mosques found elsewhere, which follow a Sahelian style of architecture, this mosque was funded and built by the Saudi Arabian government in the 1970s.

As such, it compares more favourably to buildings found in the Middle East versus those seen throughout Bamako and Mali.

Distinct Bamako Bridge Views

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Bamako, Mali

Like many other cities in West Africa, Bamako is long on urban chaos and light on green space. The construction of the Parc National du Mali was done to help change this trend, as its completion in 2010 gave residents a place with grass and trees to compliment the concrete plazas, sprawling buildings and clogged streets that did nothing to induce relaxation.

Occupying 17 hectares of land in the middle of Bamako opposite the National Museum, it is home to an arboretum, gardens, public exercise equipment, playgrounds, and trails which do their best to help you forget that you are in the midst of a busy West African city.

Other Attractions

Those wanting to get a look at everyday life in Mali’s capital will want to make a trip out to Bamako Market . Busy from sunrise to sunset with activity ranging from food to hardware shopping, there is also the opportunity for visitors to pick up handicrafts during their time here. While there are many things to choose from here, be aware that vendors will try to quote an outrageous price at first, so keep this in mind when haggling.

Further, keep your wits about you while moving through the market, as there are skilled pickpockets that work the crowds on a regular basis – they know a mark when they see one, so stay alert and you’ll be fine.

Before leaving Bamako for the Malian hinterland, head up Point G Hill to get a great view of the city and the surrounding area. You’ll be privy to a view that will reveal a surprisingly green dot of urbanity amid an arid landscape that defines much of Mali. If you are an avid photographer, you cannot afford to miss this vantage point while you are in Bamako.

Top 20 Things To Do in Bamako, Mali For Visitors

Here are the top 20 things to do in Bamako, Mali:

Butter preparation in Bamako

1. Visit the National Museum of Mali

The National Museum of Mali is a cultural treasure trove that showcases the country’s rich archaeological and ethnographic heritage. The museum features exhibits on Mali’s ancient civilizations, including the famous Timbuktu manuscripts, traditional textiles, and artifacts from the Mali Empire. The museum’s beautiful gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in understanding Mali’s diverse cultures and history.

2. Explore the Bamako Grand Mosque

The Bamako Grand Mosque is a significant religious and architectural landmark in the city. Built in the 1970s, it features a blend of traditional Sudano-Sahelian and modern architectural styles. The mosque is especially lively during prayer times and Islamic festivals. While non-Muslim visitors may not enter the prayer hall, the exterior and the surrounding area are worth exploring for their vibrant atmosphere.

3. Stroll Through Bamako Botanical Gardens

The Bamako Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil escape with their lush landscapes and diverse plant species. These gardens are not only a place for relaxation but also serve as an educational resource on local flora. The gardens host cultural events and exhibitions, making it a lively spot for locals and tourists. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely walk, picnic, or simply to enjoy a moment of peace amidst nature.

4. Shop at the Marché de Medina

The Marché de Medina is Bamako’s bustling market where you can find everything from fresh produce to traditional Malian textiles and handicrafts. It’s a vibrant hub of activity where bargaining is part of the experience. The market offers an authentic glimpse into daily life in Bamako and is an excellent place to shop for souvenirs. Exploring the market is an adventure in itself, offering sensory overload with its colors, sounds, and smells.

5. Enjoy the Views from Point G Hill

Point G Hill provides panoramic views of Bamako and the Niger River. The hill is also home to ancient rock paintings and a hospital built by the French colonial administration. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists, especially at sunset when the city lights begin to sparkle. The climb up is relatively easy and rewards visitors with breathtaking vistas.

6. Experience the Bamako Artisan Market

The Bamako Artisan Market is a haven for art lovers and collectors, offering a wide range of Malian crafts, including jewelry, leather goods, and sculptures. The market is a great place to meet local artists and craftsmen and learn about the techniques and materials used in their work. Haggling over prices is expected and part of the fun. Visitors can find unique pieces that reflect Mali’s rich artistic traditions.

7. Take a Boat Trip on the Niger River

A boat trip on the Niger River is a peaceful way to see Bamako from a different perspective. Various operators offer cruises, from simple pirogues to more elaborate tour boats. Along the way, you’ll see fishermen at work, children playing by the riverbanks, and the lush greenery that lines the river. Sunset cruises are particularly magical, offering stunning views of the sky changing colors over the water.

8. Visit the Bamako Cathedral

Bamako Cathedral is a striking landmark with its bright yellow façade and impressive architecture. The cathedral stands as a symbol of the city’s religious diversity and tolerance. Inside, the peaceful ambiance provides a stark contrast to the busy streets outside. The cathedral hosts regular services and is open to visitors who wish to explore its interior and learn about its history.

9. Attend the Festival Acoustik Bamako

The Festival Acoustik Bamako is an annual music event that showcases a mix of traditional Malian music and international genres. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the vibrant music scene of Mali, known as the birthplace of the blues. The festival attracts renowned musicians from around the world and fosters cultural exchange. Attendees can enjoy live performances in various venues across the city.

10. Explore the Bamako Zoo

The Bamako Zoo is home to a variety of animal species, many of which are native to Africa. The zoo is committed to conservation and education, making it a great place for families to learn about wildlife. The enclosures are designed to mimic the animals’ natural habitats as closely as possible. The zoo also features a small botanical garden, adding to its appeal.

11. Dine at a Riverside Restaurant

Bamako’s location along the Niger River means there are several riverside restaurants offering delicious local and international cuisine with scenic views. Dining by the river, especially in the evening, provides a memorable experience with the city lights reflecting on the water. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a relaxed meal with friends. The fresh fish dishes are a must-try.

12. Discover the Martyrs’ Monument

The Martyrs’ Monument is a significant historical site dedicated to the Malians who lost their lives in the struggle against dictatorship. The monument is an impressive architectural structure, symbolizing Mali’s journey towards democracy and freedom. Visitors can learn about the country’s recent history and the importance of democracy. The site offers panoramic views of the city, making it a popular spot for photography.

13. Relax at Parc National du Mali

The Parc National du Mali, a large urban park, offers a blend of natural landscapes and modern recreational facilities. The park features walking trails, playgrounds, a sports complex, and beautifully landscaped gardens. It’s an oasis of greenery where visitors can escape the city’s heat and noise. The park frequently hosts cultural events and concerts, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

14. Admire Contemporary Art at the Muso Kunda Museum

The Muso Kunda Museum is dedicated to women’s art and cultural contributions in Mali. It features contemporary art exhibitions, traditional crafts, and historical displays that highlight the role of women in Malian society. The museum also serves as a cultural center, offering workshops and events. It’s a unique institution that provides insight into the challenges and achievements of Malian women.

15. Learn at the Mali Digital Innovation Center

The Mali Digital Innovation Center is at the forefront of technology and innovation in the country. Visitors can learn about the latest technological advancements in Africa and how they are being applied to solve local issues. The center hosts exhibitions, workshops, and talks on various topics related to digital technology. It’s an inspiring place for anyone interested in the future of technology in Africa.

16. Participate in a Cooking Class

Joining a local cooking class is an excellent way to dive into Malian cuisine and culture. Participants can learn how to prepare traditional dishes such as jollof rice, tiga diga na, and Mali’s famous peanut sauce. Cooking classes often include a market tour to select fresh ingredients. It’s a hands-on experience that ends with enjoying the delicious meals you’ve helped prepare.

17. Enjoy Live Music at a Local Club

Bamako is known for its lively music scene, with numerous clubs and bars offering live performances. From traditional Malian music to modern Afrobeat and jazz, there’s something for every music lover. It’s an opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife and possibly discover new favorite artists. The warmth and energy of Bamako’s music venues make for an unforgettable night out.

18. Visit the Somono Fishermen’s Village

The Somono Fishermen’s Village on the banks of the Niger River offers a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of Mali’s fishing communities. Visitors can observe the fishermen’s daily activities, learn about their traditional fishing techniques, and even take a pirogue (small boat) tour. The village is a living museum of Malian culture and provides a unique perspective on the importance of the river to local livelihoods.

19. Explore the Bamako Crafts Market

The Bamako Crafts Market is a bustling marketplace where artisans sell handmade goods, including textiles, jewelry, pottery, and woodcarvings. It’s an excellent place to find unique souvenirs and support local craftsmanship. The market also offers a chance to interact with the artisans and learn about their craft. Each purchase helps sustain traditional arts and provides a meaningful connection to Malian culture.

20. Participate in the Bamako International Marathon

The Bamako International Marathon is an annual event that attracts runners from all over the world. Participants can choose between various distances, making it accessible to runners of all levels. The marathon route offers scenic views of the city and its landmarks, creating a memorable experience. It’s a great way to challenge yourself while experiencing the camaraderie and spirit of the local and international running community.

Jollof Rice in Bamako, Mali

What To Eat and Drink in Bamako, Mali

From hearty stews to refreshing beverages, Bamako’s food scene is a delightful exploration of flavors, spices, and traditions. Here’s your guide to the must-try dishes and drinks in this bustling city.

Must-Try Dishes

1. tigadegena (peanut sauce).

Often referred to as Mali’s national dish, Tigadegena is a rich, flavorful peanut sauce made with ground peanuts, tomatoes, and spices, usually served with rice and meat or vegetables. It’s a comforting dish that perfectly encapsulates the hearty essence of Malian cuisine.

A staple in Malian households, Tô is a thick porridge made from millet or sorghum flour. It’s traditionally served with sauces or stews, offering a subtle taste that beautifully complements the robust flavors of its accompaniments.

Fonio is a type of millet with a nutty flavor and is considered one of the oldest cereals in West Africa. In Bamako, it’s often cooked like rice or couscous and can be found accompanying various dishes, celebrated for its health benefits and delicious taste.

This hearty stew is made with meat (commonly chicken or beef), vegetables, and a base of tomato and peanut butter, creating a rich and comforting dish. Maafe is a testament to the depth of flavor that characterizes West African cuisine and is a must-try for any visitor.

5. Fried Plantains

A popular snack or side dish, fried plantains are sweet, savory, and utterly addictive. They’re often enjoyed alongside main meals or as a street food delicacy, showcasing the simplicity and deliciousness of Malian cooking.

Refreshing Drinks

6. dabileni.

Dabileni, or hibiscus tea, is a refreshing, slightly tart beverage made from hibiscus flowers. Served cold with sugar, it’s not only delicious but also provides relief from Bamako’s heat.

7. Zoomkoom

This traditional beverage is made from millet flour, ginger, lemon, and sugar, offering a sweet and spicy taste that’s both energizing and refreshing. Zoomkoom is often consumed during festivities and celebrations.

8. Green Tea with Mint

Green tea, especially when flavored with mint, is a popular drink in Bamako, reflecting the influence of North African tea culture. It’s usually prepared with a generous amount of sugar and served in small glasses, symbolizing hospitality and community.

9. Baobab Juice

Made from the fruit of the baobab tree, this juice is a treasure trove of vitamins and tastes uniquely tangy and sweet. It’s a common sight in local markets and a delicious way to stay hydrated.

10. Local Beers

For those looking to unwind, Bamako offers a range of local beers to sample. Brews like Castel and Flag are widely available and offer a taste of Mali’s brewing scene.

Dibiterie a popular street food from Bamako. Grilled beef or mutton, onions, spices, and tomato-based sauce.

Top Restaurants In Bamako, Mali

Here’s a list of top restaurants in Bamako, Mali, where you can enjoy a memorable dining experience, from traditional Malian dishes to global gastronomic delights.

1. Restaurant Le Loft

Le Loft stands out for its fusion cuisine, blending French culinary techniques with local flavors. Situated in the Hippodrome area, this chic restaurant offers a modern dining experience with a menu that changes seasonally, ensuring fresh and innovative dishes. Its elegant atmosphere makes it perfect for a special night out.

2. San Toro

Specializing in authentic Malian cuisine, San Toro offers a warm and inviting atmosphere where guests can enjoy traditional dishes like tigadegena and maafe. The restaurant also features live music on certain nights, providing a lively dining experience that captures the spirit of Bamako.

3. Appaloosa Restaurant

Known for its diverse menu that caters to international tastes, Appaloosa is a favorite among expats and tourists. From juicy burgers to savory Mexican dishes, this restaurant ensures quality and flavor in every bite. Its central location and casual ambiance make it an ideal spot for a relaxed meal with friends or family.

4. La Terrasse

La Terrasse boasts a rooftop setting that offers stunning views of Bamako, making it a perfect choice for dining under the stars. The menu includes a mix of Mediterranean and West African dishes, prepared with fresh, local ingredients. It’s a great place to enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by a delicious dinner.

5. Soukhothai

Offering a taste of Thailand in the heart of Mali, Soukhothai is celebrated for its authentic Thai cuisine. The restaurant’s tranquil setting, complete with traditional Thai décor, complements the flavorful dishes crafted by its skilled chefs. It’s a culinary escape that’s both exotic and refreshing.

6. Zorba le Grec

For those craving Mediterranean flavors, Zorba le Grec serves up delicious Greek and Lebanese dishes. Its friendly atmosphere and hearty portions have made it a staple in Bamako’s dining scene. The restaurant also offers outdoor seating, ideal for enjoying a meal in the cooler evening air.

7. Le Bistrot

Le Bistrot is a French-style restaurant that offers a cozy dining experience with a menu featuring classic French dishes alongside Malian favorites. The intimate setting and attention to detail in every dish make it a popular choice for both lunch and dinner.

8. Bamako By Night

As the name suggests, Bamako By Night is a vibrant spot that comes alive in the evening. Serving a variety of international dishes, the restaurant is also known for its live music and entertainment, providing a full dining experience that goes beyond just food.

9. Blabla Bar & Restaurant

Blabla Bar & Restaurant is where local cuisine meets a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. With an emphasis on fresh, local produce, the menu offers a range of dishes that capture the essence of Malian cooking. The restaurant’s laid-back vibe makes it a great place to unwind after a day of exploring.

10. The Badalodge Restaurant

Located by the river, The Badalodge Restaurant offers a picturesque dining setting along with a menu that highlights the best of Malian and international cuisine. Diners can enjoy their meals in thatched-roof huts overlooking the water, making for a truly serene and memorable dining experience.

Shea butter buts in Bamako

Tours For Visitors To Bamako, Mali

Bamako rooftop views

Bamako Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Here’s a comprehensive guide to where to stay in Bamako, ensuring you find the perfect base for exploring this vibrant city.

Luxury Hotels

1. radisson blu hotel bamako.

Offering elegance and top-notch amenities, the Radisson Blu is known for its exceptional service, modern rooms, and tranquil pool area. It’s an oasis of comfort in the heart of Bamako, ideal for those seeking luxury and convenience.

2. Laico Hôtel El Farouk Bamako

Situated on the banks of the Niger River, Laico Hôtel El Farouk provides guests with stunning views, spacious accommodations, and a refreshing outdoor pool. The hotel’s restaurants serve a variety of international cuisine, catering to all tastes.

Mid-Range Hotels

3. hotel le rabelais.

Hotel Le Rabelais offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with a beautiful garden setting and a pool. It’s renowned for its friendly staff, delicious breakfast, and comfortable rooms, making it a great value choice for travelers.

4. Azalai Hotel Salam

Located near the city center, Azalai Hotel Salam features comfortable accommodations, an outdoor swimming pool, and multiple dining options. It’s a preferred choice for business and leisure travelers alike, offering a blend of convenience and comfort.

Budget Accommodations

5. the sleeping camel.

The Sleeping Camel is a favorite among backpackers and budget travelers, known for its laid-back atmosphere, helpful staff, and comfortable, affordable rooms. It also serves as a hub for travelers looking to exchange tips and stories.

6. Auberge Djamilla

A cozy guesthouse that feels more like staying with family, Auberge Djamilla offers simple, clean rooms at affordable prices. The guesthouse is praised for its warm hospitality and home-cooked meals, providing a genuine Malian experience.

Guesthouses and B&Bs

7. badalodge hotel & restaurant.

Nestled along the Niger River, Badalodge offers tranquil accommodations in a picturesque setting. Guests can enjoy traditional Malian architecture, an outdoor pool, and dining by the river, making it a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle.

8. La Venise Malienne

This charming bed and breakfast provides a home away from home experience with its comfortable rooms, personalized service, and a quiet location. La Venise Malienne stands out for its beautiful garden and terrace where guests can relax.

9. Hostel Teriya

Offering dormitory and private room options, Hostel Teriya caters to backpackers and travelers on a tight budget. It’s a great place to meet other travelers, with communal areas designed for socializing and sharing travel experiences.

10. Campement Kangaba

On the outskirts of Bamako, Campement Kangaba offers a unique accommodation experience in traditional Malian huts, providing a blend of culture, nature, and comfort. It’s an ideal choice for those looking to experience Mali’s natural beauty while staying within reach of the city.

Niger river is a great day trip from Bamako

Day Trips From Bamako, Mali

The surrounding regions boast natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural richness waiting to be discovered. Here are ten day trips from Bamako that promise enriching experiences beyond the capital’s hustle.

Just an hour’s drive from Bamako, Siby offers a tranquil escape with its stunning landscapes, including the majestic Arch of Kamandjan. Hiking opportunities abound, leading to waterfalls and ancient rock paintings. The area is also known for its artisanal community, where visitors can purchase handmade souvenirs. Siby provides a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural exploration.

2. Mande Mountains

The Mande Mountains, west of Bamako, are steeped in history and spiritual significance. They offer hiking trails that reveal traditional Dogon villages and sacred sites. The views from the mountains are breathtaking, overlooking the Niger River and lush valleys. A visit here offers insight into the traditional lifestyles and beliefs of the Malian people.

A trip to Kangaba immerses visitors in the heart of the Manding Empire’s history. The town is home to the Kamablon, a sacred hut where traditional ceremonies are still performed. Visitors can also explore the ruins of the ancient city of Kangaba, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town is known for its craft market, showcasing traditional Malian textiles and pottery.

Once the capital of the Bambara Empire, Ségou, situated along the Niger River, is known for its colonial architecture and vibrant pottery markets. A boat trip on the Niger offers a unique perspective of the city and visits to nearby fishing villages. The annual Festival sur le Niger here attracts musicians and artists from across West Africa. Ségou’s laid-back atmosphere provides a stark contrast to Bamako’s energy.

Though more than a day’s journey from Bamako, Djenné is worth the effort for its iconic Great Mosque, the world’s largest mud-brick structure, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town’s ancient architecture and Monday market, one of the most vibrant in West Africa, offer a deep dive into Mali’s heritage. Guided tours can help unravel the rich history of Djenné, once a hub for traders and scholars. It’s a photographer’s dream, with its traditional buildings and bustling streets.

6. Bandiagara Escarpment

The Bandiagara Escarpment, home to the Dogon people, is another longer trip but offers an unparalleled cultural experience. Guided treks along the escarpment reveal ancient cliff dwellings, granaries, and sacred altars. The Dogon villages are known for their unique cultural practices, astronomy knowledge, and masked dances. Though more suited for an overnight trip, it’s an unforgettable experience that showcases Mali’s diversity.

Sikasso, Mali’s second-largest city, offers a look into the country’s colonial past and its struggle for independence. The Sikasso fortress, Tata, built to protect the city from invaders, and the Mamelon, the residence of the last king of Sikasso, are must-visit sites. The city is also surrounded by fertile lands, making it a center for agriculture. Markets here overflow with fresh produce, offering a taste of Mali’s bounty.

Halfway between Bamako and Ségou, Bla offers a peaceful stopover with its beautiful mosque and bustling market. The town is a great place to experience everyday life in Mali away from the tourist routes. It’s also known for its music festivals, which celebrate Mali’s rich musical traditions. Bla provides a glimpse into the heart of Mali, where traditions are kept alive by its people.

Niono is an agricultural hub known for its vast rice fields, part of the Office du Niger irrigation project. The area around Niono allows visitors to understand Mali’s agricultural practices and the challenges of desertification. Birdwatchers will enjoy the Inner Niger Delta, where many species can be observed. It’s a testament to Mali’s efforts to harness and respect its natural resources.

10. Parc National du Mali, Bamako

For those preferring not to venture far from the capital, the Parc National du Mali in Bamako offers a lush oasis. This well-maintained park features walking trails, a botanical garden, and a zoo. It’s a perfect spot for families, offering a peaceful retreat within the city. The park also hosts concerts and cultural events, adding to Bamako’s vibrant social scene.

Bamako aerial views from above

Bamako Transportation Guide

Here’s a detailed travel guide to getting around in Bamako.

Yellow taxis are a ubiquitous sight in Bamako and one of the most convenient ways to get around the city. They can be hailed on the street or ordered through your hotel. Negotiating the fare in advance is standard practice, as meters are rarely used. Taxis offer a direct, albeit sometimes pricier, mode of transportation to your destination.

2. Sotramas

Sotramas are brightly painted minibuses that serve as Bamako’s primary public transport. They follow specific routes but don’t have fixed stops, so passengers can hop on and off anywhere along the route. Riding a Sotrama is an affordable way to travel, though it can be crowded and confusing for first-time visitors. Locals are usually helpful in guiding tourists to the right Sotrama.

3. Motorcycle Taxis

For quicker trips around Bamako, motorcycle taxis offer an agile alternative to navigate through traffic. They’re ideal for solo travelers and provide a more exhilarating way to see the city. As with car taxis, agree on the fare before starting your journey. Helmets may not always be provided, so exercise caution.

4. Rental Cars

Renting a car, with or without a driver, gives visitors the freedom to explore Bamako and its surroundings at their own pace. Several rental agencies operate in the city, offering a range of vehicles. Opting for a rental with a driver can be particularly beneficial, as local drivers are familiar with the traffic patterns and routes.

5. Bicycles

Biking is an eco-friendly way to explore Bamako, especially in less congested areas and for short distances. Some hotels and hostels offer bike rentals to their guests. It’s a great way to experience the city from a different perspective, though the bustling traffic and hot climate can be challenging.

Walking is a viable option in Bamako’s more central areas, where many attractions, markets, and restaurants are within reasonable distances from each other. It allows for a leisurely exploration of the city’s vibrant streets and markets. Always be mindful of traffic and pedestrian safety, as sidewalks can be inconsistent.

For a scenic route, consider taking a boat trip on the Niger River. While not a common mode of daily transport, boats offer leisurely tours and a unique perspective of Bamako from the water. It’s a tranquil way to escape the city’s hustle and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Niger River.

8. Private Hire

Hiring a private vehicle with a driver for the day is a stress-free way to navigate Bamako, especially for visitors unfamiliar with the city or those wanting to visit multiple sites in one day. While more expensive, it offers comfort, security, and the flexibility to customize your itinerary.

9. App-Based Ride Services

Though not as prevalent as in some other global cities, app-based ride services are slowly making their way into Bamako. They offer an alternative to traditional taxis with the convenience of booking rides through your smartphone. Availability and options may vary, so it’s worth checking the latest information during your stay.

10. Inter-city Buses

For day trips or travel to other parts of Mali, inter-city buses provide connections between Bamako and major cities. These buses range from basic to more comfortable coaches, catering to different budgets and preferences. It’s an affordable way to explore beyond the capital.

Tamarind for sale at a market in Bamako

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Bamako?

After soaking in the vibrant life of Bamako, Mali’s capital, the country unfurls a myriad of destinations that promise even deeper explorations into its rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and history. Here’s where your adventure can lead you next:

Home to the iconic Great Mosque, made entirely of mud-brick and considered the largest of its kind in the world, Djenné is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city’s ancient architecture and Monday market, bustling with traders and artisans, offer a vivid glimpse into Mali’s past and present. Djenné’s archaeological sites reveal the history of a once-thriving trade center. It’s a photographer’s paradise, especially during the mosque’s annual replastering festival.

Dubbed the “Venice of Mali” for its location at the confluence of the Niger and Bani rivers, Mopti is a bustling port and a gateway to the Dogon Country. Its lively fishing port, vibrant markets, and the beautiful Great Mosque of Mopti are must-visits. Boat trips from Mopti offer a unique perspective on life along Mali’s waterways. The city serves as an excellent base for excursions into the Dogon Country and the Bandiagara Escarpment.

3. Dogon Country

The Dogon Country, with its dramatic cliffside villages and unique cultural traditions, offers an unparalleled cultural and hiking experience. The region’s indigenous Dogon people are known for their elaborate masks, wooden sculptures, and astronomical knowledge. Trekking through the Bandiagara Escarpment reveals ancient dwellings, granaries, and sacred sites. It’s an immersive journey into a way of life that has maintained its traditions for centuries.

4. Timbuktu

Once considered the most remote place on earth, Timbuktu is legendary for its historic libraries and mosques, remnants of its golden age as a center of Islamic learning and trade. The city’s three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore, and Sidi Yahia, testify to its storied past. Though travel to Timbuktu is challenging, it remains a symbol of adventure and exploration. Visitors are advised to check travel advisories due to regional security concerns.

This historic city on the Niger River boasts colonial architecture, ancient mud-brick buildings, and the famous Bobo mask dances. Ségou’s relaxed atmosphere is perfect for exploring its art and pottery centers, where traditional techniques are still in use. The annual Festival sur le Niger here showcases Mali’s rich musical heritage. A visit to Ségoukoro, the old capital, offers insights into the Bambara kingdom’s history.

Sikasso, surrounded by fertile lands, is known for its resistance against colonial forces under the leadership of King Tieba Traore. The Tata of Sikasso, a large fortress wall, and the Mamelon, the king’s palace, are significant historical sites. The city’s market is one of the largest in Mali, offering a variety of local produce and crafts. Sikasso’s pleasant climate and waterfalls in the surrounding areas also make it a refreshing stop.

On the eastern edge of Mali, Gao stands on the Niger River, with the Tomb of Askia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as its crown jewel. The city’s history as a prosperous trading center is visible in its architecture and museum. Gao serves as a base for exploring the vastness of the Sahara and the unique culture of the Songhai people. The nearby dunes of Koïma offer breathtaking sunset views.

8. Bandiagara

Bandiagara is the gateway to the Dogon Country, offering a blend of breathtaking landscapes and deep cultural immersion. The town itself provides basic amenities and acts as a starting point for treks into the Dogon villages. Local guides are available to lead visitors on multi-day treks along the escarpment, providing valuable cultural insights. The area’s biodiversity is as impressive as its cultural heritage.

Known as the “pressure cooker of Africa” for its intense heat, Kayes is intriguing for its colonial history and natural attractions, including the spectacular Gouina Falls and the Selingue Dam. The city’s architecture reflects its colonial past, while the surrounding areas offer opportunities for hiking and bird watching. Kayes is also the starting point for journeys into the Senegal River’s rich ecosystems. The region’s geological formations, like the Fort de Médine, add to its allure.

10. Manantali

Manantali is famed for its dam and lake, which have created a large reservoir offering water sports and fishing. The area is also a haven for bird watchers, with numerous species congregating around the water. Excursions on the lake provide a peaceful retreat from the desert’s harshness. The Manantali Dam is an engineering marvel, crucial for the region’s electricity and agriculture.

Bamako aerial in Mali

Bamako Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Bamako is a city that truly encapsulates the essence of West Africa. With its bustling streets, vibrant markets, rich cultural heritage, and stunning natural beauty, it offers visitors a truly unforgettable travel experience .

From exploring the city’s museums and historic landmarks, to taking a boat tour of the Niger River, to venturing out to explore the surrounding countryside, Bamako has something for everyone. The city’s diverse range of accommodations, dining options, and transportation choices make it a convenient and comfortable destination for travelers of all budgets and preferences.

Whether you’re interested in immersing yourself in the local culture, trying new foods, or simply enjoying the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the city, Bamako is a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression. It is a city that is bursting with life, energy, and excitement, and one that is truly worth exploring.

Bamako pinned on a map

Ode To Bamako

In Bamako’s streets so full of life, A city full of sounds and sights, The markets bustle with energy, And colors fill the air so brightly.

From the Grand Mosque to the Museum’s halls, The city’s past and present enthralls, With music, art, and history, A culture rich and deep in mystery.

Take a boat down the Niger’s flow, And see the city’s beauty glow, Or venture out to the countryside, And see Mali’s natural pride.

Enjoy the taste of local fare, And savor spices in the air, With warmth and welcome all around, In Bamako’s heart, true joy is found.

So come and see this city’s soul, Let Bamako’s spirit make you whole, For in this land of vibrant hues, Travelers find new ways to view.

places to visit in bamako mali

Top 20 Places to See in Bamako, Mali

  •  Bamako Botanical Garden
  •  Bamako Cathedrals
  •  Bamako Grand Market
  •  Bamako Grand Market and National Library
  •  Bamako Grand Mosque
  •  Bamako Grand Mosque and Cathedrals
  •  Bamako National Library
  •  Bamako National Museum
  •  Bamako National Park
  •  Bamako National Park and Zoo
  •  Bamako National Theatre
  •  Bamako Zoo
  •  Bamako Zoo and Botanical Garden
  •  Grand Mosque
  •  Monument de la Renaissance Africaine
  •  Monument de la Renaissance Africaine and National Assembly
  •  National Assembly of Mali
  •  National Library of Mali
  •  National Museum of Mali
  •  National Park of Mali

  •  Bafing Biosphere Reserve
  •  Bandiagara Escarpment World Heritage Site
  •  Boucle du Baoulé National Park
  •  Djenné-Djenno World Heritage Site
  •  Timbuktu World Heritage Site
  •  W National Park
  •  Wongo National Park
  •  Bamako
  •  Banamba
  •  Bougouni
  •  Goundam
  •  Kangaba
  •  Kayes
  •  Kidal
  •  Kolokani
  •  Koutiala
  •  Markala
  •  Menaka
  •  Mopti
  •  Niono
  •  Segou
  •  Sikasso
  •  Tombouctou
  •  Yelimane
  •  Bandiagara Escarpment
  •  Bozo Village
  •  Festival des Arts Nègres
  •  Festival des Arts et de la Culture
  •  Festival des Masques
  •  Festival sur le Niger
  •  Grand Mosque of Bamako

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Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali

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Posted on February 29, 2024 |

Bamako, the bustling capital of Mali, truly is a city of contrasts. On one hand, it offers a glimpse into the rich world of this country ‘s history and culture, while on the other, it showcases the vibrancy of modern urban African life.

This city serves as a gateway for travelers seeking to explore the depths of West Africa’s heart, offering an array of activities that cater to history buffs, nature lovers, and culinary enthusiasts alike. Visiting the capital city is an invitation to immerse oneself in a city that thrives amidst the Sahelian landscape.

Historical and Cultural Attractions

The national museum of mali.

The National Museum is a treasure trove of Malian culture and history. This museum, nestled in the heart of the city, offers a profound insight into the country’s archaeological past and ethnographic present.

Through its exhibits, one can explore ancient artifacts, traditional attire, and art pieces that narrate Mali’s story from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum is a symbol of the country’s diverse ethnic groups and their contributions to the nation’s cultural heritage .

Bamako Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is a symbol of spiritual significance and architectural beauty. This mosque, an important religious site for the Muslim community, is a legacy of Islamic influence in West Africa.

Everybody’s captivated by its grandeur and the peaceful ambiance that surrounds it. Although access to the interior may be restricted for non-Muslims, the exterior offers a glimpse into the mosque’s architectural elegance and the importance of Islam in Malian society.

Nature and Parks

Parc national du mali in bamako.

The Parc National is an oasis of green in the urban landscape. This park, designed to blend natural beauty with recreational facilities, offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle .

You will enjoy a leisurely walk through its well-kept gardens, have a picnic by the lake, or explore the various sports facilities available. The park also hosts cultural events and concerts, making it a vibrant center for outdoor activities.

Bamako Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens provide a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and those interested in the flora. These gardens are home to a wide variety of plant species, both indigenous and exotic, offering an educational journey through Mali’s botanical diversity.

The carefully curated spaces allow you to relax and enjoy the natural beauty, making it a perfect spot for photography, leisurely walks, or simply a moment of reflection amidst the greenery.

Local Cuisine and Dining Experiences

Bamako-restaurant-with-food-on-a-table

Introduction to Malian Cuisine

Malian cuisine is a flavorful journey through the country’s culinary traditions, influenced by its geographical diversity and historical trade connections. The capital is the perfect place to sample dishes that combine Sahelian flavors with West African ingredients.

From the hearty jollof rice to the savory tiga diga na, visitors can savor meals that are both nourishing and rich in flavor. Dining in the city is an opportunity to experience the communal spirit of Malian meals, where food is shared and enjoyed together.

Top Restaurants in Bamako

Bamako’s restaurant scene offers a blend of traditional Malian food and international cuisines, catering to all tastes and preferences. From upscale dining establishments to local eateries, each restaurant provides a unique insight into the country’s gastronomy.

Here, you can enjoy meticulously prepared local dishes, where the freshness of the ingredients and the skill of the chefs turn each meal into a memorable experience. For those in the mood for traditional stews or international fare, these restaurants promise an enticing culinary adventure.

Shopping and Markets

Artisanal market.

The Artisanal Market is a hub for handcrafted goods, offering a chance to take home a piece of Malian artistry. This market is filled with stalls showcasing the work of local artisans, including textiles, jewelry, leather goods, and traditional musical instruments.

Shopping here supports the local economy and artisans while providing a unique insight into the crafts that have been passed down through generations. Many items tell stories of Malian cultural heritage, making them meaningful souvenirs for travelers.

Marché de Bamako

The Marché de Bamako is the city’s largest market and a lively center of commerce and social interaction. This bustling marketplace offers everything from fresh produce and spices to clothing and household items.

Navigating the market is an experience in itself, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of residents. Do not hesitate to haggle over prices, sample local snacks, and observe the vibrant market culture that is an essential aspect of life here.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Bamako’s awesome nightlife.

The capital city comes alive at night with a vibrant nightlife scene that reflects the city’s love for music and dance. The city boasts a variety of entertainment options, from lively bars and nightclubs to venues featuring live Malian music.

Music is an integral part of the cultural identity, and the nightlife offers a window into this world. There are performances by local musicians, showcasing genres such as Afrobeat , blues, and traditional Malian music, providing an unforgettable experience of the rich musical heritage.

Plenty of Music and Dance Venues

The music venues are the heart of its nightlife, offering performances that range from traditional Malian styles to contemporary beats. These venues serve as gathering places for music enthusiasts, artists, and tourists, creating a lively atmosphere where the rhythms over here can be fully appreciated.

Live music events in the city offer a deep dive into authentic Malian culture, where the power of music unites people across different backgrounds.

Outdoor Adventures and Activities

boat-ride-in-the-Niger-river-in-Bamako-Mali

Boat Trips on the Niger River

The Niger River, flowing past Bamako, offers a unique perspective on the city and its surroundings. Boat trips on the river provide a peaceful escape from urban life, allowing you to experience the beauty of the landscapes and riverside communities.

These excursions range from short jaunts to full-day adventures, offering glimpses of wildlife , fishing villages, and the daily activities of people living along the riverbanks. A boat trip on the Niger is a must-do for anyone looking to connect with the natural and social fabric of the country.

Hiking and Exploring around Bamako

The area surrounding the capital city is rich in natural beauty, offering opportunities for hiking and exploration. The hills and cliffs that dot the landscape provide panoramic views of the city and the Niger River, making for excellent day trips.

For those seeking adventure, the trails around the area reveal the natural diversity, from its rocky outcrops to its lush valleys. These outdoor activities not only offer physical challenges but also a chance to appreciate the serene beauty of the natural environments.

Practical Tips for Travelers

Best time to visit bamako.

Timing your visit can enhance your travel experience, with the best times being the cooler months from November to February. During this period, the weather is more temperate, making it ideal for exploring the city and participating in outdoor activities.

It’s also a time when cultural events and festivals are more likely to occur, offering a chance to experience this country’s vibrant traditions and hospitality.

Navigating the City

Getting around requires some planning, as the city’s transport options vary. Taxis are the most convenient way to travel, but negotiating the fare in advance is advisable.

For those looking to immerse themselves in local life, taking a “sotrama” (minibus) offers an authentic, though crowded, experience.

Familiarizing yourself with the city’s layout and main landmarks can make navigation easier, allowing for a more enjoyable exploration of this city’s charms.

Visiting Bamako offers a vivid journey, showcasing the dynamic blend of its cultural heritage, natural landscapes, and contemporary urban life. This city, with its historical sites, lush parks, bustling markets, and vibrant music scene, invites travelers to explore and engage with the diverse facets of Malian society.

The culinary adventures , artisanal crafts, and serene natural spots around the capital city enrich the travel experience, providing a deeper understanding of the country’s cultural identity and environmental beauty.

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THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

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2. Casino De L'amitie

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3. Musee National de Bamako

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4. Zoo National du Mali

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6. Bamako Grand Mosque

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7. Bamako Artisan Market

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8. Cathedral of Bamako

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9. Bamako City Centre Market

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10. Dandan waterfalls

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11. Monument de l"Independance

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12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

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13. Bamako Central Post Office

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15. Bamako Old Central Station

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17. Soumaby Parfums

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  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

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The 10 Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali

  • Editorial Staff
  • 3 March 2023
  • Destination

Welcome to Bamako, the largest city in Mali! Located on the banks of the Niger River, Bamako is a vibrant city full of culture and history. From the renowned Grand Mosque of Bamako to the Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, there is no shortage of things to do in this vibrant West African city. From exploring the National Museum of Mali and National Library of Mali to shopping at Grand Marche and experiencing the nightlife of Place de l’Independence, there are plenty of unique experiences in Bamako to keep you entertained.

Bamako, Mali

Climb to the top of Mount Hombori, relax at Zoo de Bamako, or spend the day at Bamako River Park. Whatever your heart desires, Bamako has something for everyone to enjoy.

Table of Contents

Explore the Grand Mosque of Bamako

The Grand Mosque of Bamako is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city of Bamako, Mali. Located in the heart of the city, the Grand Mosque has been a place of worship and reflection for thousands of years. Constructed entirely of mud brick, the mosque features intricate and beautiful designs and is the largest mosque in the country. Visitors to the Grand Mosque can explore the intricate interiors and learn more about the Islamic faith through its many murals and artefacts. The Grand Mosque of Bamako is a must-see for any traveller looking to experience the beauty and culture of Mali.

Visit the National Museum of Mali

The National Museum of Mali, located in Bamako, the capital of Mali, is a must-see for those interested in delving into the rich history and culture of the country. With artefacts spanning over four centuries, visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse cultural heritage of Mali. From ancient manuscripts to traditional jewellery and clothing, the museum offers a captivating insight into the past. The museum also houses a library and a research centre, providing an invaluable source of information for students and scholars alike. A visit to the National Museum of Mali is a must for anyone seeking to uncover the fascinating history of this West African nation.

Tour the National Library of Mali

The National Library of Mali, located in Bamako, Mali, is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the rich history and culture of this vibrant African nation. This library, which has been around since 1959, is home to an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, and artefacts related to Mali’s past and present. Visitors to the library can explore the vibrant exhibits and displays, which feature information on different aspects of Malian history and culture.

The library also hosts a variety of events and lectures throughout the year, offering those interested in the country’s culture an opportunity to learn more. Whether you’re a history buff, an avid reader, or just looking for a unique cultural experience, the National Library of Mali has something to offer everyone.

Shop at Grand Marche

Welcome to Grand Marche, the premier shopping destination in Bamako, Mali. Our store is packed with an extensive selection of products from around the world, ranging from fashion and apparel to electronics and home goods. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help you find the perfect item for any occasion. Whether you’re searching for a special gift or just looking to add some flair to your wardrobe, Grand Marche has something for everyone. Shop with us today and experience the Grand Marche difference.

Enjoy the Nightlife at Place de Independence

Bamako, Mali is a vibrant city with exciting nightlife. Visitors can experience this lively atmosphere by visiting Place de l’Independence. This popular area is home to a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants, offering a great selection of entertainment and cuisine. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply enjoy a relaxing evening out with friends, Place de l’Independence offers something for everyone. With its vibrant atmosphere and a wide variety of activities, this is the perfect place to experience the nightlife of Bamako.

Climb to the Top of Mount Hombori

Reaching the summit of Mount Hombori in Mali is an incredible journey of discovery. Located in Bamako, Mali, this mountain stands tall at 1,153 meters and offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape. Climbing to the top of Mount Hombori is an adventurous and unique experience that is sure to leave you feeling accomplished. The climb is challenging but rewarding as you make your way up the rocky terrain. With its diverse ecology and stunning views, Mount Hombori is a must-see for any traveller looking to explore the beauty of Mali.

See the Monument de la Renaissance Africaine

The Monument de la Renaissance Africaine in Bamako, Mali is an important symbol of the region’s history and culture. Located on the banks of the Niger River, it stands as a reminder of the resilience of the African people and the progress they have made over the years. The monument is a representation of the African spirit and a celebration of the contributions of African people to the world. It stands as a tribute to the continent’s history and is a reminder of the importance of African culture.

Relax at Zoo de Bamako

The Bamako Zoo, located in Bamako, Mali, is the perfect destination for a relaxing day out. Here, visitors can explore the many exhibits and observe a wide variety of animals, including lions, elephants, chimpanzees, cheetahs, and giraffes. The zoo also offers educational programs and activities, as well as guided tours of the exhibitions. Whether you’re looking for a fun family outing or a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Bamako Zoo is a great choice.

Experience the Hippodrome Club

The Hippodrome Club in Bamako, Mali is the perfect destination for an incredible night out. Experience the best in music and entertainment, with exciting live performances, the finest DJs and a vibrant atmosphere. With a wide range of drinks, great food and spectacular decor, the Hippodrome Club is the perfect place to dance the night away. Enjoy the best of Bamako’s nightlife and make sure you don’t miss out!

Spend the Day at Bamako River Park

Located in Bamako, Mali, Bamako River Park is the perfect spot to spend a leisurely day. Located along the beautiful Niger River, this park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. From canoeing and boating to fishing and picnicking, Bamako River Park has something for everyone. It also provides a host of recreational areas, including a large playground, basketball court, and plenty of space to take a stroll. With its stunning views and wide range of activities, a visit to Bamako River Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Bamako is a fascinating city, full of interesting sites and activities to explore. From admiring the beautiful architecture of the Grand Mosque of Bamako and the Monument de la Renaissance Africaine to discovering the artefacts at the National Museum of Mali and the National Library of Mali, to the fun of exploring the Grand Marche and the nightlife of Place de l’Independence, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Bamako.

For the adventurous traveller, there’s the challenge of climbing Mount Hombori and the indulgence of relaxation at the Zoo de Bamako. For thrill-seekers, there’s the Hippodrome Club and the River Park. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or an escape from every day, Bamako has something to offer for everyone.

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Must-see attractions in Mali

Mali, Djenne. The Great Mosque of Djenne - constructed in 1907 on the foundations of a 13th century mosque built by King Koy Konboro, the 26th ruler of Djenne. This very beautiful mosque is the largest mud structure in the world. The residents of the town

Grande Mosquée

Djenné's elegant Grande Mosque was constructed in 1907, though it's based on the design of an older Grande Mosquée that once stood on the site. Famous…

A woman in yellow robes, and a child walk past the Sankore mosque, built in the traditional Sahel style, Timbuktu.

Sankoré Mosque

Timbuktu's three great mosques - all inaccessible to non-Muslims - are nothing much to look at, but serve as reminders of its great past. The youngest of…

Fully laden Pinasses docked at the jetty with more cargo on the shores of the Niger river, Mopti

Mopti's port is a lively place, where boats from up and down the river unload their cargoes. You'll see slabs of salt from Timbuktu, dried fish, firewood,…

places to visit in bamako mali

Dyingerey Ber Mosque

Timbuktu has three of the oldest mosques in West Africa. While not as visually stunning as some in Mali, they're still extremely impressive and represent…

Grand Marché

Every Monday, the wide open area in front of the mosque is transformed into the clamorous Monday Market, which has barely changed since the days when…

From the pleasant Fula village of Massina, you can start a trip along the Niger by public pinasse (large canoe). A good first stop is Diafarabé, where…

Centre de Recherches Historiques Ahmed Baba

An amazing collection of ancient manuscripts and books are kept at the Centre de Recherches Historiques Ahmed Baba. Home to (at last count) 23,000 Islamic…

La Dune Rose

Gao's premier tourist attraction is a sunset trip to La Dune Rose, known locally as Koïma, a wonderful sand dune on the right bank of the Niger, visible…

Heinrich Barth's House

Heinrich Barth's incredible five-year journey began in Tripoli and took him first to Agadez, then through Nigeria and finally, in September 1853, he…

Ethnological Museum

The Ethnological Museum occupies a hugely significant site near Sidi Yahiya Mosque, containing the well of Bouctou, where Timbuktu was founded. There's…

During the 18th century, the beautiful village of Ségou Koro was the centre of Biton Mamary Coulibaly's Bambara empire and the great man is buried here…

Tomb of the Askia

The Tomb of the Askia, north of town, was built in 1495 by Askia Muhammad Touré, whose remains lie within. It's an amazing building and a classic of…

Marché Souguni

At the Marché Souguni, to the southeast of town, traders sell fruit, vegetables, salt, fish and meat downstairs and art and crafts upstairs. A smaller…

Sidi Yahiya Mosque

Sidi Yahiya Mosque, north of Place de l'Indépendance, is named after one of the city's saints (it's said that 333 saints have lived in Timbuktu) and was…

Misire Mosquée

The classic Sahel-style Misire Mosquée, built in 1933, towers over the old part of town. Just before the rains in May or June the lower, mud-covered part…

Marché de Medina

The charm of this market is that few tourists reach here, so you're unlikely to be hassled. It's also a good place to buy second-hand clothes and if you…

Musée National

The Musée National is small but nevertheless contains some beautiful ethnographic pieces from many of Mali's ethnic groups, including wooden masks,…

Fetish Stalls

The Fetish Stalls, near the Maison des Artisans, are not for the faint-hearted, offering up a stomach-turning array of bones, skins, dried chameleons and…

House of the Traditional Chief

With the help of a guide, you can see the beautiful House of the Traditional Chief, whose role today is mainly as an adjudicator in local disputes.

More destinations you need to see

places to visit in bamako mali

Top Things to Do in Bamako

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
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  • Good for a Rainy Day
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  • Good for Big Groups
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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

Two Monkeys Travel Group

8 Things To Do in Mali [Best Places to Visit in Mali – West Africa]

You’ve probably heard the name Timbuktu at least once in your life. And if you’re like me, there’s a big chance that you did so through a song. But where is Timbuktu, anyway?

This is where Mali comes in, a Saharan country in West Africa where Timbuktu is. It’s a land-locked state with Algeria, Mauritiana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Senegal around it. Mali was formerly part of the three West African empires that controlled this region of the continent. It was then taken over by the French around the 19th century and gained its independence in the 1960s.

8 Things To Do in Mali

Unfortunately, traveling to present-day Mali isn’t so ideal lately as violence is prevalent in the country with even civilians getting seriously injured over terrorist attacks. There are still a few tour operators in the country, however, who still assist visitors who want to explore the country through the scope might be a bit restricted.

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Below, I’ll be listing some of the best things you can only experience in Mali which, hopefully, we can all get to experience once the situation has gotten better.

Table of Contents

Key Cities in Mali

Bamako – This is the country’s capital and was considered as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. This is where most of the administrative activities in Mali happen and are also where some of the most important buildings in today’s Mali are situated.

This city can trace back its origins to the Palaeolithic era as evidence of settlements as early as this time can be found in some areas of Bamako. This is highly likely due to the proximity of the city to the Niger River Valley where they were able to grow an abundant food supply and trade as well.

Mopti – Another popular city in Mali is Mopti, which is said to have the highest concentration of the country’s natural resources. It is also known to be the country’s most valuable port as well as a huge commercial center.

Tourists are attracted to Mopti for its attractions like the Grand Mosque and the Pays Dogon.

Timbuktu – This popular ancient city is home to some of the country’s most valuable possessions as it was an Islamic scholarship center for many years. Timbuktu takes pride in its manuscripts were teachings of Islam, mathematics, law, science and more where listed.

Aside from its historical significance, Timbuktu also served as a trade route for invaders before the country was colonized by France.

At present, Timbuktu is among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Djenné – Another important city in the history of Mali is Djenné, a city in the Inland Niger Delta region. Old Djenné is one of the oldest towns in this part of Africa and has been inhabited since 250 B.C

Djenné also served as an important market center and link to the trans-Saharan gold trade back in the days.

Aside from its economic purposes, Djenné was also an integral part of the propagation of Islam in the country. Until now, you’ll still see some of the historic Islamic structures in the city.

What To Do in Mali

1. witness the amazing mali architecture for yourself.

8 Things To Do in Mali

If you do a quick online search about Mali, you’ll notice how its buildings look nothing like what you’ll typically see anywhere! Mali buildings are often made following the traditional adobe architecture, giving them their distinct orange hues. Some of the most notable structures are the Grande Mosquée in Djenné which is known to be the world’s largest mud-brick building and the mosque of Musa I in the town of Gao.

2. Get to know more about life along the Niger River

8 Things To Do in Mali

Mali is home to various ethnic groups, some of which chose the Niger river as their settlement as it is a good source of livelihood for them.

Mopti and Djenné are both settlements around the Niger River where people of different ethnic groups still live. Go ahead and visit any of these two to get an authentic experience interacting with Mali locals.

There’s even a music festival being held around the river where Mali’s best performers gather now and then.

3. Visit Timbuktu

8 Things To Do in Mali

Probably the most famous destination in Mali, this town was once thought of as a city made of gold. It wasn’t, of course, but gold was often traded in its streets together with salt, spices, and dyes. Get to know this mysterious destination more by visiting its important mosques, structures made of mud, and even spending time with the Tuareg people (people who have been here since old times) by spending the night at their camp.

4. Explore the desert

As part of the Saharan region, Mali has its fair share of warm-colored desert land which you might be curious to explore. If you want, you can go ahead and visit the Pink Dune which is the highest spot along the Niger River. This looks especially beautiful during sunset as it turns into a beautiful shade of pink. To get there, you might need to hire a boat that will take you across the Niger river before you can go hiking up the mountain of sand.

5. Get in touch with nature

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Beautifulafrica (@beautiful.africa) on Oct 11, 2016 at 12:49am PDT

Of course, no African trip will be complete if you don’t get to experience their wildlife for yourself. Boucle du Baoulé National Park is a western Malian area where traces of prehistoric rock art and tombs can be found. Along with these, you’ll find local animals like giraffe, elephant, buffalo, hippo and a few more in their typical surroundings here.

6. Go shopping for local products

8 Things To Do in Mali

Ségou, a city in south-central Mali, is located on the banks of the River Niger and is home to some very creative people. Not only do they make beautiful pottery, but they also produce the bogolan cloth which is dyed with fermented mud. Go ahead and visit so you can get to know more about Mali’s local art scene.

7. Enjoy the capital!

8 Things To Do in Mali

As Bamako is the country’s modern city, expect to find several interesting places and things that you can visit or do while you’re there. There will be markets, botanical gardens, museums, and even craft centers.  If you want to see Malian artifacts, Musée National is a good destination for you. This is where you’ll find interesting ethnographic items from Mali’s ethnic groups.

Feeling a bit adventurous? Fetish Stalls might not be for the faint of heart, but if you can endure seeing skulls, skin, bones, dried animals or any of that sort, then it’s an interesting venue to explore.

8. Join the Festival of the Desert

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Alice Mutasa (@alami1906) on Jul 7, 2019 at 5:32am PDT

It’s been a while since it was last celebrated in Timbuktu. But if it ever comes back to Mali again and the situations are more stable than they are at present, this is something you definitely shouldn’t miss!

The Festival Au Desert was inspired by the Touaregs’ tradition of coming together for an annual meeting called Takoubelt which allows them to reconnect with one another, reconcile, and exchange thoughts. Here, you’ll find amazing Malian artists coming together to celebrate art, music, dance, literature and more. 

It’s also a way to celebrate the “La Famme de la Paix” which is the ceremony thousands of firearms are burned and transformed into a monument. It symbolized the peaceful ending to a rebellion that lasted for years in Timbuktu.

8 Things To Do in Mali

Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling to Mali

1. How do I get to Mali?

There are a few airlines operating flights to Mali regularly. You can get on a connecting flight to Bamako through Paris or Casablanca.

2. Do I need a visa to go to Mali?

If you are a citizen of any of these countries, you can go to Mali without a visa:

8 Things To Do in Mali

If you have a diplomatic and service passport from any of these countries, you can visit Mali for 90 days without a visa:

Cuba Russia Rwanda China (public affairs passport) South Africa (diplomatic, service and official passports)

Citizens of these countries can go to Mali with a visa on arrival:

Kenya Rwanda

3. How long is the tourist visa application process? 

It takes around 10 working days for a Malian Embassy to process your tourist visa.

4. How long is a Malian tourist visa valid for?

You can apply for a 1-month single-entry visa or a 3-month and 6-month multiple visas.

5. Is Mali safe for tourists?

Unfortunately, the situation in some of Mali’s regions isn’t so safe for visitors at the moment due to terrorist activities.

If you would like to travel to Mali, it’s best to check your country’s travel advisory first and plan to make sure you don’t get to places that are considered off-limits.

Also, if you want to visit, it’s always advisable to get a local tour operator to make sure you’re only going around places you are allowed to.

6. How do I go around Mali?

Public transportation like taxis and trains are accessible when in Mali.

7. Will I need a translator in Mali?

You probably will, unless you speak a little bit of French which is one of their official languages.

8. When is the best time to visit Mali?

The best time to visit is during the drier seasons of the year which go from October to January. You’ll also want to avoid the harmattan wind which comes from the Sahara from January to May.

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The 8 Best Places to Visit in Mali

Although it has faced recent challenges, Mali is one of the best places to visit in West Africa thanks to its incredible array of historical sights and cultural experiences. Mali is filled with diverse landscapes, from the Sahara desert in the north to verdant savannas in the south, making it an incredible destination for exploration and adventure.  

In this article, we showcase the 8 best places to visit in Mali that offer incredible travel opportunities. We discuss the best places to visit in Mali for history and natural beauty, as well as present the best places for culture in the country. From awe-inspiring UNESCO sites to profound interactions with local communities, there is so much to see in Mali. 

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The Best Places to Visit in Mali for History

Despite facing some unrest in recent years, Mali is filled with exceptional historical sites that make it one of the best places to visit in West Africa. There are ancient cities and mosques which speak to the country’s significance in the past and allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Mali’s history. 

One of the most famous places in Mali is Djenné , located in the central region of the country. It’s the best place to visit in Mali for travellers who are fascinated by history as it houses one of West Africa’s most significant UNESCO World Heritage sites , the Great Mosque of Djenné. The city was a major hub of trade and Islamic worship in the 15th to 17th centuries and is located approximately 400 km northeast of the capital Bamako. 

The Great Mosque of Djenné is one of the most important landmarks in Mali. It is a stunning example of Sudano-Sahelian architecture and is the largest mud brick structure in the world. It was originally built in the 13th century but has since undergone multiple phases of reconstruction which has preserved its cultural heritage. Recent archaeological excavations suggest that the mosque is one of the oldest structures in the entire Niger Basin, so it’s an absolute must-see for any visitors who crave the allure of the distant past. 

Djenné is also striking as the entire city features the unique mudbrick architecture which is a traditional building technique in Malian culture. The adobe buildings are an exceptional example of local innovation and showcase the deep cultural heritage of Mali. If you visit on a Monday, you will be treated to the spectacle of a bustling market where you can purchase traditional crafts and interact with local traders. 

Situated in eastern Mali, Gao is a city that has deep historical roots which are sure to delight visitors eager to learn more about the country’s ancient past. Like Djenné, the city had a crucial role in trans-Saharan trade routes and was a centre for Islamic worship. Its location on the Niger River connected it to other regions like North Africa and the Mediterranean, so there is so much history to delve into. 

Gao was a significant city during the reign of the Songhai Empire , which was one of the most powerful empires in West Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries. The city served as an important economic and political centre and was notable for its abundance of skilled craftsmen and scholars. During the height of the empire’s power, Gao became the capital under the rule of Askia Mohammad I, who brought a period of political stability and prosperity.

One of the most important landmarks in Mali is the tomb of Askia Mohammad I. It stands as a symbol of the wealth and influence of the Songhai Empire and is another of Mali’s UNESCO heritage sites , which conveys a deeper understanding of the country’s complex history. 

The tomb complex includes multiple structures such as flat-roofed mosques, a necropolis and a white stone square. But the most important element of the site is the towering pyramidal tomb, which towers above the complex and catches the eye with its mudbrick architecture and jutting wooden features. It is one of the most distinctive tourist attractions in Mali and is certain to inspire anyone who visits with its magnificent design. 

Another place to visit in Mali that is perfect for history fans is Timbuktu , the ‘city of gold’. While the city itself is not made of the precious metal, it was a major centre for trade and is notable for its wealth which came from gold, ivory and salt. Due to its affluence, Timbuktu was also an intellectual centre which attracted mathematicians and astronomers, which bolstered its cultural influence. 

The main historical site in Timbuktu is the Djinguereber Mosque , which towers above the city with its striking central minaret. The mosque functioned as a religious centre as well as a madrasa, an intellectual institution for education. The site has been restored making it a great place to visit in Mali for visitors eager to soak up the splendour of this ancient city.     

Another integral part of the city’s historical significance is the Timbuktu Manuscripts. Thousands of these manuscripts were smuggled out of the city during political unrest in 2012 and document centuries of knowledge on topics like astronomy and philosophy. They speak to the academic excellence of Timbuktu in its heyday and can be viewed online , which allows visitors to soak up the history prior to their visit.

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The Best Places to Visit in Mali for Natural Beauty 

It’s no secret that Africa is brimming with untouched landscapes and idyllic scenery which makes it a great place to visit for travellers who enjoy connecting with nature. Mali is no exception, with beautiful environs like the Niger River and the Sahara Desert easily accessible from most major cities. Holidays to Mali are the perfect time to explore the gorgeous scenery and escape the trials of modern living, so be sure to try some of our recommendations below. 

Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve

The best place to visit in Mali for natural wonder is the Bafing Biosphere Reserve , also known as Bafing National Park. It was established in 2000 as a protected area and is celebrated for its efforts to preserve biodiversity. Visitors to Mali can marvel at the exceptional array of animal and plant species that can be found over the park’s 6767 km area. 

The reserve is home to many different animals, including large game like elephants and hippos. Bafing is also recognised by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation as a significant area for these endangered animals. Great efforts have been taken to preserve these animals by monitoring populations and encouraging the sustainable use of resources by local communities. 

The park features a variety of ecosystems, from savannahs to wetlands, which support a range of different animal populations. It is part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme , which aims to protect natural environments. While it is not regularly visited compared to other African wildlife reserves , it’s an excellent place to visit in Mali for travellers who enjoy seeing animals thriving in their natural habitat.  

River Niger

One of the most important landmarks in Mali is the Niger River , which runs through multiple African countries like Niger, Benin and Cameroon. The river flows through many cities in Mali such as Bamako, Timbuktu and Gao, making it very accessible to visitors. Exploring the River Niger is one of the most enriching experiences in Mali as it allows for thrilling wildlife encounters but also meaningful interactions with local communities. 

The best way to experience the river is by taking a boat tour along its banks. On these tours, visitors can see local wildlife like crocodiles and hippos. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching in Mali as hundreds of species flock to the water source. Alongside these water-based safaris, your tour will also take you to significant sites along the river which include ancient ruins and natural attractions.

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The Best Places to Visit in Mali for Culture 

There is so much culture that travellers can immerse themselves in when they visit Mali. The thriving cities offer unique interactions with locals which shed more light on their vibrant traditions. There are also opportunities for travellers to explore beyond the bustling streets and see more authentic lifestyles in local communities. 

A quaint but prominent town in Mali that is great for culture seekers is Ségou . The urban hub is located 235 km northeast of Bamako and was a significant town in the Bambara Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries. It came under French rule during the colonial period and much of this influence can be seen within its architecture.

A main feature of Ségou is its flourishing arts and crafts scene. The city is renowned for its artisanal creations which include pottery, textiles and Bambara carvings. As you explore the bustling local markets you can purchase these items and haggle with vendors, forming meaningful connections with traders. 

Being the cultural capital of Mali, Segou hosts many exciting events throughout the year which highlight its artistic achievements. The most notable of these events is the Festival sur le Niger . Held annually in February, the festival program features art, dance, music, crafts and much more! It’s the perfect blend of traditional culture and contemporary arts and is by far one of the most fun things to do in Mali. 

Of course, we couldn’t discuss the best places to visit in Mali without highlighting the vibrant capital. Bamako is the largest city in Mali, situated on the banks of the River Niger and from Point G Hill you can take in exceptional views of the city and its surroundings. It is the political and economic centre of Mali and has a diverse population which has made it a cultural melting pot. 

There are so many cultural highlights in Bamako, from the National Museum to the BCEAO Tower , which is a significant landmark in Malu as it is the tallest building in the country. The bustling streets are filled with cars and motorbikes but don’t let that discourage you. There is a blooming cultural scene throughout the city which is especially evident in live music performances which showcase genres such as Mali blues and traditional griot music.  

Bamako is one of the best places to visit in Mali as it is a major starting point for day trips and other excursions into the quainter regions of the country. For example, you can take a fascinating trip to the Selingue Dam from Bamako , which includes a scenic boat ride and the chance to see local Malian lifestyles in the humble fishing village. 

Dogon Country

If you are keen to escape the cities then you should make a point of visiting Dogon Country . Located near the border of Burkina Faso, this region is inhabited by the Dogon people. They are an ethnic group known for their unique culture, art and cliffside settlements. 

Dogon Country is a popular tourist destination as it provides insight into the lifestyles of indigenous communities. On your visit, you can witness traditional masked dances and wooden sculptures which allows you to learn more about their way of life and spiritual practices. 

One of the best places to go in Dogon Country is the Bandiagara Escarpment, another of Mali’s fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites. The cliffside features traditional Dogon architecture, including houses, granaries and Togu Na, which are communal meeting spaces. The Dogon people are known for their oral traditions and we highly recommend taking the time to listen to their storytellers and engage with their colourful heritage.

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There are so many places to visit in Mali that will appeal to a variety of travellers. Whether you crave historical insight, natural escapes or cultural encounters that shed more light on the local way of life, you are certain to find tourist attractions in Mali that suit your needs. 

With ancient sites and natural beauty, Mali will amaze you with its charm. It offers travellers a chance to explore untouched scenery and engage with indigenous communities, which will broaden your horizons and allow you to see an entirely different side of life. 

Thinking about an amazing African Adventure? Check out our other travel guides for destinations like Egypt and South Africa for more inspiration and advice.

FAQs About Visiting Mali

Is mali safe to visit.

Unfortunately, there are some concerns about travelling to Mali. Travel advisories highlight protests and political unrest as causes for concern, so visitors are urged to remain cautious at all times and to not travel alone. Crime, kidnapping and terrorism have been known to occur across the country, especially outside Bamako.

As of 2023, there has been a military takeover in neighbouring Niger which has caused flight disruption and safety concerns. For more Mali travel advice be sure to check your local government website. 

What is the climate like in Mali?

The weather in Mali is characterised by 3 distinct seasons. The dry season in Malu occurs between March and June and is followed by a wet season from July to September. There is a slightly colder period between October and February, with average temperatures dropping to 24°C from summer highs of 35°C.

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The 7 Best Things to Do in Salamanca, Spain

Top Things to Do in Bamako, Mali - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

Top Things to Do in Bamako - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travelers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

A 1-week SAFE itinerary for Mali (2024)

By Joan Torres 9 Comments Last updated on April 25, 2024

Places to visit in Mali

Mali needs little introduction.

Despite being such an off the beaten track country, worthy of being included in the top 5 of the Against the Compass list , not so many years ago, tourism used to be a priority here, a country home to four outstanding World Heritage Sites – Djenné, Timbuktu, the Tomb of Aksia and the cliffs of Bandiagara – the first of which, should be one of the 7 Wonders of the World, in my opinion.

Nowadays, however, Mali is going through an unfortunate situation that has isolated these astonishing sites from the outside world, wonders which have not only been visited by 21st century tourists, but have also been traveled through over the centuries by countless traders carrying gold, leather, and ivory along the trans-Saharan route.

Tourists are a rare thing to see in Mali these days but, regardless of all the souvenirs covered in dust and a decayed tourist infrastructure, many jaw-dropping places are still out there, located in the safe area, and Malians will receive you with nothing but a welcoming smile.

In this guide, I want to show you all the places I visited in Mali in a 9-day itinerary , including all my tips.

For more practical information like budget, visas, etc., don’t miss my Mali travel guide

Mali itinerary

In this Mali itinerary you will find:

Table of Contents

  • How many days are needed
  • Useful books
  • Day 1, 2 – Bamako
  • Day 3, 4 – Ségou

Day 5, 6 – Djenné

Day 7, 8 – siby.

  • More information

our recommended travel insurance for Mali

IATI Insurance is one of the very few that covers travel in Mali.

Safe places to visit in your Mali itinerary

All the places listed in this Mali itinerary – the ones I visited – are within the safety area, except for Djenné.

Djenné is located in Central Mali, in a region which all governments advise against any travel to, since Jihadist-controlled villages are not that far away, and the road leading there has been targeted by bandits and Islamist extremists.

Despite this, Djenné itself has always kept safe, but travelers wanting to visit its giant sand castle should know they must assume some small risk.

The rest of the towns and villages mentioned in this blog are OK for independent travel, but be aware that the situation in Mali is extremely unstable and by no means will I be responsible for any unfortunate event which may occur to you during your trip.

For more information and advice, don’t forget to read my safety guide for Mali .

How many days are needed for Mali?

Mali is one of those countries that requires a couple of weeks to visit, at least, but since pretty much the whole north remains inaccessible, which is where the best places to visit are, I think that 7-10 days should be enough to get an idea of what Mali is.

Backpacking in Mali for a few days

Because of current safety concerns , travelers spending just a few days in Mali are usually country collectors and Africa overlanders who want to cross Mali off their list.

While sort of understandable, I think that going all the way to Mali to just visit Bamako and perhaps, do a day trip to Siby is a big mistake, since you are missing a big area within the safe range.

Anyways, this is my suggested 2 and 3-day Mali itinerary:

  • Day 1 – Bamako
  • Day 2 – Day trip to Siby

places to visit in bamako mali

If staying 3 days:

  • Day 2, 3 – Ségou

Backpacking in Mali for 7-8 days

If you have one full week to visit Mali, you may visit both Ségou and Siby and, if you dare, make a trip all the way to Djenné.

  • Day 1 & 2 – Bamako
  • Day 3 & 4 – Ségou
  • Day 4 & 5 – Djenné and Ségou
  • Day 6, 7 – Siby
  • Day 8 – Back to Bamako

places to visit in bamako mali

Useful books for planning your Mali itinerary

Mali travel guide by bradt.

The only available guidebook to Mali is Bradt, which dates from 2009, and I don’t think there will be a new one until the Sahel conflict is over. There aren’t many copies available for sale, so it can be difficult to get one.

places to visit in bamako mali

West Africa travel guide by Lonely Planet

If you are overlanding across West Africa, the generic LP guide to the region can prove useful if all you want is an overall idea of what to expect in each country. I bought it because I like collecting them but the Mali chapter has only 4 pages.

My blog posts are much more insightful 🙂

places to visit in bamako mali

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Shadow of Terror over The Sahel – Al. J. Venter

Incredible book that will make you understand what is going on in the Sahel, with a special focus on Mali. I enjoyed this book very much and I strongly believe it’s an essential acquisition for anyone traveling to Mali.

places to visit in bamako mali

Places to visit in Mali in a 7-day itinerary

You may also be interested in my personal Mauritania Itinerary

Here are all the places I visited in Mali.

Map of the things to do in Mali

Day 1, 2 – Bamako, the capital of Mali

Bamako is a typical African city, overcrowded, littered streets and loads of traffic jams which, combined with the blanket of dust and fog that characterizes it during dry season, doesn’t make it sound like an appealing place to visit.

Still, I liked Bamako, very much, perhaps because this was my first introduction to sub-Saharan West Africa, but also because it is as vibrant as dirty, and home to kind-hearted Malians who will use any excuse to play some music and dance along the bustling streets.

how to travel to Bamako

Being a relatively new city compared to all historical sites found in Mali, Bamako lacks architectural gems as such but, from a cultural point of view, you will definitely love getting lost in the market lanes, checking out the vegetable gardens along the Niger River, or just strolling down the streets while dodging the endless scooters.

Things to do in Bamako

Traditional medicine market – Monkey heads but also hyenas, cats and several incongruent animals, for sale. They are used for traditional medicine and typically, they would boil any of those heads and drink the resulting liquid. This is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen in Africa.

monkey heads Mali

Artisan market – The artisan market would be a nice place to buy some true Malian hand-crafts if it wasn’t for all the highly intense sellers who push you to check out their shops to later tell you ridiculously exorbitant prices. Instead, you can find similar hand-made souvenirs in Ségou at a much cheaper price.

Grand Mosque – Built by the Saudis, the Grand Mosque of Bamako is nothing remarkable but it can be interesting if you wish to see more of Muslim Mali. They are a bit skeptical about letting non-Muslims in, something many Muslim friends would disagree with so, when this happens, I always say I am from Pakistan but grew up in Spain.

Sand collectors – Have you ever seen the mud buildings which are typically found in West Africa? In many places around Mali, you can see locals picking up sand from the bottom of the Niger River, which will be often be used to build those famous adobe structures, but also other kind of buildings. This is one of the most interesting places to visit in Mali and can be found here .

things to do in Bamako

Where to stay in Bamako

Top choice – Sleeping Camel – A guest house run by one American (Phil) and Australian (Matt). Their guest house features a great bar frequented by embassy and UN stuff, a comfortable Western bubble where you can take a break from chaotic Bamako.

Budget – Auberge Djamilla – This wonderful auberge has been open for ages and still fully up and running. A good choice for both travelers and backpackers.

The best hotel – Hotel Radisson in Bamako – The best 5-star hotel in town.

But there are plenty of more options:

Sleeping Camel Bamako

Day 3-4 – Ségou

Ségou is a big city and one of the predominant economic centers in Mali, home to one of the largest industries in the country.

On the other hand, Ségou is such a laid-back town with a particularly chilled-out atmosphere and, sitting on the shores of the Niger River, this is the perfect place to start your Mali itinerary and get a real sense of what rural Mali is like.

The above two factors were probably the reason why Ségou became sort of a hub for artists from all over the country, who decided to set up their studios and workshops in town, a sector which I believe used to have better days when tourists weren’t something extraordinary.

Today, not many studios are left but Ségou keeps being a colorful town filled with smiley Malians, colonial architecture and one of the best markets to visit in Mali.

Ségou Monday market

Things to do in Ségou

The Niger River – The Niger River stretches across West Africa for more than 4,000km, the longest and fastest-flowing river in the region, which has been key in developing towns and villages all along it. While in Mopti and Bamako, the river can feel overcrowded and serves as a dumping site for most Malians; I felt that in Ségou was much more pleasant to walk around, much cleaner and more rural.

The Niger River West Africa

Monday market – I have seen many, many markets in my travels but if I had to name a few highlights, they would be the camel market of Hargeisa ( Somaliland ), the Turkmen market in Aghghala ( Golestan, Iran ), the Afghan-Tajik market in no man’s land (at the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan ) and the market of Ségou.

I am probably biased because this was the first actual West African market I ever saw, and you may probably find similar markets in countries like Guinea Conakry or Burkina Faso, but I loved it anyways, not only because of the beautiful colorful patterns but also because I visited it on such a great, sunny day, because everybody was so welcoming, it was mango season and I could just sit down with my beer and look around.

Centre of Textile Ndomo – If you are into painting and textiles, in this workshop they paint different types of cloth with mud and, man, some people working there are real artists. I did buy a big one with beautiful Dogon figures and trimmings which is currently hanged on the wall of my apartment in Barcelona.

Visit Dougouba If you are not sure about visiting Djenné (for security reasons), one safer alternative would be paying a visit to the village of Dougouba, 25km north of Djenné following the river, a small settlement composed of adobe buildings and dominated by a mud mosque which, while not as impressive as Djenné’s, is gorgeous, plus it is one of the oldest mosques in Mali. Apparently, the village is also infamous for the practice of witchcraft and some traditional Malian people are afraid to go there. I don’t know if there is any public transportation for going to this place but if there was, it would probably be a pain. I visited it with a driver who also served me as a guide.

Centre of Textile Ndomo

Where to stay in Ségou

There are many hotels in Ségou and I stayed at Soleil de Minuit . It falls within the budget range but it’s clean, comfortable and has a great location. 12,000CFA for a double room with private bathroom.

How to get to Ségou from Bamako

Ségou is 235km from Bamako and the journey by bus takes between 3 and 4 hours.

There are several stations with direct buses to Ségou, but each one has a different schedule and they can all be found along Ave De L’ Unite Africaine Oua. I chose Diarra because that’s where the next bus departed from.

places to visit in bamako mali

Remember to check the latest security updates before going to Djenné.

If I had to name a few places that have thrilled and moved me for real, I would say Lalibela in Ethiopia, Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, the Wakhan Valley in Tajikistan, and the Grand Mosque of Djenné in Mali.

The Grand Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud building in the world, a real 20-meter tall sand castle which I guarantee will leave you breathless and stupefied, and definitely worth all the small risk that visiting Djenné implies, for me at least.

Apart from the mosque, Djenné itself is also worth the trip.

Djenné town

Once an important commercial center that competed directly with Timbuktu along the trans-Saharan route, Djenné was also considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan towns in all Africa but, unlike Timbuktu, Djenné went into decline much quicker, in the 16th century, and what used to be one of the most important centers for Islamic scholarship, is today nothing more than an agricultural, rural town.

Nonetheless, Djenné is absolutely photogenic, since the well-preserved town is entirely built of mud, typically a mix of sand, water and cow dung (really), making it very pleasant to your eyes.

Visiting San San is nothing but the average unattractive Malian town but it makes for an excellent stopover on the way to Djenné, since San is home to another surprisingly big mud mosque, one of the largest in the country and apparently, very few visitors used to stop here, not even when tourism used to flourish. By the way, for safety reasons, some tour companies prefer to arrange accommodation in San rather in Djenné.

Things to do in Djenné

Entering the mosque – You can enter the mosque but, non-Muslims need to bribe the Imam and his rates start at 30-40€, no kidding, which I found extremely abusive. Then, he will ask for an extra 10€ for going to the rooftop, which sucks, but there’s room for negotiation and I think I paid around 30€ for all included. I only accepted because of the unfortunate situation in Mali but seriously, that Imam is a smart ass.

Mosque view points – There are a few view points. Just ask around. One is free and in the other they ask for few CFA.

places to visit in bamako mali

The library – There is one library where you can check old manuscripts (like the one in Chinguetti, Mauritania )

Quranic schools – In Mali, I was told they have two types of schools, Quranic – which is the religious school – and European, which is closer to our understanding of what a school is. In Djenné, there are around 20 Quranic schools all spread out across Djenné’s narrow lanes. While it may sound weird, my guide took me to visit two of them.

By the way, the market takes place on Monday but I went to Ségou’s instead. While being in Djenné during market day may seem ideal, I preferred to go on a normal day, since I was there for a short amount of time, so I could focus on the town itself, and Djenné’s market should not be very different from Ségou’s.

Where to stay in Djenné

Nowadays, the only hotel in Djenné which remains open is Campement de Djenné .

How to get to Djenné

As I said, I went there with a guide with a private car and his driver, and we departed from Ségou.

Daring travelers can also reach Djenné by bus from Ségou.

If you are on a budget but still want to hire a guide, I know one traveler who did hire a guide but they went by bus, hence paying much less money than I did.

A Quranic school in Djenné

Located 50km south of Bamako, Siby area makes such a great day-trip from Bamako, making it like an ideal destination for those who have no more than a few days to visit Mali.

Siby is a small town which belongs to the Manding Mountains, a highland area from southern Mali which stretches all the way to Guinea Conakry, and home to the Malinke people , one of the main ethnic groups in West Africa.

Therefore, as you may imagine, the Siby area is about nature and unspoiled rural villages.

The arch of Kamadjan Siby

The town itself has its charm too, especially the market, which is permanently settled on the main road, with its highest peak on Saturday. This market was the place where I bought a piece of fabric which I later gave to a tailor to make me a pretty hand-made t-shirt. Check my Mali travel guide for more information.

The area around Siby is a pretty scenic area for trekking, with vertiginous cliffs and peculiar rock formations like the arch of Kamadjan.

Moreover, among those trails, there are many villages which barely receive any foreign visitors and which, at first, make you even feel particularly odd when walking around by yourself, but just buy something from any of their shops/food stalls to break the ice.

Go to Siby by motorbike The Manding region is a pretty extensive area which is best visited by motorbike. You can rent one from @scootwestafrica who are based at the Sleeping Camel in Bamako. Getting out of Bamako by motorbike can prove challenging but once out of the capital, the remaining 40km will definitely be a pleasant ride. Super recommended 🙂

Siby, Mali

Things to do in Siby

The arch of Kamandjan – Kamandjan is a spectacular arch overlooking the plains behind Siby. Getting there is easy, – it’s only 3-4km from Siby – not so much finding the way to the top, plus it requires some rock climbing.

Dièdé Waterfall – This isn’t within walking distance but transportation is necessary and, depending on how much they charge you, I wouldn’t say it’s worth it, especially if you come during dry season, when the water is at its lowest level. Even I regretted going there on my motorbike, since I had to do a huge detour and the road is in really bad condition.

Village-hopping – As I said before, visiting those villages can be a highlight of any Mali itinerary. I recommend the following: Kaka Sirada, Dogoro, Sognebougou and any village in between.

Where to stay in Siby

I stayed at Hotel Kamadjan but there were a few more. It’s a traditional hotel with Malian bungalows. More basic than the other places I stayed at. 8,000CFA for the cheapest bungalow.

How to get to Siby from Bamako

I went by motorbike but local buses leave frequently, all day long.

Siby town

More information for backpacking in Mali

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

All guides and articles for traveling in Mali destination

  • Is Mali Safe?
  • Mali Travel Guide

Travel Itineraries to other countries in Africa

  • Travel Guide to Sudan
  • Egypt Itinerary
  • Libya Travel Guide
  • Somaliland Itinerary
  • Mauritania Itinerary
  • Tunisia Travel Guide

You might also like our Haiti Itinerary .

things to do in Mali

What is the situation about getting a tourist visa for Mali nowadays? Is a tourist visa still possible because of the Corona pandemic?

Hi Tim! Yes, it’s possible and relatively easy. Please refer to the visa section of this post for more details: https://againstthecompass.com/en/travel-mali/#5

Hi Joan! How did You contacted your guide? I am planning yo visit Mali in october but i really want yo go yo Djenne

Hi Joan, Could you provide more information about the Dougouba settlement, I could not find this village near Segou.. There’s Douga. ( 18 km. from Segou ) Is that right? Best regards. Arkadijs.

Hi there. I think Douga is another village. Did you check the map I attached? Dougouba is marked there. You just need to click on the image to check exact coordinates.

Thank you, I found it. Find a guide to Segou with a car, can you go through the hotel where you stayed or search in advance?

Hi Joan! Do you have the contact information for the guide you used? I’m looking at doing everything on my own, but obviously want a guide for djenne. Thank you!

Hey, very informative post. The only thing lacking is how did you find a guide.

Hello Joan, amazing article and very interesting. Wanted to go for years but I think I’m finally ready and will inspire myself from your itinerary. Just one question, could I get your guide’s email or phone number? It would be very helpful! Thank you and take care.

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Top Things to Do in Bamako - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

Top Things to Do in Bamako, Mali - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

Top Things to Do in Bamako, Mali

Places to visit in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

Top Things to Do in Bamako - Bamako Must-See Attractions

Things to do in bamako.

  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Adventurous
  • Hidden Gems
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in bamako mali

1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako

Elisa_Forg

2. Casino De L'amitie

places to visit in bamako mali

3. Musee National de Bamako

Poleinahole

4. Zoo National du Mali

Melikee_T

5. Outlet223

places to visit in bamako mali

6. Bamako Grand Mosque

DrTruji

7. Bamako Artisan Market

Grasshopper1976

8. Cathedral of Bamako

agusticassa

9. Bamako City Centre Market

venespa

10. Dandan waterfalls

Jah_Json

11. Monument de l"Independance

places to visit in bamako mali

12. Bamako: vegetable market at the south bank

places to visit in bamako mali

13. Bamako Central Post Office

14. salon specifics niarela.

places to visit in bamako mali

15. Bamako Old Central Station

16. chicago swag 1.

places to visit in bamako mali

17. Soumaby Parfums

18. yacouba guindo mosque, 19. haute couture chez marie kaba, 20. chicago swag 2, 21. freezone electronic, 22. ks venture, 23. kob industry, 24. bellange couture, 25. iba design, 26. salon specifics badalabougou, 27. intec sup, 28. la maison de couture koko, 29. fashions girls, 30. rimk couture, what travellers are saying.

Rashad Koaik

  • Zoo National du Mali
  • Parc national du Mali, Bamako
  • Musee National de Bamako
  • Bamako City Centre Market
  • Casino De L'amitie
  • Dandan waterfalls

IMAGES

  1. Monument of l'Indépendance, Bamako, Mali

    places to visit in bamako mali

  2. Bamako Travel Guide

    places to visit in bamako mali

  3. 15 Best Places to Visit in Mali

    places to visit in bamako mali

  4. 10 MEJORES sitios de interés en Malí (ACTUALIZADO 2023)

    places to visit in bamako mali

  5. The Number 1 Thing About Bamako (Mali)

    places to visit in bamako mali

  6. Mosquee Djenne in Mali

    places to visit in bamako mali

VIDEO

  1. Mali : L’actualité du jour en Bambara Jeudi 16 Mars 2023

  2. VLOG #40 : 24H à Bamako, Mali

COMMENTS

  1. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

    Musee National de Bamako. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 4. Zoo National du Mali. It was different experience for me to visit Zoo in Africa, I have seen elephants, different type of birds and lions.

  2. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

    2. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 3. Parc national du Mali, Bamako. 125.

  3. Bamako Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Bamako, Mali

    Bamako Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Mali. Bamako has had a history of human habitation that stretches well back into pre-historic times. However, colonial times elevated this humble settlement's importance considerably, as the French made Bamako the capital of French Sudan in the 19th century.

  4. Top 20 Places to See in Bamako, Mali

    Here are the top 20 places to see in Bamako, Mali. 1. The Grand Mosque of Bamako: The Grand Mosque of Bamako is the largest mosque in the city and a must-see for anyone visiting Bamako. The mosque is a stunning example of Islamic architecture, with its intricate stonework and tall minarets. It is a popular destination for both locals and ...

  5. Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali

    Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali 5 Boat Trips on the Niger River. The Niger River, flowing past Bamako, offers a unique perspective on the city and its surroundings. ... Best Time to Visit Bamako. Timing your visit can enhance your travel experience, with the best times being the cooler months from November to February. During this period, the ...

  6. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Bamako (Updated 2024)

    THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Bamako. 1. Parc national du Mali, Bamako. You can also take advantage of visiting the National Museum of Mali you find near the entrance of the parc which is... 2. Casino De L'amitie. 3. Musee National de Bamako.

  7. The 10 Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali

    Visit the National Museum of Mali. Tour the National Library of Mali. Shop at Grand Marche. Enjoy the Nightlife at Place de Independence. Climb to the Top of Mount Hombori. See the Monument de la Renaissance Africaine. Relax at Zoo de Bamako. Experience the Hippodrome Club. Spend the Day at Bamako River Park.

  8. Fun Things to Do in Bamako

    Things To Do In Bamako. There are several things to do in Bamako that offer a unique cultural experience and a glimpse into the country's rich history. Here are some main attractions and activities to consider: . 1. National Museum of Mali: Explore the country's history and culture through a vast collection of artifacts, including traditional masks, musical instruments, and archaeological finds.

  9. Exploring Bamako, Mali: 10 Must-See Sights and Activities

    Here are the 10 top places to see and activities to do in Bamako, Mali. 1. Visit the National Museum. The National Museum of Mali is one of the top attractions in Bamako. The museum houses thousands of artifacts from all over Mali, including ancient artifacts from the Soninke Empire and the Mali Empire. Visitors can learn about Malian culture ...

  10. Must-see attractions Mali, West Africa

    Misire Mosquée. Mali. The classic Sahel-style Misire Mosquée, built in 1933, towers over the old part of town. Just before the rains in May or June the lower, mud-covered part….

  11. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako (Updated 2024)

    Parc national du Mali, Bamako. 125. National Parks. By Elisa ... Incredible place to see. No photos inside allowed. Read more. Review of: Musee National de Bamako. Written 24 November 2019. This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

  12. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Mali (UPDATED 2024)

    Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 5. Great Mosque Of Djenné. 39. Religious Sites.

  13. 8 Things To Do in Mali [Best Places to Visit in Mali

    Go ahead and visit so you can get to know more about Mali's local art scene. 7. Enjoy the capital! Photo by Mark Fischer CC BY-SA 2.0. As Bamako is the country's modern city, expect to find several interesting places and things that you can visit or do while you're there. There will be markets, botanical gardens, museums, and even craft ...

  14. The 8 Best Places to Visit in Mali

    It's the best place to visit in Mali for travellers who are fascinated by history as it houses one of West Africa's most significant UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Great Mosque of Djenné. The city was a major hub of trade and Islamic worship in the 15th to 17th centuries and is located approximately 400 km northeast of the capital Bamako ...

  15. 12 Most Beautiful Places in Mali to Visit

    The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Mali. Eager to explore the most stunning spots in Mali? Nestled in West Africa, this country offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. ... Step into a green oasis amidst the urban sprawl of Bamako. The National Park of Mali offers a refreshing escape from city life, making it a Mali beauty ...

  16. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

    See full details. 2. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 3. Parc national du Mali, Bamako.

  17. Top Things to Do in Bamako

    3. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 4. Zoo National du Mali. 78.

  18. A 1-week SAFE itinerary for Mali (2024)

    Backpacking in Mali for 7-8 days. If you have one full week to visit Mali, you may visit both Ségou and Siby and, if you dare, make a trip all the way to Djenné. Day 1 & 2 - Bamako. Day 3 & 4 - Ségou. Day 4 & 5 - Djenné and Ségou. Day 6, 7 - Siby. Day 8 - Back to Bamako.

  19. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako (Updated 2024)

    Top Things to Do in Bamako, Mali: See Tripadvisor's 4,475 traveller reviews and photos of 130 things to do when in Bamako.

  20. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

    3. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 4. Zoo National du Mali. 78.

  21. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Bamako (UPDATED 2024)

    3. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 4. Zoo National du Mali. 78.

  22. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Bamako

    3. Musee National de Bamako. 90. Speciality Museums. By Poleinahole. It's set inside a large leafy green garden with replicas of the most important monuments in Mali (separate entrance... 4. Zoo National du Mali. 78.