Guinea-Bissau - Top Tips

Super Seven

1. Bissau City Tour

For a capital city, Bissau is relatively small, but there's still enough to keep you occupied for a day tour of the city. There's some interesting monuments, the cathedral, the Presidential Palace, and plenty of colonial streets to satisfy your camera lens.

A very walkable city due to everything being compact. In my opinion, the National Museum is very poor in comparison to other museums across West Africa. Very run-down and in need of a full renovation, so only go if you have sufficient time after seeing everything else.

2. Fortaleza d'Amura

The fort was built in 1753 and is surrounded by decomposing walls. It's the headquarters of the Guinean military and labelled as being completely "off limits" for visitors, although pre-approval can definitely be arranged. There's some interesting sights within the grounds of the fort, including weapons, vehicles, and memorabilia, but perhaps more enjoyable for military junkies.

3. Cacheu

A town located in the northwestern region of the country, close to the border of Senegal. A very easy day trip from Bissau to visit what's still referred to as "Slave Coast" due to its strategic location. Top highlights are Cacheu Fort, albeit a little run down due to minimal tourist flow. Then the Slave Memorial Museum is also worth a visit, although sadly none of the information is in English. You'll still be able to see the Portuguese influence around the town from the colonial era.

4. Bafata

A small town located in the central region of the country and regarded as the birthplace of the countries favourite son, Amilcar Cabral.

The Amilcar Cabral Museum is definitely not worthy of the the sole reason to visit this town, but there's also some quaint streets with colonial architecture and handcraft items to buy. If you head towards the waterfront, you'll get a glimpse of everyday life, as well as some great bird watching.

5. Gabu

Gabu is a small town located in the eastern most region of Guinea-Bissau, with Senegal directly to the north. Similar to Bafata, it's a bit of a sleepy town in my opinion. Not a huge amount going on, so used more as a 'stop point' en route to elsewhere.

6. Celebrate a Political Event

Okay, so this one is more 'pot luck' when it comes to timing, but Guinea-Bissau do take their politics seriously and are said to hold more political events than any other country in West Africa. The streets come to life with the locals gathering to dance, eat food, and spread happy vibes.

7. Bissau Port

An easy walk from the centre of Bissau and worth a look to people watch. This is the 'hustle & bustle' area of the city where daily trades are carried out, cargo ships depart, and locals haggle over items for sale. If you're a photographer and like shots of locals, this is the area to explore.

Accommodation Advice

Hotel Imperio ticked the boxes for me. Centrally located directly on the main square opposite the presidential palace. The cost was $80 a night, so there’s definitely cheaper in this region of Africa, although I was mid-way through a long trip so wanted some comfort. Very spacious rooms, clean, with decent facilities. Fast WiFi throughout the hotel is also available free of charge.

Food Factor

Very rare my food recommendation will be within the hotel itself, but Hotel Imperio offers a “Friday Night Sushi Session” which was an absolute winner. Very high quality with local Japanese chefs on hand! You’re looking at $30 a person, hence worth noting that there are plenty of other local restaurants within close proximity offering meals for under $5.

Worth also noting that the Imperio Restaurant has a superb panoramic view of Independence Square!

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