10 Best Things To Do in Bamako, Mali

by Arundhati Bhand Updated on 13 Oct 2018

Famous for being one of the largest city in West Africa, Bamako sits quietly on the banks of the Niger River. With a history that dates back to the prehistoric times, it is no wonder that this town is one of the tourist destinations that is gaining quick popularity.

Some of the best things to do in Bamako is to take the river cruise, enjoy the musical nightlife, attend sessions at the museums and indulge in multi-cuisine delicacies. Whether it be the continuous buzz of the scooters, or the drums taking over at night, the music of this city is contagious, and only a vacation here is enough to make you fall in love with it.

1. Musée National

One of the top things to do in Bamako, is to visit the Musée National. Home to the history of urban Bamako, and dedicated to preserving it and spreading the stories, this museum plays an important role in today’s Bamako. It is spread over three rooms, each of which has a distinct function. The first one is one of the most interesting ones, with the collection coming from Touré, Dravé, Niaré, and Bozo de Bamako families, it gives you an insight into the real world during their time. The second one exhibits everything related to the colonial period, while the last one is reserved for temporary exhibits.

  • Attraction Type: Museum
  • Address: Bamako, Mali 
  • Contact: 223 20 00 00 00 
  • Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 AM to 6 PM (Monday closed)
  • Official Website: museebamako.org

2. Marché de Medina

One of the many exciting places to visit in Bamako, is the Marché de Medina. What better place to experience the essence of the town than the local market! Fresh organic produce of vegetables and fruits fill up the market in the early hours of the morning. As the day progresses, you will find shops selling trinkets, the beauty parlors opening to pamper the ladies, and the flea market swarming with people bargaining to their heart’s content.

  • Attraction Type: Shopping
  • Address: Medina Coura Market, Bamako, Mali

3. Maison des Artisans

Another point of interest in Bamako for the shopping enthusiasts is Maison des Artisans. A shop that sells exclusive products made by the craftsmen of the town, you will find a range of interesting items here. Silverware, brass items, gold objects, and other jewelry items are what are famous here, although you may also find wood carvings and leather goods available.

  • Attraction Type: Shopping
  • Address: Bamako, Mali

4. Bamako zoo

One of the fun tourist attractions in Bamako, the Bamako Zoo is a must visit for all those who are travelling with children. Home to 100 species of animals including monkeys, crocodiles, lions, and elephants, 12 species of birds and 58 species of fish, it is spread across an expanse of 6 hectares. Its premises also include an artificial lake, and tall trees which try and provide the animals with a somewhat natural habitat.

  • Attraction Type: Zoo
  • Address: Bamako, Mali
  • Contact: 223 73 09 44 44

5. Tour d’Afrique

Located at the entrance of the city from the airport, Tour d’Afrique is one of the top attractions in Bamako. It is 46 meters tall, and its impressive architectural design is what makes people stay here for some time before heading inside. It symbolises strength and unity. If you get a chance to visit it at night, you will get to see it light up!

  • Attraction Type: Landmark
  • Address: Africa Tower, Bamako, Mali

6. Luna Park

One of the best amusement centers in Bamako, Luna Park is spread over an area of 1 acre. One of the top fun things to do around Bamako, the park has a number of rides for adults as well as children, a small shopping arcade, a gaming arcade and a restaurant. While the thrilling rides, the Ferris wheel, and the carousel are only part of this amusement park, the shopping arcade houses close to 20 shops and a number of eateries serving everything from pastries, to traditional African food.

  • Attraction Type: Amusement Park
  • Address: Ave Al Quds, Bamako, Mali

7. Parc National du Mali

Parc National du Mali is a pleasant arboretum in Bamako. While an early morning stroll is the perfect way to enjoy this park, another wonderful thing that you can do here, is organise events! In case you have some free time and are wondering what to do in Bamako, head here for a casual picnic. The park has a restaurant and picnic facilities within its premises. It was renovated recently and now includes a fitness trail, a gymnasium and children’s playgrounds.

  • Attraction Type: Park
  • Address: Bamako, Mali
  • Contact: 223 66 49 69 81

8. Grand Mosque of Bamako

One of the things to do near Bamako, is to pay the Grand Mosque of Bamako a visit. Built in the 1970s, this mosque is located near the central market, and other tourist spots. While it is usually open to the local residents, occasionally, tourists can also take a round and view the spectacular designs and architecture.

  • Attraction Type: Religious landmark, Mosque
  • Address: Bamako, Mali

9. Bamako Cathedral

Officially known as Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bamako Cathedral is an important religious site in this town. It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Bamako, and hence, it plays an important role in the society. The cathedral was built in the 1900s and was completed in the year 1925. It showcases a blend of modernity with traditional architecture, which is a delight to observe.

  • Attraction Type: Religious landmark, Church
  • Address: Rue de la Cathédrale, Bamako, Mali

10. Jardin du Cinquantenaire

An event venue of sorts, Jardin du Cinquantenaire is one of the most happening places in Bamako. The venue has an artificial waterfall and pond, along with many other sites like gazebos, caves, lush green spaces, and more! Perfect for hosting parties and events, you can even come here with your special someone to spend some quiet time.

  • Attraction Type: Event venue
  • Address: Bamako, Mali


Author: Arundhati Bhand
An animal lover at heart, marketer by education and artist by passion, Arundhati aims to seek out to all that satisfies her diverse interests. She believes that it is only through experiences that one learns, and a traveller of sorts, she strives to ...