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Bissau Guinea Bissau Cruise Port Guide


As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore.

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Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south and east. Guinea-Bissau's post-independence history has been checkered. A civil war in 1998, followed by the imposition of a military junta in 1999 has been replaced with a multi-party democracy. The economy remains fragile, however hopes are high.

Bissau Velho - the old Portuguese colonial center. Not much life there nowadays, but still a nice place to walk around. Don't miss the prison with pink flowers painted on its front (At the corner of the fort, close to the harbor).

Porto Pidjiguiti - walk out the little port and talk to the fishermen, watch the pelicans and see the city from a distance. The Pidjiguiti port was the site of the Pidjiguiti massacre on 3rd of august 1959, where police shot down some 50 striking dock workers. This became the beginning of the active resistance against the Portuguese colonial power. There is a monument shaped as a gigantic black fist commemorating the massacre.

Mercado de Bandim - Bissau's main market.

The presidential palace - bombed-out during the civil war, but still standing, though now only inhabited by bats.

Fortaleza d'Amura - old Portuguese fort, containing the mausoleum of national hero Amilcar Cabral and tombs of other revolutionaries. Inside is also Amilcar Cabral's car and a statue of him, given by Cuba some 20 years ago, but never raised, hard to explain why. Can be hard to get in, but possible, if you make friends with the soldiers or get a permission.

Museu Etnográfico Nacional (National Ethnographic Museum), on the university campus, opposite "Lenox de Bairro". Open mornings only, it has a small collection of Bissau-Guinean wooden masks and statues, baskets, clothes etc. The staff is very helpful and good at explaining the purpose of the different items, and connecting it to traditional spiritual beliefs.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

Shared taxis are cheap and plentiful. Stop taxis and tell them where you want to go (or tell the passing taxis by pointing), and they will either accept "na bai" (I'm going), or decline if people, already in the taxi, are going to another part of the city. Prices are fixed, and you'll normally not get cheated.

Before traveling, make sure you have yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations up to date. Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended - consult a medical doctor for advice on which type to choose.

Nearby Places:

Shopping and Food

The largest market in the country is Bandim Market, which is located on the main road going into town. You can buy many things there and the atmosphere is nice.


The West African CFA franc

Very few ATM's, Euro's are sometimes accepted.

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Portuguese spoken

There are numerous internet cafés in the center of Bissau.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

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