Bobo-Dioulasso's centrepiece, the expansive Grand Marché, is hugely enjoyable and atmospheric, and a wonderful (and largely hassle-free) place to experience a typical African city market. The market spills over onto the surrounding streets in a chaos of mopeds, wandering traders and general clamour, which together provide a lively counterpoint to Bobo's otherwise tranquil streets.
Occupying the market's inner circle are the fruit and vegetable stalls, watched over by colourfully clad women and surrounded by the overwhelming odours of the fish and meat sections. From here to the market's outer rim, impossibly narrow and labyrinthine lanes and makeshift stalls stock household wares and an excellent selection of African cotton prints – as well as reasonably priced tailors who can make clothing to your measurements from them in a flash. There's a small choice of masks, drums and objects in bronze and gold among the stalls in the southeastern quarter.