West African Franc (CFA)

Crioulo, Portuguese, French, another 20 or so dialects

Top things to do

National Park in Ilha de Orango

Parque Nacional das Ilhas de Orango

Though it consists of several other islands (Ilha de Imbone, Ilha de Orangozinho, Ilha de Canogo and Ilha de Meneque), the heart of Parque Nacional das Ilhas de Orango is its namesake, Ilha de Orango. Travellers...

Nature Reserve in Buba

Parque Natural das Lagoas de Cufada

Sandwiched between the Buba and Corubal Rivers, this 890-sq-km park is the largest wetlands reserve in Guinea-Bissau. Kayaking across placid waters on an early morning amid twittering birds (there are an...

International in Bissau

Papa Loca

Fittingly, for a restaurant with hodgepodge decor, Papa Loca's large (and physically heavy) menu ranges far and wide: from omelettes and large thin-crust pizzas to regional specialities, to gelato for dessert....

French in Bissau

O Bistro

This Belgian-owned spot has all the right ingredients: excellent, reasonably priced mains, including good pasta, fresh catches, sautéed vegetables and crepes au chocolat; friendly service; a well-stocked bar; and...

Arts Centre in Quinhámel


An inspiring community project that introduces visitors to the traditions of the Papel people. Pano de pente, symbolic weavings made by Papel men on large makeshift looms, are used in a variety of ceremonies and...

European in Bissau

Dom Bifana

Adjacent to Bissau's parliament building, this classy restaurant serves up more than just bifanas (Portuguese sandwiches). Expats and parliamentarians come for steak, finely grilled shrimp and divine desserts. It...

Portuguese in Bissau

Adega do Loureiro

This old-style Portuguese restaurant a short walk from Praça Ché Guevara is a great place to down carafes of red wine. The bacalau (salted flakes of cod) is salty and succulent, the pork chops are flavoursome and...

International in Bissau

Kalliste Restaurant

Hotel Kalliste's crumbling poplant-lined courtyard buzzes at night, attracting everyone from tired UN lawyers to politicians, activists, international volunteers and mosquitoes. There's live music most evenings....

Market in Bissau


Everything from fresh cherry tomatoes to oysters to black-and-white cloth embroidered with the image of Amílcar Cabral is for sale at Bissau's main market. It's sprawling and chaotic, lining the main artery out...

Carnival in Bissau


Bissau and Bubaque's Carnaval are the country's biggest parties. It takes place every year in February or early March during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Music, masks, drinking...

Arts & Crafts in Bissau

Cabaz di Terra

Diagonally across from Ta Mar Restaurant is Cabaz di Terra, which stocks Guinean throws, handbags and jewellery. Part of the store is devoted to condiments such as jars of honey, corked cashew juice and...

Arts & Crafts in Bissau

Centro de Arte Juvenil

Not only a good place to shop (prices are actually marked and there's no pressure to buy), but also a fine introduction to the arts and crafts of Guinea-Bissau's many ethnicities. Purchases help young trainees...

International in Bissau

Império Hotel Fast Food

There's no better meeting place than this casual eatery with alfresco dining on the city's central roundabout. Hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza and the like are served up quickly, as is a good selection of pastries...

Portuguese in Bissau

La Padari Africana

Like most restaurants in the city, it doesn't look like much from the outside, and service is slow. However, the fish and beef brochets can be recommended. It's next to the old football stadium, Estádio Lino...

Portuguese in Bissau

Almagui Restaurante

The Portuguese owner has created a relatively serene space, far from the centre on the way out to the airport. Food quality tends to vary. Popular with meetings and parties, so not always open to the public.

Club in Bissau


Guineans and expats head to Saboura to dance to Guinean and African beats until the sun comes up. The place is usually teeming on Thursday nights. Saboura is in the Pilom neighbourhood.

Club in Bissau


At X (pronounced 'sheesh') Club, join the odd assembly of hard-working UN staff, shady businessmen and sparkling party folk on their glitzy trip through the night.

Pizza in Ilha de Bubaque


Authentic wood-oven pizza and other Italian dishes served up in a nice al fresco dining area by the gracious Spanish owner/chef. A short walk up from the port.

Market in Guinea-Bissau

Canchungo Market

The lively market in the small town of Canchungu is worth a stop when travelling to/from Cacheu – pick up some hand-woven baskets before moving on.

Portuguese in Bafatá

Ponto de Encontro

Moved from its previous location, this place is run by a friendly Portuguese family. Head there for hearty fare and a glimpse into Bafatá's past.