What you need to know
Bissau City is the Capital and the largest city of Guinea Bissau, a country that is situation on the Atlantic Ocean of West Africa After many years of civil war, the country is slowly reviving it’s on old charm, as the city is enchanted by old colonial building in need of urgent maintenance. The City was established in 1687 by Portugal as a trading center and fortified port, and country gain its independence in 1974. The major port, the administrative and the military center of the country and located in the city of Bissau, “as well as many touristic destinations”. Been Guinea Bissau such a small country, Bissau its capital offers the best starting point for enjoying the country’s most prominent attractions.
Area: 29.73 mi²
Portuguese is the official Language of Bissau and the country, however a sizable number of the population in this city speaks the Guinea Bissau creole. Bissau has an estimated population of 500.000 residents in the City, in which 50 of the population are Muslims, 15 Christians and the rest are devoted to traditional religion mainly (animism).
The unity currency used in Bissau is CFA (West African franc). In some ATMs in the Capital accept international visa cards. Try the Malaika Hotel or the ATM opposite the Kalliste Hotel.
Bissau has a tropical savanna climate, not quite wet enough to qualify as a tropical monsoon climate (Am) but much wetter than most climates of its type. Almost no rain falls from December to April, but during the remaining five months of the year the city receives around 2,020 millimetres (80 in) of rain. During the wet season and even during the three months beforehand, high humidity makes heat discomfort extreme.
Bissau is the country’s largest city, major port, educational, administrative and military center. Peanuts, hardwoods, copra, palm oil, and rubber are the chief products. The airport that serves Bissau is Osvaldo Vieira International Airport.
There are two Portuguese international schools in Bissau
- Escola Portuguesa da Guiné-Bissau
- Escola Portuguesa Passo a Passo
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 “não” (no) if people, already in the taxi, are going to another part of the city. Prices are more or less fixed, and you’ll normally not get cheated, except when you’re an obvious foreigner and taking a taxi from the airport or Hotel Bissau Palace. Group travel is cheaper, for example: 1 person 300 FCFA, 2 persons 300 FCFA, 3 or 4 persons 600 FCFA. There are also minibuses “toca-tocas” going on fixed routes, you’ll pay 100 FCFA a person for the ride, but the buses are often very crowded!