Sights & Landmarks In Bissau
- Presidential Palace (Palácio Presidencial). During the civil war, it was bombed out. Rebuilt in 2013 with Chinese funds, it now serves as the president’s seat.
- Bissau Velho – the historic Portuguese colonial center There isn’t much life there anymore, but it’s still a pleasant location to wander around. Don’t overlook the jail with pink flowers painted on the front (At the corner of the fort, close to the harbour).
- Porto Pidjiguiti – Walk out to the little harbor and chat to the fisherman, observe the pelicans, and get a bird’s-eye view of the city. On 3 August 1959, the Pidjiguiti port was the location of the Pidjiguiti massacre, in which police shot down 50 striking dockworkers. This marked the start of the active opposition against the Portuguese colonial rule. To commemorate the tragedy, there is a monument styled like a massive black fist.
- Mercado de Bandim – The major market in Bissaus.
- Fortaleza d’Amura – An historic Portuguese fort that houses the mausoleum of national hero Amilcar Cabral as well as the graves of other revolutionaries. Amilcar Cabral’s car is also inside. It may be difficult to get in, but it is feasible if you make friends with the troops or obtain permission.
- National Ethnographic Museum (Museu Etnográfico Nacional) (On the university campus, opposite “Lenox de Bairro”). It is only open in the mornings and offers a limited collection of Bissau-Guinean wooden masks and sculptures, baskets, textiles, and other items. The staff is quite friendly and excellent at explaining the function of the various things and relating them to traditional spiritual beliefs.