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Niamey Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

Niamey, Niger’s capital, is a bustling, relatively modern metropolis. Niamey is located in the Tillaberi area of Niger, on the banks of the Niger River.

Because it is the administrative, cultural, and commercial center, it normally provides decent amenities for budget and premium travelers. Niamey is known for its unusual open-air marketplaces, which are frequented by members of the Tuareg Sonuri and Fulani tribes, as well as wrestling, one of Africa’s best museums, and the gigantic Grand Mosque.

The climate is hot and semi-arid, with annual rainfall ranging from 500 mm (20 in) to 750 mm (30 in). The rainy season begins in May with a few storms, then transitions to a rainy season that lasts from June until early September, when the rains taper off swiftly.

The rainy season lasts from late June until mid-August. From mid-October to April, there is hardly little rain.

Throughout the year, Niamey is scorching hot. It is, in fact, one of the world’s hottest big cities. Four months of the year, average monthly high temperatures surpass 38 °C (100 °F), and no month has average high temperatures below 32 °C (90 °F).

The evenings are often chilly throughout the dry season, especially from November to February. Between November and February, average nightly lows vary from 14–18 °C (57–64 °F).

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Niamey | Introduction

Niamey – Info Card

POPULATION :  1,302,910
LANGUAGE :  French (official), Hausa, Djerma
RELIGION :  Muslim 80%, other (includes indigenous beliefs and Christian) 20%
AREA :  239.30 km2 (92.39 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  207 m (679 ft)
COORDINATES :  13°31′17″N 02°06′19″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 50.40%
 Female: 49.60%
ETHNIC :  Haoussa 55.4%, Djerma Sonrai 21%, Tuareg 9.3%, Peuhl 8.5%, Kanouri Manga 4.7%, other 1.2%

Tourism in Niamey

The Niger National Museum, which includes a zoo, a museum of vernacular architecture, a craft center, and exhibits such as dinosaur bones and the Tree of Ténéré, is one of the city’s most popular attractions.

There are other cultural institutions dedicated to the United States, France, and Nigerien, as well as seven main market locations, including the Niamey Grand Market, a traditional wrestling ring, and a horse track.

Tourism Information

The official (but tiny) tourist office is on the west side of Avenue du Président Henry Luebke (Tel. 73 24 47), just north of Place de la Fraternité, on the same block as the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (visa extensions).

Geography of Niamey

The metropolitan region, which spans approximately 250 km2 (97 sq mi), is divided by the Niger River and rests above two plateaus that reach altitudes of 218 m (715 ft). The river takes a number of large bends in Niamey after running practically straight SSE from Gao. The city was established on the river’s east (“left bank”) bank, which meanders from a west to east flow to run nearly straight south. Niamey is the starting point for a chain of marshy islands that stretch south in the river.

Internet, Comunication in Niamey

Satellite connection with Internet (slow) modem In the best hotels and in the city center, Wi-Fi is becoming more widely available and can already be bought on a ‘pay as you go’ basis using scratch-off cards.

The main post office is situated midway between the Place de la Concorde/Assemble National and Place Monteil on Rue de la Poste. On Boulevard de la Liberte, you’ll find DHL Express.

How To Travel To Niamey

Get In - By plane

Since the escalation of hostilities surrounding Agadez, Diori Hamani International Airport has been Niger’s sole international airport. It is situated in the city’s northeastern outskirts along Route National 1. (the main east-west highway in southern Niger).


Niamey is served by five major airlines: Air France (Paris-de Gaulle); Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca); Turkish Airlines,(Istanbul). Ethiopian airlines (Addis Ababa). Air Algerie (Algiers). Several West African airlines also serve the city. As of Jan 2015, these include Air Burkina (Ouagadougou); Air Mali (Bamako); ASKY Airlines (Abuja, Lomé, Ouagadougou); Sénégal Airlines (Bamako, Dakar, Ouagadougou); or Westair Benin (Abuja, Cotonou, Ouagadougou).


As of January 2013, Niger has no scheduled domestic flights. In recent years, a few different charter airlines have operated in the country (mostly transporting employees and management to the country’s remote mines), but they are extremely expensive (think tens of thousands of dollars or euros per flight hour) and, because there isn’t much demand, you’ll almost certainly have to pay for the return flight as well.


  • Immigration/Customs: You will depart from the aircraft, walk across the runway, and enter the terminal building when you arrive. If you have a visa, all you have to do is fill out an admission card and clear customs (remember to keep your yellow fever vaccine card easily available). You will not be able to get a visa at the airport if you do not have one. You’ll be on the first flight out. If it’s the next day, expect to spend the night at the police station. Previously, a visa on arrival could be obtained for €30. That is no longer the case. After collecting your luggage, proceed to the main arrival hall, which will be crowded with porters (see below), and you will see signs for any tours that include airport transfers here. Simply depart the arrivals hall and get a cab or bush taxi.
  • Airport Porters: Porters at the airport are keen to assist you in carrying your luggage, even if it means taking them from you, so hang on tight and gently reject if you don’t want assistance. If you desire their assistance, give them XOF1000-2000 or a few US dollars or comparable.
  • Currency Exchange: At the airport, you may exchange money, but not at a decent rate. Because the CFA franc is tied to the euro, the best exchange rate will be in euros. The US dollar and pound sterling (Bank of England banknotes only) may also be exchanged easily, although most other currencies will get a poor exchange rate or be denied.
  • Flight confirmation
    • Airport flight information: +227 20 732381  ** Air France: +227 20 733121/22
    • Royal Air Maroc +227 20 732853
  • Shopping: During flights, a few shops stay open even in the morning. Mostly food and drink, and a few small gifts.


  • Taxi: If you want a more pleasant welcome to Niger, or if your aircraft arrives late at night (as most Air France flights do), you’ll need to barter for a cab into town, which will cost you at least XOF3000 during the day and XOF5000 at night. If you’re leaving late at night, don’t forget to book a cab ahead of time! At night, there are relatively few people on the streets. The majority of hotels can arrange for a cab for you.
  • Bush Taxi: During the day, just exit the airport and go to the main road (Route Nationale 1), where you may hail a bush taxi (van) travelling right. They stop by on a regular basis. The cost is XOF125 per person, with no additional charges for luggage. They will drop you off at the Grand Marché, where you can easily get a white cab (XOF200-500/person) to any location in town. Go to the Grand Marché – Côté Château to return to the airport for your flight out. On the corner, there are two petrol stations. Several bush taxis (vans) are queued up in front of one, looking away from the Grand Marché and towards the airport. Say “aéroport” to them. It costs XOF125 per person once more. Within 5 minutes, the van generally fills up and departs. Walk inside the airport after getting off the bus in front of the terminal. (If you don’t know where the airport is, inform the young man in charge of the van, and he’ll notify you when it’s time to get off.) There are no gratuities necessary or expected.

Get In - By bus

Buses run between Niamey and Cotonou, Benin, and the trip takes 14 hours. If you don’t feel like making the whole journey in one go, you may rent a moto and stroll over the border between Gaya and Malanville. Buses and minibuses go to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and take around 10 hours. Foetchango, west of Niamey, is the location of the crossing. Finally, a bus service exists between Niamey and Gao in Mali, which may take up to 20 hours.

Niamey is connected to other parts of Niger through buses and bush taxis, notably Zinder and Agadez.

Get In - By boat

Despite the fact that the Niger River passes through the city and there are no obstacles to river navigation (rapids, waterfalls), there is no regular boat service like there is upstream in Mali. Many pirougue operators would happily transport you along the river for a low fee, but you must pick one that is headed in your destination. Pirougues run on sporadic timetables and are much slower and less comfortable than buses.

Get In - By car

WARNING: Highways leading to the north of Niamey pose a great risk to travelers’ safety. Several kidnappings have taken place in areas near the Mali border.

There are various roadways that connect Niamey to the rest of the world.

  • To the northwest: Along the north bank of the Niger, a recently paved highway connects the city with Gao, Mali, passing via Boubon, Farie, Tillaberi, and Ayorou. In the same way, a less-traveled path on the Niger’s south bank runs via numerous tiny villages to Tera in the Liptano area.
  • To the southwest: A major highway leads to Ouagadougou, Burkina Fasopassing through the towns of Lamorde, Kobadie, & Torodi.
  • To the south: A highway leads to W National Park, passing through Boyenga &Say.
  • To the southeast: A major highway leads through Koure & Birni N’Gaoure toDosso, where the major highway to Gaya & Benin heads south and the major highway to the eastern half of the country (Route Nationale 1) heads east.
  • To the northwest: A minor road leads to Route Nationale 1 at Dogondoutchi.
  • To the north: A minor road leads to Anderamboukane, Mali passing throughOullam & Bani Bangou.

Get In - By rail

The development of a new railway connection connecting Niamey, Dosso, and Cotonou is presently underway, with passenger service projected to begin in 2016. The railway will eventually connect to Burkina Faso as well. Next to the Hippodrome lies the Gare de Niamey train station.

How To Get Around In Niamey

Most West African cities did not have street addresses until the last decade. Between 2001 and 2002, Niamey constructed one of the most efficient programs in the area. The city was split into 44 parts, each of which was given a two-letter prefix and was named after existing neighborhoods (for instance, “GM” for “Grande Marche). Because the great majority of roads were unnamed, each one was given a number; streets running nearly parallel to the river were given even numbers, while cross-streets were given odd numbers. At junctions, almost 100,000 street signs were put to designate these roadways. Addresses were given based on their distance from the river, with even and odd numbers alternating on opposing sides of the street. As a result, the address 4735, Rue GM 12, Niamey is in the Grande Marche district, on Route 12. (which runs parallel to the river).

Get Around - By taxi

Taxis (little white automobiles) are readily available and simple to operate. Unless you expressly request a private ride, they are nearly always shared (1 person in the front, 3 in the rear). There are a few spots where cabs will wait for customers (airports, grand marches, etc. ), but for the most part, you just hold out your hand to the traffic, maybe offer a feeble wave, and say “taxi” or “taximan.” A shared cab fare is FIXED at XOF200 per person. Tell the driver your destination via the open window, and if he nods or remains still, you’re set to go. Providing a region of the city or a notable monument as the destination is preferable than giving an address. If he drives away, he wasn’t heading anywhere near your location; just call another cab. Before you get in the cab, the taxi driver will say quatre cent (French), deux courses (also French), or wah-haku (Djerma) to signal that the fare is twofold (XOF400). If you’re unsure about the price, call beforehand, particularly if you’re white and taking a cab near a hotel.

If you want the cab to yourself, the cost is XOF800-1000. Only from the bus station (XOF500) to the airport should you pay extra (XOF3000 or higher). After midnight, prices treble. Taxis often wait outside hotels searching for passengers; they generally attempt to charge more than the official rate or are just looking for single passengers (in which case they will not stop for other passengers and will charge you accordingly).

Taxi Bonbon, at, is a good number to contact if you need to pre-arrange things. He’s a kind person who enjoys chatting and flirting.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Niamey

5 communes, 44 districts, and 99 quarters make up Niamey.

The Niger River divides the city, which is only crossed by the Kennedy Bridge. With the exception of the university near the river (Gamkalle region), the southern side is mainly residential and of little tourist significance. From the bridge, the northern side extends out in all directions. The “downtown” region seems to be defined by Blv. de l’Indépendence and (further away from the river) Blv. Mali Bero. The “Place des Martyrs” at the bridge’s terminus emits the following:

  • Going left (northwest, Avenue François Mitterrand), you’ll pass the Hotel Gaweye and the Palais du Congrès on your way to Plateau/Issa Beri/Château 1 (Un), where you’ll find the bulk of government buildings, embassies (mostly along Rue des Ambassades), and upmarket homes. The stadium lies to the right (opposite Place des Forces Démocratiques) if you turn right at Place des Nations Unis, continue straight past Place de la République, and arrive at Blv. de l’Indépendance.
  • Straight on (northeast, Rue de Gaweye/Commerce/Kalley) to the Grand Marché, passing the Assemblée Nationale (by Place de la Concorde). You will pass through the neighborhoods of Abidjan where the Grande Mosquée (at Place de la Grade Prière), Police, and Centre Culturel Oumarou Ganda are located if you go around the GM. You access the “Dan Gao” region after passing via Boulevard Mali Bero.
  • The Nouveau Marché region is to the east (follow Rue du 1er Pont, Rue du Grand Hôtel, Ave. de l’Amitié), while the Sabon Gari and Poudrière neighborhoods are to the north (along Ave. de L’oua/l’Entente) (the Wadata handicrafts centre is at Blv. Mali Bero). If you continue right through the Place de la Bienvenue on Ave. de l’Amitié, you will pass the racing track, and the road will become Rue de l’Aéroport, which will take you past the airport and towards Koure.
  • You’ll pass the Grand Hôtel and enter the Terminus and Gamkalle Sebangaye neighborhoods if you turn right (southeast, Rue de 1er Pont, then Corniche Gamkalley).

There are just a few traffic signals in the area. There are various roundabouts where traffic from multiple directions merges; they are referred to as “Place _” and are hectic during rush hour but quiet the rest of the time. “Place des Martyrs,” “Place de la Concorde,” “Place de la République,” and “Place Mandela” are a few noteworthy roundabouts.

The names of roads change all the time. A road’s name is usually only associated with it for a few blocks. A 3-4 kilometer long straight road could have 5 or 6 sections with distinct names. For example, the road that runs parallel to the Kennedy Bridge is known as “Blvd de l’Université” on the south side, “Pont Président Kennedy” on the north side, “Rue de Gaweye” after Place des Martyrs, “Rue du Commerce” for a few blocks, and finally “Rue de Kalley” until it reaches the Grand Marché. And how long has it been? What with all the name changes? Only 2 kilometers!

Prices In Niamey


Milk 1 liter $ 2.15
Tomatoes 1 kg $ 2.30
Cheese 0.5 kg $ 7.00
Apples 1 kg $
Oranges 1 kg $
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.35
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $ 10.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $ 3.30
Bread 1 piece $ 0.70
Water 1.5 l $ 0.85


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $ 20.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $ 30.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $ 40.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $ 7.00
Water 0.33 l $ 0.85
Cappuccino 1 cup $
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $ 2.10
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.75
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $ 0.85
Coctail drink 1 drink $ 4.50


Cinema 2 tickets $
Gym 1 month $ 35.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $ 0.17
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $ 2.50


Antibiotics 1 pack $
Tampons 32 pieces $
Deodorant 50 ml. $ 3.60
Shampoo 400 ml. $ 3.40
Toilet paper 4 rolls $ 2.50
Toothpaste 1 tube $ 2.10


Gasoline 1 liter $ 0.90
Taxi Start $
Taxi 1 km $
Local Transport 1 ticket $

Sights & Landmarks In Niamey

Musée National Boubou-Hama and Zoo 

Avenue Mitterrand,  +227 20 734321.

Although the previous museum was substantially damaged by fire in 1980, the colonial French government erected this facility in 1959 as the L’Institute Francais d’Afrique Noire (French Institute of Black Africa). The museum is a prominent Nigerien destination and one of West Africa’s greatest national museums. Many Hausa-styled pavilions include exhibits on Nigerien history and culture, as well as exhibitions on traditional instruments, palaeontology/archaeology, clothing, and uranium mining. The national zoo has largely Sahelian creatures, which is dismal. Traditional-built homes, a modest bar, and several handicrafts vendors are among the other attractions on the campus. Water is pricey inside, so bring your own or purchase it outside. In the afternoons, 12:00-15:00, the exhibitions and stores are closed, but you may still observe the animals and craftspeople. The entrance fee is XOF1000, the photography permit is XOF1000, and the guided tour (in French) is XOF2500. There are two entrances, one on Rue du Musee and the other just across from the Palais des Congres.

Grande Mosquée

The Avenue de l’Islam is a street in Paris, France. The Grande Mosquée, a gift from Qadafi to Niger, is open for tours. Simply go up to the Grande Mosque’s front doors and the guardian will meet you and give you a tour. Or make an appointment with him ahead of time at His name is Issaka, and his phone number is You pay “whatever you believe is suitable,” but bear in mind that you’ll have to pay three times: the first is a payment to assist the mosque’s maintenance and charity operations; the second is a tiny donation for the mosque’s women’s room; and the third is a tip for the guide at the conclusion. So, each individual, you could pay XOF1000/400/1000, but the precise numbers are up to you. You may climb the minaret and snap photographs as part of the trip. The tours are available in French, Hausa, and Zarma. During prayer times, Fridays, and Muslim holidays, the restaurant is closed. He enjoys rushing you through things, so take your time and enjoy it. It’s possible that you’ll need to “remind” him of the minaret. Make sure you’re dressed modestly, with ladies wearing a head scarf.

Cathedral de Maorey

(two blocks NW of Place Maourey),  +227 20 733259.

The cathedral, which combines native and European design and décor, is the city’s main site of worship for the city’s minority (but still significant) Christian population. During sermons, this cathedral is highly active, and the congregation is well-dressed. Inquire at the Catholic mission for services in French and Hausa.

Grande Marché

This colorful and dynamic location, which is Niger’s biggest market and the country’s commercial center, comprises nearly 5000 booths (1500 of which are enclosed).

Centre Culturel Franco-Nigerien (CCFN)

Rue du Musée,  +227 20 734834.

They have a huge library (everything in French), a bar, a cybercafé, and provide French and Nigerien language training, as well as a terrific events program involving musical acts, debates, films, and plays across the street from the Musée Nationale. Pick yourself a copy of their performance guide and schedule your visits to Niamey around some of the city’s best concerts and events. The library and bar are fantastic venues to meet expats and locals who are interested in learning and meeting new people, even if nothing is planned.

Centre Culturel Oumarou Ganda

(near Wadata market & Ecogare (largest taxi hub in Niamey)), +227 20 740903.

This cultural center, like the CCFN, contains a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a bar, and a big library with a significant collection of French-language books and publications.

Things To Do In Niamey

Music performances

Concerts are routinely held at the CCFN & CCOG, and with capacities of a few thousand people, they may be rather exciting. Every Wednesday afternoon at 16:30 at the Centre Pour la Formation et Promotion Musicales (CFPM), there is a Rap Zone. People often congregate under the canopy of the trees. They sell instruments and provide tuition in drumming, dancing, and guitar. Almost every night, beginning about 20:00 or 21:00, live music is performed at the restaurant Djoumkoume in Chateau Un. There is an XOF1000-2000 cover on occasion. Take a cab to Pharmacie Chateau Un to get there. You then take a left instead of a right to go to Idrissa Nems. It will be on your left.

Along the river

You have numerous solid possibilities if you have a buddy with a car or can rent one. Travel a half-hour along the Tillaberry Road to the Island Campement of Boubon. Crossing the river costs XOF50 per person, and there is a lovely, moderately priced bar/restaurant on the island. For XOF5000, you may spend the night in a hut. Another alternative is the Relais, a riverside hotel that is only open on weekends. They provide a moderately priced lunch, camel ride, and pirogue cruise just down the road from the Niamey Golf Club on the Tillaberry road. Or simply sit back and enjoy a soda or a drink while watching the river. Plage La Pillule is the third choice, located 10 kilometers south of Niamey on the road to Say, right before the peage. Bring some water and lunch, then rent a shaded seat in someone’s riverside garden. There are also canoe rides offered. To get to the sand dunes, go up the wash for 2-3 kilometers. This “beach” is a favorite of Niamey’s upper crust.

If you don’t need to see hippos, river tours don’t have to be pricey. On each side of the river, you may rent a full non-motorized canoe for around 1000F per hour. Expect more haggling near the Kennedy Bridge and the hotels. Les Pirogues de l’Amitié, managed by Sani Boureima, 93-80-69-51, is one method to visit the hippos. Walk towards the river from the Grand Hotel. Turn left down the first side street and pass through the metal gate doors. They communicate in French, Zarma, Hausa, and a smattering of English. The vessel is a covered, motorized pirogue. You’ll have to haggle really hard. His beginning costs for two hours of seeing the hippos are XOF25,000-30,000, but with a lot of haggling and patience, Peace Corps volunteers have brought it down to 15,000 XOF. The boat can accommodate 10-12 persons. The cost of a one-day tour is $50.000. A 2-day boat excursion costs XOF80,000, and you must bring your own food and sleeping gear.

Other activities

  • The Hippodrome (Go to the Grand Marché’s Côté Chateau and look for the two petrol stations on the corner; perhaps, you’ll notice a line of bush taxis (vans) queued up; take one of them and get out at the hippodrome.) Spend an afternoon at the hippodrome watching the races. A race is organized on Saturday afternoons about 17h, and entry is free. Go for the atmosphere, the spectacle, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, a wager.
  • Stade de la Lutte Traditionelle (Traditional Wrestling), Boulevard de Mali Bero. To see one of these historic wrestling fights, you’ll need a lot of luck, since they only happen a few times a year and can only be arranged when crops are plentiful. When they do, it is by far the most popular sport, as well as the oldest, having a 2000-year history. Each of Niger’s eight districts sends ten leather loincloth-clad combatants to confront the 20-foot-diameter ring in the main national competition. The contest is won by the first person to fall or merely touch their knee to the ground. The average battle lasts roughly 12 minutes, however they may be as short as a few seconds. Even if you are not a sports fan, the cultural parts of the event, such as the opening prayer, praise poetry, salutations, gift-giving, traditional charms, and the champion’s enthronement, should keep you entertained.
  • Swimming Pools. Non-guests are allowed to use swimming pools at most hotels in Niamey for a minimal cost (often a couple thousand francs). The greatest pools are at Hotel Gaweye & Grand Hotel, which provide a beautiful view of the Niger River. Hotel la Fluviale (1,000F) and Hotel Sahel both have public swimming pools (the “Picine Olympique”, XOF1,000). To prevent paying for a filthy pool, request to view it beforehand.

Food & Restaurants In Niamey

Make a point of sampling all of the regional delicacies rather than sticking to ex-pat eateries. Niamey cuisine is outstanding, one-of-a-kind, and not to be missed. You did not go this far to consume the same cuisine that you do back home.

Budget Restaurants In Niamey

Le Gawlo senegalese restaurant

(Situated on the other side of the road ofthe nouvelle cité EAMAC in the Plateau quarter. Next to a Tuareg juweler which is worth the visit as well.)

The restaurant is open all day. Serves superb Senegalese meals (not the usual greasy, oil-saturated fare) for 1500F. They also sell a variety of natural juices such as bissap, jus de baobab, and ginger for 250F a glass.

Baobab Senegalese Restaurant

(Take a taxi to “Rond Point Maourey” and from there take the street that heads towards the Grand Marché. In less than a half-block you will see its old Maggi sign on the right. Alternately, take a taxi to “Grande Marché – Côté Maourey” and start walking towards Rond Point Maourey – you will see it on the left.). Opens at 12:30, but the food arrives at 1PM.

Food is offered till 7 p.m. at night. Favorites include sauce d’arachide (peanut sauce) for 800F (more for chicken or fish), yassa (onion-based Senegalese speciality with vegetables and meat) for 800F (more for chicken or fish), and spaghetti-poisson (spaghetti with fish) for 2000F. Additionally, they sell excellent bisap (sweetened hibiscus leaf beverage) for 200F/small bottle. According to some, the finest Senegalese cuisine in Niamey. It’s a good site to visit if you’re in the vicinity of Grande Marché or Petite Marché.

Fast Food de L’Année

Delicious 800F hamburgers or 1400F teazburgers (cheeseburgers). Possibly the greatest burgers in town (packed with fries). For vegetarians, there are egg burgers, fries, omelets, tuna burgers, and a variety of other items, including soft beverages. There are two places to go: 1) Take a cab north of the Grande Mosquée to the “Centre Cultural Oumarou Ganda.” Take a cab to Rond Point Grand Hotel, which is on the west side of the round point on the road that leads down to the Kennedy Bridge; 2) Take a taxi to Rond Point Grand Hotel, which is on the west side of the round point on the road that leads down to the Kennedy Bridge.

Ghanaian Restaurant

(Take a taxi to “Balafon – Pharmacie Independence” (just north of the Grand Marché).

Pharmacie Independence is located across the street from the restaurant.) Lunch (about 12:30 p.m.) and supper are available, however Sundays are normally closed. Try the fufu, which is wonderful at 500°F/bowl and comes with ample meat amounts. Bonkou — fermented corn dumplings with sauce – is another option if you’re feeling experimental. Soft drinks, PureWater, and other beverages are also available. The owners prefer to communicate in English. If you want a spoon, you must request one. If you’re in the Grande Marché area, this is a good spot to visit.

Grande Marché Hide-away

Head away from the marché from the Grande Marché’s Porte Principal (main entrance). A yellow-painted structure with the Flag beer sign may be seen on your left, nestled in amid other stores and concealed by a slew of street sellers. They feature an enclosed shaded patio with wooden booths and tables as you enter. They serve beer and soda, plus there are a number of street food vendors immediately outside selling a variety of foods.

Le Bar Snob

Food that is both delicious and affordable. A lady of Asian heritage is in charge. Make a reservation for the Chinese soup the day before ( Take a cab to “Pharmacie Inikwara” and walk half a block north. Out front, look for the large cement swan planters.

Maquis Africa Queen

Amazing cuisine prepared by a nice Cameroonian woman, as well as inexpensive beverages, are nestled away off the beaten path. Inquire about what she has available for the day, since the menu is fluid and what she has prepared for the day may or may not be on the menu. Try the Soupe de Viande ou Poisson, a mouthwatering beef soup with a hint of Thai lemongrass. Eba with sauce feuille (manioc fufu with a chapata topping that tastes like sautéed spinach), Eba with Ndole sauce (salty but wonderful), and Riz Cantonais are three more great meals. (Again, some of the items listed above are not on the menu; ask for them or inquire about what she has that day.) There’s also a tasty steak with sautéed vegetables, as well as the usual suspects like fries, petit pois, mixed salad, and aloco (plantains, when in season). To go to Rond Point Maourey, use a cab. If you’re facing the hotel, take the street to the left and go 12 blocks. Most plates range in temperature from 600 to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, while conjunctures are 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Restaurant Atlantique aka Ziggy’s

To go to “Hotel Sahel,” use a cab. Before he enters the hotel, get out of the cab. Turn left at the Piscine Olympique, which is 20 feet down the road (east). Walk through the deserted parking lot, past the nice guardian on his bicycle, past the often-empty Olympic pool (where you can swim for 1000F if it’s open), and into the restaurant. Food and beverages are bought individually and are billed separately. Conjunctures (little Bière Niger) are 600F, whereas cokes are 300F. Brochettes (steak – pronounce “filet”, merguez – beef sausage, tongue, liver, and kidney) for 250F, French fries, peas, green beans, and fried plantains when in season — each of these dishes is 1000F. A wonderful salad (at your own risk), 12 chicken, or entire chicken are also available. Because of the outstanding vista, it’s a great site to take freshly arriving guests for sunset.

Restaurant Liberté

To go to Rond Point Liberté, use a cab. Begin heading in the direction of the Stade, which will be found on the right. It is handled by a kind Sudanese man who is fluent in English. Because the prices he tells you in English are in Nigeriannaira, you must multiply them by 5 to get the CFA equivalent. For example, if he says 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it is really 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In any case, they provide delectable steak, fries, salad, rice, and sauce, among other things. After a shopping excursion to the Grande Marché, this is a nice area to visit.

Mid-range Restaurants In Niamey

Amandine Cakes

Lattes, goat cheese soup, pain de chocolat, pain des epinards, salads, sandwiches, Lebanese specialities, and a plethora of other delicacies are all available. It is a popular favorite among those who enter its doors since it is bright, clean, and contemporary. It’s a short taxi ride to “Score” (by Petite Marché), which is located just across the street.


A posh rooftop hideaway with views of Rond Point Maorey. Drinks, meals, late-night dancing, pedicures, and watching the world go by are all available up there. Have a beverage and keep an eye on the rond point for any mishaps or near misses.


Located on Tillaberi Rd,  +227 20 724405. Opens at 7:30PM.

Lebanese Cuisine. To go to “Pharmacie Yantala,” take a cab. This comfortable eatery serves authentic Lebanese cuisine. The mezzé is the meal to order: for 10,000F, you may get a sampling plate of taboulé, hummus, baba ganouj, meat pies, and other Lebanese specialities. Also delicious are the falafels and chawermas. The service is kind and prompt.

Ile de Gorée Senegalese Restaurant

Chateau 1 (I-M).

Food is provided from 12:30 p.m. until it runs out, and then again from 7 p.m. till it runs out. Quality Senegalese cuisine is also available at Chateau 1. Prices are somewhat more than in other Senegalese establishments, but they are still reasonable. Take the eastern road down a little distance on the left from the major Chateau 1 crossroads.

Le Damsi Continental

+227 20 734491.

Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all available. The large and diverse menu, which includes everything from burgers and pseudo-milkshakes to genuine Chinese and even Japanese cuisine, has made it a favorite among foreigners. Pizza is worth a try. On Rue du Souvenir, Sonara I Building (same building as AIR FRANCE).

Le Djinkounme

+227 20 722181. lunch from 12:30– 2:30PM, dinner 6:30–11PM. Closed Mon.

Excellent ambiance, with eating either outdoors or in a little hut. Food from across Western Africa. The menu is well-described, and the waitress assists you in placing your order to ensure that you will enjoy your dinner. Brochettes are excellent. Just north of Chateau Un on the same road as the BraNiger outlet.

Dragon D’Or

+227 20 734123. lunch 12-2PM, dinner 7PM to midnight.

Chinese. You may eat outside or indoors. A/C. A Chinese family owns and operates the business. The meal is delicious. You can’t go wrong with this selection. Look for the Christmas lights at the rondpoint Grand Hotel. Karaoke is held on Friday evenings.

Idrissa Nems

Chinese cuisine that is both inexpensive and tasty. Tell the taxi driver that you want to go to Pharmacy Chateau Un. They will deliver, but you will have to pay for it, and there is typically a wait, so place your order early.

Le Gourmet

Another well regarded Lebanese restaurant in Chateau 1. Off the main road, which becomes Maurice Delens. On the same side of the street as ChouBoy and Jojo Market, look for the plaque.

Maquis 2000

+227 20 735556. West African.

Lunch and supper are available. Both Americans and Nigerians frequent this renowned African eatery. A Cote d’Ivoire native owns the establishment, which is fairly priced and has a pleasant environment. Two people can be fed with only one plate and a few side dishes. It’s a bit difficult to locate and the service is sluggish, but it’s well worth the effort. Not far from the Baptiste Eglise.

High-End Restaurants in Niamey

La Casbah

+227 20 752602. Opens at 7:30PM.

Cuisine from North Africa. Turn onto Maurice Delens toward Mali Bero if coming from Tillaberi, and then take the first left. You’ll see the sign right away. Delicious couscous meals and traditional Algerian tadjines are served at this charming and nicely designed restaurant. As an appetizer, try the Salad Casbah, which has a variety of tomato, eggplant, and green peppers. Try the Couscous Royale, which comes with a generous quantity of chicken, mutton, and sausage brochettes. They also offer an excellent cocktail menu, which includes daiquiris. The service is excellent.

Chez Chin’s

+227 20 722528. Lunch 10:30PM to 2PM, dinner 5:30PM – 11PM.

Chinese. Excellent meal that is quite popular. There are fresh noodles and hot pot available (order one day in advance). Because of its romantic ambience, this is an excellent choice for a date. Excellent for family dinners since the service is quick and the kids can run about the garden, look at the animal menagerie, or play on the swings and monkey bars. Located on Tillaberi Road, next to Pharmacie Yantala. Take a taxi to OMS, which is just across the street.

La Diamangou

+227 20 735143.

Lunch and supper are served. Call ahead for times because they change. Cuisines from France and Africa On Gamkalley’s Corniche. Dine on a sailboat. Sunday lunch is only available by reservation. Service was sluggish, but the meal was delicious. It’s good for a change of scenery. It is also feasible to charter a boat and dine while sailing the Niger. 30,000F per person, with a minimum of ten persons.


+227 20 734050. Opens at 6PM.

Cuisines from France and Africa. The service is a tad sluggish, but the atmosphere makes the dinner worthwhile. Located two blocks beyond Dragon d’Or, immediately across from Commisserate Central. Excellent fish meals and pizza. Free bread with pimento salsa is served. Local music groups perform on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 9 p.m.

Le Pilier

+227 20 724985. Lunch 12:30PM – 2PM, dinner from 6:30 – 11:30PM. Italian.

Another expat favorite, both for sweets and meals. Ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, as well as homemade pastas. Cappuccino and tiramisu are also available. Everything on the menu is delicious. The address is Rue de la Tapoa.

La Pizzeria

+227 20 741240. lunch 11:30 – 1:30PM, dinner 6:30 – 10:30PM. Closed Mon. Pizza and Pasta.

Take-out or dine-in. There is a large variety of pizza toppings available, and the service is rapid. Good thin-crust pizza in a relaxed environment. Calzones are also delicious. It’s ideal for youngsters since they can watch the chef bake the pizza. By Croissant d’Or on Rue du Commerce, near Rue de Combat. Tell the taxi driver to take you to the “Siege BIA,” which is just down the street on the right.

Le Shanghai

+227 96 903437. Chinese.

Lunch and supper are included. Dine indoors or outside. There is air conditioning and private party rooms available. The same people that own Le Dragon D’Or own this restaurant. The meal is excellent. One block south of the junction of Maurice Delens on Mali Bero.


+227 20 735818. Opens for dinner at 7:30PM. French cuisine. Reservations required.

A really lovely restaurant featuring photographs of the Sahara Desert and Tuareg people. The proprietor will offer a PowerPoint presentation if you inquire ahead of time. The meal is delicious. Avenue de President Karl Carsten is located just off the Place de la Republique.

Le Watta

Elegant Ivorian eatery. Tell a cab to take you to the “Station Terminus,” then walk north 12 blocks. It’s close to the Grand Hotel and the Hotel Terminus. Serves “Western” cuisine as well as a range of West African specialties. The staff is pleasant.


Very little quantities, yet a broad variety of tasty cuisine and a nice Australian proprietor.

Other food tips

Zenabou’s Dumbou Stand

Niamey’s greatest street cuisine! It’s well worth the journey. Take a cab to “Sonara Deux,” a large 9-story edifice adorned with tan crosses. If the cab driver does not recognize the name, say “Maternité Issaka Gazoby,” which is located across the street. Alternatively, you may go from Petite Marché, through Rip-off Row, and on to Sonora Deux, which is the second tall building on your right. Wrap your way around the building to the front (walking towards the bridge). On the right, she has a yellow and red Maggi hanger. Sit on the wooden seats, and when your time comes, she’ll gesture to you and ask what you want.

Because she is quite popular, expect a 15-minute wait to be served. Obtain the dumbou with everything. Dumbou is a popular Niger delicacy made out of maize couscous, steaming moringa greens, black-eyed peas, a tomato-squash sauce, and spices. Women may get 150F (waranza in Djerma) and males may receive 200F (way-tachi in Djerma). Meat is optional, but it makes an excellent complement to the dumbou. Try the pounded/pileéd guinea fowl combined with sesame and spicy pepper for 100F (in Djerma, say “Ham, waranka” to mean “meat for 100F”). Be cautious since the pounded guinea chicken flesh includes bones. Mon-Fri, 12:30-4:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The man with the cooler next to her sells a gingery lemu-hari drink for 50F (small) or 100F (large), as well as PureWater and yogurt. If you’re in the vicinity of the Petite Marché or the Musée, this is a good spot to visit.

Nigerian Hot Pockets stuffed with curried mashed potatoes, and other goodies

To go to Rond Point Liberté, use a cab. Head north for about a third of a block, and she’ll be on the left, with the hot pockets on display in a glass case next to a little blue-painted business. She is Nigerian and fluent in English. The prices are reasonable. If you’re visiting the Grand Marché, this is a wonderful spot for a bite. Go to Côté Maourey from the Grand Marché and stroll down the road towards the Stade. You’ll see Pharmacie Liberté and the round point in a few blocks. She also serves delectable fried dough cakes encased in hard-boiled eggs.

The Meat Sandwich Guy

The meat sandwich vendor is located on the Mali-Bero road on the left, slightly west of the Stade road. Taxi to “Pharmacie Mali-Bero,” then walk a half-block to his red Nescafe stand directly beyond the technical school, with the pharmacy on your left. He is available to coincide with school breaks. He is available to service between the hours of 10 a.m. and 16 a.m. Most Peace Corps volunteers just swing over for his excellent meat sandwiches filled with fries. He is, however, more than simply meat sandwiches. His omelet sandwich is a must-try for vegetarians. His nacho fries, on the other hand, come highly recommended. This is a mountain of fries topped with seasoned ground beef or a fried egg, sauce, mayo, and other toppings at about 750F. Sit down, order the fries, and grab a cup of coffee to go with it. It’s really worth spending some time there rather than simply getting take-out.

Fried cheese (Wagashi)

This is a seasonal delicacy that comes to us from Benin and Togo. It is sold at the Petit Marché in the form of red discus-shaped rounds, which you can then cook yourself. It is not recommended to consume it uncooked. There are also two ladies who sell it fried and ready to eat. One is immediately behind Score, near the blue-walled Senegalese Restaurant. Ask around since she isn’t usually present. The other is at the petrol station “Station Katako” on the road heading into town from the Stade, among the trees that form the Tillaberi and Gotheye bush taxi station on the north side of the roadway. She offers a variety of chichena (fried bean cakes) and patatas (fried sweet potatoes), among other things, so the cheese is occasionally concealed within the pile. Look for it in a little plastic dish in the midst of her goods. Purchase some (25F each) and pair it with rice from the rice woman a bit farther west.

A great street food lady with fufu and wagashi under a big tent

Wagashi (friend cheese) is also sometimes offered in a very popular food tent that operates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the street heading south, across from the Grand Mosquée. It is located at a crossroads on the great mosquée compound’s south-eastern corner. A swarm of taxicabs is normally parked there while drivers have breakfast/brunch. Excellent pounded yam (fufu) with lemu-hari drink.

Good hand-made grilled sausage

Taking a cab to Cinema Soni, exit at Avenue Arewah. Begin your journey north on Avenue Arewah. Pass through one crossing and then search for him half-way down the school’s blank wall on the right. He is sometimes camouflaged amid the Ghanaian semi-trailers that utilize the wall as a rest stop.

“Pepperoni-style” hand-made grilled sausage

To go to Rond Point Eglise, use a cab. Head south to Marina Market. He’s a block or two down at a Maggi grill on the left. 250°F/sausage plus condiments In the afternoons and evenings, he is present. If he isn’t grilling, he may not seem to have sausage, but he keeps the cooked meat covered and warm, so ask!

Grilled Meat

A meat griller with a Maggi station is located down the road from the pub La Toulousain/Ebenezers. Cars are constantly parked nearby, ready for well-seasoned meat. President Tandja is said to prefer to obtain his meat from here. Grilled mutton, on the other hand, can be found on practically every street corner in Niamey and is always tasty. Indicate if you want meat or fat. A modest meal for 1-2 persons costs 500F.

Fried plantains

During the season, they may be seen on each side of the crossroads created by Avenue Arewah and Boulevard de l’Independence just north of the Grand Marché. One of these ladies prepares them as small fried banana bread balls that go well with sugar or her spicy salsa. She is Ghanaian and speaks English.

Delicious Kilishi (beef jerky)

Kilishi is a Niger speciality. There are three flavors to choose from: basic, hot pepper, and spicy peanut sauce. Never purchase it from Katako Marché since it is dried directly above the aluminum smelters (worth seeing sometime). Instead, try one of the smaller businesses in town, such as the drying racks immediately east of Round Point Liberté or the Yantala night market. If you purchase it on the street, ask the vendor where it was created since you don’t want it dried in Katako.


Dégué are little millet balls that taste like whole-grain tapioca pudding when mixed with yoghurt. Excellent dégué is accessible at “Nigelec siege” in Plateau, only a short walk from the Centre Culturel Americain. Martine’s stall is tucked away next to a woman selling dumbou, but if you inquire, someone will send you in the proper direction. It is normally offered in sachets in increments of 150, 200, and so on, or you may sit down and enjoy the dégué with a plastic bowl and ladle. Dégué is also sold by vendors at the Grand Marché if you’re in the mood for a snack while shopping. Alternatively, inquire about where you are to see if somebody is selling out of their concession near where you are staying.

Best bisap and apollo in town

Bisap is a sweetened hibiscus-leaf beverage with mint. Apollo is a frozen slushy with a deep, rich taste created from the baobab fruit. For 200F, take a cab from the Grand Marché or Petit Marché to Lamordé Ganda. Pass the large mosque and exit through a white-walled square store with a blue-green entrance a little farther on the left. If it’s closed, go to the courtyard on the right and ask for Rashida.


Masaki’s has live music on certain evenings. Take a taxi to Mairie Commune 1 and then walk east. Look for their flyers or call to find out what’s going on. A Frenchman and his Nigerien wife operate it. It also functions as a hotel with beautiful rooms.

Shopping In Niamey

Market prices

  • Shirt material comes pre-cut and wrapped in a plastic bag, 1500-2000F for short sleeve (manches courtes, 1.25m) or XOF2000-2500 for long sleeve (manches longes, 1.5m). You can get it non-pre-wrapped too.
  • Linen is XOF1000/m.
  • Satin ribbon that is about 1.5cm wide is XOF25/yard.
  • Used socks are around 3 pairs for XOF1000. New socks are around XOF400-450 each.
  • Men’s thrift-shop pants: XOF1,500
  • Men’s pre-made shirts: XOF1,500F-2000
  • Sunglasses are 500F for the all plastic models and XOF600 for the kind with a little metal accenting the plastic.
  • Cheap earrings from China: XOF100 or 150.

Grande Marche

One of West Africa’s finest, most diversified, and most tranquil large marketplaces. The market offers a diverse range of products for sale, including retail items and packaged foods, wholesale boxes of foreign goods, and hot, fresh meals. Fabric, tailors, home items, sports gear, automobile components, flip-flops, head scarves, baby outfits, and a variety of other things are sold in narrow, shaded aisles in a grid layout. Goods and delicacies from around the nation are available for purchase, with kiosks selling imported things from West Africa and elsewhere scattered throughout. There’s also an area for handicrafts and traditional clothing, however other markets are just as excellent or better for finding them. The Grand Market, which was established in 1950 and reconstructed in 1987 following a fire (at a cost of almost 5 billion francs! ), receives an estimated 20,000 visitors every year. Unfortunately, in May 2009, an electrical fire destroyed over 1500 of the booths.

Petite Marché

The primary fruit and vegetable market in town may be unpleasant owing to annoyance, harassment, nagging, overcrowding, and significantly inflated costs for tourists. The “Supermarche Haddad” is set up like a Western supermarket and is owned by Lebanese males. It sells largely imported European (expensive) packaged goods, sliced-to-order meats, alcohol, and health/beauty items. Many of the same fruits and vegetables, as well as certain meats and durable goods, may be found at other quieter, more pleasant neighborhood markets; nonetheless, the range of specialty items and beauty products here is excellent (cereals, cheese, cookies, etc.).

Other Good Markets

The cobblestone-paved Marché Albarka is one among the cleanest and newest – an excellent site for new tourists for a “market warm-up,” plus there’s an air-conditioned SahelCom internet café outside (500F per hour, 250F per half-hour). Marché Bonkaney is another fantastic option — it’s pleasant and sells a little bit of everything. The Yantala market is both large and relaxed. Other alternatives are Nouveau Marché and Wadata Marché. Wadatta also has the advantage of being situated close to the Wadata Artisanal Village, which offers a free alternative to the Musée. Of course, try the Marché de Nuit (called Night Market) in Yantala at night. To go to any of them, just give a cab the name of the market.


Niamey, like other places of West Africa, offers an excellent assortment of brightly colored pagne textiles. Each pagne is 2m long and is usually offered in 3-pagne sets (in other words, 6m.) Sometimes they will sell you one pagne or two pagnes, while other times they will only sell you three pagnes. Just 1/2 block down the street from the Porte Principal of the Grande Marché, there is a diverse range of pagnes (30 or more shops/stands). 90% of those in that section cost XOF5,000 for three pages. If you simply want one pagne and they are ready to chop it, it should cost XOF2,000. If it’s the ENITEX brand (produced in Niger), it’s a little cheaper – three pagnes for XOF4,000, or one for XOF1,500. There are a few brands that cost more than XOF5,000 (XOF7,000, XOF12,500 and above), particularly at the Grande Marché.

Nightlife In Niamey

Remember that alcohol is often outlawed in Muslim culture, so take additional precautions to keep inebriated improper conduct behind closed doors and out of the public sight. Most of the Western-style restaurants listed above offer beverages, and ‘Restaurant Atlantique’ in particular has a fantastic river view, particularly around dusk.

Sorghum beer bars

Three Burkinabé millet or sorghum beer establishments (known as dolo or tchouk) may be found in Yantala Ancien, behind the French Embassy. The most convenient way to begin is to have a taxi drop you off on the paved road that runs along the east wall of the French Embassy. Begin your journey by going down the dirt path that goes along the North (rear) wall of the Embassy. You’ll come upon a Christian Pentecostal church. After the church, take the first right, then the next right, and finally the following left. She manages the business out of her courtyard, is really lovely if you are courteous to her and her children, and will assist in keeping the drunks at away. It’s best to go in the late afternoon. It’s also a fantastic cultural experience since virtually everyone there is from Burkina Faso.

If you want a chilled dolo, bring some ice. She has dolo on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and sometimes Mondays. On other days of the week and on weekends, two different ladies make it. For the other two, go to the first woman, act as if you didn’t realize she wasn’t serving that day, and give a youngster 50 francs to take you to the next place. Alternatively, from Rond Point Yantala, travel a few streets towards the French Embassy before turning right on a diagonal road. Take the next right, then a fast left into her complex, which is located at the end of a long and narrow route between her residences. The only issue is that there are two diagonal roads… choose the first one and then ask someone if you get lost.

Other bars

  • L’Epervier (The Night Market Bar), Marché de Nuit–Yantala. This bar is best visited right before sunset. When it gets dark, go inside and enjoy a drink and some street food (both outdoors and inside) at the intimate locals-only pub. Then, under the glare of black lights, walk out on the street and browse for current attire among the swarms of young men and women.
  • La Legone, Nouveau Marché (Two or three blocks west of the Nouveau Marché on one of the diagonals coming out of the marché). A residents’ hangout. It has a terrific atmosphere and is located in the Nouveau Marché area. If you like local cuisine, the beer is cool, and they provide terrific lunch and supper options. It’s well worth the drive to a local pub in a non-expat neighborhood.
  • La Cloche, Avenue Luebké,  +226 20 732462. Pool tables and a laid-back ambiance, but it’s obviously for rich locals and foreigners. Great drinks and Lebanese and Western cuisine. The pub has some pleasant folks if you don’t mind the overwhelming quantity of prostitutes.
  • Grand Hotel Terrace, BP 471, Gaweye, +227 20 732641. The Grand Hotel also features a famous bar with a spectacular river view, which is particularly nice around sunset. Thursday and Sunday evenings include jazz and happy hour brochettes.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Niamey

Niamey is a safe city, however keep the following in mind:

  • Carry as few items as possible.
  • Guys, keep an eye on your wallet in your rear pocket.
  • For girls, Be wary that they might cut the strap of your luggage and flee.
  • The most hazardous areas are those where the road crosses the ravine that runs through town, such as close to the Stade (between the Stade and Katako) and between the Musée and Hotel Gaweye. Robberies are more prevalent in that area since the culprits may easily slip into the ravine.
  • The water in the city is normally safe to drink, although it may be dangerous at times.

The dress code is substantially stricter than in other West African nations. If you look around at how the bulk of the locals dress, you will see that it is insulting if you are not dressed conservatively. Shorts, above-the-knee skirts, and tank tops are often frowned upon in the capital, Hausa areas, and farther north. This will also assist to reduce harassment. It’s also worth noting that people in Niamey dress up as finely as they can afford, so it’s not a good idea to dress like you’re “slumming.”



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