Shopping in Bamako
Prices are not fixed, and for many goods bargaining is expected. Beware, sometimes for common items (like food) the first price mentioned is just right. On the market it might be a good idea to first ask a couple of times at different stands before actually buying something.
Near the area of Bamako-Coura is the lively artisan market where traders from all over Bamako come to sell silver jewellery, leather, musical instruments and wood carvings. Prices are reasonable but the vendors expect their customers to bargain and enjoy it when they do. Once inside the market the atmosphere is relaxed and pleasant but be careful in the busy streets directly surrounding - it's easy to lose a bag to a thief.
Euros are widely accepted.
from 2014 all the Ecobank ATMs in Bamako take master card/visa card for cash withdrawal'
You can eat like the locals for a few hundred francs cfa a day, or shop in one of the western-style supermarkets.
There is one main market, in the centre of town, and several smaller markets in Bamako.
Supermarket-style stores are generally run by Lebanese businessmen.
- La Fourmi Open 09:30-18:00
- Azar Open 09:30-18:00
- Supermarket Le Miniprix is actually the best one with the best service and with the lowest prices. They have a very clean store and are open 07:30-22:30. They also accept US/Canadian dollars and euro.
These stores will carry Western or Middle-Eastern goods, including cold cuts, fruit and vegetable, and dairy products including fresh milk and yogurt. Prices are generally higher than in Europe or the US, and choice more limited in a way reminiscent of a North-American convenience store.
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