Ouagadougou Travel Guide

Easily one of the most pleasant capital cities in West Africa, Ouagadougou doesn’t exactly inspire travels, nor is there very much for people to do or see in the city.  However, the comfort of the city makes it a nice place to catch up on relaxation, internet, and whatever else you need before diving out into the heart of Burkina Faso.  Moreover, if you’re into music and nightlife, this is one of the better cities in the country to get out into the evening.  The fact that the city is fairly safe as well makes it a comfortable place to go out and explore the spoils of the night.  If for nothing else, Ouagadougou makes for a nice place to sit an wait for your Ghanaian visa.  Regardless of the lack of activities, most people gain some semblance of admiration for the city.

Time Needed: 2-3 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: 30-35 USD a day


Things to Do and See in Ouagadougou

As mentioned in the intro to this city, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of tourism activities set up in Ouagadougou.  In fact, when I was there the two biggest museums were under-construction and free from exhibits.  That being said, you’ll be able to find some worthy attractions to explore.

  • The Grand Mosque: Unlike the calm surrounding the mosque in Bobo-Dioulasso, this mosque is surrounded by the chaos of a market.  Both are fun to explore.
  • National Museum: Had no exhibits when I was there so ask before spending the money to get out here.
  • Mora-Naba Palace: It doesn’t look like much of a palace, but it the home to the Mossi chief.  If you’re around at 7am on a Friday, there is a ceremony worth watching.

Where to Eat in Ouagadougou

The food situation in Ouagadougou is surprisingly good.  Thanks to a healthy expat population, you’ll have a wide variety of foreign foods, a couple good supermarkets, and the nice local food to choose from.

  • Le Foret: This place has great African food including stuff from nearby countries like Senegal.  Meals run about $5-6 USD.
  • Le Verdoyant: Near the massive traffic circle, this place has fantastic pizzas and pasta.  Most of the crowd consists of expats.  Pizzas run about $12
  • Chez Tonti: If you’re looking for cheap as chips Burkinabe food, this is the place.  You can get a rice and sauce here for about $2 USD
  • Pavillon Vert: The hotel has good grub at an average price.  If you’re staying here it’s a convinient dinner grab.


Where to Stay in Ouagadougou

There’s a fairly decent array of places to stay in Ouagadougou, and like pretty much everywhere in the country it’s all pretty good value.

  • Pavillon Vert: This is where I stayed, and I doubt there’s anywhere of such good value.  I paid $15 for a private room with a fan.  The hotel also has free wifi and a restaurant along with tourist information.
  • Case d’Hotes: I stopped in here to check out the rooms and it’s a really nice place.  Unfortunately it was a little out of my price range at $30 a night.  They also had wifi.

Getting out of town

Ouagadougou, in many ways, is the center of this part of West Africa.  There are regular buses to just about everywhere in Burkina Faso.  There are also regular buses to both Mali and Ghana.

Back to the Burkina Faso travel guides

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