With some 230,000 inhabitants, Bata is the largest city in the country, and it was the capital until 1969 when Malabo was chosen to replace it. Bata is starting to feel the effects of the petrodollar, and many new building projects are popping up in the city. Bata is a relatively clean and cosmopolitan city with nightlife, casinos, nightclubs and some nice colonial buildings. Other attractions are its markets and malls, and its promenade of more than 20 km.
- 1 Bata Airport (BSG IATA) (located some way north of the city). It has a 2.3 km runway that operates only during the daytime and in good light. Destinations include Malabo, Douala in Cameroon, Cotonou in Benin and Gabon's capital Libreville.
Ferries sail from Malabo and Douala in Cameroon, usually once per week. Bata has one of the deepest seaports in the region, but no natural harbor. A jetty has been constructed to facilitate offshore handling of ships cargo.
Attractions in Bata include:
- 1 The Promenade. about 20 kilometers long.
- 2 Freedom Tower (Torre La Libertad). by the promenade, changes colors at night thanks to a lighting system and has a revolving restaurant at the top.
- 3 Gran Mercado Central, ☏ . the Grand Central Market
- 4 St. James and Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral, Bata. is from the 17th century.
- Palacio Africa, the presidential palace.
- The Parliament building.
There are many beautiful undeveloped white sand beaches just outside the city, and you definitely don't have to worry about crowds. Particularly recommended are those at Mbini, some 50 kilometers south of the city.
Bata nightlife bounces all night long, but the nightclubs don't pick up the pace until quite late.
- 1 Ibis Bata, Paseo Maritimo (along corniche), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Clean albeit impersonal and with small rooms. Pool, rooms with ocean view. Restaurant/bar, free breakfast, wifi, a/c. Service can be a little hit or miss. 9642 GNF.