Zinder is a city in Southern Niger.
Capital of Niger until 1927, when it moved to Niamey.
 Get in
 By plane
There's a small airport that has a bar open at night. Finding a taxi is next to impossible unless you have someone at hand who can help you find one.
 By car
 By bus
Taking a bus to Zinder is the best way and, if there are no problems, the trip from Niamey takes 12 to 13 hours. The bus makes frequent stops, about every hour and a half, and a stopover is long enough to buy street food or hit the toilet. SNTV line is the premier one -- they even have a brand new bus, with air-conditioning. It costs 12,500 francs from Niamey, and the return trip is 11,500. "Air" is another good bus line -- they even hand out snacks on the trip. "Rimbo" and the others are sometimes quicker but more dangerous because driving fast in a country with tons of livestock is pretty scary.
 Get around
Cabou-cabous (motorcycles; "taxi-motos", in French) are scary, but pretty much the only hired ride available to get around. There are maybe two taxi cabs, but you see them once in a blue moon. The cost of a cabou-cabou ranges anywhere from 150 francs for a short distance to 200 francs for longer ones. They don't have helmets, and don't worry about finding one.
[add listing] See
Not much to see in the city, except maybe the 'Sultan's Palace', a pretty cool building. (Made out of mud brick, this Palace is not your typical palace of sorts.) The market looks pretty impressive for its sheer size alone. There is a small museum displaying some genuine articles which speak of an interesting past.
[add listing] Do
Check out the market and the stadium for wrestling matches.
[add listing] Buy
In the market you can find a lot of generic Nigerien stuff, but the clothes section is a lot of fun. Called 'Dead Man's' because Nigeriens assume that the only person who'd give away perfectly good clothing is a dead man, chances are you might see the logo of your own college or high school on a shirt. Shirts from Nigeria are also interesting, sporting Sadaam and Osama Bin Laden. Funny, but unwearable in the US, most likely.
Another great place is the Artisan Center, located in Zinder's southeast area, on the road to Maradi. There you can find leather-workers, silver-smiths, tailors and a store that sells shoes, wallets, silver, paintings, etc. If you are in Zinder, you must go to this place. Be sure to haggle though, because they usually charge close to double of what you can get them down to. If you go to the silver-smith Moumouni and say you're friends with Chewbacca, it might be easier to haggle, since I've bought a bunch from him.
[add listing] Eat
Many good restaurants.
Not really any place to splurge.
[add listing] Drink
Alcohol is kinda hard to find in Niger, a predominantly Muslim country. The best place to hang out is Hotel Damagaram. Watch out for mosquitoes, though; they'll eat you alive.
[add listing] Sleep
 Stay safe
Zinder is an incredibly laid-back town. It's not as scary as Niamey, and the most hassle you might get is from the people asking for money or gifts. That's not saying bad things don't happen, but they are incredibly rare. When walking about at night walk with a friend, stay under the street lights or in the well-lit areas.
 Get out