Africa’s 10 Best Markets

by | Africa

Feb 2, 2023

Africa is quite popular for its scenic beauty, rich history, wildlife, flavorful cuisine, and unique artwork. Africa’s best markets give tourists a glimpse of the beautiful lives locals lead. From jewelry to food supplies and herbs, top markets in Africa offer the finest at reasonable prices.

Top markets in Africa are also quite unique with their colorful stalls, creative traders, and homely products. There is always something for everyone. If you are not careful, you are likely to spend more than you have budgeted for. 

Check out the details of Africa’s 10 best markets that you should not miss out on.

1. Khan El-Khalili Market | Egypt

In the center of Cairo, Egypt is the Khan El-Khalili Market. This lively market dates back to the 14th Century. An estimated 3,000 people visit the market every day to purchase souvenirs and view the sights. 

From 8 am to 8 pm every day, the gold merchants, coppersmiths, and spice vendors haggle prices with tourists. 

Once you’re done shopping and have taken an excursion around the market, you can relax at the various restaurants, street food shops, and traditional coffee houses (known as Maqhas) available. 

Remember that a trip to Egypt is not complete without a visit to the Khan El-Khalili Market. It is a must see and is an incredible place to experience daily life in Cairo. 

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2.Onitsha Market | Nigeria

This enormous market in Eastern Nigeria welcomes over five million visits with over twelve million different transactions on a daily basis. 

You can purchase wholesale and retail goods at very reasonable prices. Onitsha marketing in Nigeria has all the latest collections of clothing and textile, fashion items, computers, computer accessories, phone and phone accessories, jewelry, office, household, and industrial items. 

You need to be really good at bargaining to get a nice deal at the market. It is best to shop between 10 am and 5 pm to check out the best collection.

3.Kejetia Market | Ghana

It is believed that more than half of the Ghanaian population shops at this Open-Air Market located in the city of Kumasi. The most popular products sold are food items, clothes, glass beads, kente, bracelets, and batik. 

It is easy for a member of your group to get lost if you are not careful because the market is always bustling with people. It is also open 24 hours and offers other features like leisure centers, bars and restaurants, and live music and voodoo performances.

4. Medina of Fez | Morocco

This is one of the unique markets in Africa that lures art and craft lovers with its leather tanneries and beautiful pottery shops. 

The Medina of Fez is a living history museum where one can check out exclusive handicrafts, including the fed famous white and blue pottery, jewelry, carpets, scarves, beautiful cushion covers, wood carvings, and lanterns. 

This top African market is open from 8:30 am to 1 pm and in the afternoon from 4 pm to 9 pm (according to prayer times). Most shops are also not open on Fridays. 

Nearly 80,000 shops offer their collections and add to the city’s ambiance. This market excites visitors with its 1,200-year-old walled city and 900 alleys.

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5.Maasai Market | Kenya

The Maasai Flea Market is one of the best flea markets in Africa in different locations in Nairobi, Kenya, every day except for Monday. 

Saturday is the peak market day, where one can witness colorful small stalls selling almost everything, and it holds at the high court parking lot in the city center. 

You can also sample the city’s delicacies after checking out the latest collection of shoes, jewelry, sculptures, beads, and fabrics. If you are vacationing in Kenya, do not miss the opportunity to check out this flea market, it is definitely an experience.

6. Owino Market | Uganda 

The serene city of Kampala is quite popular for its Owino Market and is believed to be one of the best markets in Africa. With over 50,000 traders catering to 300,000 customers daily, Owino market is an enthralling experience as it features fresh produce, second-hand clothing (its main product), and other souvenirs. 

The Owino market, open every day only from 8 am to around 5 pm near Nakivubo stadium, is one of the best markets in Africa.

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7. Greenmarket Square | South Africa

Greenmarket Square is amongst the top flea markets in South Africa and is one of the best places to get keepsakes after touring South Africa. It starts every day by 9 am and closes by dinner time. 

If you are planning to visit this outdoor market, never accept the first price a trader offers. Ensure that you haggle even if he tries to convince you that this is the best price he can offer. 

From authentic African accessories and decor to local delicacies, Greenmarket square is every shopaholic’s dream. There are also a number of street performances tourists usually get to experience. 

Greenmarket square is one of the best markets you’ll find in Africa.

8.Addis Mekarto | Ethiopia

Based in the city of Addis Ketema, this market showcases over 120 stores every day. You will find stunning collections of handicrafts, jewelry, spices, and other goods. 

If you visit this market, you will meet hundreds of international tourists hoping to get tokens for their stay in Ethiopia. 

This market which is considered to be Africa’s largest, is located just west of Addis Centre and contains almost everything you can think of. There is a recycling section in the market where sandals are made from old tyres and coffee pots, from Olive tins.

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9. Fourways Farmers Market | South Africa

South Africa features on this list again, this time for the Fourways market in Johannesburg, South Africa. This unique market is dedicated to ensuring everyone enjoys freshly produced food, even vegans and vegetarians. 

It is a weekend market with the best vibes. You can expect picnics, live music, cocktails, and play areas. It is, however, not a budget-friendly market as there is an entrance fee of R10 per person, except for children and pensioners. 

Still, it is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for a memorable experience. You can pay a visit between the hours of 8 am to 6 pm every Saturday and Sunday.

10. Ariaria International Market | Nigeria

Commonly known as the ‘China of Africa,’ the Ariaria market is one of the commercial powerhouses in Nigeria. Be prepared for the crowds, thrift shops, feisty bargaining process, and hustling vendors that use every method in the book to get you to stop by their store. 

There’s something for everyone at this market located in Aba, Abia State, including clothing, hotel supplies, plants, and other goods.

The eastern part of Nigeria has some of the best, most impressive street markets in all of Africa.

The African market scene will surely be incomplete without visiting these attractive markets known for their delicacies, history, culture, and fashion. If you ever find yourself in any of the places mentioned on this list, do plan a visit to the top markets in Africa, we have recommended. 

By Adeola Adebayo

Adeola Adebayo is a freelance content writer and editor who works with clients in various industries to help them develop their content strategy, craft great content and do all it takes, including thorough research, to create content worth reading. Throughout her career since 2021, she has learned to channel the audience's perception. She aims to ensure her work is error-free and cohesive but also sustains the audience's interest and encourages them to take action.

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