Shopping! Is one of the swaying reasons to visit Addis Ababa. Needless to say no write-up on Addis Ababa would be complete without a mention of Merkato – Addis Ababa’s fascinating attraction and the largest open market in Eastern Africa.
Ethiopian open markets serve as a place for regular social gatherings as well as the exchange of products. Also provides many colorful scenes of the local community for visitors and a good opportunity for photographs. It is a place to see different kinds of traditional costumes of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups. When visiting the diverse Ethiopia, the main open markets of each region makes a nice stopover for travelers who wants to be able to capture the real feel of the country, people and its culture.
In this particular post, I like to take you in another virtual journey through the flamboyant Ethiopian open markets. Besides Addis Ababa’s open markets, we are going to stop at interesting and colorful markets from three different towns of Ethiopia (Bahr Dar, Lalibela and Harar) and share few interesting facts about it along the way.
Ethiopian open markets consists of an almost infinite numbers of sections devoted to such items as clothes, grain, spices, pots, baskets, ironware and the like. The largest customers for Ethiopian crafts are Ethiopian themselves. Most objects are functional and put to daily use.
Visitors who are seeking souvenir will find it easy to obtain items that have particular use as well as artistic and cultural value. Ethiopian handicrafts are unique and expressive; almost each item has a story behind it. Each region in Ethiopia tends to specialize in particular hand-made products that have been handed down over generations. And it is in Addis Ababa’s colorful open markets where you can find it all together.
Wednesday and Saturday are market days for most of Ethiopian open markets, so it is best to visit when its liveliest. Ethiopian open markets are an amazing crowded place with endless veiled pouch to find and can be easily explored on foot.
From all of the interesting sections, the butter and spice section is a must-see for visitors because of its distinct appeal, with its numerous of colors and aromatic smells. In general, when shopping in the Merkato and other Ethiopian open markets ‘bargaining’ is almost the main system in the selling and buying process.
A town that is located as it on the southern end of Lake Tana, provides access to both the lake and its many islands, and to the blue Nile Falls. Bahr Dar’s two markets are both worth a visit. The main market display colorful woven cloth and a wide range of supplies.
A larger weekly Sunday market held at the small village called Senbete, providing many interesting and colorful scenes for passionate photographers. Many charming people come from far to sell and buy cattle, cloth, jewelry, spices, honey, sandals and agricultural products. The village called Robit in Lalibela also provides another colorful Ethiopian open market every Wednesday.