Shopping in Somalia

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While Somalia may not be the most stable of countries, the people have managed to keep the tradition of local markets alive and thriving all year round. If there’s anything travelers need while here, they are sure to find it in one of the local markets, which are held either daily or on the weekends. From everyday necessities like cleaning products and bread, to souvenirs and upmarket items like jewelry and baskets, there is something to meet every need. This RocApply guide helps you figure some of the shopping in Somalia!

In Somalia there are a few goods which make for great souvenirs and mementos, including traditional hand-woven cloth and material, handwoven baskets which originate in the Benadir area, wooden masks and wood carvings, and gold and silver trinkets like necklaces and bracelets. The country also has a plethora of tailors and seamstresses who, for an extremely reasonable price, will make any garment of clothing.

For something a bit more refined, visitors can head to the more developed and stable areas like Hargeisa and Dilla where large shopping centers are now being opened. These centers are by no means mega malls of any kind by they do house most clothing stores and book shops, and are great for grocery shopping. Be sure try them out as they offer reasonably lower prices for good quality products!

A popular  shopping destination here is located in the heart of Mogadishu, Bakaara Market, or Suuqa Baraaraha as it is known in Somali, is the largest and busiest open-air market in the entire country. Having been around since 1972, the bazaar has developed a reputation region-wide for selling everything under the sun and is by far the most popular place to shop in Somalia.

Travelers who brave the crowds will find everything from staple foods like maize, sorghum, beans, and rice, to medicine and gas. One item that travelers should be particularly careful about handling are the weapons which are sold openly and are often tested at the market. Start your application today!! All for FREE!

RocApply Tips:

  • As with other facets of life in Somalia, food, and grocery are also sold in their local currency, so ensure to make all the necessary conversions and move around with a little local cash on you. Many of the establishments only accept the US dollar.
  • The market is a very popular and crowded place to, so it is important to watch your wallet.
  • As a newcomer, some of the names of the items might confuse you, please use any online translator services to check the correct Somali/Arabic word for whatever you are searching for.
  • Always ask for help or directions from fellow students and if you can't find any around you then ask even the locals they are always happy to assist foreigners and visitors.

"I enjoy shopping and I found it affordable but some of the clothes are definitely not of the highest quality." - Hassan from Turkey

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