Niger — Shopping and Leisure
The best possible goods to purchase from Niger would be traditional indigenous handicrafts. These include Tuareg and Hausa leatherwork, handmade silver jewelry, batik (wax-resist dyed cloth), and tie-dyed cloth. Also, hand painted pottery is a good buy, although smaller jewelry and garment items provide a better opportunity for packing in your suitcase and taking home with you. They make great gifts, or just as souvenirs to keep for yourself as a memento of your time in Niger.
For the best handicrafts, you should head to the largest market in the country, called the Grand Marche (Boulevard de la Liberte, Niamey), in the center of Niamey. Here you will find a great range of traditional handmade goods, including kountas, which are large, bright strips of cotton sewn together to form large and colorful blanket. You can use the blanket in your time in Niger, when the chilly nights hit after the soaring temperatures, and then take it back home with you. Bartering is expected in the market, so do not be surprised if an inflated price is initially asked. Haggling is the norm, so adopt a friendly approach and you are sure to grab a bargain if you persist.
Another place to head to in Niamey for handicrafts is the Artisan’s Center (Plateau, Niamey), where you can watch silver and leather items being made, and then purchase them from the directly from the artists later. Close to this center is the Metier Arts Cooperative (Rue du Musee, Niamey), which has similar goods being made and sold. A further place to consider purchasing crafts is at the pottery market (Ave de la Mairie, Niamey) which sells elegant handmade and painted pottery.
The Grand Marche, or Grand Market, is very large, with around 4,000 shops. Most of them are market stalls, although there are around 1,800 permanent structures. At this market, you are likely to find anything you need, since it is the major commercial hub of Niger and everything is brought to be sold here. It is a traditional craft center, which is popular with tourists, but it also offers many imported goods and could have what you need in case you forgot to bring something from home.