São Tomé is not exactly known for its great shopping opportunities, but there are a few items on the islands which are worth a second look. The country’s local people have a great tradition of hand crafts so there are many souvenir opportunities available, especially in the large cities. Even better, there are a few items here which are difficult to find so cheaply anywhere else.
São Toméan Coffee
Many travelers embark on a tour of one of the country’s many plantations. Coffee plantations, or rocas as they are locally known, were once the heart beat of the São Toméan economy. The country has some of the best coffee in the world and this is, in large part, due to the fact that it is rich in fertile volcanic soil. While the coffee would probably cost an arm and a leg anywhere else in the world, travelers are able to walk into most local stores and buy large quantities at low prices.
São Toméan Rum
São Tomé is perhaps just as famous for its rum as it is for its coffee. The country’s rum is well-loved worldwide and one of the main export to Europe. Rum in the country is extremely cheap and travelers can purchase it from most stores. Travelers can also visit the factories where the rum is distilled, with one near the Central Market in São Tomé city and another in the Trinidad neighborhood.
São Toméan Reed Goods
Local São Toméans are excellent weavers and this skill extends to their work with grass and reed products. The products, which include items like baskets and mats, are simple but useful and make for a wonderful memento of time spent in the country.