Somalia — Shopping and Leisure
While Somalia may not be the most stable of countries, the people have managed to keep the tradition of local markets alive and thriving. If there is 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 satisfy every need.
There are a few goods which make for great souvenirs and mementos, including traditional hand-woven cloth and material, hand woven baskets which originate in the Benadir area, wooden masks and wood carvings, and gold and silver trinkets like necklaces and bracelets. Somalia 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, travelers 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 many clothing stores and book shops, and are great for grocery shopping.
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, this 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 gasoline. One item that travelers should be particularly careful about handling are the weapons which are sold openly and are often tested at the market.