Shopping in Cape Verde for everyday items can be quite pricey as the majority of products are imported and products are difficult to find outside of larger communities. If browsing the vibrant markets and haggling for unique items such as jewelry, clothing and local handicrafts sounds appealing, Cape Verde just might be the perfect destination.
Crafts reflect the natural constraints placed on the country by persistent drought and limited resources. Basket weaving plays a significant role on Cape Verde and together with clothes creation, makes up the majority of handmade goods. Clay is another important resource for local artisans who create typical Cape Verdean sculptures of figures doing everyday activities with pots and kitchen utensils. The local alcoholic drink grogue, Fogo wine, coffee beans and an abundance of local candy make excellent souvenirs, and in Mindelo, Santiago, the spiritual home of the famous morna music, CDs of local performers and can also be purchased.
Santa Maria, located in the south of Sal, is perhaps the best destination in Cape Verde to go shopping. In addition to the supermarket, a plethora of colorful shops await tourists, from surf huts selling beachwear and gifts, to the multicolored ramshackles where you can buy intricately carved masks and exquisite canvases painted by both Cape Verdean and Senegalese artists. Santa Maria’s bustling open market is also a great place to haggle for wood carvings, paintings, batiks, bongos and jewelry.
While it is the capital city, Praia is not the best place for shopping; however, you can find an occasional bargain at one of the small markets or the Loja Chinese shop, one of many small Chinese-owned stores in Cape Verde. As a general rule, shops are usually open from around 9:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and tend to close from midday until 3:00 p.m.