Pointe-Noire Street Photo by David Stanley via Flickr Creative Commons

Shopping is particularly exciting in Brazzaville, but all other towns in the Congo have their own colorful market scene. Shops and bazaars can be found almost everywhere, and most are located very close to facilities such as the post office. Arts and crafts are common, along with jewelry and basketwork. Poto Poto is the most popular place to shop for handmade items, but popular markets like Ouenze and Moungali also have good finds. The nearby villages of M’Pila and Makana (two miles from the capital) both feature lively open-air markets that sell pottery and basketwork.

The Poto Poto Arts and Crafts Center also has a painting school where tourists may buy quality art designed by the local. Another Open-air painting market can be found near the Congo post office. Wooden sculptures and copper are also sold, in addition to beautiful hanging works. If you want a wider selection of crafts that originate from neighboring areas, head to Marché du Plateau Craft Market.

Bargaining is necessary, and avoid the so-called “specialty shops” that sell almost exactly the same thing as their open-air counterparts for higher prices.

Click here to learn about Transportation in the Congo