Tourists won’t find amazing mega malls in Papua New Guinea (PNG), as even the capital Port Moresby lacks modern shopping centers. However, what PNG lacks in malls it certainly makes up for in markets. In these markets, tourists can purchase a range of goods, including fruit, vegetables, meat, books, clothing, and local handicrafts. The larger markets are generally open Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Saturdays are usually half days, and markets are mostly closed on Sundays.
Located in the town of Mt Hagen, this market stocks many of the Highlands’ most magnificent handicrafts. Hats and bilums are some of the main items on display here, but plenty of food, and even pets, can also be found. The market is busy every day, but especially so on Saturdays. Be wary of pickpockets - usually small children walking through the crowds.
Wewak Main Market
The Wewak Main Market is found at Papua New Guinea’s main shopping street. The large market appears very colorful thanks to the abundance of beach umbrellas shading the merchants. Everything, from food produce and local handicrafts to baby crocodiles, is sold here.
Melanesian Arts Gallery
Located beside the old military airstrip in Lae, the Melanesian Arts Gallery offers a tremendous shopping experience to anyone wanting to learn more about Papua New Guinea’s cultural arts and handicrafts. Tribal shields, weapons, masks, and many other highland cultural artifacts can be found inside this gallery.
Port Moresby Handicrafts Market
Located in the old square in Port Moresby’s Boroko district, the city’s main handicrafts market is a bustling gaggle of shoppers, merchants, and color. Negotiating prices is not customary, but it doesn’t hurt to ask the merchant for a small discount. However, constant badgering is considered rude by locals.
Ela Beach Craft Market
The most exciting market in Papua New Guinea, the Ela Beach Craft Market in Port Moresby boasts a large collection of art and trinkets. The market has a carnival-like atmosphere, and items such as carvings, baskets, bags, shells, masks, and more can be purchases here. Food is also in abundance here, and traditional dancers perform each day at around 10:00 a.m.