In every African city, visiting markets is essential. This is the best way to buy some local souvenirs. In Addis Abeba in Ethiopia, the Merkato is a MUST -DO. You can not leave the Ethiopian capital without having ” chilled ” even if a few hours.
From the top of its hill, the Merkato is identified as the largest open-air marketplace in Africa. That’s right. It stretches over several hundred square meters and houses more than 150 shops. Basically, there is EVERYTHING. Sumptuous fabrics, spices, food, handicrafts, recycled products, clothes… And of course, everything is negotiable. Many local products are sold there, with on top of the list, the well- known Ethiopian coffee. The Merkato is teeming with alleys and little shops where you are sure to find your happiness.
For the record, the Merkato was launched during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, hence the name of Italian origin (” Merkato” meaning ” market” in Italian and “new market” in Amharic).