For the hagglers: Ghana’s best markets

07/11/2016 09:26

Written by Philip Briggs

With some of the largest marketplaces in West Africa, organised chaos is something of a speciality in Ghana. The pleasantly puzzling markets offer visitors the chance to immerse themselves in an atmosphere that has been a staple in Ghanaian culture for centuries. But which ones shouldn't you miss? 

Kejetia Market

Kente cloth for sale in Kumasi, Ghana © Adam Jones, WikimediaOf all the crafts practised in West Africa, few are more readily identifiable with a particular country than kente cloth with Ghana © Adam Jones, Wikimedia Commons

At the north end of central Kumasi, Ghana’s largest and most labyrinthine market is crammed with around 10,000 traders selling everything from traditional crafts to vegetables and car spares. Inside, Kejetia Market seems maze-like, confusing at first, but in fact quite orderly, with clothing, textile and food stalls clustered in the west, pottery and metal in the northeast, and tailors in the southwest. Aside from the decidedly smelly fish and meat stalls, this is a fascinating place, well worth dedicating an afternoon or morning to, and a great place to buy curios and crafts in an environment where tourists form a fraction of the clientele.

Osu night market

Osu night market in Accra, Ghana © kwameghana, WikimediaFood is sold around the clock at Osu night market © kwameghana, Wikimedia Commons

As daylight fades in the Ghanaian capital, Osu’s night market comes alive. Lit entirely by lanterns and candles, here you’ll find groceries, food, and a buzzy nightlife scene that lasts until dawn.

Koforidua bead market

Koforidua bead market, Ghana © Shawn Zamechek, WikimediaTraders from all over West Africa come to sell handmade beads in Koforidua © Shawn Zamechek, Wikimedia Commons

For anyone interested in beads, Ghana is a treasure trove, and as arguably the country’s best bead market, Koforidua is the place to find them. Craftspeople from all over Ghana (and neighbouring West African countries) descend on the town to sell or trade contemporary and old trade beads.

Makola Market

Makola market in Accra, Ghana © Jim O'BrienAccra's Makola Market is wonderfully chaotic © Jim O'Brien

In the heart of old Accra, Makola is the largest open-air market in the capital, and is certainly one of Ghana’s most vibrant. You can find almost anything here; from basins to bags to Barbie dolls, you'll catch yourself chuckling at the peculiar variety of items on offer.

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