Madagascar Shopping and Districts

(Madagascar, MG, Africa)

Image of market based at AmbalavaoShopping in Madagascar is anything but a chore. Its towns and cities offer an abundance of shops and markets selling everything from handcrafted wooden items and silver jewellery to those essential everyday items.

If you are looking for an extra-special item to take back home, it makes best sense to shop for quality in a specialist craft, art or jewellery store. However, Madagascar's many small local markets are well worth a visit, delivering satisfaction in terms of African colour and atmosphere, as well as reasonably priced souvenirs.

Picture of traditional market traders

When to Shop and Opening Hours

Shopping hours vary in Madagascar. However, it is safe to say that most shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 18:00. Some shops may close for lunch from 12:00 to 14:00.

Where to Shop

Government stores in Antananarivo are a useful place to start your shopping expedition. They sell most sorts of souvenir items, including jewellery, fabrics, woven items and wood carvings.

Photo of market stalls in the sunshineYou may also wish to explore the shopping mall on Antananarivo's Avenue of Independence, seen to be a good place to find pretty much anything you could want. However, don't forget to check whether your chosen item requires an export permit when you leave Madagascar.

If you prefer to engage in a healthy bout of bargaining, however, then markets are definitely the place to be. Antananarivo's markets offer practically everything you could think of and are a splendid opportunity to get an insight into Malagasy life. A particularly good craft market can be found on the Route Digue, near to the airport. Indeed, it has the reputation of being the largest of the city's craft markets.

Antananarivo market viewOther market stalls are situated around the Avenue of Independence. A herbal medicine market can be found by Antananarivo's main train station. A short distance from the city centre, on the Rue Ramananarivo, is the Andravoahangy Market, which tends to specialise in local wood carvings and lamba fabrics.

Outside of the capital city, most towns and cities in Madagascar are home to at least one market. The same advice goes for visiting busy markets in any country in the world - it pays to take care of your belongings as you shop.