The small, central, and tourist-friendly city of Brazzaville has a number of famous markets perfect for last-minute souvenir purchases. Located in the ‘Centre Ville’ of the Republic of Congo’s capital, Marche Plateau Ville market is arguably the best.
This small market is the best place to find some beautiful traditional pieces. It’s also well known for being the only market in which you can learn about and buy African art including the famous Teke masks. Whether you are looking for stylish African-inspired furniture, sculptures, masks, jewellery or handbags, this market has an amazing collection of souvenirs to suit everyone’s tastes.
Malachite, the stone of transformation and clarity, clear quartz for clarity of mind, Jasper for stability and strength: if you’re looking to align those chakras or just collect a bunch of beautiful healing crystals then this market is your best bet. The friendly vendors sell the healing stones as is, or create beautiful items of jewellery out of them, and they’re always on hand to explain the meaning behind each one. The market also has a variety of stones mined locally in the Republic of Congo such as dioptase, uvarovite and emerald.
Brazzaville’s equivalent to New York’s ‘I [heart] NY’ shirts feature the Republic of Congo’s map printed in an Aztec design. It’s a great souvenir, serving as a lasting reminder of your trip to ‘Brazza la belle’.
If you’d like to add an African feel to your living space or office, Marche Plateau Ville has a great variety of art and sculptures. They’re all made by artisans and craftsmen from the different ethnic groups in the Congo, each bringing their own uniques kill and technique to the market. From Kongo raffia carpets and handmade wooden spoons to sculptures and beautiful masks, it’s all available here.
The artists are inspired by local folktales and they create beautiful geometric and colourful abstract paintings inspired by Congolese culture. The paintings are great for those wanting to add a touch of colour to their living space.
Besides selling precious stones, the vendors in this market also make necklaces and bracelets on the spot. Customised to your liking, the process involves handpicking your own beads and advising as to how you would like the piece to look. If this sounds like too much of a bother, the jewellery sellers also have ready-to-wear pieces in varying colours, crystals and beads.
Fashion fanatics will be charmed by the beautiful, handmade bags you can find at multiple stalls throughout the market. Crafted out of crocodile skin or leather, each bag is unique; perfect for adding a touch of bohemian luxury to your outfit. Designs range from handbags and satchels to backpacks and purses.