Shopping in Mombasa is an exciting experience. This centuries-old city sits on an island off the main shore of Kenya, accessible only by boat and connected by bridges to the mainland. Here are 10 great markets to visit.
Old Town in Mombasa
The Old Town section of Mombasa contains a delightful collection of tourist-friendly shops and souvenir stands. Many of the shops reflect the history of the town, with Asian, Portuguese and Arab shops abounding. You can find many good bargains, from clothes and artwork to jewelry, spices and fragrances. The Fort Jesus that overlooks the harbor in Old Town is nearby and makes for a great historical spot.
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In downtown Mombasa on Biashara Street you’ll find a collection of shops for crafts and clothing items to suit summertime tastes. The kikoys and khangas, which are popular and colorful pieces of cloth to wrap around oneself, are sold here. There is a wide variety of other textile and clothing items, from slippers to curtains and scarfs. The area also contains restaurants and food stands to grab a flavorful meal.
Akamba Wood Carvers
Showcasing a deep talent for wood carving, the Akamba Wood Carvers market allows you to get an outstanding decoration item for a good price. The Akamba Wood Carvers is located on Airport Road near the airport in Mombasa. Inside, you’ll see the artists and carvers at work on a stunning variety of wood carvings depicting everything from animals to human society.
City Mall Nyali
For visitors who want a relaxed shopping experience in a gorgeous environment, the City Mall Nyali offers a good retreat. You can choose a tasty Indian or Chinese-themed lunch from the numerous fine restaurants on the second floor of this seven-floor mall. For shopping, you can check out the fashion shops around the establishment, a selection which includes such renowned brands as Woolworths, Levi’s and Converse.
A visit to the Bombolulu Workshops is an eye-opening experience; this is a chance to see great artwork while supporting some of Kenya’s disabled artists. This place is run by a charity establishment to support the work and talent of the disabled. A large shop here houses a plethora of beautiful handicrafts and artwork, ranging from necklaces and wristband jewelry to wood carvings and leather items. You’ll also be able to get a local lunch onsite.
The A1 Supermarket on Hospital Street and Digo Road in Mombasa is one of the best venues for finding foodstuffs and buying local produce. Whether you need to find some good wine, cheese, in-season fruits or some supplies for throwing a party, the A1 has plenty of options. You’ll find plentiful supplies of Kenyan produce as well as some imported brands and snacks.
Coast Zanzibar Curio Shop
The Coast Zanzibar Curio Shop on Moi Avenue is great for finding crafts and souvenirs. This place makes a good spot for an afternoon visit, and is conveniently located next to the beach. A wide selection of items can be found, including leather bags, basket decorations, pictures and framed paintings. They also have selections of pretty jewelry including necklaces, pendants and earrings. For a small price here you can source something unusual and not available elsewhere.
The perfect venue for a day-trip, the Pirates Beach is great for basking in the sun and swimming on the breaking waves of the Indian Ocean. A trip here brings the shopping to you, as you’ll find many vendors and hawkers that sell their wares on the beach. You can buy colorful hats and clothing items while you watch the scenic waves. When not hunting for the best bargain items, you can also get a taste of the fine seafood and beer for sale along the beach.
The Nyali Cinemax shopping mall is great for shopping and grabbing a festive meal with friends. You can buy some great jewelry in the mall, as well as some luxurious fashion items ranging from wristwatches and shoes to hats and jeans. The cinema makes for an entertaining time after you’ve finished shopping, and is one of the best in Kenya. You’ll be able to sit in for all of the latest Bollywood and Hollywood releases.
For a great Kenyan shopping experience, head out to Marikiti Market in the city. This bustling market makes for a thrilling outing, and you’ll find plenty of great souvenirs and artwork to make the trip worthwhile. You can also get Kenyan clothes along with cloths and khangas of a stunning variety that you might not get elsewhere. There are numerous places to get food along the way, with street food being a popular and tasty option.
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