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   Information Center Ethiopia
Ethiopia General Information
Ethiopia Expatriates Handbook
Ethiopia and Foreign Government
Ethiopia General Listings
Ethiopia Useful Tips
Ethiopia Education & Medical
Ethiopia Travel & Tourism Info
Ethiopia Lifestyle & Leisure
Entertainment & Lifestyles in Ethiopia
Food & Dining in Ethiopia
Shopping in Ethiopia
Ethiopia Business Matters
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Shopping in Ethiopia


In Ethiopia, special purchases include local jewellery (sold by the weight of gold or silver), woodcarvings, illuminated manuscripts and prayer scrolls, wood and metal crosses, leather shields, spears, drums and carpets. In marketplaces, bargaining is expected, but prices at shops in towns are fixed.

The official currency is the Ethiopian birr (ETB). You are only supposed to import and export 100 birr. Ethiopia is the only African country who mostly accepts dollar. But the prices are often higher if you pay in dollar.

Shopping hours are generally Monday to Friday 8 am-1 pm, 2 pm- 8pm; Saturday 9 am-1 pm, 3 pm-7 pm.

Addis Ababa

There are plenty of small shops in Addis Ababa where you can find great deals for for example baskets, handicrafts, clothes and jewellery. There are also modern shopping centres. Ethiopia is famous for its elaborate silver jewellery. Remember to bargain for the prices. The giant market called mercato on the western side of Addis Ababa is excellent for buying African items like clothing. Bigger hotels also have shopping galleries of their own.

The merkato is one of the largest outdoor markets in Africa, and you can get anything from tourist goods (t-shirts, wood crafts, etc) to fabric to metal goods there. It also has less tourists than the shopping districts in Addis Ababa city centre. Haggling and bargaining are standard procedure, and foreigners (especially Westerners) should expect to be charged higher prices. To ensure a positive experience, maintain a sense of humour, don't be afraid to negotiate aggressively, and above all don't let yourself be bullied by the many "brokers" who frequent the market, and will try to steer you towards certain stores in exchange for a kick-back from the merchant. You will be able to negotiate lower prices if you can avoid brokers, and especially if you have a local friend or guide to buy things on your behalf.

Very few streets have names in Addis Ababa, and if they do may not be known by the names on the map. The exception to this is Churchill Avenue which is the main thoroughfare and shopping street in Addis Ababa.





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