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From second-hand clothes and freshly caught squid to West African spices and dyed leather bags, Dakar’s markets offer up a smorgasbord of local, regional and knock-off products. This guide will give visitors the upper hand when navigating Dakar’s markets.

In recent years, Dakar has witnessed unprecedented growth and change, but market life remains fundamental to the Dakarois’ day-to-day life. From rainbow-coloured fruit stalls to roadside weaving workshops, vendors ply their trades on almost every street in every district, but these are merely small fish in an ocean of giants.

Dakar’s main markets are leviathan in size. Sprawling, jumbled centres of organised chaos, they share much in common but also have their specialities and idiosyncrasies, their distinct positives and specific annoyances.

Marché Kermel

Marché Kermel is worth a visit for the building alone. Housed within a kiln-shaped hall built during colonial times, the market has been a gathering spot for traders to sell their wares to European settlers since 1910. Nowadays, the covered market still provides high-quality, fresh produce to its clientele. Restaurateurs come here for the shellfish and vegetables, while visitors flock to the multi-coloured slopes of stacked fruit and sacks of grains and spices. As downtown markets go, Kermel uses its sheltered location to offer a relaxed, unhurried market experience with friendly vendors. Yet, there’s a reason why restaurants (and not the average resident) buy from Kermel: the quality and experience come with a price. Kermel has used its popularity, central position and picturesque setting to impose a ‘tourist tax’ on the produce on offer.

Marché Sandaga

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While the market’s original three-floored building remains at its heart – selling an array of fruits, vegetables, meats and spices – today’s Sandaga has been engulfed by the neighbouring streets. Cluttered and congested, the market is a bazaar of boutiques, side streets and stalls offering everything from knock-off designer jeans and flat-screen TVs to beaded necklaces and printed wax fabrics. Less than 200 metres (656 feet) from the Place de L’Indépendance, its central location is undoubtedly the reason for its success but also the reason for its many drawbacks. The ease of access and array of goods make it a go-to for tourists, which in turn has attracted a throng of fake products, high prices, pickpockets and hustlers. Prepare to bargain hard and keep a beady eye, and discover the treasure trove of items to be found – rare books, glass paintings and fine jewellery are sometimes tucked away in higgledy-piggledy buildings – but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Marché HLM

Marché HLM is Dakar’s fabric town – situated in the eastern district of HLM 5 – overflowing with colourful stacks of wax, tissue and cloth. Boutique owners lounge on piled heaps of bazin (hand-dyed polished cotton), while stall merchants sip attaya (tea) while perched on reams of batik-decorated cloth. The dust and dirt of the roads fade in the light of the rainbow-coloured stalls. Away from the main tourist drag, HLM is a real local market where Dakarois come in search of cloth and lace for their dresses and boubous, and wedding and religious festival attire. It is also a supermarket for the city’s dressmakers and tailors who take their customers’ orders into the wholesale fabric markets tucked away from the main streets. Marché HLM is the place to visit if you want some made-to-measure clothes.

Marché Artisanal de Soumbédioune

The artisanal market of Soumbédioune is a paradox. In parts, it’s a peaceful assortment of ateliers, while in others, it’s an endless row of tat. Petite and enclosed, with a minute mosque at its core, Soumbédioune gives off a village vibe. At times, it is calm and collected, allowing shoppers to amble through at their pleasure, perusing the goods with a minimum of fuss. At other times, the sellers follow visitors, calling and hawking. The market offers authentic souvenir wares – from small woven baskets to leather book covers – alongside cheaply made fridge magnets and factory-made ‘African’ trousers. For a great experience, it’s best to ignore the stalls near the entrance and head straight into the deeper reaches where you’ll find artisans dyeing leather and carving bowls. They will offer a fair price and be unlikely to bargain. The stalls near the entrance, on the other hand, tend to propose astronomical sums (as a general rule, divide their opening gambit by 10) for lesser-quality goods. However, if you’re feeling savvy, Soumbédioune can be an effective one-stop shop for all of your souvenir needs.

Marché aux Poissons de Soumbédioune

A stone’s throw away from the artisanal market lies one of Dakar’s busiest fish markets. The crescent bay of Soumbédioune is one of the city’s main fishing hubs, and the adjacent market offers some of the freshest catch around. Each day, the morning squadron of colourful pirogues set out into the Atlantic, and upon their return in the afternoon, mongers and middlemen barter for the catch, which is then sold on various counters, tabletops and stalls in the market. From tuna and sea bream to langoustine and crabs, what’s on offer will depend on the season, conditions and the fishermen’s ability. Don’t expect to see polystyrene crates filled with ice, though; the eyes and nose should be relied upon to determine freshness.

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Marché Colobane

As the saying goes, “If you can’t find it at Colobane, you won’t find it anywhere.” Here, locals will pick up cheap cleaning materials, a pair of trainers, herbal remedies and bumper packs of socks and toothbrushes all within a few steps. However, there is a speciality: second-hand and knock-off clothes, such as Gucci bags and Levi’s. The names of Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo stare back at you from many a homogenous stall, while faux-leather belts and wallets stand shoulder to shoulder with knock-off Ray-Bans and Rolexes. However, at the heart of Colobane lies a ‘warehouse’ full of vintage and second-hard attire, including baseball caps, retro football shirts, overcoats and much more. In effect, it’s like a giant charity shop that has received clothes from around the globe.

Marché Tilène

Marché Tilène is found in the heart of Medina, one of Dakar’s busiest and most congested districts. Narrow streets, stacked high with apartments and shops, compound the congestion felt on the road where buses, cars and bikes jockey for position with eclectic stalls and vendors selling everything under the sun – from fresh fruit to kitchenware. Yet, Marché Tilène’s main draw is two-fold. First, it specialises in Senegalese produce, such as hibiscus leaves (for making bissap) and fonio (a super grain from the southeast). Second, it is the market for marabouts – imagine a sorcerer’s supermarket. Blankets laid on the street offer crocodile heads, sheeps bones and dried lizards, alongside baobab branches and gris-gris (amulets to fight off evil spirits).

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Marché de Ouakam

To experience an everyday market without any hassle, head to Ouakam. In theory, it’s more like a high street, stretching down Rue OKM 99 from Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop to Ouakam’s depths, and like any good village high street, it’s home to shops and stalls offering everything that is needed (or not) in everyday village life, including windows, cement, firewood, new and restored electrical goods and live chickens, to name a few. The daily supermarket shop of bread, vegetables, fish and meat can be picked up next to dried herbs, boubous and electrical fans. It’s a community-based market set up to serve the residents – there is no rush, no ‘gimme gimme’ attitudes and no looking over your shoulder to check on your bag. Every Thursday, Ouakam’s gare routière (bus station) also hosts a roving second-hand clothes market – like the hub of Colobane, only smaller.

Pro tips

Dakar is remarkably safe

However, if there was one thing that will attract nefarious activities, it’s tourists in market places, so stay vigilant.

Use zips

Wearing zip-pocketed shorts or using handbags with zippers adds an extra layer of security from opportunistic fingers.

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Try not to ask ‘how much’ when buying souvenirs

Have an idea of price in mind and start with that. If you ask how much, chances are their opening gambit will be 10 times what you should be paying (especially in Sandaga’s and Soumbédioune’s artisan markets).

Remember everyone is trying to make a living

If you are happy to pay a certain price for something, then it’s a bargain. Remember that everything you buy is putting food on someone’s table.

Find the hub

The market areas have spread out so much that it’s often hard to find the central ‘market building’ where it all started, but ask around and you should get there.

Use a little Wolof

Knowing some market Wolof can stand you in better stead – if only to put a smile on the vendor’s face.

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Stop at the roadside ‘markets’

Along Dakar’s roads, you will notice various vendors plying their trades, especially roadside garden centres and pavement furniture factories. These often offer better quality and prices than the markets, and many are willing to make what you need in a few days.

FAQs

How do you write a travel guide? ›

7 Tips to Write a Perfect Travel Guide
  1. Structure Matters. A travel guide is supposed to be this handy little instruction book that makes someone's stay in an unknown place so much easier. ...
  2. Check Your Facts. ...
  3. Explore Endlessly. ...
  4. Team Up With a Local. ...
  5. Use Vivid Descriptions. ...
  6. Write Conversationally. ...
  7. Watch Your Writing Accuracy.

How much is a Vietnamese dong per day? ›

2. Re: How much Vietnamese Dong do I need per day? It often costs $10-$15 / person/meal in a proper restaurant, $1-$2/ person/streetfood. Besides, you can take a bike or motorbike tour to visit Hanoi, buy gifts or souvenirs, tickets for some outdoor activities and entrance fee...

Is Quy Nhon worth visiting? ›

With its pristine beaches, fresh seafood, and historical buildings, Quy Nhon has been worth visiting tourists. Neglected mainly by most foreigners, the small coastal city is an ideal getaway if you want to stay away from the crowds and experience an authentic Vietnam.

What is Destination travel guide? ›

A destination travel guide is just what the name suggests: a travel guide that revolves around a specific destination. These guides can cover an entire country, but they can also focus on a specific city or even a small town.

How do you write a trip essay? ›

How To Write a Good Travel Essay
  1. Select Your Favorite City. Sometimes a trip is explicitly taken to collect information for an essay. ...
  2. Choose a Few Attractions. ...
  3. Write a Compelling First Paragraph. ...
  4. Show Rather Than Tell. ...
  5. Use Images. ...
  6. Keep It Simple. ...
  7. Describe What You Achieved. ...
  8. Give Readers a Good Ending.
Mar 18, 2020

What is a travel essay? ›

A travel essay is a personal account of a trip or vacation, often written as part of a memoir, and is usually fictional. It might focus on the author's experiences and the sights they saw, giving readers a deeper understanding of the journey.

Is $100 a lot in Vietnam? ›

In Vietnam, USD $100 Can Get You:

15-18 nights in a budget hotel, or 5-8 nights in a three-star accommodation in Hanoi. 15-20 mid-priced restaurant meals. 1 one-way trip from Hanoi to Da Nang via Livitrans luxury train.

What is the least valuable currency in the world? ›

Iranian Rial

The Iranian Rial is the least valued currency in the world. It is the lowest currency to USD.

How much is a bottle of Coke in Vietnam? ›

Prices in restaurants in Vietnam.
Meal in a cheap restaurant50,000 VND (25,000-100,000)
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)43,000 VND (25,000-80,000)
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)11,000 VND (9,600-20,000)
Water (0.33 liter bottle)7,000 VND (5,000-15,000)
Cappuccino (regular)39,000 VND (20,000-60,000)
5 more rows

How do you get to Quy Nhon? ›

Quy Nhon is served by Dieu Tri train station on the main line, around 10km west of Quy Nhon. All reunification express trains stop at Dieu Tri . To get to Quy Nhon from there, walk to the main road (around 5 minutes) and take a bus (5000 dong). Most buses will bring you to the supermarket at the city center.

What are the 3 types of tour guides? ›

Community tour guide-local guide  Staff guide-tour guide who works in a travel agency.  Freelance guide-tour guide who is not connected with travel agency and paid per trip.

How do you travel? ›

Sightseeing travel tips
  1. Don't overplan every detail (learn to go with the flow) ...
  2. Wake up early to beat the crowds. ...
  3. Only carry what you need when sightseeing. ...
  4. Eat local. ...
  5. Bring a decent camera to take amazing photos. ...
  6. Bring a GoPro if you're going somewhere water-based. ...
  7. Don't be afraid to get lost.
Jun 4, 2022

How do you travel the world? ›

  1. Couchsurfing. ...
  2. Research what's free in the places you are going. ...
  3. Start trying to save at least a little / Earn money online. ...
  4. Travel somewhere less expensive. ...
  5. Travel to that less expensive place at the least expensive TIME. ...
  6. Stay in rural areas. ...
  7. Consider hitchhiking or car sharing. ...
  8. Volunteer.

Why do people travel? ›

Travel takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to see, taste and try new things. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different people, to embrace adventures as they come and to share new and meaningful experiences with friends and loved ones.

Why is it important to travel? ›

Traveling fosters a medium to build human connections with one another by learning about culture, food, new sites, music, and the way people live their day to day lives in different parts of the world. It's the best on-site learning a person can get. The internet can only explain so much about a place.

How do you start a travel essay? ›

Write in the first person, past tense (or present if the action really justifies it), and make your story a personal account, interwoven with facts, description and observation. Many writers start their piece with a strong – but brief – anecdote that introduces the general feeling, tone and point of the trip and story.

What is a travel experience? ›

Experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food and environment.

Is 100 dollars a lot in Thailand? ›

The good news is that $100 USD is quite a solid amount to start with per day in Thailand, and this is what it will get travelers while they're there.

How far does a dollar go in Vietnam? ›

The U.S. dollar will go far in these 20 international cities
LocationCurrency ExchangeAverage Cost of Daily Expenses
Siem Reap, Cambodia1 USD = 4,036.60 KHR$32
Delhi, India1 USD = 67.8842 INR$35
Valparaiso, Chile1 USD = 640.110 CLP$36
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam1 USD = 22,871.67 VND$47
16 more rows
Jul 9, 2018

How much money do I need for 2 weeks in Vietnam? ›

For a two-week trip, your Vietnam travel budget should be about $2,530 per person based on my suggestions and itinerary as indicated above. Vietnam is an amazing country and one of the most affordable places for budget travellers.

What country is the US dollar worth the least? ›

Economy > Currency > Least valued currency unit > Exchange rate to 1 US dollar: Countries Compared
#COUNTRYAMOUNT
1Iran10,349.59
2Indonesia8,765.01
3Guinea6,925
4Cambodia4,037.86
13 more rows

Which money is the highest in the world? ›

The Kuwaiti Dinar is the highest currency in the world in 2021. The code for this currency is KWD. One Kuwaiti Dinar equals 3.30 USD or 2.73 EUR. With one Kuwaiti Dinar being valued at above 3 US dollars, this currency is considered the highest and strongest in the world.

How much is a house in Vietnam? ›

The average home in Vietnam costs approximately $4,500. Monthly rent varies, but the average cost is about $650, and this price often includes utilities.

Is it cheaper to live in Vietnam? ›

Vietnam is an inexpensive country to live in. Most items cost less than half of what you would pay in the West, and anywhere from 5% to 25% less than what they would cost in many other Southeast Asian countries. Vietnam's most expensive city is Ho Chi Minh City, followed by Hanoi.

How much does it cost to live in Vietnam per month? ›

Cost of Living in Vietnam: $700 to $1,400 per month

$700 on the low end of the range, up to $1,400 for mid-range expats. This averages living costs across many months—you may spend more getting set up, but many expats average $1,000 per month.

What are the 8 types of tour guides? ›

Here are some common tour guide types:
  • Historical guide. A historical guide leads tourists around historical landmarks and points of interest like ruins, temples, battlefields and other sites of historical importance. ...
  • Adventure guide. ...
  • Museum guide. ...
  • Nature guide. ...
  • City guide. ...
  • Park guide. ...
  • Freelance guide.
May 3, 2021

What is another name for a tour guide? ›

•tourist guide (noun)

chaperon, escort, cicerone, Docent.

What do you call a person who gives tours? ›

Definition of docent

1 : a college or university teacher or lecturer. 2 : a person who leads guided tours especially through a museum or art gallery.

How can I travel the world for free? ›

Travel Tips to See the World for Free
  1. Work Abroad in Expat-Friendly Industries. ...
  2. Look for Work Exchanges. ...
  3. Volunteer Long-Term With the Peace Corps. ...
  4. Volunteer With Short-Term Volunteer Organizations. ...
  5. Organize Your Own Volunteer Trip. ...
  6. House-Sit or Pet-Sit. ...
  7. Swap Houses. ...
  8. Travel to 'The Old Country' for Free.
Jun 2, 2022

What's the cheapest way to travel? ›

The Cheapest Ways to Travel: 15 Tips to Save Money on Your Next...
  • Use Airline Miles to Cover Flights.
  • Consider an Inexpensive Family Cruise.
  • [Read: The Best Cheap Vacations in the USA.]
  • Book Rental Condos Over Hotels.
  • Fly a Budget Airline.
  • Redeem Rewards for an All-Inclusive Hotel.
Jul 18, 2019

Where is the cheapest place to travel? ›

  1. Thailand. There's a reason why Thailand remains so popular with backpackers – it's got idyllic islands , a rich culture, beach-huts aplenty, tantalising cuisine and adventures galore , and all available at often staggeringly low prices. ...
  2. South Africa. ...
  3. Vietnam. ...
  4. Uruguay. ...
  5. Cuba. ...
  6. Prague, Czech Republic. ...
  7. Greece. ...
  8. Guatemala.

How much money do you need to travel for a week? ›

Vacation costs vary tremendously depending on the destination, accommodations, activities and other factors. The average cost of a one-week vacation in the U.S. for one person is $1,558.

What a travel brochure should include? ›

It contains testimonials, itinerary options and suggestions as well as many calls to actions (CTAs) for the reader. A brochure is a longer form piece of content that typically encompasses all the information about that destination, and all of the things you as a travel company provide.

What makes a good travel article? ›

Write in the first person, past tense (or present if the action really justifies it), and make your story a personal account, interwoven with facts, description and observation. Many writers start their piece with a strong – but brief – anecdote that introduces the general feeling, tone and point of the trip and story.

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