Kampala’s markets are a great place for bargain hunters. If you want to get the best buys available, there is one rule to bear in mind: you have to haggle. Local vendors are notorious for jacking up their prices when dealing with foreign tourists, so haggling is expected. Haggling can save you 20% or more on what you pay.
One of the biggest markets in town is in Nakasero Market this can give anAfrican adventure shopping areas in local markets. Nakasero Market is Kampala’s most famous market and is just below Kampala Road.
You can find fresh fruits and vegetable in,it is divided into two areas, one partially covered, where produce is sold, and another located in an attractive old building, where hardware, clothes and even a few tourist items are on sale.
Owino / St Balikuddembe Market- This is the busiest market in Kampala, which sprawls around the Nakivubo Stadium, near the taxi parks. Here you can find all sorts of goods for sale, but it is most popular with travellers for its wide range of second-hand clothes from Europe, Asia and the USA. Bargain hard, as they tend to raise the prices when mzungus (white people) are sniffing around.
The name originated from a certain Owiny from Northern Uganda who used to sell roasted cassava, maize and potatoes. The phrase, “Let me go down to Owiny’s place” was often heard and so the name became synonymous with the market. You will constantly hear someone calling “Fasi Fasi!” which is Lugandan for ‘give way’, Walking through the dense maze of alleys filled with noise, congested with people, and packed with anything, and everything, you could want to buy is an experience in its own. Other markets are Usafiand Wandegeya Markets.
As you contemplate buying a kitenge dress, scarf, kikuyu bag, African sandals or perhaps bangles, ear rings and African necklaces? Maybe your preferences are more cow horn saucers, candle stands, wooden mortars or wooden African masks, all of these, and more, can be easily found in Kampala.
In fact, the list of African crafts and souvenirs that can be bought at craft markets in Kampala is endless. Where to buy them is also not a problem while in the city, you will find quality African arts and crafts being sold out at many crafts and souvenirs in shops and malls around Kampala.
Your first stop when craft shopping should always be the craft markets and there are several in and around Kampala city, that sell authentic, good quality African arts and crafts.
Exposure Africa is a favorite with tourist and Kampalians mainly because of its location. Located in the heart of Kampala city on Buganda Road, this craft market has several stalls that sell all kinds of African crafts and souvenirs. Most stalls in the market sell the same items so the bargaining prowess of the shopper determines the price at which they take those African sandals home.
Craft Africa. Also on Buganda Road, it has various stalls that sell numerous African crafts like batiks, Masai. Security is taken seriously at both markets as there are guards at the entrance who check everyone that enters.Both markets are open seven days a week from Monday to Sunday and shops open from 8am to 6pm except on Public holidays when they are closed.
Uganda Arts and Crafts Village on Dewinton Road next to the National Theatre. This craft market is well organised and has a number of retail stalls arranged in a semi-circle that vend different art and crafts plus souvenirs. The clientele is mixed with a fair range of locals, foreigners and tourists. The Uganda Arts and Craft Village craft market also is open from 8pm to 6pm seven days a week except on public holidays.
For those who prefer to shop and buy in malls and shops there are a few sprinkled about town. Popular shops are in 1000 Cups Coffee House Craft Shop on Buganda Road, MishMash Craft Shop on Acacia Avenue and the popular Banana Boat retail store in Kisementi in Kamwokya, Garden City and Lugogo Malls. Shoppers will find prices fixed and higher but you will love the convenience.