Informal Markets, Cape Town

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  • Greenmarket Square
    Greenmarket Square
    by lynnehamman
  • Bags made from Re-cycled materials
    Bags made from Re-cycled materials
    by lynnehamman
  • Toys made from tin cans
    Toys made from tin cans
    by lynnehamman
  • vpas's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Bargain at the Green Market square

    by vpas Written Jun 3, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are rows of shops at Green Market Square selling just about anything you may want to buy from South Africa/Africa. The prices are competitive.

    What to buy: Cushion covers with pictures of the big five for 30 to 40 Rands each, Key chains for 5 Rands each, Wooden spear with carvings for 120 Rands and much much more
    Open from
    09:00 - 16:00 (Monday - Friday)
    09:00 - 15:00 (Saturday)

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Get it at Greenmarket

    by lynnehamman Updated Mar 1, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Greenmarket Square
    2 more images

    Greenmarket Square markets are now an institution in Cape Town.Everyone goes there. And anything goes there. Its one of those funky places that are fun to walk around in,even if shopping is not your priority. The markets are open 7 days a week- and crowded on every one. Just about everything is available here- jewellery,handcrafts,artwork,sculptures,musical instruments,ethnic and other clothing,hand painted T-shirts and my favourite thing to buy- hand-crafted toys and handbags made from recycled tin cans.
    There is always music, and a carnival atmosphere. It is surrounded by trees which give good shade, and colourful umbrellas.
    Surrounding the market area are many outdoor coffee shops and restuarants, so its lovely to be able to stroll around, have lunch, and pop back to the market. I found it very easy to spend a whole day browsing around.
    Be prepared,if trying on clothing, to do so in make-shift flimsy 'changing booths'. Someone should stand guard lest you be caught in your underwear!

    What to buy: All the above named, but especially the recycled tin articles, which are beautifully made and colourful.

    What to pay: Bargain-but prices are really cheap anyway

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    Market Stalls: What treasures can be found here?

    by kentishgirl Written Mar 3, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Just like in other areas of Africa it is common to all of a sudden come across a random stall set up along the side of the road.
    These people are usually selling local crafts - in Africa that usually means wooden giraffes and other wood carvings - they are cheap, good gifts - just make sure that you can carry them and that you are allowed to take them back into your country.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Authentic African salad anyone?

    by mvtouring Written Feb 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lets eat

    The informal markets is a great place to visit and find something special to take home. Less expensive than buying it in a shop and the quality is exactly the same. You are just buying directly from the suppliers

    What to buy: These serving dishes makes for a lovely dish in which to serve your cous-cous salad or other african dish that you might have prepared for your guests.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Women's Travel
    • Food and Dining

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Defending the cave man

    by mvtouring Written Feb 19, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Zulu shield

    The informal markets is a great place to visit and find something special to take home. Less expensive than buying it in a shop and the quality is exactly the same. You are just buying directly from the suppliers

    What to buy: The zulu war shield makes a nice display on the wall.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Sit like a zulu king

    by mvtouring Written Feb 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me - big chief

    The informal markets is a great place to visit and find something special to take home. Less expensive than buying it in a shop and the quality is exactly the same. You are just buying directly from the suppliers here and not working thru a third entity.

    What to buy: These lovely chairs are very comfortable and make for interesting garden furniture.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Sculpture market on the roadside

    by Jenniflower Written Apr 20, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aaaaaaaaahh!! :)
    2 more images

    When you drive through Kommetjie and Scarborough, you happen upon an informal market that sells all kinds of sculptures.

    What to buy: This picture is an example of the type of things they have on offer. The sculptures are of a very high standard, the sculptors very talented. There are small items too, but there are MANY large ones, which must weight a tonne! They are popular with foreigners though, although for me personally, the cost of flying/shopping such a huge and heavy item would put me off buying it.

    As a local, of course it would be fine to buy! No worries re transportation.

    What to pay: They are expensive in as much as they are worth alot, but are inexpensive when paying with foreign currency

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Local craft and ethnic artistry

    by Jenniflower Updated Mar 8, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While admiring the scenic beauty and historic sights of Cape Town on your meanderings, look out for hand sewn clothing, beautiful ethnic beadwork, handcrafted jewellery and handcareved sculpures.

    Important to remember is that the person who is selling the art and crafts may be feeding a family of 20 members with whatever he brings home that night (as unemployment is high in the region), so where on the one hand I advocate bartering and negotiating, on the other hand, do so not too harshly, only if the cost seems ridiculous to you. It is often very subjective too (the worth of an artwork) and hard to put a price on an artists time and talent.

    What to buy: Examples of arts and crafts from all over Africa are found here, not only South African craft, and this includes soapstone carvings, woven reed works, wirework creations (a personal favourite you might well imagine if you know my personal website haha) as well as replicas of the weapons, shields and war masks. The handcrafters and artists work in media as varied as ceramics, textile treatments, leather, bead, metal and wirework, jewellery, items from recycled material and more. Their work is an inspiration.

    What to pay: Prices differ hugely. For a 1 metre tall handcarved girraffe made of jackleberry wood expect to pay at least R200.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Informal Markets: Greenmarket Square

    by mke1963 Written Jan 10, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Greenmarket Square has become a huge open-air African market, selling textiles, handicrafts and artwork from all over Africa. It?s a place heaving with activity all day, every day, and is an attractive place to linger even if you are not buying anything.

    What to buy: Africana of al kinds. An amazing variety of textiles, wooden and leather crafts - some of it beautiful, some of it just rubbish. All is sold with style, panache and a smile.

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  • Joemidwest's Profile Photo

    Greenmarket Square: Excellent handicrafts

    by Joemidwest Updated Jan 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ostrich eggs

    People from South Africa and neighboring countries bring their crafts here.

    What to buy: Masks, handpainted ostrich eggs, woodcarvings, malachite carvings?, clothes, etc. etc.

    What to pay: Bargain, but everybody has got to make a living.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • DesertRat's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Craft Market near Red Hill

    by DesertRat Written Jan 25, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Giraffe sculptures at the Red Hill craft market.

    This craft market, which is located along the highway just outside Red Hill on the Cape Peninsula, is chock-a-block with quite respectably crafted sculpture, both in stone and in wood. Items range from very small statues of animals such as rhinos and hippos to huge wood figures representing both animals and people. It's certainly worth a stop, though if you buy something, make sure you haggle at least a little, even if the prices do seem to be quite low.

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  • paradisedreamer's Profile Photo

    Roadside crafts

    by paradisedreamer Written Jul 21, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You’ll find unique handcrafted items at many roadside stalls along Cape Town’s main roads and scenic drives. Don’t just stop at the first one you see – it’s worth shopping around because as the quality varies, so does the price. Most vendors will be happy to barter with you.

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  • pmarshuk's Profile Photo

    Wood Carving: Roadside Stalls

    by pmarshuk Updated Apr 29, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along the sides of the roads you will find stalls selling fantastic local carvings. We came across this one on our way back from Cape Point. At the back of the stall was a small workshop where a couple of guys were doing more carving, so it was authentic (but still for tourists).

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  • Tommys's Profile Photo

    African Curios

    by Tommys Written Nov 5, 2002

    If you're looking to buy traditional African curious such as wooden giraffes or hippos or any other sculpture - drive out of the city towards Cape Point. Along the way you'll find plenty of roadside traders who sell items much cheaper than the exclusive mall shops. You can even see some works in progress and often can bargain a price. There's even a life size sculpture of a hippo which would set you back about £3000 - and then the dilemma of where to put it!

    What to buy: Anything that you like the look of.....

    What to pay: Btwn £4 to £3000 depending on your bargaining skills!

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Informal Markets: Take home a giraffe

    by mvtouring Written Feb 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    lets go swimming guys!
    1 more image

    Why not take home a giraffe. These beautyfull animals will love to live in your home and will be a nice reminder of your time in Africa.

    What to pay: depending on the size you are looking from R100 - R700

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

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