The Mercato is the largest outdoor market in Africa and Addis'
most colourful sight. There are tinkers, tailors, spice merchants,
camel traders, and purveyors of just about every possible commodity
under the sun - including, of course, wonderful Ethiopian coffee.
Needless to say, it is a great place to pick up souvenirs. Mercato
really is an exhilarating place to visit although probably not for
the faint hearted. With animals wandering the streets, vendors
hollering, the pungent aromas of local dishes and a riot of colour
and sensations, you will find a visit here to be a memorable
This is a pick-pocketing hotspot though, so be careful with your
valuables. Wear a money belt under your clothes rather than keeping
cash in an accessible place. Bargain hard as prices are enormously
flexible and foreigners are routinely charged 3-4 times the going
rate. Be careful of purchasing antiques and historical artifacts as
without a certificate they may be confiscated at the ai