Local Arts and Crafts at the Curio Market in Arusha, Tanzania

If you’re looking to buy local arts and crafts in Arusha, Tanzania, you won’t have too much trouble finding a shop that sells them. In fact, even if you can’t find a curio shop, an overly helpful local will be happy to guide you to one. As I was walking into the center of town on my first day in Arusha, I had plenty of “help” from the locals who wanted to direct me to their shops.

I’m not all that interested in buying souvenirs when I travel, but I do love checking out local handicrafts and markets, so when I found out about the curio market in Arusha, I knew I had to go and check it out.

To get to the curio market, head to the clock tower in the center of town and turn down School Road. The market is located directly across the road from the school.

Ladies selling crafts at Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

The front of the curio market

The market has an enormous amount of stalls selling all sorts of local arts and crafts, from paintings to jewellery and wood carvings, but to be honest, most of the stalls sell similar things. If there is one stall selling jewellery, there will be another twenty stalls selling exactly the same jewellery, and every one will claim to have the best price and the most authentic items.

Bead crafts at Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

Bead crafts for sale in the market

If you’re not fond of crowds and confrontation, you will probably find Arusha’s Curio Market to be a little uncomfortable. You need to be able to say no and to continue walking if you don’t want to go into a stall. There is a lot of competition in this market, so every shop keeper will try to get you into their stall to have a look. Don’t let this deter you though. The people are still very friendly and it is a great experience, especially if you do want to buy something. Haggling and grabbing a bargain is always a whole lot of fun!

Wandering around Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

Wandering around the market

Wood carver at Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

A wood craftsman at work in his market stall

Ladies making bead crafts at Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

Ladies at work making beaded necklaces

Local women looking around the Arusha Curio Market, Tanzania

Local women looking at a market stall

Although Arusha Curio Market can be a little full on and at times, quite annoying, it is definitely worth while checking out. There are some really great arts and crafts for sale, many of which are made right there in the market, and the prices were quite good compared to most of the curio shops that I visited in the area.

Do you like buying local arts and crafts when you travel? Where do you think are the best places to buy them?


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9 comments… add one
  • Beautiful stuff! Did you buy anything while you were there?
    Brock – Backpack With Brock recently posted..The Backpack With Brock Foodbyte – Argentina EditionMy Profile

    • Dean Wickham Sep 11, 2012

      Hey Brock. I bought a bracelet for my wife, but I’m not all that interested in buying souvenirs when I travel as I don’t want to collect a whole lot of stuff. I really love wondering around places like this though.

  • I like shopping during traveling. I found here very nice and interesting information about Curio Market in Arusha, Tanzania. Your worthy post will be helpful for me and other travelers who want to go Tanzania and if they want to do shopping.

  • cheryl Sep 20, 2012

    I love markets and I think I’d love this one too. I don’t like to pick up too many souvenirs either when I travel but always enjoy checking out markets for people watching, food sampling etc.

    • Dean Wickham Sep 21, 2012

      I’m with you Cheryl. Markets are great places to people watch and get in with the locals.

  • ST Mastering Nov 5, 2016

    The post is very informative. I think anyone visit Tanzania will find this very helpful.Especially anyone wants to visit local market they won’t face trouble.

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