Explore Shopping & Dining
Shopping & Dining
Curious travellers are rewarded with plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining.
To shop until you drop, the big and bustling markets are visitors’ first ports of call for shopping as well as feasting on the country’s best cuisine.
Food trucks were popular here long before they became ‘trendy’ in the rest of the world and along the coast, don’t miss the opportunity to dine on incredible seafood hauled fresh onto the beach.
Shoppers will delight in Freetown’s Big Markit in Freetown, one of the oldest markets in Sierra Leone, dating from the 18th century. Today visitors can shop for traditional arts and crafts, such as paintings and notably woven items, such as the famous shukublai, a basket made by the Temne tribe. Sadly many traditional crafts are slowly dying out, so don’t miss the chance to browse and support the traditional artisans and purchase some souvenirs. If you’re looking to add some colour to your wardrobe, Sierra Leone’s brightly coloured textiles are gaining renown across the globe and there’s no better place to snap them up than on the fashionable streets of the city.
If you’re in Bo, Bo’s ‘Big Market’ is where you can stock up on everything from local snacks to clothing and herbal remedies.
After working up an appetite shopping, you’ll find plenty of places to feast on local delicacies. Sierra Leone has a rich and proud food culture, especially when it comes to trendy street food. The markets are a good place to try all manner of local delicacies (purchase a bag of plantain chips to snack on the road) or find traditional food at the street food stalls, called a podapoda stop. Here, you can snack on fry fry (a mix bag of everything fried – from fried chicken to fried plantains and more); kukhri (rice and sauce); fried cassava bread with gravy; sweet snacks or cakes; and leaf-wrapped snacks. For something a little stronger, don’t leave without trying poyo or palm wine.
If you’re on the coast or in the party playground of Lumley Beach, the cool cafes and upmarket restaurants are the place to be! Grab a sundowner and feast on the catch of the day.