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Shopping

Markets are the best place to find typically Guinean products, but there are also institutions which help the disadvantaged through the sale of handicrafts.

Still recovering from a civil war and consecutive attempts of coup d'état in recent years, and being Guinea-Bissau quite a poor country, do not hope to find large shops or even high-end brands. But this is not the purpose of someone travelling to Bissau. Thus the best way to shop is to visit the local markets. The Central Market was destroyed during the conflicts, so there are only fairs and outdoors markets now, such as the Bandim Market, Bissau's biggest. It is located in the centre of then city and offers a great variety of local products, such as baskets and typical Guinean fabrics. These coloured fabrics can be used to make clothes, linen or pillows, for instance. At this market, bargaining is recommended, because prices are always changing. Buying at Centro Artístico Juvenil – (www.centroartisticojuvenil.blogspot.com), in the Missira Quarter, is a way to get to know Guinean handicrafts, also contributing to help young artists studying in the city. The sales of wooden sculptures then revert to their authors, who come from other parts of the country to study in Bissau. In the Belém quarter, you'll find Tiniguema, a non-governmental organisation working towards the development of the community and for the preservation of natural resources. At the headquarters, they sell calendars and postcards with images from Bissau, but also baskets and other products like jam, spices and palm oil. Because there are no terminals for automatic payments and there are only two ATMs in the city, the best way is to always pay in cash.

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