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Merkato is "the largest open air market in Africa".  The Markato is worth visiting places in Addis. You can buy anything here and the experience is unforgettable. Dress casual with a good pair of shoes or boots, keep your money well out of site and leave any valuables in the hotel safe. If you see something you want, work out a price you want to pay and bargain with the seller. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time as there is so much to see.

The Market is vast. A good start would be the Old Italian archways to the north. You can find countless electronics stalls. To the west you will find the bus station (not to be confused with the main bus station, called 'Autobus Terra'. The newer buildings here offer a wide range of traditional Ethiopian clothes. There are a number of shops that will give you good opportunity to bargain.

To the south into the grid-iron pattern of the newer market you can find the grain stores, often highlighted by the presence of people and donkeys alike struggling to carry huge sacks.  Grain soon gives way to perfumes and stalls selling shampoos and soaps.

Visiting the Merkato market you have to take much care. In some respects this is rightly so, but don't let this stop you from wondering its crowded streets and Old Italian architecture. There are some safety precautions you should take.

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