Accra, the capital city of Ghana, is well-known for its vibrant markets that offer a unique shopping experience. Among these places Kantamanto Market stands out as a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.
Known as Accra’s largest second-hand clothing market, Kantamanto Market is a treasure trove of fashion finds, intriguing items, and a bustling atmosphere that will leave you captivated. In this ultimate guide, we will delve into the vibrant world of Kantamanto Market and explore everything you need to know before stepping foot into this lively shopping haven.
A Glimpse into Kantamanto’s Market History
Before we delve into the heart of the market, let’s take a moment to appreciate its historical significance. Kantamanto Market has a storied past, dating back to colonial times. During the British colonial era, the market was originally established to accommodate the trading activities of European merchants. Over the years, it evolved into a thriving center of commerce, drawing vendors and shoppers from far and wide.
Kantamanto is the largest secondhand market in Ghana. It is the go-to place for cheap clothes and helped popularize the term “Obroni Wawu”, which directly translates into “Dead Man’s Clothes”.
It is estimated that 3.4 million kilograms (approximately 15 million items) of used clothing (generally donated) from all around the world end up at this market (every week!).
Getting There and Getting Around
Kantamanto Market is conveniently located in the central business district of Accra, making it easily accessible from various parts of the city. Whether you’re staying at Greenviews, Osu, Jamestown, or any other of the best neighborhoods in Accra, you can reach Kantamanto by taxi, ride-sharing services, or even by taking a trotro (local bus) if you’re feeling adventurous.
Once you arrive, brace yourself for an immersive experience in a vibrant, bustling market that sprawls over a significant area. The market is divided into various sections, each specializing in specific types of products. The key to exploring Kantamanto successfully is to take it one section at a time.
Exploring Kantamanto: A Shopper’s Paradise
Textiles and Clothing
Kantamanto Market is renowned for its dazzling array of textiles and clothing. It’s a treasure trove for fashion enthusiasts and anyone looking to add some vibrant fabrics to their collection.
You’ll find a vast assortment of textiles, both traditional Ghanaian fabrics like Kente and contemporary materials and items such as kaftans. Whether you’re planning to have a custom outfit made or simply want to stock up on beautiful fabric, this is the place to be.
Footwear and Accessories
Kantamanto has a thriving footwear section, catering to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re hunting for stylish shoes, comfortable sandals, or durable boots, there’s plenty to choose from.
Don’t forget to explore the accessory stalls, where you can find jewelry, beads, belts, and bags to complement your outfits.
If you’re in need of household items or kitchenware, Kantamanto has got you covered. Explore the numerous stalls offering utensils, cookware, decorative items, and more.
The market is an excellent place to find affordable home essentials.
Local Cuisine and Street Food
After a satisfying shopping spree, refuel with some local Ghanaian cuisine. Kantamanto has a selection of local food stalls and street food vendors where you can savor the flavors of Ghana.
Try classic dishes like jollof rice, grilled kebabs, fresh fruit juices and waakye, (one of the most popular breakfast in Ghana) while soaking in the market’s vibrant atmosphere.
Local Crafts and Souvenirs
While textiles and fashion dominate the scene, Kantamanto occasionally surprises visitors with stalls offering local crafts and souvenirs. These can make for unique gifts or keepsakes of your time in Accra, so keep an eye out for artisanal works.
Additionally, Kantamanto Market is located in close proximity to other attractions in Accra. Take a stroll to Independence Square, visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, or explore the Makola Market, one of the largest Accra markets. These attractions provide a well-rounded experience of Accra’s culture, history, and vibrant atmosphere.
Check out our Accra Walking Tour if you want a complete day in Accra!
Navigating the Market: Tips and Tricks
- Bargain with a Smile: Bargaining is a customary practice in Kantamanto Market. Vendors typically start with higher prices, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better deal. Keep it friendly and respectful.
- Watch Your Belongings: The market can get crowded, so be vigilant about your belongings to prevent theft. Consider carrying a small, secure bag and keeping valuables close.
- Comfortable Attire: Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, as you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking. Also, dress modestly, as Ghanaian culture appreciates conservative attire.
- Hydration and Breaks: Accra can get quite hot, so stay hydrated by carrying a bottle of water. Take breaks when needed, and don’t hesitate to rest at a local café or food stall.
- Timing: Kantamanto is busiest during the day, especially on weekends. If you prefer a more relaxed shopping experience, visit on weekdays.
Best days to visit
New stock comes in on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so those two days are the busiest days. Although we recommend you visit during one of those two days to really have a full experience, if you are not so keen on busy places, you can visit any other day of the week (however, doesn’t mean it won’t be busy!).
In conclusion, Kantamanto Market Accra is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique shopping experience. With its vast selection of second-hand clothing, fascinating items, and lively atmosphere, the market offers a one-of-a-kind adventure.
By following our ultimate guide, you will be well-prepared to navigate through the maze of stalls, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of Kantamanto Market. So, grab your shopping bags and get ready to explore this captivating slice of Accra’s culture.