5 Cheap Things to Buy in Cotonou

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Cotonou, a bustling city in Benin, is a treasure trove of affordable items that are perfect for both personal use and resale. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be delighted to find a variety of cheap things to buy in Cotonou, making it a haven for savvy shoppers.

  1. Okrika Bale: This is a popular choice among thrift store owners and those starting in the secondhand clothing market. Okrika bales consist of used clothing, including dresses, shoes, sandals, and bags. They are graded and sold in bulk, offering a profitable opportunity for resale. The price for a bale of old clothing varies, but you can expect to pay between ₦250,000 and ₦500,000 for 100kg of First Grade Okrika​​.
  2. Bags, T-Shirts, and Fabrics: Cotonou is known for its affordable clothing and shoes. The markets here are filled with bags, T-shirts, and various textile materials, all available at budget-friendly prices. Additionally, elegant footwear and wooden carved masks can be found, offering you a glimpse into the local culture and style​​.
  3. Souvenirs at the Artisanal Center: If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts, the Artisanal Center is the place to go. This tourist-oriented market offers a range of items, and you can haggle to get the best deals. Remember to be prepared for bargaining, as it’s part of the shopping experience in Cotonou​​.
  4. Freshly Caught Fish from the Cotonou Lagoon: For a taste of local cuisine, you can buy freshly caught fish from the Cotonou Lagoon. This is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a glimpse into the daily life and culinary traditions of the region​​.
  5. Other Unique Finds: You might also stumble upon unique finds like local artworks, traditional clothing, and handcrafted items. Exploring the markets in Cotonou is not just about shopping; it’s an experience that gives you insight into the rich cultural tapestry of Benin.

Overall, Cotonou is a great destination for those looking for budget-friendly shopping options. From secondhand clothing to unique souvenirs, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

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Remember, the joy of shopping in Cotonou is not just in the items you buy but also in the experience of exploring the bustling markets and interacting with local vendors.

Cheap Things to Buy in Cotonou


  1. Suggestion: Check out the Okrika bales in Cotonou for a wide range of affordable secondhand clothing. Reply: “Great idea! I’m looking for budget-friendly clothing options.”
  2. Suggestion: Explore the markets for affordable bags, T-shirts, and elegant footwear. Reply: “Sounds like a shopping spree waiting to happen. Thanks for the tip!”
  3. Suggestion: Visit the Artisanal Center for unique souvenirs and gifts. Reply: “Perfect for picking up some presents. I’ll be sure to bargain!”
  4. Suggestion: Try buying freshly caught fish from the Cotonou Lagoon for a local culinary experience. Reply: “Fresh fish sounds delicious. I’ll give it a try.”
  5. Suggestion: Look for wooden carved masks for a piece of authentic African art. Reply: “Those would make great decorations. I’ll look for them.”
  6. Suggestion: If you’re into textiles, search for fabrics at the local markets. Reply: “I love textiles! I’ll keep an eye out for unique patterns.”
  7. Suggestion: Remember to haggle when shopping at markets to get the best prices. Reply: “Good advice. I’ll brush up on my bargaining skills.”
  8. Suggestion: For an insight into local culture, explore the Voodoo Fetish Market. Reply: “That sounds intriguing. I’ll add it to my itinerary.”
  9. Suggestion: Visit the Cotonou Cathedral to admire its unique architecture. Reply: “I’m interested in architecture. This will be a must-visit for me.”
  10. Suggestion: Drop by the French Cultural Center to engage in workshops and cultural activities. Reply: “Cultural exchange is always enriching. I’ll check it out.”
  11. Suggestion: If you’re into art, don’t miss the exhibitions at the Foundation Zinsou. Reply: “Art exhibitions sound fantastic. I’ll make sure to visit.”
  12. Suggestion: Explore the calm streets of Cocotiers and enjoy the local cafes. Reply: “A relaxed day in Cocotiers sounds lovely.”
  13. Suggestion: Spend some time soaking up the sun at Fidjirosse Beach. Reply: “A beach day is always a good idea. I’ll bring my sunscreen!”
  14. Suggestion: For a unique experience, visit the floating village of Ganvie near Cotonou. Reply: “A floating village? That’s definitely going on my list.”
  15. Suggestion: Don’t miss trying out Le Code Bar for some great cocktails and a lively atmosphere. Reply: “Cocktails in the evening sound perfect. Thanks for the recommendation.”

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