Haiti Tourism

Port-au-Prince's Iron Market "Marché en Fer" : Ultimate Shopping Adventure

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Marché en Fer Courtesy of Uncommon Caribbean

I had such a great time shopping at the different Marché during my visit to Haiti earlier this year.  After over paying during a few of my trips, I quickly learned to never speak English and always ask for a discount after your first quote. The vendors can spot a tourist miles away. I didn’t get to visit the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, but it’s on the top of my list for my next trip to Haiti.

Haitian art pieces are popular sellers in the Iron Market | SBPR
Haitian art pieces are popular sellers in the Iron Market | SBPR – Courtesy of Uncommon Caribbean

According to this great article from  Uncommon Caribbean 

Whatever price they give you, cut it in half.

This is the first rule of successful shopping at Haiti’s Iron Market, or Marché en Fer, a beyond-bustling bazaar that offers what in my experience is by far the Caribbean’s ultimate shopping adventure.

The original Iron Market structure dates back to the 1800s. It was built in France expressly to serve as a railway station in Cairo, though somehow it got diverted to Port-au-Prince. Since 1891, it’s served as the commercial heartbeat of the city, so it was a pretty big deal when it became among the first buildings completely reconstructed following the 2010 earthquake.

The new Iron Market bears many modern advancements that belie its long historyand classic styling. Solar panels line the roof powering the entire facility. Wi-fi is available throughout, and credit or debit cards can be used to make purchases – 21st century shopping convenience in setting seemingly plucked from a bygone era well in the past.

Local art and handicrafts, footwear, hats, jewelry, clothes, birds, herbs, food, toys – it’s all sold all over the place here, six days-a-week by nearly 1,000 vendors. – Continue Reading Here 

Sandals and assorted other curiosities | SBPR
Sandals and assorted other curiosities | SBPR – Courtesy of Uncommon Caribbean
Hand-made Haitian handicrafts on sale at the Iron Market | SBPR
Hand-made Haitian handicrafts on sale at the Iron Market | SBPR – Courtesy of Uncommon Caribbean
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