A Guide to Shopping in Ariaria International Market

aba market
Overview of the Ariaria International Market, Aba, Nigeria. © Faith Okpe

Billed the “China of Africa,” Aba and its Ariaria International Market is well known for being Nigeria’s commercial powerhouse. It certainly can compete with Africa’s mega markets, Ariaria International Market has a certain charm seemingly generated by one thing: it’s a shopper’s paradise. The market is one of the largest markets in West Africa and reputable for making of wears and leather works. A dynamic cultural hub with a reputation for creativity, it’s no surprise that Ariaria International Market has an exceptional shopping scene. In Ariaria Market, there is something for everyone, clothes, plants, hotel supplies, you name it you will find it. Want to go on a shopping spree in Aba, Nigeria without blowing your budget? That is why we’re here to give you a guide on Nigeria’s massive market, the Ariaria International Market.

We also recommend our guide to the best markets in Aba, Nigeria.

What to expect from Ariaria International Market

This isn’t just one of the busiest markets in Nigeria, it is also one of the busiest markets in Africa. So be prepared for the crowds. Be prepared to spend more than just a few minutes here, as different alleys of the market are organised with stalls selling different items. There’s no better place to shop than in Ariaria International Market. Its suitable for personal shoppers, retailers and wholesalers. Offering a shopping experience on offer to suit every taste and budget. Here you’ll find a wide range of products. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask. But there is always someone trying to help you or hustle you, so go with a trusted local.

Pricing at Ariaria International Market

The market is welcoming to both budget and upscale shoppers. If you’re a budget shopper, leave your big bills at home when visiting Ariaria Market. But do not expect to get the lowest prices without putting up a feisty bargain. In order to get the best deals, you have to be charming with your expressions and words. Be friendly and kind, tease the sellers with words like onye ahia m, meaning ‘my customer.’ Always price items in different shops before making your final buying decision. Highly recommended to go with a trusted local, in order not to be overpay for fake products.


Leather bags and accessories at Ariaria International Market | © Frankie N

This market is certainly unique. Known for its versatility in the making of clothes, accessories and leather works. Ariaria International Market will help you discover Nigeria’s fashion scene. You will find various vendors selling some pretty interesting merchandise, including homewares and machinery parts. From brand new items to second-hand goods, also the Ariaria market is one of the biggest thrift shops. It’s a thrilling place to browse. Vendors sell everything from knockoff international designers to local designers. If you plan to go here, make sure you leave yourself enough time to explore all areas of the market.

Clothing authenticity

Sewing machines at Ariaria International Market | © Ekefre Asuquo

At the Ariaria International Market, you can watch your clothing be made right before you. Being one of the biggest fabric markets in Nigeria and Africa, most stalls specialize in suits, coats, or traditional dresses. Once you have found a style you like, the owners of the stall will give you a complimentary fitting. Don’t have a solid idea, there is always someone able to help you create a unique look. From initial contact to final fitting.

Best time to visit Ariaria International Market

Ariaria International Market is open from about 9:00am until 6:00pm Monday-Saturday. But the atmosphere of the market changes as the day progresses. Arrive before 11am or later in the afternoon, you’ll be greeted by scattered vendors and hustlers trying to win a customer. Countless vendors eagerly selling their wares, you’re in one for one your best shopping experience in Nigeria. Beware of visiting during the Nigerian rainy season as the areas of the market can be flooded.

Location: Aba, a city in Abia State, Nigeria.