Visit 7 exotic markets in Suriname

By: Tania van Velthuizen 

February 2020

Our guide in Paramaribo takes you along the markets in Suriname where you can also taste street food and exotic fruits. If you want to mingle among the locals, a market is the best place to be! In this blog, I will give you practical information of the local markets in the city!

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Cultural markets in Paramaribo

Suriname is home to different cultures who all brought their own food and religion. The best way to experience this multi-culture is by visiting different markets and of course, taste street food! I made a list of seven markets for you that you can discover with or without a guide!

 Central Market

This market is the biggest, oldest, and best-known in Paramaribo! Here everything can really be bought. From fresh fish and fresh vegetables till fresh herbs and pieces of cloth. Let the traditional food carrier help you bring your groceries to your car. The screams ‘wagi wagi’ so that you can move aside!

The building has 2 stories and if it rains you can shop here very well. There are also stalls selling food.  There is a stand with large barrels with freshly made ginger beer, an alcohol-free drink made from fermented ginger with sugar. If I am in the market I always drink freshly made ginger beer!

Practical info: the Market is covered. Address; Waterkant (Waterfront), open the whole week except Sunday.

Djoeka wojo or Maroon market

You can find here products from the interior such as forest products, such as herbs and seeds. The seed is used to make jewelry. Taste the Brazilian nut or the sweet forest markoesa (passion fruit), deliciously sweet! Libido strengthening concoctions are also sold! The market women like to tell you more about this! You can also buy products for traditional cultural rituals (winti). 

Practical info: the Market is covered. Address; Waterkant, Sunday closed.

The Javanese market “Sana Budaya”

At this market, Javanese vendors mainly sell vegetables, fruit, and traditional Javanese dishes. Typical dishes to be bought are lotes (salad made of young mango with pepper and salt), sate fresh from the BBQ, and sweets some made of coconut. My favorite is coconut water, fresh from the young coconut together with Tahoe longton! hmm, yami yami! and this preferably at 9 in the morning!!

Practical info: Open on Sunday morning. Address:  Jozef Israël street.

Chinese markets

Chinese vendors sell Chinese vegetables, fruit, and Chinese food, such as roasted duck, pork, and steamed snacks. My favorite snack is dim sum just to vary with street food from the Javanese market!

Practical info: the biggest market is at Grote Combeweg (covered) and the smaller market is in front of Soeng Ngie and Co., Wilhelminastraat. These markets are only open on Sunday morning.

Flower & plant market

Here you will find a mix max of flowers, mostly outdoor plants such as Orchidee, Ferns, fruit trees, and some tropical fresh fruits. This plant market is held in a park, which already gives the atmosphere of the country-side. I like to walk around very much! This is more a market for the locals unless you take along a tropical plant in your suitcase?

Practical info: the market is at Letitia Vriesdelaan. Open on Sunday morning.

Tourtonne market

At this market, you can buy vegetables, fruit, second-hand articles, and plants. The market is partly covered and partly along the road.  The CD sellers, mostly illegal copies 🙂  let people hear their music which gives the place a cozy atmosphere. Different articles are also sold from the back of cars. In between are the food stands. 

Practical info: this market is at Tourtonnelaan. Only open on Sunday morning.

Kwatta market

My favorite market! Fresh vegetables, fish, fruit, and game from the forest (for example, rabbit-like animals). At this market, locals and tourists meet each other. There are food stands at the back-side. You should taste the dawet and bakabana! Dawet is a Javanese rose-green drink from coconut milk and bakabana (fried ripe plantain) rolled in flour. You already know it by now….. I skip my regular breakfast.. to enjoy this street food! 

Practical info: This covered market is at Kwattaweg, open on Wednesday and Sunday mornings.

If you are interested in a guided ‘cultural market tour’ or ‘Surinamese street food tour’ during your holiday in Suriname, let us know!

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Tania van Velthuizen is the owner of Pejego Tours. She was born and raised in Suriname. She studied Surinamese law and loves to travel. Before going to Europe, she worked at the Ministry of Regional Development, so she visited every bit of the Amazon rainforest. At the time, she fell in love with everything it had to offer, including the Amerindians and the Maroons, the fauna and flora. She also wrote a book on the land rights of Indigenous people and the descendants of the Maroons.

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