The capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, is abundant with various markets and trading squares.

The Iron Market is the largest, most diverse, chaotic, and captivating – and the most worthwhile to visit.

The original structure was manufactured in Paris and intended for a railway station in Cairo. When plans to build a railway station in Cairo changed, Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite purchased it and ordered it to be brought to Haiti in 1891.

The Iron Market is one of the best places in Haiti to buy souvenirs. Here, you will find an enormous variety of handmade products from across the country in one place.


There is an art section where artists display their paintings. The section dedicated to Voodoo religion is particularly intriguing, where you can purchase dolls made from real human skin.

The Victorian-era station clock towering above the market’s entrance hints at the origin of the market building. Inside the hall, covering an area of over 20,000 square feet, is a sea of goods brought from all over Haiti, laid out on wooden tables on trestles.

As a tourist here, expect to be bombarded by vendors who persistently, and at times aggressively, vie for your attention. It’s a good idea to go with someone who speaks Haitian Creole, but be cautious about accepting help from “guides” who might vanish upon your arrival. And don’t forget to take precautions against pickpockets – it’s a very crowded place.

For adventurous travelers not easily intimidated or fooled, a visit to the Iron Market becomes an exciting event that allows a glimpse into local customs and trade.

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