Shopping and Eating in Madagascar



The following articles can be imported into Madagascar duty-free (people aged 21 and over):

2 cartons or 20 packs of cigarettes;
2 l alcoholic beverages.

Import restrictions

Valuable electronic devices (video cameras) must be declared upon entry.

Import regulations

Perfume may not be imported duty-free.

Prohibited imports

The import of weapons and drugs of all kinds is strictly prohibited.

Export regulations

Certain animal and plant species, precious and semi-precious stones, fossils and fossils may not be exported or not exported without appropriate accompanying documents. A maximum of 100 g vanilla may be exported. Up to 1 kg of jewelry may be exported if exchange and purchase receipts are presented.


Opening hours

Mon-Sat 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (mostly closed between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.).


Goods that contain parts of the Madagascan flora or fauna (this also includes dried flowers) sometimes require a separate export permit. Articles that fall under the Washington Convention on Endangered Species, such as crocodile skin, ostrich eggs, mussels, untreated ebony or orchids, may not be exported. When buying gemstones, you should definitely have a certificate issued, otherwise these may not be carried out.


The most popular souvenirs include handicrafts such as lamba (traditional squares of fabric made from woven fabrics with different patterns), Zafimaniny wood inlays, silver work such as Mahafaly crosses and Vangavanga bracelets, gemstone or shell jewelry, handmade paper, Malagasy musical instruments and folk embroidery. Hand-painted pictures, carvings and small sculptures are also nice souvenirs. All kinds of practical wickerwork and wickerwork such as bags, mats, baskets, hats and fans are made from materials such as reeds, raffia, sisal, palm leaves, bamboo, straw or baoba bark.

In all larger towns there are regular markets where you can find fresh fruit and vegetables as well as numerous spices such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon, chilli and ylang-ylang. The original Malagasy real vanilla is particularly popular with tourists. Bargaining is common in the markets, especially when buying souvenirs. Often the prices can be negotiated down by 10-15%. However, one should not overdo it with action and always think about the poverty of the people who have to support their families with the income. In the big cities there are also supermarkets where the goods for daily needs are offered.



1 ariary = 5 iraimbilanja. Currency abbreviation: Ar, MGA (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 ares. There are coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 ar.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in the hotels in the capital, but only to a limited extent in the other towns. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.


ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of local currency is limited to 400,000 ariary.
The import of foreign currencies is unrestricted, obligation to declare from an import amount equivalent to 7,500 euros. Export of foreign currencies up to a maximum of the amount declared on entry, minus the exchange amounts (evidence is checked).

Currency Exchange

Ariary are only available in banks, official exchange offices in hotels and at the airport in Antananarivo. There are some ATMs available in Antananarivo. We strongly advise against exchanging money on the black market. The Ariary cannot be exchanged for foreign currency; it is therefore advisable to exchange it as required. Some hotels charge euros or US $ to settle bills from foreigners. It is therefore advisable to have a cash reserve in euros.


Regional specialities

  • Ro(beef and pork that is marinated in vinegar, water and oil and then cooked with vegetables, onions and pickled vegetables and seasoned with pimento)
  • Ravitoto(a stew made from meat and leafy vegetables)
  • Ramazava(leafy vegetables, pieces of beef and pork, fried)
  • Vary amid ‘anana(rice, leafy greens or herbs, meat, and sometimes shrimp), which is often eaten with kitoza (long slices of cured or salted meat).

Useful information

Local restaurants are called hotely.


A 10-15% tip in restaurants is common. Tipping is also common in Chinese and Vietnamese establishments.

Regional drinks

Are produced in Madagascar Litchel (aperitif from litchis), Betsabetsa (a type of beer made from sugar cane) and Toaka gasy (from sugar cane and rice distilled) and ” Three-Horses ” -Pilsner. Non-alcoholic drinks include ranon ‘apango or rano vda (a rice drink) and local mineral water.

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In Madagascar, a country located in Africa according to ehealthfacts, you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.

Shopping in Madagascar