Basket Market


Aksum has two interesting markets that burst to life on Saturday; both are best between 10.30am and noon. This one takes place under the massive fig tree shading the heart of the piazza. It’s absolutely huge at festival time when visiting Ethiopians stock up on high-quality Tigrayan workmanship.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Aksum attractions

1. Old Palace

0.06 MILES

This old palace was under reconstruction at the time of writing.

2. Old Church of St Mary of Zion

0.24 MILES

The rectangular, men-only old church at the southern end of the complex of churches here is a remarkable example of traditional architecture built by the…

3. Main Market

0.25 MILES

The main market, with spices and the like, runs all week, but is busiest on Saturday.

4. Ark of the Covenant Chapel

0.25 MILES

In between the old and new St Mary of Zion churches is the real reason for most people’s devotion: a tiny, carefully guarded chapel that houses what most…

5. St Mary of Zion Church Museum

0.26 MILES

The museum inside the St Mary of Zion Church complex contains an impressive haul of treasure, including an unsurpassed collection of former Ethiopian…

6. Throne Stone

0.27 MILES

At the top of the stairs in front of the old St Mary of Zion Church is the Throne Stone where the coronation of 261 Aksumite kings took place.

7. New Church of St Mary of Zion

0.28 MILES

The huge new church of St Mary of Zion was built in the 1960s so women had a place to worship and it displays Haile Selassie’s usual hideous taste. Still…

8. St Mary of Zion Churches Complex

0.28 MILES

Though religions have come and gone, Aksum has always remained a holy city – welcome to the centre of the universe for Christian Ethiopians. A church of…