Seychelles shopping can certainly be a fun and rewarding pursuit for those enjoying a Seychelles vacation, and chances are that even if you don't come here to shop, you'll be leaving with at least a few neat knick-knacks. Picking up souvenirs from your Seychelles trip is always a good idea, and there must be someone back home who would appreciate a Seychelles gift. Due to the relative isolation of the Seychelles archipelago, imported goods tend to have elevated prices, so you might notice that when perusing various Seychelles shops. Local goods, however, can be quite affordable, as usually there is no middle man involved. A growing number of artists are descending on Seychelles because of its inspirational beauty, and some of these artists' studios also serve as retail outlets. If you have wall or counter space back home for a piece, you'll be able to display something unique to always remind you of your time in paradise.
Familiarizing yourself with the Seychelles currency before you start engaging in Seychelles shopping is always a good place to start. The Seychelles currency is the Seychelles Rupee. One Seychelles Rupee equals 100 cents. There are 1 and 5 Rupee coins, in addition to coins in denominations of 5, 10, and 25 cents. Notes come in denominations of 10, 25, 50, and 100, respectively. Oddly enough, Seychelles currency is not accepted at many Seychelles hotels and resorts, which prefer tourists to pay in foreign currency. This likely has something to do with exchange rates, which do not exactly favor the Seychelles Rupee. Most often, U.S. Dollars and British Pounds Sterling are the way to go at the hotels, and you can also use your credit card or travellers cheques. The best place to exchange money, should you need, is at the international airport on Mahe Island. The banks here open for all flight arrivals and/or departures, which is quite convenient for tourists. There are ATM machines in Seychelles, but they are really only found on Mahe Island and Praslin Island, which are the two main islands in terms of tourism, infrastructure, and so on. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Seychelles, as are travellers cheques.
Now that you are armed with Seychelles currency, and a bit of your own foreign currency, you're ready to start doing some Seychelles shopping. Mahe Island and Praslin Island are the best Seychelles islands for shopping, as they together are the hub of the country. If you want to hit the Seychelles shops, then Mahe is your best bet, as it's where some 90% of the Seychellois population is found. There are no mega-malls here, or anything the like, which helps to make shopping in Seychelles more enjoyable. Instead, the Seychelles shops tend to be very laid-back, making for a more soothing experience. On Mahe Island, some shops are specialty shops that specialize in things like locally-made perfumes and Seychelles tea. The most renowned specialty shop in Seychelles is probably the Kenwyn House, which is also a national monument. Found in the capital city of Victoria, it's not only a duty-free gem house, but also a historical point of interest. The Kenwyn House itself is a rather impressive example of the French colonial style of architecture. Mahe Island is also where you will find the best Seychelles market. The Sir Selwyn Clarke Market is found in the heart of Victoria, and it's always lively, with Saturdays being especially "festive". Not only are there an array of neat little shops at this market, but you can also stock up on fresh fruits, fish, spices and vegetables.
Art galleries and studios are quite prevalent on both Mahe Island and Praslin Island, and they are among the most alluring Seychelles shops. Among the most notable of Seychellois artists is Georges Camille, whose works have been exhibited in such cities as London and Paris. Camille actually has three gallery-studios where visitors can not only view his work, but also take some of it home. On both Mahe and Praslin islands, you will find a George Camille Art Gallery, while the island of La Digue is where Camille's Green Gecko Gallery can be found. Camille is just one of many good artists here, so you'll certainly want to also check out the work of some of the others as well.
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