The Somali shilling is the currency used in Somalia (excluding Somaliland), and its ISO 4217 currency code is (quite appropriately?) SOS. Currently, only the SOS1000 note is accepted, and it does not go very far… a glass of (unpotable) water will set you back SOS1000. Exchange rates are highly variable, and in December 2014, USD1 officially equaled SOS700, while the free market rate yields ten or twenty times more local paper for hard money, which is favored for bigger purchases. Much more helpful are things that can be bartered.
The Bakaara Market (Somali: Suuqa Bakaaraha) is the biggest open market in Somalia and is located in Mogadishu.
Bakaara Market is located in Mogadishu’s center. During the rule of Siad Barre, the market was established in late 1972. Proprietors sold and continue to sell everyday necessities (such as maize, sorghum, beans, peanuts, sesame, wheat, and rice), fuel, and medication. Despite the fact that a new Coalition government has taken power, Somali marketplaces continue to operate mostly unregulated. A vast range of weapons is also available, with firearms occasionally being the only item available at certain marketplaces. At the moment, 80 percent of Somali males possess a weapon. Customers will often test their new guns by shooting into the air, so use extreme caution. An automatic weapon may typically be purchased in the market for about SOS1,000,000 or USD30. Don’t purchase one, even if you think it’s manly. If you have a weapon, you are far more likely to use it, which is extremely terrible in the eyes of the law and may lead to your death.
There are numerous items to purchase here, but be cautious of inexpensive pearls, which may not be genuine. Somalia has several excellent tailors and is a good location to get clothing tailored to measure and duplicated.