Several of the markets are fascinating to wander around, but pay attention to your safety and don't take anything valuable with you. Think twice before wandering around with a backpack, which is inviting theft, and if you have a safe place to leave your money belt, then don't bring that either.
The more relaxed of the two main markets to visit is about 500m east of the south end of Cairo Road. Walk over the railway on the Independence Avenue bridge, and you can't miss it on your right. Here is the country's centre for the sale of clothing donated by charities from the west. This trade, known as salaula, has badly affected Zambia's indigenous clothes industry – which previously thrived on the production and sale of printed cotton fabrics, like the common chitenjes. This is why salaula's long-term value as a form of aid is hotly debated.
On the western side of Cairo Road, the old 'Soweto' market (which was between Katondo and Nkwazi roads) has been replaced with the New City Market, which is now along Lumumba Road and is open daily from 06.00 to 18.00. This is the city's biggest market, lively and interesting – it's even popular with adventurous expats on Saturday mornings. However, it is a place to be wary of, not well suited to single or less confident foreign travellers. Again, dress down for a visit and don't even think of taking those valuables with you.
There are two other large markets in the centre, though both are smaller than the New City Market. The Central Market is on Chachacha Road, and Kamwala (or Luburma) Market, also open daily 06.00–18.00, is off Independence Avenue near the Kafue Road fly-over bridge. Most of the market stalls concentrate on vegetables and fresh and dried fish, plus new and secondhand clothes. There'll be plenty of others, though, selling everything from baskets to an assortment of hardware. Of particular interest may be the traditional-healer stalls, tinsmiths and furniture makers.