Whether you’re in the market for some souvenirs and antiques, are looking for a new outfit, or just like adding to your junk jewellery collection, these shopping markets in Goa have you covered. By Eshita Srinivas
Goa is the undisputed king of tropical vacations for people in the country. There’s no other way to explain the sea of visitors (pun intended) it welcomes every other month, throughout the year. The seaside destination offers sunny, sandy beaches, verdant landscapes, and a nightlife that’s so vibrant, it has its adage, “what happens in Goa, stays in Goa.” A vacation in Goa is incomplete without some time spent walking through the colourful markets and bringing some incredible steals back to your hotel room. We round up a list of a few you should check out the next time you’re in town.
Indulge in some retail therapy at these shopping markets in Goa
Locals head to the Mapusa market to stock up on fresh produce, especially fruits, vegetables, lobster and prawns. As a visitor, you could explore options like spices, dried fish, pickles, and chorizos that you could take home with you or take a look at the range of local pottery, antiques, handicrafts, textiles, and jewellery on offer. Since the market is frequented by locals, the rates here are quite affordable, and you’re sure to get a good bargain on things. The best time to head here is on a Friday, which usually features a special market with additional discounts.
Anjuna Flea Market
If you’re at the Anjuna beach, soaking up some sun on a Wednesday, pop by this flea market that has scores of stores selling everything you could imagine, from trinkets and beach outfits to bags, wooden crafts, footwear, handicrafts, and even bedsheets. Most shops here are a bit of a melting pot, merging Western aesthetics with an Indian flavour to give off a certain vibe that the beach destination is all about. You’ll see this especially in the textiles on sale, from the scarves to the t-shirts. That said, there are traders from different parts of the country who sell traditional fare as well.
Arambol Flea Market
Shopping is an everyday affair at the Arambol beach, with hawkers setting up rows and rows of delicious food, colourful hammocks, and sweet-smelling soaps, amongst other things. Most of these sellers are expats and wanderers from different countries who sell their creations for a quick buck. On offer are glass pipes, clothes, jewellery, handmade bath and body products, and a lot more.
The prices here are believed to be lower than that at the Anjuna market. Shops begin at the Arambol beach main parking and extend beyond three kilometres to the end of the beach. Look out for the drum circle that performs here and lights up the market with juggling balls, hula hoops, poi and other props. With locals and visitors joining in on the fun, the market often transforms into a large, open-air party come sundown.
Goa Collective Bazaar
While we’re on the subject of having a party past sunset, we’d be remiss not to mention Goa Collective Bazaar, an amalgamation of everything from smudging sticks and crystals to clothes, food, and souvenirs made with sustainable ingredients. All that with live music, cocktail bars, and a kid’s corner. An initiative by Vagator’s popular dance club, HillTop, this market lights up Goa every Friday from 12 pm until 2 am. It’s a great way to end a long week.
Calangute Market Square
Follow your nose when you’re at Calangute beach and you’ll end up at a market known for its delicious local seafood. Besides the delicious fried prawns, this spot is known for its 70s backpacker vibe and has a throng of sarongs, leather slippers, jewellery, and seashell trinkets on offer.
Also on the Baga-Calangute road is a bustling Tibetan market that meets all the artefacts, jewellery, and quirky home decor needs you may have. For those who love a bit of culture, there are several Tibetan prayer flags and singing bowls, embossed and good quality, at this spot. The market is open throughout the day, every day of the week.
For those who’d like to carry a bit of Goan flavour back in their suitcases, this market has a range of local wines, desserts, and handicrafts to choose from. Eat your way through the market with the array of food stalls on offer. If you’re staying at a lodge with a kitchen, try whipping up dinner with the fresh produce and spices available here. Everything is quite reasonable as compared to what you would find in most other flea markets and the market is open throughout the day. While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by the walls that feature artwork by Indian cartoonist and Goan local Mario Miranda. The vibrant, fun artwork makes for fun photo ops for your Instagram pictures.
Also known as Gandhi market, this spot in South Goa was earlier known solely for its fresh vegetables and seafood. However, it’s now popular for great bargains and an even greater variety of clothes, handicrafts, and more. You name it, this place has got it. This spot has the fragrance of spices wafting through the air constantly and is an indispensable part of the lives of locals. Evenings get quite busy here and most visitors here rave about the quality of cashew nuts that vendors have on offer.
Which of these shopping markets do you look forward to visiting?