Shopping in Goa- A guide to Goa’s local markets and flea markets
When you hear of shopping in Goa you don’t picture air conditioned malls or shopping for designer brands, instead you think of flea markets and local markets, artifacts, trinkets and mementos that just scream the essence of Goa and it’s beach culture!
Goa’s bustling flea markets are a kaleidoscope of artifacts, knick-knacks, shell work, bamboo work, brass ware, curios, trinkets made of stones and corals, jewelry, carved furniture and beachwear among a host of other stuff. The local markets showcase the agricultural produce & fresh as well as dry fish brought in by the villagers of neighboring areas and house noisy vendors feverishly trying to outbid each other.
Here’s a gist of some of the most popular Local markets and Flea markets to shop till you drop in Goa.
Anjuna Flea Market (Wednesdays)
Started in the early 60’s by Hippies looking for a way to make a quick buck, the Anjuna flea market situated on the famous Anjuna Beach in Goa, soon became a market for selling second hand goods for anything from a second hand bike to miniature items like cellular phones, cameras, junk jewelry etc.
Today the market has changed considerably from its early hippy days, but despite being an obvious tourist trap, Anjuna Market is well worth a visit. Besides shopping for fabrics, ornamental crafts, spices, clothing, trinkets, oxidized silverware, beach wear, incense sticks, spices, semi-precious stones, imported cigarettes etc, the Anjuna Flea Market you can get a temporary body tattoo, get your hair braided, a piercing or even a haircut and Ayurvedic massage. As with most street shopping in India you need to bargain when purchasing items from the stalls and be ruthless – the price stated is usually about twice the price they are willing to accept and don’t be afraid to walk away.
The two most famous stores in Anjuna Market is the Oxford Stores and the Orchard stores. From tasty delicacies to choicest garments, everything is available here.
Mapusa Market (Fridays)
The Friday Market at Mapusa (pronounced ‘Maapsa’ by locals) sells everything from dried fish and spices to curios and old coins. It is an authentic market full of activity and life which offers an exceptional insight into the lives of locals and shouldn’t be missed by anyone visiting Goa!
The Mapusa bazaar or market is one of the few authentic bazaars to be found in the state. It is a colorful and vibrant market that usually begins at 8 in the morning on Fridays and goes on till dusk sets in.Enter this market and you are greeted by the pungent aroma of spices and the dried fish and sausages being sold here. The market has an abundant supply of fresh fish, all kinds of locally produced vegetables, and a varied range of exotic fruits like the jack fruit, mangoes and plantain bananas. Pickles and preserves, spices, earthen pots, coir mats, and the famous Goan ‘ chouricos ‘ (sausages) are also readily available. A must for everyone who loves Goan cuisine.
Calangute Market Square (Saturdays)
Calangute is one of the most popular beaches of Goa. Though highly commercialized, the beach still has a charm of it’s own and is still features the local fisherman bringing in the catch of the day in the evenings. The beach stretch is lined with shacks and stalls selling a huge variety of things ranging from fried prawns and beer to trinkets made of seashells. Hawkers selling sarongs or astrologers who are ever-ready to read the fortune of visitors are part of the Calangute charm.
The Saturday bazar held in the Calangute Market square, near the post office boasts of a variety of good deals for shoppers. Apart from the permanent shops selling a wide range of items, namely souvenirs, metal crafts, leather items, clothes and jewelry, which are not only from Goa, but from other parts of the country also, hawkers set up shop selling fish, meat, groceries, textiles, pottery, and other provisions.
There is Tibetan market in the center of Calangute. It offers all kinds of gems and silverwork, wooden statues of the Buddha and other Hindu deities. Kashmiri merchants also frequent Goa with carpets, embroidery and other merchandise at Calangute.
Baga Beach Market (Saturdays)
Baga beach, the extension of Calangute hosts a Saturday Flea market that rivals the one at Anjuna Beach. The market takes on a persona of it’s own after sun down with lamp and lanterns under the night sky and live music, creating a festive ambiance which makes it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
At the Baga flea market you can pick up various commodities ranging from fish, meat, grocery to textiles, earthenware, household articles and other provisions. The bazaar also has of all kinds of bric-a-brac, toys and trinkets, exotic delicacies and delicious Goan Cuisine. The stalls even sell all kinds of traditional and rural products like piglets, chicken, eggs, brooms among others. The handicrafts are the highlight of this market. if you aren’t looking for something to purchase you can get a funky haircut, have a tarot reading, get your palm read or something specially cared in wood for yourself.
Panjim City Markets
Shopping in the capital city of Panaji or Panjim as it is also known is a mix of exotic and modern. One one hand you can find indigenous handicrafts locally made in smaller shops and markets near the Miramar beach, while on the other hand you can shop for internationally known brands and designer wear from the more upscale shops, boutiques and malls on the the main M.G road in the city.
if you’re looking to sample the freshly caught seafood that Goa is famous for you can head to the Panaji Corporation market where you will get everything, from local and exotic fruit and vegetable to fresh and dried fish. Seafood delicacies like tiger prawns, mackerel, kingfish, squid, crabs, pomfret, mussels and oysters make a daily appearance here. The market also has stalls selling cloths, bags, shoes, electronic gadgets, spices, flowers and sweets.