Where to Shop in Goa

Travellers visiting the land of magnificent beaches- Goa, or commonly referred to as natural paradise do not consider their visit as complete they take back a souvenir of their memorable sojourn in this magnificent coastal town. Obviously, shopping should be a priority on the itinerary of every tourist, along with the sightseeing attractions.

There are basically two categories of shopping possible in Goa. One can go for the upmarket boutiques for unusual and good quality curios, handicrafts, antiques and silks or embroidery items or else the beach front bazars and flea markets offers delightful shopping at affordable prices. The first-rate local handicrafts of Goa are easily the most popular souvenir items and include brassware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work, papier-mache, etc. These are available in the Government Emporium and also at shops and stalls near the popular tourist spots.

Another item which is on the list of every traveller to Goa is a pack of the famed cashew nuts. These are available practically everywhere. There are shops specialising in selling only cashewnuts. The nuts are available in a wide variety of tastes ranging from plain, salted and masala. The prices vary based on the quality and flavour.

There are also many fascinating options in the lifestyle and fashion shops which have come up in recent times. Some of these are located in fabulous old Goan houses which have been painstakingly restored. These shops make the best selections in home styling and fashion available to the tourists at quite reasonable prices.

It is also a fascinating experience to go around and shop in the traditional markets of the Goan towns and villages. These markets are a mirror of Goa's ethnic culture and provide a glimpse of the typical Goan way of doing business. Two of the most famous such market areas are Mapusa and Anjuna. The Friday Market at Mapusa, where stalls sell everything from curios and old coins to dried fish and spices. The Wednesday Market at Anjuna Beach started by and for foreigners is an extremely lively spot where souvenirs, beachwear, trinkets and handicrafts are sold at bargain prices.

The chief places of shopping where tourists find plenty of artifacts are-

Anjuna Market-The famous Anjuna market, known more popularly as the flea market is held on every Wednesday in a grove of coconut palms between the rocky beach of Anjuna and the fallow rice paddies. The concept of flea market was started by the hippies in early 80s, when they used to gather at the same place in Anjuna while many needy foreigners used to sell their electronic items or barter other stuffs to the locals. It is a mad, chaotic world of colours, crowds, shouting, clamor and clatter and all manner of goods from fabrics, ornamental crafts, spices, clothing, local Goanese, Kahmiri and Tibetan handicrafts and Goan trance music.

Calangute Market Square- Calangute Beach is only nine miles north from the Goan capital, Panaji. The beach stretches about four miles and is covered with palm trees. The streets of Calangute are packed with shops offering a wide range of goods, namely souvenirs, metal crafts, leather items, clothes and jewellery, not just from Goa, but from other parts of the country as well. The beach stretch is full of shacks, hawkers selling sarongs or astrologers or fortune-tellers waiting eagerly to read the fortune of the tourists. . There is also a Tibetan market in Calangute. Kashmiri merchants also frequent Goa with carpets, embroidery, and other merchandises.

Most deluxe hotels and resorts also have good in-house shops, but the price ranges are usually higher.

Mapusa Market- Mapusa, a small town huddled around the Mount (Alto) is Mapusa, 13 kms away from Panaji, has been the market hub of North Goa since ancient times even before proper roads were constructed. Mapusa market is also fondly known as 'Mapusa Friday Market' as it takes place every Friday. Goan customers prefer to buy fresh foodstuffs every few days, thus the Mapusa Market has plenty of fresh fish, a variety of locally produced vegetables, and exotic fruits from jackfruit and mangoes to plantain bananas. Pickles and preserves, spices, earthen pots, glass bangles, channa baskets coir mats, and the famous Goan 'chouricos' (ready spiced Goan pork sausages), dried fish and prawns, clothing, junk jewelry, and the famous country liquor are all sold at the most reasonable prices one could possibly find.

Baga Beach- The Baga Beach located 10 kms west of Mapusa, is actually an extension of Calangute beach with clean white sand. Like the flea market of Anjuna, Baga has started a Saturday night market, which is quite impressive but somehow lacks the liveliness and splendor of the Anjuna market. The beach also has many beach shacks and beach huts that sell delicious Goan food and thirst-quenching Feni. The lively Saturday night market here is much like the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna, only prettier under the night sky and lit up with lamps. There are plenty of handicrafts shops. Here stalls sell all kinds of bric-a-brac, clothes, trinkets, exotic delicacies and Goanese Cuisine. Funky haircuts, tarot reading, palmistry, wood carvings are also available. Plus live bands that create a carnival like ambience simply makes the place rock.

Last Updated on: 20th March 2013