Goa is veritably a shopper’s paradise. Tear yourself away from the beach, and you will be amazed by the vast array of items you can take home – from glass hookahs, feni, colonial furniture, clothes and trinkets to beachware and elf shoes. Here are some tips for the shoppers.
Where to Shop
Anjuna Flea Market: This flea market is the biggest of its kind in the country. The majority of shops sell casual wear and fake pashmina, and there are stalls selling everything from jumpsuits to fancy tube tops and bikinis. The flea market is also a great place to pick up Goan Trance music CDs and trinkets. Put your bargaining skills to test – you might be able to pick up stuff for half the quoted price.
Saturday Night Markets: Mackie’s and Arpora are the two major Saturday night markets in Goa. Pick up clothes, trinkets, sculptures, slippers, woodcarvings, musical instruments, and many other interesting things.
Mapusa Market: If you are looking for a good place to buy Goan sausages make your way to Mapusa market that comes up every Friday. In addition to the regular stuff, you will also find a variety of antique homeware on sale. Hunt for bottles and jars since you may find some Goans selling their ancestral pottery here at throwaway prices.
Beach roads: The roads leading to popular beaches in the north and south are lined with stalls selling clothes, beachware, trinkets, bags and hats.
Cities: Both Panjim and Margao have shops selling handicrafts, clothes, souvenirs and much more. Panjim’s Caculo Mall is quite popular.
What to Buy
There is a variety of shopping available in Goa. To imbibe the local atmosphere, buy off the streets instead of showrooms.
Clothes: Most street stalls sell clothes that are suited to tropical climate. They may not last more than two seasons, but the price at which you are getting them justifies the purchase. For more upscale clothes, try boutiques of Indian designers like Wendell Rodricks and Malini Ramani. Stores like Sosa’s and The Private Collection are also great for designer clothes.
Art & Antiques: Small stores near Baga Creek and along the beach roads are good places to pick up antiques. The Gallery Gitanjali and Sunaparanta are great for contemporary art. The Mario Miranda Gallery is for those who want to buy the Goan master’s work.
Souvenirs: Pick up fridge magnets and items made from seashells from the shops on 18th June Road in Panjim.
Gifts to take home
Antiques: A huge number of shops sell antiques, old baubles and furniture. Colonial furniture is also available and can be delivered at home.
Blue China pottery: The Portuguese introduced Chinese blue-and-white pottery in Goa and many shops still sell them.
Azulejo name tiles: These hand-painted tiles can be used as name plates, to write house addresses or even as coasters.
Feni and port wine: The indigenous country liquor, feni is a popular gift. Feni bottles come in different shapes and sizes, often with a little sculpture to depict a Goan aspect. Another must-buy is the local Goan port wine.
Top Tip: Bargaining
You can bargain at most places, apart from permanent stores in Panjim and the beach belt. It is best to begin from half the quoted price and then negotiate for a lower deal.