Goa is best known for its gorgeous beaches, shady swaying palms, and tranquil sunsets. That, however, is not all. Goa is a vibrant state full of life. By this we do not mean just the music and dance culture. One look at the bustling flea markets of the state is quite enough to reveal the love and pride that the locals take in their wares and the wonderful cultural experiences that these markets offer to the tourists.
The Anjuna Flea Market in Anjuna Beach, North Goa, is one of the best and most colourful flea markets in this beautiful coastal state. The market is more of a local bazaar where you can expect to find all sorts of paintings and rugs, handicrafts and antique pieces, slogan T-shirts and sarongs, shoes and jootis. It starts early in the mornings and closes down by about mid-day. Look out for all the little knick-knacks that you’d like to take back from Goa. It is lively and cheerful and haggling with one of the local vendors is one of the best ways to spend a morning in Goa.
The Calangute Beach is one of the largest beaches in Goa and is a popular choice with tourists. The Calangute Bazaar that is set up along the beach is a shopper’s dream come true. Look out for the gorgeous junk jewellery, cowrie wall hangings, copper vessels, and colourful textiles on display in little stalls. The Tibetan section of this bazaar is the best place to shop for Buddha idols, carpets, and authentic Tibetan shawls. This is also a morning market and most of the stalls shut shop by noon. Right alongside the stalls are little shacks that sell freshly cooked and scrumptious seafood.
Mapusa Friday Market
Unlike some of the other flea markets in this list, the Mapusa Market is a weekly market. Each Friday the North Goan beach of Mapusa comes to life with the heady sights and sounds of this bazaar. While you can expect to find all the items available in other Goan flea markets such as pottery, clothes, and trinkets, the Mapusa Market is known for its food and spices. It is quite rightly referred to as a gourmet’s delight. From local produce to pickles and jams, from cakes and sweets to marinated pork sausages, from tamarind to varieties of spices, from home mulled wine to fresh fruits – this market has the best of all that Goa offers.
Saturday Night Market
The popular Saturday Night Market at Arpora is another popular weekly market that you must visit on your Goa trip. Unlike the others this is a night market and the music and entertainment scene here add charm to the bohemian ways of Goa. Arpora is a medley of heady music and delightful local food and the usual beach market wares. From clothes to musical instruments and from trinkets to artefacts and from decorative items to accessories – you can find it all here. Local home cooks and bakers also tempt you with delightful bebinca and cakes and seafood. Alongside you will find singers and musicians and performers holding the crowd’s attention.
If you are staying at one of the 5 star hotels in South Goa, a short walk will take you to the beautiful Palolem Beach. Lined along the beach are the stalls that make up the Palolem Flea Market. This is perfect place to look for all your touristy requirements such as rucksacks and pretty bags, light clothes and towels, hats and caps, and even sleeping bags. You’re also likely to find decorative pieces and art works for sale here.