Relatives and friends are going to pester for gifts and souvenirs when they know you are returning from Goa.
And you wish to buy them something unique. Where would you go?
Also, when you are exploring this beautiful place and you are in a dilemma of what to wear in Goa, the first thing you think of is doing shopping in Goa.
Goa ranks among the top five sun-sand-sea destinations of the world.
Hence, there are lots of places where you can buy amazing stuff. Yet, there’s one major issue: money.
Be ready to open your purse strings wide if you will shop at any hot tourist destination.
Stuff there is horribly expensive since storekeepers and vendors target foreigners that come loaded with Dollars, Euros and Pound Sterling.
Instead, try these 10 Best Markets for Shopping in Goa. Here you can get superb bargains and very unique stuff too, at rates an ordinary Goan would pay.
So let’s start our shopping trip.
10 Best Places For Shopping in Goa
These best markets for shopping in Goa I’m listing will also enable you to get a real feel of this tourist paradise, complete with sights, sounds and smells. Here we go.
1) Banastarim Market (Thursday & Friday)
Around 12km south of state capital Panaji and 10km from major city Ponda, lies this small Goan village, Banastarim.
The village has no claim to fame except for its eponymous bridge that played a key role when Indian Army overran Portuguese defenders of Goa on December 18 and December 19, 1961.
Come Thursday and Banastarim begins buzzing with activity. Villagers and indigenous dwellers of Goa’s forests and mountains converge on Banastarim along with dozens of other motley traders.
Beginning around lunchtime on Thursdays, you can find all sorts of exotic stuff at Banastarim market.
These include handcrafted iron utensils, earthen cooking pots and hobs, rare yams and other edible roots that grow only in Goa and are prized as food, traditional Goan homemade spice powders and ethnic vinegar, hand pressed coconut oil and unique implements for home and garden.
Don’t forget to bargain before finalizing a price. And remember to carry ample money in small denomination notes: the nearest ATM is 3km away in Marcella.
Best time to visit is late Thursday evening or early Friday. That’s the time when vendors are more open to bargaining.
2) Taleigao Market (Sunday)
Taliegaon is actually a suburb of capital Panaji. Hence, you can easily ride a motorcycle or travel on local buses that ply from Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) terminus, Panaji.
The ride takes about 30 minutes due to frequent stops taken by local bus drivers.
Here’s a warning before you go. Don’t expect much at Taleigao market unless you love sausages.
Or rather, pork sausages. Goan people call them ‘Churiza’ from the Portuguese and Spanish word, ‘Chorizos’ for sausages.
Though you can buy pork sausages every day at Taleigao market, more varieties are available on Sundays.
On any given Sunday, you’ll find women and men selling long strings of at least five varieties of pork sausages.
The small, round and reddish Goan sausage is a bestseller among tourists because it can be stored for two to three days without refrigeration.
They are made with dried pork, vinegar and Goan liquor, cashew fenny to ensure long shelf life.
Tell the vendor you’ll be carrying them outside Goa. They take extra care to wrap these fantastic Chorizos.
Also Read: 111 Amazing Things to Do in India – Your Ultimate Guide to India
3) 18th June Road, Panaji (Daily)
What’s so special about a typical city street with all sorts of ordinary stores and restaurants, you might ask. Nothing much, really unless you want to buy some superb, ethnic Goan stuff to take home.
18th June Road starts from Campal, a suburb of Panaji and leads up to Praca de Iglesa (Chuch Street).
Foreign publications and travel guides call 18th June Road as a ‘shopper’s paradise’ for visitors to Goa. Rightly so.
Here you can buy original- I mean original Goan cashew nuts and traditional Goan alcoholic drink, Cashew Fenny. I recommend Zantye Cashew.
They have a large showroom on 18th June Road. The company is owned by a highly respected family of Goa has been around since 1928.
Zantye Cashew owns plantations around Goa for growing cashew indigenous to Goa only.
These cashew cultivars are rare since they were imported from Brazil and Mozambique by colonial settlers from Portugal. Hence, they are different from cashew found in other parts of India.
Also on 18th June Road is a liquor store, Ghanekar Enterprises where you can buy guaranteed, authentic booze at unbelievable rates.
A notice at the store challenges customers to have liquor bought at Ghanekar Enterprises tested for authenticity.
Hence, it is a store trusted by most Goan people living in and around Panaji as a source of high quality, original booze.
At Ghanekar Enterprises, you can buy Cashew Fenny, the traditional alcoholic drink of Goa.
Cashew Fenny is the only Indian alcohol to have a global Geographic Indication (GI). Also, this is a lovely store to buy typical Goan wines.
Visit Aparant showroom located a little away, at the Panaji Residency hotel. This showroom is operated by Goa Handicrafts, Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (GHRSSIDC).
Whatever you buy at Aparant is authentic Goan handicrafts crafted by local artisans. They offer discounts throughout the year and on bulk purchases.
Since Aparant doesn’t have showrooms outside Goa, except one in New Delhi, this would be the best place for you to buy genuine Goan handicrafts at surprisingly affordable rates.
The money goes towards welfare and development of rural folk of Goa.
4) Gandhi Market, Margao (Daily)
Gandhi Market in Goa’s commercial capital, Margao, can broadly be divided into two. One is the Old Market that flourishes since days Portuguese colonial days.
The other is an annexe, built post-1961 to meet the needs of modern Goan people and a large influx of migrant workers.
You need to be a daredevil to explore Gandhi Market, even during the day. It consists of dark narrow alleys and stores that immediately transport you to a bygone era.
Look for authentic copper utensils, ceramic jars and pots, Goan Chorizo and traditional Goan jewellery at Gandhi Market.
Jewellers of Salcete region of Goa, where Margao is located, are very famous for their craftsmanship. You won’t find such designs of jewellery elsewhere in India.
5) Pernem Market (Thursday)
Pernem, also called Pedne and Pedhna, lies close to Goa’s border with Maharashtra state.
You might believe this market is far away from the tourist trail. Nope. In fact, Pernem is a major station on Konkan Railway.
Hence, you can easily travel by train or ride a bus from Mapusa and Panaji.
Over 200 small enterprises flourish in and around Pernem, which makes the Thursday market in this town, worth your time.
At this market, you can find assorted stuff including traditional fish pickles, spice powders made by local mills, garments, bakery products that are unique to Goa, paper products, inexpensive clothing, furnishings and lots more- all made by local businesses.
If you are into gardening, Pernem is a fabulous place to buy saplings for various exotic flowers.
During the season, you can also buy saplings of Goa’s world famous mango- Mankurad (Goa’s variant of Alphonso) and Musarat (local variation for Montserrat).
6) Bicholim Market (Wednesday)
Get ready for a long Wednesday morning when you visit Bicholim market. Bit go here only if you are looking for some healthy stuff and are willing to lug it back home.
Over a hundred local traders land in Bicholim for the weekly market on Wednesdays.
What can you buy?
Superior quality parboiled rice from lush paddy fields of Goa, dried shrimp and mackerel, dried coconut and dried fruits such as banana, mango and jackfruit, brown salt and other such stuff.
These products are usually organic, though they don’t bear any such certifications. And you can carry them safely back home.
Also, look for local bakery products at Bicholim market. There are lots of unique cookies and snacks that are found only in Bicholim region.
7) Mapusa Market (Friday)
I’m not listing Mapusa market at No-1 position, though it richly merits the place. The reason: lack of safety and security.
Chaos, the hustle-bustle, sights, sounds and smells is what Mapusa weekly market held every Friday is all about.
Don’t visit the place if you are crowded places frighten you. Here, you’ll jostle with almost every stranger on the street and get pushed around by women and men carrying heavily laden baskets.
Try a packet of fresh ‘khaja’ here. This is a typical Goan sweet made by dipping fritters of chickpea flour in hot jaggery laced with ginger and cardamom juice.
Now, remember I warned you: this place can unnerve even the most hardened dweller of cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi or Kolkata for that matter. Mapusa market witnesses really huge crowds.
But I promise it’s worth a visit. Everything that is made in Goa can be found at Mapusa market.
In fact, this market is credited with giving Mapusa its name.
Legend has it that ‘Mapusa’ is drawn from two Konkani words- Mhap (weighing scales or measure) and Asa (Have).
The story runs that ancient day vigilantes would ask traders headed for the market if they have a weighing scale or measuring vessels.
“Mhap Asa? (Do you have a measure?), they would ask. Only those having proper weighing scales or measures were allowed to sell.
Ethnic Goan dried chilli called ‘tarvoti mirsang’– a locally grown variant of the African Birds Eye chilli (Piri-Piri), fish and meat pickles, authentic Goan rice, sausages, ethnic sweets and bakes, handcrafted kitchen utensils and gardening equipment and you name it are on sale here.
Unfortunately, I’ve to include this warning: Beware of pickpockets and thieves.
Every Friday, several tourists lose their wallets, purses, smartphones and other precious belongings to thefts.
The market gets so crowded, your purse or wallet can be stolen easily while you jostle around.
Despite best efforts by local policemen and market authorities, robberies and pickpocketing occur every Friday.
Of course, tourists also share the blame for being very careless with their belongings while shopping or sightseeing at unfamiliar, densely crowded place.
8) Chaudi Market, Canacona (Daily)
The chaudi market is located almost on the southern tip of Goa, near the state border with Karnataka.
Hence, it is a melting pot of cultures of Goa and its southern neighbour. If you are visiting Goa to get away from maddening crowds of an Indian megacity, this is the right place.
The chaudi market serves the needs of foreign tourists staying at two famous South Goa beaches- Agonda and Palolem.
Hence, you can find lots of ‘phoren’ or imported stuff here. A lot of this stuff also comes in from Bhatkal in Karnataka.
Here you can buy 100 percent environment-friendly handicrafts and other collectables made by people living on the Goa-Karnataka border.
Honey and Royal Jelly from forests that cover both these states are very popular among foreign tourists visiting Chaudi market.
You can pick up a few bottles of authentic, homebrewed cashew fenny from liquor merchants here.
This cashew fenny is completely different from the commercially bottled versions you can buy at wine shops.
They contain 50 per cent of higher Alcohol By Volume (ABV). Also, this cashew fenny has that strong, pungent smell of fermenting cashew fruit.
9) Tibetan Market, Calangute
Include another unique experience in your visit to Goa by shopping at the Tibetan market in Calangute.
You need not exert extra efforts to reach Calangute: it is a world-famous beach and all itineraries include a trip here.
Pick up some unique silver jewellery studded with semi-precious gemstones at the Tibetan Market.
You will see rows after rows of shops selling such stuff. Some of these stalls are run by Tibetan refugees in India.
In fact, some jewellery pieces are handcrafted in ethnic Tibetan style. Others are machine made and sold by traders from other states of India.
Bargaining is a must if you wish to buy souvenirs for friends and relatives. Since sellers know you will bargain, they up the price by at least 100 per cent.
You can expect a silver bracelet that should cost Rs.3,000 being quoted at Rs.5,000 or higher by sellers.
But you can bargain hard and bring them to agree to an acceptable price.
10) Siolim Fish Market, Siolim (Daily)
Then include Siolim fish market in your travel plans. This is the biggest fish market in Goa. You will see all kinds of fresh fish on sale here. And at very affordable prices too.
But how do you consume this fresh fish? Ask a vendor and you’ll find the answer.
There are several restaurants just around Siolim fish market that will prepare the fish for you, in a style of your choice.
You only pay the price for their services and ingredients that go into the dish. Enjoy cashew fenny or a chill beer while your seafood gets ready.
And that’s not all. You can take home various kinds of savouries from Siolim fish market. The most popular stuff here are papads and sago fritters.
Also try traditional, lemon and orange flavoured hard boiled sugar candy that is made in Siolim: the product is now extinct in urban areas of India.
Goa is generally very safe for tourists. However, I advise you to take extra care of personal belongings, especially money, wallet, purse and smartphone during a visit to any top market.
An influx of unemployed migrants is blamed for growing incidences of crimes against tourists- mainly robberies. There are some other places too such as the Anjuna Flea Market.
However, they are geared for foreigners and do not provide the real feel of Goa. Some markets started as part of hippie culture, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Also, expect prices to be slightly higher. Sellers increase rates keeping in mind foreign buyers.
Hence, as an Indian, you might find some prices hard to swallow. In such cases, bargain. And bargain real hard.
With the wide array of stuff available, you will definitely enjoy a visit to one of the best markets for shopping in Goa.
If you are searching for various places that you can visit in Goa, then he is the list of Most Popular Places that you can visit to experience the beauty of Goa.