April 09, 2022

#BlogchatterA2Z: H for Haggling in Goa - shopping tips for visiting tourists.

If you are visiting Goa and don’t know where to shop, if you are concerned of appearing gullible and are being taken for a ride by locals at Goa’s market places, then worry not. This post is just for you.

Today’s post in my A to Z series is a comprehensive guide of shopping in Goa. Of what to buy, where to buy, and how to buy best when you are here. 

So let’s jump straight in…

There are four main markets in Goa - Anjuna Flea Market every Wednesday, Thursday Night Market at Vagator hilltop, the  famous Friday Market in Mapusa, and the Saturday Night Market at Arpora.

The Anjuna flea market is a great market to by souvenirs.  A wide range of faux jewellery, local handicraft, footwear, wall hangings, and spices are available here. Of course, you’d have to haggle your way with the vendors. Everything here is negotiable, and if you’re good at bargaining, you can strike for yourself an excellent deal. 

Goa Collective Bazaar or Hilltop Flea Market at Vagator - This is a vibrant and colourful hippie market resplendent with an eclectic mix of stalls, live music, diverse cuisine, local artisans displaying their wares, musicians, artists showcasing their talent. Kitschy, fun, and bubbling with activity, this market has the vibe portrayed in the Goa shown in Bollywood movies. 

Mapusa Market - Every Friday, outside the Mapusa Municipal Market in North Goa, you will see dozens of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, clothes, pottery, and spices. Many vendors from Bardez and Tiswadi display their wares and sell their local produce directly to buyers and small entrepreneurs.

Saturday night market at ArporaAlso known locally as Ingo’s Night Bazaar, this Saturday market is abundant in eateries and food joints with a variety of cuisines. There are vendors selling everything from fruit and vegetables to jewellery and home decor to wine and clothing. If you are spending the weekend in this side of Goa, make sure you make a trip to the Saturday night bazaar. 

If you are on the lookout for good wine, nuts, local spices, then there is no place as kickass as the Panjim Market, which is the shopping hub of the capital of Goa. No chance of going hungry either, with eateries every step of the way to offer respite from a weary day of shopping. 

If kitschy jewellery and baubles is your thing, then pay a visit to the Baga's flea market. Located on Baga Beach, this one is extremely popular among tourists and has stalls selling trinkets, jewellery, cafes selling freshly brewed coffee, and tarot card readers, and beachside saloons. 

We also have shopping malls like Mall de Goa at Porvorim and Caculo mall at St Inez, Panjim if you want to engage in some serious retail therapy. 

And that leads us smoothly to things to consider before you shop in Goa: 

1) Learn a few words in the local language. Speaking in Konkani may not convince the local stall owner you are Goan but he may be amused with your attempt and offer you a discount.

2) Remember to haggle before buying at any place that isn’t a legit store. That means you can bargain your way at beachside stalls, flea markets, local markets, local exhibitions, farmers markets, fetes, fairs and the likes. 

3) A quality check is imperative before the final buy. Check carefully. Look for chinks and chips, especially if you’re getting a suspiciously heavy discount. Remember there is return policy at flea markets.

4) Move around. Check other options. There may be other stalls selling the same stuff at an alarmingly lower price. Compare prices before buying. But don’t take too long, you may piss a Goan off.

5) Don’t shop at departmental stores what you can buy at markets. Buy local as far as possible, especially handicraft items—-buy these from local artisans or Government approved emporiums or exhibitions.

6) Read the newspaper to stay informed about local exhibitions and discount days.

Shopping in Goa can be fun. You can shop for almost everything, from faux jewellery to locally made wines. From bespoke handicrafts made by local artisans to designer outfits in shopping malls, from cashew nuts to Feni, Goa has it all. 

It may not possess the fast pace of life in the metro or have the cut throat competition for step-ladder success. Neither does it have swanky shopping arcades and multi-storey malls. 

But we are blessed with small joys; with the privilege of a laid back life, with the blessing of rich soil and pure air, with the satisfaction of a simple existence, things that you cannot shop for, things that make us in all pride and gratitude, say, ‘Obrigado, Goa!’

See you on Monday with another entertaining aspect of my lovely state. 

Until then,

Mog aasu di.

(Let there be love!)


I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z. 

My theme for the challenge is ‘Obrigado, Goa!’, under which I’ll be writing 26 posts on Goa (April 1-30th, excluding Sundays), each post corresponding to the letters of the English alphabet. You can read more about it in my theme reveal post


Rethink Mindful said...

I liked the things that I can catch up in Baga Market. You know what, shopping is a thrilling experience and it's addictive to buy gifts for others. So much to explore in Goa. - Swarnali

Anagha Yatin said...

Mapusa market is one place, I would definitely love to visit. It seems to be the place brimming with local flavours!

Pri said...

Yes, Swarnali. From one shopaholic to another, I know exactly how you feel. :D
The first thing on my check list when I travel to any place is the shopping scene.
But I guess when it comes to our own town/city, we tend to undervalue it a little. :)

Pri said...

You bet it is! You must check it out at least once, for the sheer experience. :)