Traveling in a natural paradise like Goa will not be complete without getting a souvenir of your memorable stay in this stunning coastal town. Of course, besides swimming and sightseeing, shopping in Goa should be a priority activity on your itinerary, as you get to see a whole lot of popular souvenirs, local handicrafts, antiques, silks, embroidery items and other unique local products.
Wondering what to buy in Goa? One must-try item would be the renowned cashew nuts, which are locally produced in Goa and is found everywhere. Cashew nuts come in varieties of flavor, from plain to masala to salted, and prices vary based on flavor and quality.
Popular for its skillful artisans and quality handicraft items, one can easily shop for the best mementos in Goa. Local handicrafts are exotic, as they possess unique aesthetic appeal with a blend of Portuguese and Indian culture. Amongst the must-buy handcrafted items when shopping in Goa include paper mache, leatherwork, jewelry and accessories, musical instruments, textiles, and bronze figures and woordcarvings.
In addition, if you are a connoisseur of liquors and spirits, the Goan local drink called Feni is worth to try. It is a strong alcoholic drink derived from cashew nuts and is extremely popular among tourists and locals. You may also bring a bottle of Port Wine as a good souvenir.
Because there are plenty of markets and boutiques in Goa, one may be puzzled on where to shop that offers extensive shopping oppurtunities. Perhaps the best places that reflect authentic Goan cosmopolitan culture are the traditional Goan markets. These markets are a mirror of Goa’s rich ethnic culture and offer a glimpse of Goa’s quaint ways of business. Right now, the most popular Goan markets flocked by throngs of tourists are the Mapusa Market and Anjuna Market.
Known as Global Village Markets, Anjuna is Goa’s site for the Wednesday Market, where you can see over 1,000 street stalls selling practically everything, from hammocks to ultramodern rave gear. It is an amazing place to meet people from various cultures, with Tibetans, Rajasthanis and Gujaratis coming here for business. It is probably the equivalent of London’s Camden except that everyone is tanned and the weather is sunny and wonderful.
Every Friday, villagers from all corners of Goa rush into Mapusa Market to set up wide tables, displaying their jumbo-sized vegetables, basketfuls of pickles, kokum, miscut, balchao and Bombay duck pickles, and strings of pork sausages. There are also all sorts of Goan breads and confectionery goodies such as bebinca, dodol, guava cheese and liquors. Of course, Mapusa is packed with common items like knockoff designer clothes, plastic slippers, kitchenwares, etc.
Shopping in Goa is not limited to traditional markets, as the downtown area has several modern shopping establishments and department stores. The two branches of Big G in Margao and Panaji offer exclusive shopping of local and international clothing brands while dining in excellent restaurants and renowned fast foods. On the other hand, Acron Arcade, located in Candolim, is the first multi-brand shopping complex in Goa. It is home to some popular international brands such as Police, Dunhill, Levis, Ritu Kumar etc. It also has a large handicraft complex selling various authentic Indian products, like Pashminas, carpets, wooden carvings, etc.