With breezy beaches, scenic environs, thrilling adventures, fascinating history, sundown parties, bustling casinos, eclectic Goan cuisine, hippie culture, a laid-back vibe and lively flea markets, Goa is alluring for sure. When you take a trip to this enticing state of India, you will want to keep the memories of it alive, and the best way to do so is to buy something to commemorate your trip. Goa has some great souvenirs for sale, so here’s is a rundown of the best places to buy gifts for loved ones or yourself.
Mario Miranda Gallery
For those who are unfamiliar with Mario Miranda, he was a well-known Indian cartoonist and painter based in Goa and best known for his beautiful caricatures and paintings that portrayed Goan pop culture. Representing the Goan spirit, the beautiful items with a Mario print make for a perfect souvenir to take back home with you and brighten up your shelf. You’ll find these items at the four Mario Miranda Galleries in Goa: Panjim, Calangute, Porvorim, and Margao. In these galleries, there is an array of keepsakes in the form of mugs, frames, cups and saucers, tiles and T-shirts, to name a few.
For souvenirs truly unique to Goa, head to Panjim Market, which is brimming with street-style stalls and malls that sell the very famous, indigenously produced Goan feni (there are two types – cashew feni and coconut feni), Goan port wine, Goan spices, Portuguese-style handicrafts, seashell jewellery and cashew nuts. If you are hungry, you are in luck as there are a plethora of eateries dishing out delicious local food.
Exuding the Goan vibe and spirit, Mapusa Market is home to stalls selling popular Goan spices, cashew nuts, homemade pickles, Goan pottery, antiques, textiles, handicrafts and other Goan specialities, which all make great souvenirs. To get the best deal, you should be ready to haggle. Open from 8 am until 6:30 pm.
The Anjuna Flea Market is a perfect place to experience the liveliness of Goa. Nestled in Anjuna Beach, this vibrant spot features a plethora of canopy-covered stalls and hundreds of travellers finding the perfect Goan item. In this market, you will find everything that will help you relive your travel moments. Handicrafts, antiques, souvenirs, hammocks, wooden crafts and carvings, Goa trance music CDs, trinkets, clothes, junk jewellery, boho accessories, footwear, bags, and beachwear – if you can name it, this market will have it. Another great thing about it is that there are numerous food stalls from where you can grab a snack while shopping. This market, however, is only open on Wednesdays from 9 am until 6 pm. And while everything looks tempting, be sure to bargain well before you fill your shopping bags to the brim.
The Tibetan Market is a fascinating place with a blend of items from different parts of the country, and the Buddhist prayer flags and jap malas clinging to the market contribute to the wonderful atmosphere here. It features a series of stalls by Tibetan refugees, Kashmiris and even locals. Whether you want a souvenir to gift or something for yourself or a showpiece to embellish your house, you will find an array of everything. The art pieces, silver artefacts, precious stones, jewellery, embroidery, T-shirts, wall hangings, clothes, accessories and knick-knacks are the most sought-after items here that you can buy as a keepsake. If you show your haggling skills, you will be rewarded.
Goan food is so delicious that you will miss it once you return home. So, why not take a bit of it with you? Ideally packed, you can take home some Goan spices, cashew nuts and Goan feni, all of which is for sale at Margao Market. Plus, Goan clothes, bags and footwear are also available at prices that will leave you grinning for days. It is open from 9 am until 8:30 pm.
Tilework is taken seriously in Goa, especially azulejos (painted tiles), which are a form of Portuguese hand-painted, tin-glazed ceramic tiles. Panjim is one of the best places where you can find some beautiful Portuguese tile souvenirs, which are exclusive to Goa. Some of the spots in Panjim to buy azulejos are Galeria Azulejos, Velha Goa Galleria and De Goa Ceramics.
Located in Arpora, the Saturday Night Market is the ultimate souvenir spot for all things Goa. This night market adds a dash of zing to this beach town, making it more alluring. It is popularly known for its hippie-style and fine handicrafts. Both sides of the street feature stalls selling vintage items, jewellery, apparel, handbags, rugs, paintings, books, spices and herbs, and trinkets that serve as mementos, but the standout items are the incredible handicrafts by local artisans. Go for some hardcore bargaining here, and follow up souvenir shopping with some authentic Goan food and global eats at the many food stalls and nearby restaurants. This market remains open from 6 pm until late at night.
Nestled on Calangute Beach, the Calangute Market Square is famous for all things that define Goa’s culture and traditions. This market is vibrant with a plethora of beach-side shacks and stalls selling a range of souvenirs, clothes, accessories, leather items, traditional handicrafts, metal crafts, carpets, sea shells, trinkets and other merchandise; it has something for everyone. The stretch of shacks and stalls also has a great spread of local food. This market takes place on Saturday from 6:30 am until 12 pm.
For a little bit of Old Goa, Bicholim is the ultimate place to go. It is also known as the pottery town of Goa. Unique from other markets in the area, this place is full of hand-made objects, pottery, woodwork, bamboo crafts, brassware and terracotta items, and art pieces, along with idols, mirrors and chandeliers made from coconut shells and exotic seashells. The display of the local arts and crafts is so engaging and appealing that you will want to take them all home with you.
Goa is known for its handicrafts, and you will find an impressive selection of them in the area. Some unique items you’ll run across are crafts made of coconut shells, hand-made hats, seashell jewellery, carpets, artistic weaving, and woollen tapestry, just to name but a few. There are numerous government handicraft emporiums as well as many flea markets that sell exquisitely crafted wares at reasonable prices.