Goa is in essence a true paradise. It has everything that an average traveller would want when he or she is on vacation. Tropical jungles, rivers, waterfalls, beautiful sandy beaches, historical significance, architecture and antiques to match, excellent, tongue – tingling cuisine and every form of entertainment that the human mind can imagine! Among all its myriad attractions the ones that stand out are the flea markets of Goa. A beautiful blend of high energy, great music and dancing, different cultures and cuisines along with some very good bargain shopping, these flea markets are more than you could’ve ever dreamed. The crowd that flocks here to these flea markets definitely agree with us and come October, you’ll see that Goa’s streets start teeming with tourists just waiting for these snazzy night markets to open up. As the festivities, the flea and night markets kick in and the tourists start teeming in the streets, the annual tectonic shift in prices happens and it stays on an upward trajectory pretty much till it’s off season. The first one in the line to throw open it’s doors is the Anjuna beach flea market which operates on Wednesdays followed by the Saturday night markets near Baga beach and in Arpora.

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Even though the prices are sky high, Goa has no dearth of bargains for the bargain hunter and these can be found in the regular bazaars and beach shacks, they have a colossal collection of artefacts, spices, crafts, jewellery, trinkets, clothes, linen, carvings, musical instruments and collectibles at these markets it makes for an irresistible and incredible one stop shopping experience! Typically these markets are at their resplendent best during Christmas and New year time, but it’s worth a visit at any time of the year.

Anjuna Flea Market

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Location: 10, St. Michael’s Vaddo, South Anjuna, Anjuna, Goa 403509

Time: 9.00 AM to 6.00 PM every Wednesday

How to get there: Renting a bike is your best option as parking and traffic is very chaotic.

The Anjuna Market opens at 9A.M and the revelry starts to tune down by 6P.M in the evening. By mid-day it’s unbearably hot and those shops that have fully covered passageways see a lot more tourist traffic as compared to the others and stores that sell anything cold, like chilled beer or soda or shaved ice are the highest grossers because they’ll be brimming with thirsty souls looking to quench their thirst! In the midst of all these colorful meandering there are two popular waterhing holes called Looda’s and Sea Breeze and these have some incredibly good music with live bands performing here.While Sea breeze is in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, Looda’s will offer you some enchanting views of the sea along with some mouth-watering sizzlers to enjoy the view with. Each season there are different bands performing here, and your ears are treated to a variety of music ranging from classic rock to meditational trance! The places do tend to get excessively crowded, so you can always hang around the beach and liten to the bands play.

Parking, the eternal struggle for those headed to Goa’s flea markets! Given the sheer number of people who descend here for the flea market, it’s no wonder that they have some serious Parking issues, but with the recent expansion of parking lots there’s been some relief to the backed up traffic around the area.

Ingos night market – Arpora

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Location: Aguada – Siolim Rd, Xim Waddo, Arpora, Goa 403518

Time: 6.00 PM to 1 AM every Saturday

How to get there: Renting a bike is your best option as parking and traffic is very chaotic.

Saturdays, people are spoilt for choicewith the Ingos night market at Arpora and Mackey’s near Baga. Ingos has gained so much popularity over the years that those who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting experience some serious case of heartburn from all the tales of those who have visited. And God help anyone trying to just drive past Arpora on Saturday nights just to get to the main street, the streets are clogged up with people trying to park near the market lots and it can take them anywhere between 2-3 hours to get out of the mess! Club Cabana, a popular nightclub that’s nearby adds to the ongoing traffic mess, so the best option is to avoid cars altogether and rent scooters or 2 wheelers to zip around the place. Leaving the traffic woes aside, once you’re in the electric atmosphere gets to you and the shopaholic will take control once you see the shops that are neatly laid out in rows and meander up the foothills.

Your eyes are assaulted with a kaleidoscope of colours from the lights and lamps festooned in every nook, cranny and alley and it all blends with the thick foliage of the undergrowth.There’s a stage right at the center where there’s anhost of entertainers ranging from musicians, jugglers and gyrating flame throwing waiting to entrance you. And right behind the stage is where you get food glorious food! And it’s averitable extravaganza with sicilian pizza, greek kebobs, thai curry, shawarma, chocolate waffles and so much more. And for quenching your thirst, there are several bars all over the market right from the mundane stonetop  counters to the spacious plazces lit with mood lighting and great music at very top of the hill and they even have some psychedilic floors that are so inviting that there are always some people dancing to a beat.

Mackeys 

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Location: Marinha Dourada Road, Baga Bridge, Baga 403516

Time: 6.00 PM to 1 AM every Saturday

How to get there: Renting a bike is your best option as parking and traffic is very chaotic.

The riverside Mackeys market at Baga is not so large as the other two and those tiny alleyways can get crowded and claustophobic but it’s still quite enchanting. And even with the traffic seeming like a huge anaconda resting after a sumptuous meal, yet people still come in here for a fun evening and walking for a mile or two only helps to build an appetite so all is forgiven. They spend the day at the beach with all those exhilarating activities and the night market is their next stop. And even though the wares on sale are pretty much the same as the other markets there still a tangible difference. On the plus side, the market does have a free parking zone though the Gods also might have a tough time finding a space to park in thta melee.

Beachside designers village, Ashwem

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Location: LE SOUK by Amarya, Amarya Shamiyana Complex, Beside La Plage restaurant, Ashvem Beach, Pernem, Goa 403 512

Time: They’re open from Morning till late evening every day.

How to get there: Rent a bike or drive to Ashwem beach.

“Le Souk” located on the Ashwem beach is the first of its kind in India. Unlike the flea markets, the wares sold here are luxury goods, so you could call it a luxury marketplace and the best part is it remains open throughout the season. Both local and international designers vie for the customer’s attention while displaying their wares in huge tents in the shade of coconut groves at this open air beachside bazaar.

All these flea markets offer a wide selection of handmade products and wares by foreigners who are either recent or long-term residents of Goa. They offer a tasteful selection of leather accessories, jewellery, hats, swimwear, hammocks and other eclectic selections and aren’t as expensive as the local fare.  The Highlight: These sellers model their own creations and adorn themselves in eye catching tattoos, hairdos and outfits.  You’ll find anything from a world selection of mouth harps, a riveting display of photos of life in India etched on canvases, and authentic sauerkraut! The local vendors have mastered the art of recognizing their clients’ nationality and switch their sales pitch from fluent Russian to Yiddish in a heartbeat and the markets sound like an International film festival with bits and pieces of every language falling on your ears.

There other local markets which are equally enticing as these flea markets, the Mapusa Friday Market and the fish market in Siolim. However, they are predominantly local.

All this and more is why we continue to obsess over Goa and you will too. Not for a second will you forget you’re in a part of India and in Goa, the land of sun, sand, beaches and natural beauty.