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A Guide to Flea Markets in Goa

Although most famous for its relaxed beach life and seemingly endless sunshine, Goa takes the superb tradition of the market days of India to the next level. It's one aspect of a holiday here you're always wise to keep in mind, especially since these bustling bazaars are a spectacle of colour, aroma and sound. Here are a few recommended flea markets to round off your trip.

A season of shopping

It's the equivalent of winter back home when you can indulge in Goa's flea markets, as their active season ranges from November through to January. Each one of these vibrant commercial centres has something a little different to offer.

You don't need to worry if you prefer rising late during your holidays and enjoying the beach during the daylight hours, either. Goa's best flea markets tend to pick up in life and vitality in the evenings, with many of them staying open long into the night – sometimes as late as 2am.

The kinds of trinkets, souvenirs and fashion you can find vary by the markets you visit, although there's an underlying tradition of haggling, sublime fabrics and glittering jewellery uniting each of the flea markets in theme. Live music and fantastic flavours are also to be enjoyed, together with traditional soothsayers who promise to read your stars or predict your future.

Anjuna Market

Although it was originally something of a market for the new-age types, nowadays Anjuna Market appeals to everyone. Each Saturday until 6pm, the aisles and stalls of Anjuna Market are garlanded with colour and opportunity.

Saris, rugs, handicrafts and snacks are the order of the day here, although the live music is not to be missed. Local rock bands and jazzy jam sessions make the air rich with high spirits and catchy beats.

Mackies Night Market

One of the new flea markets to grace Goa is the Mackies Night Market. As you might expect from the name, doors for this one open from 6pm every Saturday and the whole place won't shut up shop until past 1am, giving you plenty of time to browse and barter.

There are three distinct areas of Mackies Night Market, so navigating is easy. The central bandstand sector, where live music echoes into the twilight, helps you keep your bearings easily, and while one segment deals in Indian clothing, the other specialises in more European trends.

Calangute Bazaar

Open between 6am and 12pm on Saturdays, it's the Calangute Bazaar that many holidaymakers go to when they want a flea market that captures the more mysterious side of life. This market not only features local Goan vendors, but also those from Nepal, Tibet and other spiritually inclined places.

That being so, fortune tellers and astrological mystique flavours much of what's on offer here. You're as likely to find a fantastic new sari or hand-woven basket as to have your palm read.

Saturday Night Market

By far the most renowned of all the shopping experiences in Goa is the Saturday Night Market of Arpora. Here, stalls stay open from 6pm until 2am, offering all manner of goodies and bargains.

What's more, it's also home to a fair few designer kiosks and high-end fashion houses. There's a section specifically for the cutting edge boutiques, together with another part of the flea market specialising in traditional goods sourced from every corner of India. The food stall in particular encompass every kind of cuisine you could imagine, from each point of the compass, and it's a similar story as far as the general goods go.

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