Will you be in North Goa on a Friday night in high season? Our local Goan expert, Jules, is here to tell why you need to check out The Goa Collective Bazaar.
Hello, Jules here to give you a little update on the best market around town – The Goa Collective Bazaar. I have been living in Goa for 5 years now and have been to every single market possible, less so, now as a resident but a lot when I used to visit as a child. I have spent too-many-to-count hot Wednesdays at Anjuna Flea Market and lots of late nights at Ingo’s Saturday Night Market. I now spend every Friday at The Goa Collective Bazaar and below is why.
Markets are a huge part of Indian culture and also for me, a large part of the excitement of traveling. It doesn’t matter if you actually need to buy anything, I believe you should always jump at the chance to visit a market when in India. This is because, here you will be able to immerse yourself in what is usually organized chaos.
In Goa we have quite a few options for markets. Some smaller ones in villages and some famous ones where everyone goes to get their necessities.
You can find food markets, selling all the fruit and vegetables you will ever need, alongside meat and fish – my worst part, the smells! As well as flower markets, spice markets, fabric, clothing, basically everything.
There are day-to-day markets set up for locals to get their essentials for home and there are also weekly markets set up for tourists to get their souvenirs and goodies to take back with them. I would suggest going to both types of markets to really get a feel of local life vs tourist life. Set yourself a task of buying the juiciest watermelon and sourcing the spiciest chilies at the day-to-day markets and hunt down the Indian goodies you know you need to take home at the weekly tourist markets.
Here we are going to talk about the newcomer, The Goa Collective Bazaar and the beauty that one can find when visiting this market.
What Is The Goa Collective Bazaar?
The Goa Collective Bazaar has just completed its third season in 2021. Set up by 4 long term friends, it’s a different kind of tourist market that doesn’t sell the usual Indian tourist stuff (crap). Don’t get me wrong, every traveler needs to buy this stuff. It is part of the Indian traveling package and you can find that wall hanging or those elephant trousers you really need but this market offers more than that. Stalls are mainly set up by people who may not originate from India but are long term settlers of Goa. Here you can find more of a boutique vibe with people selling their brands of clothing, jewelry, artistic creations, spiritual gifts, cocktails and most importantly delicious food options!
If you are taking kids along I would suggest getting there early to take part in the art activities they usually have in the kids area near the entrance. You can also have your palms read and even your hair cut!
Every week there is an evening of music with a DJ and live bands until close. The live band is usually on until 11pm on the big stage and then after 11pm the party music comes out with a more house or techno vibe at the smaller stage until 1am. You can very easily end up spending 6 hours at this market by accident or on purpose!
When and Where is The Goa Collective Bazaar?
The market is on every Friday from 4pm until 1am during the high season which is end of November until end of April. It can be found in North Goa in Vagator at the famous Goan Trance venue of Hilltop. It’s 100rs entry per person with a stamp given to allow re-entry if needed.
What to buy at The Goa Collective Bazaar?
The variety of stalls at this market is huge. Every stall holder puts a lot of effort into their decoration and set-up which makes everything look so pretty, especially once the sun has gone down. Make sure you do a full circuit of the market but keep an eye out for some of my favorites! Studio Arpora, selling the most beautiful watercolor prints, cushion covers and very tropical tea towels. Get yourself the perfect shirt from Shoop Doop or the most amazing boutique designed outfits from Strange Shrew or Mermaid’s Boutique.
Hunt down the beautiful handmade fabric earrings and get yourself one of the strangest instruments I have seen, the very unique mouth harp. Stock up on incense and learn about the right stones you need for your spiritual journey or just hang out in the food section which is where you will find me!
What to eat at The Goa Collective Bazaar?
The busiest part of the market is the food court where there is a wide range of food stalls offering home-cooked delicacies. You will want to make sure you arrive with an empty stomach so you can try at least 3 different stalls. A few of my favorites are Go Local (this is actually my stall! Not bias obviously) for some delicious local Goan food and jarred Pickles, Eddie’s Khao Suey, Mama Kenya for amazing BBQ African chicken, Luna’s Pizza for the best pizza in town, Morgan’s for an amazing South Indian Dosa, Why Not? for North Indian street food you can be sure to trust and Smoke for meaty BBQ’d delights alongside lots of other stalls selling their delicious-ness. Think Thai, tacos, burritos, South Indian, momos, fresh juices, vegan treats, cookies, basically everything you could ever want and need. If you are like me and want to try everything, the best strategy would be to go with a group and all eat at a different stall and share. But maybe you are not all as obsessed with different delicious foods as I am!
Also do not miss out on trying the amazing cocktails from Luna’s Cocktail Bar. Not only are they tasty but they are also lethal. My favorite is the Elderflower Gin mix. If cocktails aren’t your thing then you can buy your standard beer and spirits from the other bars dotted around.
What to wear?
Do note this market is dusty. Very dusty. With a big footfall and a dry dusty floor, don’t wear your best trainers or shoes and even avoid white clothing if you can. But get your cool clothes out, dress the part as I feel this is the place to be on a Friday night for a lot of the cool cats in Goa! As with the usual dress code in Goa it is a lot more relaxed than the rest of India so feel free to get your legs, shoulders and stomachs out! Everyone else will!
How to get there?
Take a taxi to Hilltop and either ask it to wait or even better, just pick up another taxi on the way out. There are always some waiting outside ready to drop you home or on to your next destination. They also have a big parking area if you have your own car or bike.
I really hope you are in Goa during the right season and on a Friday, because it really is a magical market! And if you do end up coming, come say hey at Go Local!
For More on Goa
- 75 Unique Things to Do in Goa
- Goa Nightlife: the 6 Most Popular Party Places in Goa
- Should I Go to North or South Goa?
- Where to Stay in Goa
- Goa One Week Itinerary for the Beach Lovers and Foodies
- A Guide to North Goa
For More tips on India
- The 30 Best Places to Visit in India
- How to Dress in India: the Ultimate Dos and Donts
- How to Get a Tourist Visa for India the Easy Way
- My Guide: the BEST Itinerary for India
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