Arpora flea market in Goa, India

This time around I happened to be in Goa around a weekend, with an equally enthusiastic (read shopaholic) friend. So, we decided to hit the infamous Arpora flea market. Although, soon after visiting the market, I was forced to wonder why is it even named a market. Because, true that there are lots of shopping options here. But, there is so much of food, music, dance, tattooing and so much more to the place. So that, by all means, it is a fare, more than a market.
arpora flea market

What is Arpora flea Market?

Arpora flea market is one of the many open air flea markets that are setup in Goa on a weekly basis. These markets are infamous for dirt cheap local products, souvenirs, local food stalls, music, opera and amazing night life. The Arpora flea market is setup very near to calangute beach, on the calangute-anjuna road. From calangute beach, it takes 5 minutes drive to reach the market. You can even walk down to it. The whole marketplace is surrounded by make shift tent. And, there is distinct entry and exit gates to the market.

What is on offer at Arpora flea Market?

Shops

It has a very good expanse of numerous stalls selling all different kind of products. In particular, products that would attract tourist attention, particularly foreign tourists wherein they would be looking for souvenirs or famous products from India to take back home.

But you must have a good bargaining skill to get a good deal here. However, what would be the definition of a “good deal” when there’s no end to bargaining. Well, in my opinion, once you form a price of the product in your mind looking at its worth and you are able to get it into that price range – you can happily call it a great deal. So we did. Just to give you an idea, we liked a bag. The price quoted by the shopkeeper was INR 550 , we quoted INR 250 and finally the deal was done at INR 300 🙂
Entertainment
But apart from the buzzing shops, there is so much more to the market. Which means, there is something for even the non-shopaholics . There are artists and musicians, playing live. Which completely charges up the environment. And you will find numerous people applauding to their performance. Actually, when we visited, the environment was so charged up. My toddler (who was just 20 months old at that time) couldn’t help swing to the beats as we stopped by 🙂
Food
Then comes the food stalls . Again a number of them are present, well organized in one section of the flea market offering everything from Goan delicacies , to south indian delights to Italian pizzas, wood-fire pizzas and other subcontinental mouth watering food.

Our experience at Arpora Flea Market

Sunset on calangute beach

This time around, we had stayed in South Goa. One evening, we decided to drive off to Calangute and also experience Arpora Flea Market. We reached Calangute by evening 4:30. We spent some time on the beach and then headed to a beachside restaurant. The view of sunset from here was simply amazing, so, couldn’t contain sharing with our readers.

Arpora flea market

We had some light snacks and soft drinks. While our daughter seemed to be thoroughly enjoying, walking across the deck of the restaurant. There is something about Goa, I have never seen her in such high spirits on any other vacation. From here, we decided to head to Arpora Flea Market. However, we decided to take a slow walk all through the Calangute street before boarding our cab. Then, in our cab, it took us just 5 minutes to reach Arpora Flea Market.

And then night in Arpora flea market
Shopping

We reached the market just when it was starting off. The benefit of being early is that you can be done through a portion of the place before the crowd starts to swarm the place. We did exactly that. As we stepped inside the market from the main gate, we saw rows of shops standing in neat lines. And there were several such rows. We started at one end and just strolled through, mostly window shopping. We didn’t shop much in this market. It was just the feel of the place that kept us glued to it. We crossed shops of silver jewelry, brass antiques, woolens (this one made me wonder, seriously, woolens in Goa! Would people buy that? maybe tourists from cold places would).

Then the next lane consisted of garment shops, utensil shops, shops selling utensils, Goan spices, dry fruits – particularly the famous Goan cashews. Then came shops selling old books, hats, bags and backpacks, beachwear etc. And then there were more shops in the next lane. So on and so forth. We continued weeding through the lanes. The good thing was, we were enjoying the energy of the place and our toddler was enjoying thoroughly.

Food

At last we reached back near the starting point. And then we saw the food stalls. There were a number of stalls put up in a neat line one besides the other. They were serving local cuisines, rolls, pizzas and parathas , Chinese as well. We ordered some food from here. There were chairs and tables arranged in front of the food stall to have the food. But alas, all were occupied by now. Obviously, we had spent quiet some time circling the shops it seems. But, finally, we found a small space besides a stage made for live performance. Then one of us guarded the precious seat while the other one went ahead to bring some delicious pizzas. Food was great. Even if there was no proper place for us to shift, we thoroughly enjoyed the food.

Entertainment

Along with our food, we also enjoyed couple of live songs and dance performances. After this, we decided to head back to our hotel as our little one was tired and sleepy. Overall, we had a wonderful time in this market. We spend close to 5 hours in the market and we didn’t even realize where the time had flown. This, in itself, is a testimony of how much you can enjoy the place. I would say, a must visit at least once.

The market starts from 6:30 in the evening and goes on well into the night. The stalls are up and running till 3 or 4 am in the morning. Overall, I would say the market is a must visit at least once when you are in Goa. The whole street market shopping, including the bargaining, the food, the performances…everything there was an enticing experience.
Here’s a glimpse of the colorful pictures you can see when you search for arpora flea market, to give you an idea of the vibrancy and liveliness of the atmosphere there :

Items on sale in the Arpora flea market

  • Small wooden furnitures
  • Different kind of souvenirs – key chains, show pieces (wooden/shell/marble/metal), wall hangings
  • Jewelry (shell, stones, oxidized silver, wood, metal)
  • Woolen/Silk/Cotton stoles
  • T-shirts, beachwear and other garments suitable to Goan climate
  • Goan spices and dry fruits
  • Bags, purses, backpacks (leather, cotton, jute, synthetic leather)
  • Paintings
  • Flipflops and other foot wear
  • And many other things…please add if I am missing anything major

Useful links to get more information about the flea market

Tips to visit

  1. Head here in the evening. The market starts thriving only after 6pm. And it goes on till late into the night like 2 am.
  2. If you are with toddlers like us, then make sure your toddler gets some sleep during the day so that you can enjoy the night market.
  3. You will get plenty of food and water in this place, so need not worry about this aspect
  4. You should be ready to bargain – there is huge amount of bargaining in place, you should get most of the things at one third of the price mentioned, if at all you are inclined on shopping
  5. There is a lot of culture to soak in. There is local Goan food, music, dance and body art, apart from shopping. So, you can plan to visit here even if you are not interested in shopping
  6. As usual, wear comfortable cotton cloths. It’s pleasant at night. But because of the crowd that the place slowly gathers, you might feel warm.

 

Arpora flea market

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29 Responses

  1. Arpora flea market sounds like a great place to buy souvenirs. Based on your post, I would suggest my foreign guests who are visiting Goa to buy gifts for their loved ones’ from Arpora flea market.

    • Definitely Ambuj. There are stalls by foreigners too. The only requirement though is that you should know bargaining well if you want to pay the right price

  2. This market looks fascinating, never been there and hope to visit on our next trip. Though not much into shopping, would like to saunter around and look at the things for sale. The sunset at Calangute, looks magical.

    • Even if you don’t shop, I am sure you will have some great time here, with the charged up environment, the music, the food and everything else

  3. Going to local market is one of the ways to learn about locals’ way of life. Not only thay, easily can spot the local foods also, I believe. 🙂 I always will try to visit one when I am visiting foreign country. It is just interesting to go there to watch the things going around. 🙂

    • You are right Tracy. The local food is one of the major attractions here as well. You should definitely give it a chance. From what you say, looks like you will really love it here

  4. I have not made it to Goa yet. When I do though the market sounds like a great place to visit. I would love to get some jewellery there and try some of the food. I think the sunset is a must too as it looks stunning.

    • You are right Clare. Do get a bit of all of these when you happen to visit Goa

  5. travelerettenyc

    That night market sounds fantastic! I would especially like the food because I love street food. But how fun that there is entertainment too!

    • That in my opinion enhances the beauty of the market. It is where it becomes for all instead of “for only shoppers”

  6. Anneklien Meanne

    This place looks like a great place to explore, i can roam around all day tasting the local food and looking for the quirky souvenirs.

  7. I always love to visit the local markets wherever I go and this one looks fab. I haven’t yet visited Goa but if I do I will be sure to visit this market!

    • There are many markets like this one in Goa. Do your research before you visit, you will have lots of fun

  8. I love flea markets! Crazy that this one goes until 2 am! I would definitely be the one to go shopping this late haha

    • I guess the shopping declines as the night progresses and it becomes more about the atmosphere, the dance and music and food and fun

  9. This sounds like so much fus! I@m not much of a shopper but I would love to check out the live music!

  10. I love markets and this one looks really interesting! Best place to pick up some yummy spices and fruits!

  11. I have a hate-love relationship to these kind of markets.. I sometimes get so stressed about it if there are too many things going on, but on the other hand I am also very curios! Hope to visit Goa one day!

    • Thats sounds like quiet a phenomena.. I will like to know how you felt if you happen to visit this market on your trip to Goa

  12. I’d love to visit a flea market in India. I can imagine it would be an absolute treasure trove! And to try some of the authentic food would be amazing too.

  13. Wow! Flea market! You seem to have explored Goa in depth. I would like to do a similar extensive photography of a flea market there. Lots of photo opportunity it seems.

    • It was a wonderful experience Indrani. Do head there when you go to Goa, just for the feel of the energized atmosphere – the so ‘Goa’ vibe

  14. ireviewureadsh

    This looks like a great place to be! I love exploring fleas during my holidays.
    XoXo
    Shi Hui

  15. James Santigo

    This is such a great site keep up the good work

    • Thank you james.
      If you list vacation rentals, we will check out on your website next time we would go searching for one for our next vacation

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