When travelling to a new city, be it for business or leisure, shopping is something that is on everyone’s mind. You want to grab that perfect souvenir for your trip or buy a few gifts for the loved ones back home. But the sprawling shopping malls that have been popping up on the map of India uninterruptedly for the past several years are hardly the place to find something peculiar. It is the bustling street markets that hold the real gems; it is the almost-chaotic-looking shopping areas where you come across the rare and the fresh. So, if you fancy strolling in the swamped street markets and frequently travel across India, check out this list of some iconic places that will quench your thirst for the ultimate retail therapy.
1. Commercial Street, Bangalore
Commercial Street is the perfect place for some laid-back retail therapy in the Garden City. This is where you can score some good bargains on almost everything, from the funkiest of clothes to the rarest of artsy goods. What takes the shopping experience a notch higher here is the highly organised manner in which it functions.
- Trivia: The shopping complex is just a little over 1 km from the famed M.G. Road.
- Open: All days a week from 10:30 am – 8 pm (on important days, the market is operational 24 hours)
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: MG Road Metro Station
2. Sarojini Nagar, Delhi
Fondly referred to as ‘SN’ by Delhiites, Sarojini Nagar is the first name that comes to mind when you talk about some bargain shopping in Delhi, and trust us, the hype is well deserved. It is where you can find the latest trends at dirt cheap prices. From shoes, bracelets and neckpieces to dresses, clutches and cosmetics, you can find it all here.
- Trivia: You can get first copies of international brands like Zara & Mango.
- Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm. Closed on Monday.
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: S. J. Hospital Bus Stop & AIIMS Metro Station
3. New Market, Kolkata
New Market has always been the favourite hangout spot for shopaholics in Kolkata. It has no less than 2,000 shops and stalls that sell a wide variety of merchandise. If you are looking to buy the renowned Bengali saree on your next trip to Kolkata, then the only place you need to visit is New Market.
- Trivia: Established in 1874, it is the oldest in the city.
- Open: Monday to Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday-until 2:30 pm. Closed on Sunday.
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Esplanade Metro Station
4. Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa
Boozing till dawn and dancing to electrifying tunes are not the only things you can do to have a wonderful time in Goa. You can head over to Arpora Saturday Night Market and grab some incredible-looking local handicrafts. It is a great place to buy leather items, gypsy boxes and some junk jewellery.
- Trivia: The place is mostly abuzz with live music adding fun to the shopping experience.
- Open: As the name suggests, it is functional on Saturdays only; 6 pm to 2 am
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Arpora Junction
5. Police Bazar, Shillong
Police Bazar is not just the most famous shopping area in the hill station of Shillong, but perhaps in the entire Meghalaya. If you are looking for intricate handicrafts made by the tribal people of the region, then this is your best bet. And most of the stuff sold here is offered at reasonable prices, so you do not have to worry about digging deep into your pocket.
- Trivia: Here, you can stock up some really interesting hippie clothes or Goth-style apparels.
- Open: 8 am onwards
- Nearest bus stop/metro station:
6. Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
Colaba Causeway is where Mumbaikars go to buy their fashion accessories. The stretch is lined with shops and stalls that shine with dazzling sunglasses, beads, chains, bags, junk jewellery and more. The place is not just popular among the locals but a good number of international tourists also make their way here to snatch a good deal.
- Trivia: The area is home to the famous Leopold Café which has been serving delicious food to Mumbaikars and tourists alike since 1871.
- Open: All days of the week; 9 am to 10 pm
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Colaba Causeway Bus Station
7. Janpath, Delhi
Owing to its staggering number of shopping stores and street markets, the national capital has built a repute of the best shopping destination in India. And the name that has become synonymous with bargain shopping in the city over the past some time is Janpath. You can find a variety of merchandise at really good prices, given that you have a good bargaining game.
- Trivia: The market enjoys proximity to numerous points of interest in the city, such as India Gate, Jantar Mantar and Madame Tussauds Delhi, all of which are within 2 km of it.
- Open: Monday- Saturday, 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Janpath & Rajiv Chowk metro stations
8. Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
Hazratganj, a premier shopping district in Lucknow, is a fascinating blend of the old and the new. It is where you can find retail outlets of several global brands amidst buildings that are at least 100 years old. Several shops here sell the renowned Chikan handloom of Lucknow and that is something you ought to check out.
- Trivia: The people of Lucknow have coined the word ‘Ganjing’, which means strolling in the wide lanes of Hazratganj. So, will you be “Ganjing” any time soon?!
- Open: Monday to Saturday; 10 am to 9 pm
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Hazrataganj Crossing Bus Stop
9. Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
You can find a gamut of stuff in Johari Bazaar, but the thing that lures most shoppers to this place is the intricate jewellery. It is a hub of jewellers who deal in gems, diamonds and precious metals. If you are ready to splurge, then do check out the traditional Rajasthani jewellery.
- Trivia: While in Johari Bazaar, don’t forget to drop by Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar – one of the oldest & most popular sweet shops in the Pink City.
- Open: All days of the week; 10 am – 11 pm
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Badi Chopar Bus Stop
10. Bapu Bazar, Jaipur
Jaipur may be more famous for its splendid monuments but its incredible shopping scene never misses a chance to stand out. And, Bapu Bazar is a name that is constantly uttered while talking about retail therapy in the city. This place is famous for Rajasthani handlooms and handicrafts, brass products and gems.
- Trivia: The market is mostly thronged for its rare variety of Mojari shoes.
- Open: All days of the week; 11 am onwards
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Sindhi Camp Bus Stop
11. Fashion Street, Pune
Fashion Street is undeniably the liveliest street market; the city of Pune has to offer. As you must have already guessed from the name, it is all about fashion. Bags, shoes, dresses, tops, bracelets…whatever you wish to buy, you can find it in the Fashion Street market.
- Trivia: There are almost 500 shops here, so you must not have much trouble finding a good deal on the stuff that you are looking to purchase.
- Open: All days of the week, 11 am – 8 pm
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: MG Road Pune Camp Bus Station
12. Jew Town, Kochi
Jew Town is an antique lovers’ paradise. The area is speckled with shops selling rare and impressive antique objects such as sculptures, paintings and more. You will be welcomed by an aroma of cardamom, cloves and other spices in the air as the market also houses several shops selling spices.
- Trivia: As Jews got refuge here in 1524, hence the site got christened as Jew Town.
- Open: All days of the week from 5 am to 9 pm.
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Ernakulam Railway Station; you can come here via Jew Town Road.
13. Pondy Bazaar, Chennai
The largest commercial area in the city, it is a one-stop destination for all your shopping desires. Just think of something to buy, and you will definitely find it here. Its biggest draw however is the scores of stores offering a wide range of dresses, shoes and accessories. Bargain, if you know how, to get incredible deals.
- Trivia: It offers delicious papads of South India.
- Open: Morning till evening
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Pondy Bazaar Bus Station and Panagal Park Bus Station
14. Begum Bazaar, Hyderabad
Across the Musi River from the world-famous Charminar, is Begum Bazaar. Hyderabad’s biggest wholesale market, it dates from time of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Gold and silver jewellery, household items, dry fruits, crockery, religious articles, sweets, clothes and footwear, you name it…everything is available here at wholesale rates!
- Trivia: No cars or auto-rickshaw are allowed here, so you can breathe comparatively cleaner air.
- Open: The bazaar is open on all the days of the week from 10 am to 11 pm. Some shops are closed on Sundays.
- Nearest bus stop/metro station: Afzal Gunj So, these are the most iconic markets in India where you can shop till you drop and also take with you unique experiences.
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