Pondicherry, often referred to as the ‘French Capital of India’, is a beautiful town tucked in the southeast coast of India. Dipped in French culture and decked with ancient architecture, blessed with pristine untouched beaches, temples, and old churches, Pondicherry is a top-shelf choice in every wanderlust’s list. But do you know this blue paradise is a haven for the shopaholics too!
The union territory boasts of an enchanting Mediterranean atmosphere with clear blue skies and a seaside promenade. Walk through its narrow alleys and go back to olden times with its mesmerising French Quarters with cobbled paths, and beautiful colonial bungalows. The narrow tree-shaded lanes with colourful houses, quaint tiny cafes, boutiques and local shops further add to the French vibes of this picturesque town.
Step into the kaleidoscopic bazaars of Pondicherry that are full of handicrafts, home décor, fabrics, woodworks, trinkets and much more. You can also find some unique and amazing Auroville products in different shops around Pondicherry. Here’s a list of the best places to visit in Pondicherry for shopping for an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Spread over three floors, Casablanca is one of the most popular and best places to shop in Pondicherry. Whether you are looking for international brands or clothes from local designers, you can get everything here. Besides having a wonderful range of garments for men and women, the store also has designer perfumes and a range of classy accessories.
The store is also a popular attraction among pottery lovers. There is a separate section showcasing some of the best potteries from Auroville, that features mugs, cups, teapots and vases. The top floor of Casablanca is dedicated to home furnishings made at Auroville. Casablanca also sells leather belts, handbags, briefcases, suitcases, books, traditional souvenirs and more. And if you feel like relaxing or grabbing a bite, the store has a small café and pizzeria as well.
- Location: 165, Mission Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry
- Timings: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (7 days a week)
2. Goubert Market
The real charm of shopping in Pondicherry lies in its local markets and Goubert Market is one such place. This popular market offers the true essence of Indian street shopping with plenty of fresh produce, like fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish and meat.
The vendors are warm and hospitable and the non-stop movement of buyers and sellers here is fascinating. So, whether you are looking to shop for economical products or explore traditional merchandise of the region, Goubert Market is the place to be! It undoubtedly is the best street shopping in Pondicherry.
- Location: Big Market Puducherry Town, Puducherry
- Timings: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (7 days a week)
3. Serenity Beach Bazaar
Located about 100 m away from the sea, Serenity Beach Bazaar is one of the most vibrant and happening marketplaces in Pondicherry. The bazaar is packed with a wide range of products, including clothes, accessories, bags, shoes, traditional handicrafts, ceramics and more. The natural beauty and tranquillity of the location play perfect hosts to vendors as well as buyers and tourists who come here every weekend. In addition to the shops, Serenity Beach Bazaar has many local food stalls for those looking to try some lip-smacking local delicacies while shopping.
The bazaar also serves as an entertainment centre for fun lovers. From live music and concerts to yoga and workshops for children, Serenity Beach Bazaar offers plenty of options for kids and adults. You can also book the place in advance and plan a private party here with live music and entertainment. So, if you are visiting Pondicherry during the weekend, make sure you spend some time in this vibrant beach bazaar.
- Location: Serenity Beach, Thandirrayan Kuppam, Kottakuppam, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday)
When you are exploring the colourful streets for shopping in Pondicherry, this posh store is sure to grab your attention. It houses a wonderful collection of clothes and other handmade products for children and adults. And if you are in Pondicherry for a few days, you can also get products customised here.
The best thing about SUND’art is that everything here is handmade and exclusive. Bag lovers can find some colourful and trendy bags and wallets here. If you are shopping with your little one, the store has plenty of stuffed toys as well.
- Location: Sports Ground, No 1 Frederic, Frederic Ozanam Street, Opposite Indira Gandhi Stadium, Colas Nagar, Puducherry
- Timings: 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM (closed on Sundays)
Located in the French Quarters, the popular Jaipur-based retail chain store Anokhi is one of the best places to visit in Pondicherry for shopping for garments and accessories. The store particularly sells trendy ethnic cotton clothes for men and women. From subtle designs and block prints to beadwork, embroidery and applique work, you will find a wide range of options to choose from.
Anokhi also has a beautiful collection of Indo western wear with subtle designs. Be it palazzo, salwar kameez, tunics, skirts, one-piece dresses, jackets, stoles or dupattas, everything is on par with quality. There’s a home furnishing section as well with an amazing collection of bed sheets, bed covers, pillowcases and quilts. Apart from these, you can also find jewellery, wallets and other accessories at Anokhi.
- Location: 1, Casern Street, White Town, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM (7 days a week)
6. Studio Ebony
Planning to freshen up your home interior with trendy and durable furniture and décor items? If it is a yes, Studio Ebony shouldn’t be missed while deciding the list of things to do Pondicherry. The store has an eye-catching and exclusive selection of cosy cane sofa sets, contemporary centre tables, rocking chairs and swings. You can also shop for colourful lampshades, wall mirror frames, acrylic paintings, artworks and bronze idols here and add a contemporary cum vintage touch to your abode.
The pieces of furniture available at Studio Ebony are made from the highest quality rosewood and teakwood and are handcrafted using traditional methods. Their flawless finish, unmatched comfort and functionality make them a must-buy. When chalking out the list of places to visit in Pondicherry, make sure you include Studio Ebony in your itinerary.
- Location: 82, Canteen Street, MG Road Area, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (closed on Sundays)
If your list of things to buy in Pondicherry includes garments from Auroville, ayurvedic skincare and haircare essentials and aromatherapy products, you ought to visit Janaki. This spacious store is spread over 2 floors and is known for selling a range of eco-friendly products. The garments available here are designed by artisans and the best craftsmen in the region. From pants and palazzos to skirts, tops and jackets, you can find a wonderful collection of garments here. The premium quality cotton material and unique prints make the attires quite popular. While the store sells many garments, their hand-painted skirts and indigo sarees win hands down.
Janaki is also popular for selling speciality teas, skin-friendly bath and body products, face creams and aromatherapy range. In addition to these, you can also find Acacia wood furniture, Rohida wood bowls and jars, teapots, cups, coasters and more here. The wonderful and wide selection of products at Janaki makes this store a must-visit.
- Location: 16, Kosakadai, Ambalathadayar Madam Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (7 days a week)
8. La Boutique D’Auroville
A popular store in the Auroville complex, La Boutique D’Auroville houses an impressive collection of garments, shoes, stationery, ceramics and more. The garments available in the store, such as tops, skirts, shirts and palazzos are manufactured in different units within Auroville and are quite trendy and comfortable.
One of the best places to shop in Pondicherry, La Boutique D’Auroville is also popular for selling a range of colourful and comfortable handmade shoes for men and women. Besides these, you can also find table mats, glass coasters, trays, personal care products, ceramic bowls, coffee mugs and more under one roof. The candles and home fragrances available at La Boutique D’Auroville make perfect gifts for family and friends.
- Location: 38, JN Street, MG Road Area, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (7 days a week)
9. Auro Woodworks
When shopping in Pondicherry for exclusive handicrafts for your home, you must check out the collection available at Auro Woodworks. The store houses a variety of beautiful handmade artifacts that will leave you spoilt for choice. They are made from high-quality wood, such as oak, jack and teak and are perfect for personal use as well as gifting.
Auro Woodworks is popular for creating some of the finest idols and deities. They also have bowls, pen stands, images of Hindu Gods, eye-catching paintings and other artistic pieces. And if you are looking for customised products, you can get them at Auro Woodworks. The store ships products all over India, so you don’t have to worry about carrying them with you.
- Location: 144, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Solai Nagar, Kottakuppam, Puducherry
- Timings: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (7 days a week)
10. Nehru Street
If you are keen to explore the best street shopping in Pondicherry, Nehru Street is a must-visit. The market is a favourite among the locals and tourists, thanks to the wide range of products available here. Nehru street offers an extensive range of clothes, footwear, accessories and household goods.
The market has a combination of hand cart vendors, small shops and lavish stores. Apart from the essentials, you can also find beautiful pottery items and other local handmade products in the market. Hence, do take out some time to explore Nehru Street whenever you plan a trip to Pondicherry.
- Location: JN Street, Opposite to Police Station, MG Road Area, Puducherry
- Timings: 24×7
How to reach Pondicherry
Pondicherry is well connected to the major towns and cities in the country by air, road and rail. The town has an airport of its own but with limited connectivity. Chennai International Airport (150 km away) is the nearest option for domestic and international air travellers. Those taking the train can reach Pondicherry railway station or Villianur railway station (7 km away) and then hire a cab or auto-rickshaw to cover the distance. You can also take a cab or bus to reach Pondicherry from Chennai, Bangalore, Vellore, Tirupati and other nearby towns and cities. Buses, cabs, and auto-rickshaws are common modes of transport within the city.
Shopping in Pondicherry is always fun and exciting, thanks to the amazing range of products available in the street markets, stores and boutiques around the union territory. Auroville showcases some of the finest products and gift items made by local artisans and craftsmen that you can gift your people as a piece of love. If you are contemplating a trip to Pondicherry soon, plan it in advance to avoid last-minute rush. This way, you can also avail of an early booking discount on flights and hotels in Pondicherry and save more for shopping.