I have always been curious of the flea markets in Goa and even though I lived there for six months, I have missed them, thanks to their seasonal visits. Luckily, this time I made up for the loss.

Stop at Mackies.
Stop at Mackies.

I decided to make a quick stop at Mackies Saturday Night Bazaar before heading to the bigger and better Arpora Saturday Night Market. This can be a little confusing since both of them are in Arpora and about 5 minutes away from each other. Mackies is smaller, the stalls are mostly by local vendors, the products are not exclusive, and the live music performance is significantly dull. I walked around with a pint to get a quick feel of the place and soon pulled away my scooter from parking and headed to its incomparable cousin.

The crowd enjoying the live music.
The crowd enjoying the live music at Arpora Saturday Night Market.
Where we get all the drinks.
Where we get all the drinks.

Arpora Saturday Night Market was formerly called Ingo’s Night Market. It is very popular and at least, 5 times the size of Mackies. What makes it beautiful is the way it has been designed. The venue escalates to a hill-like slope and the winding pathway took me across the numerous stalls. There are multiple entry and exit gates, so if you have a vehicle parked, remember your entry gate number. The labyrinth-like ways will lead you to the central field. This is where the stage is setup for live music, with cocktail bars located on either sides. There isn’t a part of this market which is not crowded though it is least intimidating. If you will be visiting this place all by yourself, it’s all safe.

Typical look of the stalls.
Typical look of the stalls.
Stall with neon things!
Stall with neon things!

As I walked upwards, having crossed the many varieties of food stall, the kiosks and displays kept getting more interesting and exquisite. With the sound of the live music travelling far, the mesmerising stalls selling clothes, quirky jewellery and accessories, creative artwork, antique home décor and everything unnecessarily indulging you can think of will be ready to entice you here. I spent a lot of time chatting with the lady who made and sold dreamcatchers though my main mission of the evening was getting my hair braided with a new hair extension. It is a travel habit that I have developed over the years, when I get something ‘attached’ to my hair from a place I’ve fallen in love with. Having said that, two hours into the night and I didn’t find myself a stall with hair braids or feather extensions. I continued walking and remained hopeful.

Colourful dreamcatchers.
Colourful dreamcatchers.
As seen from the upper field or the top level.
As seen from the upper field or the top level.

Towards the topmost level of the market lies two open spaces for dancing and revellers. These are on either sides and the music was blaring EDM. Hurriedly, I made my way away from the noise, glancing through the shops. I stood at the very top level, looking down at the glistening flea market under the open sky. Truly, I haven’t been to very many places this creative.

Roast chicken food stall.
Roast chicken food stall.
A heavy dinner with yummy salad.
A heavy dinner with yummy salad.

I was recommended the roast chicken in the flea market and I tried the deliciously melt in the mouth food reluctantly! The salad that came along with it was just as scrumptious. I noticed a lot of crowd around the shawarma food stall too.

While some of us got a quick bite seated.
While some of us got a quick bite seated.

I was disappointed to see very few Indians there. Most of the shops are run by international travellers and a large percentage of the crowd comprises foreigners. The entire vibe of the place is very warm and friendly. It was nice to meet people who shared their stories on visiting Goa repetitively and soon I found myself singing songs with them!

Hammocks hanging.
Hammocks hanging.

On my way out, I still remembered that I hadn’t achieved my mission so I enquired about it and to my very good luck, I found a stall with hair wraps! Excited I got it braided to my hair and walked out feeling victorious. As I exited the flea market, I turned back at the bright lights in the hope of visiting them next season again.

Hair wraps finally!
Hair wraps finally!

Keep in mind: Parking is limited here. If you do manage to get a spot, chances are there will be one of the young boys making sure your car/bike remains safe till you’re back. He’ll charge a minimum Rs. 20 for n-hours.

I didn’t purchase anything from here because I felt most of them were exorbitantly priced. No one accepts card, carry cash.

Getting there: You can ask anyone for Arpora Saturday Night Market and emphasise on Ingo’s. Check map here.

Hours: Every Saturday, it opens late in the evening (around 7PM) and goes on till about 1-2AM. The market remains open only during season i.e. December to April (each year exact dates differ).

Have you been to any of the flea markets in Goa?

Amrita Das

Amrita is a freelance travel writer and professional travel blogger. She has been contributing to some of the top publications in India and internationally. She propagates female solo travel and shares her experiences from off-beat, culture and adventure travel through her writing.

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9 thoughts on “Exploring Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa

    1. Really? I saw a couple of people with their DSLR set on tripod shooting various aspects of the market. May be the rules have relaxed now. Let’s hope for the next time :)

    1. Yup Christine, the markets’ are only open from November till February. Let it charm you the next time :)

  1. I have been to Mackies Saturday Night Bazaar at Baga few years ago. A band was playing music too. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  2. Shopping for girls is like a life time achievement for a day and then they are young again the next day to hunt another shop! It’s funny but I must say that the Goan markets feed that craziness under moonlit tent cubicles with tangy food stuff!
    I’m sure you looked ravishing with your hair wraps Amrita!

    1. I disagree Raghav. I know more male shoppers than women and I would hardly engage in it myself. Goan flea markets offer an experience at a whole. It is not only about shopping but the music, the lights and the food brings it to life and more importantly, we don’t have very many of these in India.

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