Best markets in India for 2023 (top 30 for food and shopping)
Whether it’s business or leisure that brings you to India, putting some time aside to visit the nation’s best food and shopping markets is something you won’t regret.
The top markets in India offer unforgettable cultural experiences, delightful cuisine and some very unique shopping experiences – everything from traditional clothing, hand-made jewellery, arts, crafts and collectables.
But best of all, the moment you begin browsing the stands at an Indian market, you’ll find your money goes much further than in city malls and shopping centres – and definitely much further than in the United State and other western countries.
Now, there is a labyrinth of markets in India, so deciding which to visit is a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve visited the most popular markets (and few off the beaten track) for you, and compiled this comprehensive list of the best markets to add to your India travel itinerary.
What are the best markets in India?
– Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa
– Bapu Bazaar, Jaipur
– Begum Bazaar, Hyderabad
– Chandni Chowk, Dehli
– Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
– Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
– Commercial Street, Banglaore
– Connaught Place, Dehli
– Crawford Market, Mumbai
– Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai
– Devaraja Market, Mysore
– Flea Markets, Goa
– Floating Vegetable Market, Srinagar
– Gem Palace, Jaipur
– Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
– Ima market, Imphal
– Janpath Market, Dehli
– Jew Town, Kochi
– Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
– Kannauj Market, Uttar Pradesh
– Karma Kettle, Kolkata
– Kripal Kumbh, Jaipur
– Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad
– Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla
– Mall Road, Shimla
– Meena Bazaar, Delhi
– New Market, Kolkata
– Police Bazar, Shillong
– Pondy Bazaar, Chennai
– Sarojini Nagar Market, New Delhi
Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa
The Arpora Saturday Night Market has a buzzing vibe that resonates with the culture and aura of Goa itself.
And unlike most markets in India which were started by locals, as one would expect, this one surprisingly started with foreigners selling their items.
Now both foreigners and locals sell unique items every Saturday, including local handicrafts, leather items, gypsy boxes, handmade jewelry, and more.
There’s usually live music and performances there too, making going shopping and bartering even more fun and entertaining.
Bapu Bazaar, Jaipur
People can find beautiful, royal-inspired Rajasthani items at Bapu Bazaar, and that is perhaps what it’s best known for. You can get crafts, gems, handlooms, brass products, and traditional Indian clothes called lehengas and salwar kameez.
It’s also known for offering a wide variety of Mojari shoes, which are handcrafted leather shoes often worn on special occasions.
Regardless, Bapu is truly a one-stop shop where you can purchase many types of items, from bags, bracelets, blankets, and more.
Begum Bazaar, Hyderabad
The Begum Bazaar is the biggest commercial market in Hyderabad and is best known for gold and silver jewelry and household commodities.
Beyond those pricier items, you can stop by this market for treats, sweets, dried fruits, and spices. And if you want a full meal with those snack items, there is plenty of fish to purchase at this market as well.
Finally, like many markets in India, you can also find footwear at bargain prices.
Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Begum might be the biggest commercial market, but Chandni Chowk is the biggest wholesale market. And within it, you can explore Khari Baoli, the biggest spice market in Asia.
You can pick up various items at this market, including herbs, spices, and dried fruits at the spice market section, or electronics, jewelry, art, and fun trinkets beyond Kari Baoli.
Its expansiveness is unsurprising considering its age. Chandni is an older market, starting in the 17th century from what we know, but likely even older.
Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
Chor Bazaar is the market you want to go to if you’re looking for second-hand, antique, and vintage items.
There you can discover unique and story-filled handmade crafts, religious statues, Victorian furniture, vintage cameras, and various knick-knacks.
Plus, the best markets in India always have at least a few items that don’t fit with the overall theme. And at Chor Bazaar, among all the crafty vintage items, you can also find power tools.
Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
In Mumbai and like the idea of vintage goods but also want to find more personal items that you’ll actually use on a day-to-day basis?
Colaba Causeway market is in the cultural center of Mumbai. It offers personal items like makeup, shoes, electronics, herbal-based products, and lots of fabric goods like shawls, carpets, and clothing.
They also offer some artsy crafts and vintage goods, which is a great market to pick up a gift for a family member or friend.
Commercial Street, Bangalore
Some people like well-laid-out markets where sellers have designated stands or even full-on brick and mortar shops that sit nicely side by side.
On the other hand, others get a buzz from a more laid-back, casual, authentic, and perhaps seemingly hectic but surprisingly quite organized market experience.
Commercial Street falls into the latter, as you can find locals selling goods from baskets on the ground. And given its laid-back nature, bargaining is not only allowed but encouraged so that you can find some of the best deals in this market.
Connaught Place, Delhi
Connaught Place Market, named after the Duke of Connaught, opened in 1931, which is relatively recent for an Indian street market.
You’ll enter a more modern and less traditional market where the shops are more organized to the eye, blending in with the restaurants, cafes, bars, and theaters between them.
This is a great market to find items like books, electronics, jewelry, and clothes, but walking through it is also a nice way to spend the day regardless of whether you want to purchase anything. You can end the day hanging out at nearby Central Park.
Crawford Market, Mumbai
The Crawford Market is a popular indoor market in South Mumbai. It opened back in 1869 and has Gothic and Norman architectural designs.
It’s a food-heavy market, and the common items to get here include nuts, tea, vegetables, spices, fruits, and treats from the street food stalls.
You can also find plenty of household goods like lamps and even pets! There are guides at the front offering to assist you for a fee, but most visitors find it easy (and even more enjoyable) to browse around on their own.
Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai
As its name suggests, the Dakar Flower Market is the place to go to purchase a wide variety of beautiful flowers for any occasion.
Fresh flowers are usually seen as an expensive and unnecessary luxury good, but this wholesale flower market makes buying fresh, unique, and gorgeous flowers more financially accessible.
It opens at 6:00 am and gets crowded quickly, so it’s helpful to go as early in the morning as possible.
Devaraja Market, Mysore
Devaraja is a bright-colored market that holds many sought-after items such as fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and even religious items for rituals.
But you can find pretty much any everyday material you might need, including household goods, fabrics, shoes, and electronics.
However, you won’t find a lot of knick-knacks and souvenirs, so if you’re looking for a special handcrafted gift, this isn’t the best market for that.
Flea Markets, Goa
There are several popular flea markets in Goa where you can find a whole host of goods, accessories, foods, and more.
The most popular ones include the aforementioned Arpora Market, the trendy Anjuna market, and the food-centered Mapusa market.
In the Anjuna market, you’ll find lots of trinkets and knick-knacks. This is the perfect market to get a souvenir or a small gift for yourself.
Like Arpora, there is often an element of live music, especially live rock and jazz bands.
Mapusa is where you’ll find spices, fruits, and vegetables, but you can also come across textiles that you can use for clothing, blankets, and more.
Floating Vegetable Market, Srinagar
India’s floating markets offer a unique shopping experience in which you can purchase goods on the water. It’s called a floating market because the merchants are on boats with their goods surrounding them.
Vegetables and flowers are the primary goods sold at the Floating Vegetable Market in Srinagar.
On Dal Lake, this floating vegetable market is an exciting way to buy the vegetables you want for your next meal and is genuinely a must-visit spot if you’re visiting the area.
Gem Palace, Jaipur
Many markets in India offer accessories and some jewelry, of course, but the Gem Palace entirely focuses on fine, unique, and stunning jewelry.
Gem Palace has two standout collections of jewelry — the Royal and the Rak.
The Royal collection is upscale jewelry inspired by India’s lavish royal history and colonial past. And the Raj collection is inspired by India’s traditional history and has a timeless, cultural spirit to it.
This is not a bargain market but a place you go if you’re looking for quality Indian jewelry.
Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
The Hazratganj Market in Lucknow — otherwise known as “Ganj” to locals — has both historic and modern qualities at the same time. The older buildings can be found right in between with newer retail stores.
However, this market got a makeover in 2010 where all the buildings were painted the same color. So now, it’s a bit more difficult to tell which buildings are older and which are newer, which is a fascinating aspect in and of itself.
Nevertheless, you can find many textiles, fabrics, handicrafts at this market.
Ima Market, Imphal
Ima Market is translated to “Mother’s Market” and is called this because it is exclusively run and operated by women. This unique factor makes it an interesting market to visit for locals and tourists alike.
You might assume that something promoting business women would be modern development, but Ima Market was actually established back in the 16th century. It was created in response to men being sent away to work or join the army.
To this day, thousands of women vendors are busy selling a wide variety of goods at this market, including but not limited to fish, spices, toys, fruits, and vegetables.
Janpath Market, Delhi
The Janpath Market is shaped like a horseshoe and invites many visitors to shop or spectate every day.
Its emphasis is on home accessories, souvenirs, and clothing, but you can find various fashion items, handloom emporiums, jewelry, and more.
Most items can’t be found elsewhere or are no longer sold in stores, so this is a great place to go for those looking for unique goods or gifts.
Jew Town, Kochi
Jew Town is named Jew Town because there used to be a thriving Jewish community in Cochin.
Now, there are several small and charming shops there that sell vintage items and collectibles, unique and artistic carvings, and crafts from around Kerala.
If you’re visiting the area, you’ll be swept in by the smells, whether it’s from the aromatic spices, the coffee in the nearby cafes, or the recently caught fish from the sea.
Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
Johari Bazaar is the most popular area of Jaipur, mostly due to this Bazaar. It’s filled with locals, tourists, traders, and people just passing through.
The busyness adds to the excitement and energy of the area, fueling consumers and encouraging them to buy something — anything.
And there’s a lot to choose from, such as jewelry, artwork, clothing, and more.
Kannauj Market, Uttar Pradesh
Kannauj is the perfume capital of India, so it’s no surprise that this market focuses on just that.
There are 200 perfume distilleries in the area, and you can also find attar (a specific type of perfume), tobacco, and rose water in the market.
Karma Kettle, Kolkata
Karma Kettle is perhaps more of a tea room and cafe than a market. Just as Kannauj Market focuses almost exclusively on perfume, Karma Kettle concentrates almost exclusively on some of the finest tea in India.
If you love tea and want many different options, this is a great mini market to visit. You can purchase tea accessories here as well.
Kripal Kumbh, Jaipur
Jaipur is the “Pink City,” but the Kripal Kumbh provides lovely, authentic blue pottery.
They also produce and sell a variety of other types of pottery, and it is perhaps the best place to go in the city for high-quality pieces that don’t have sky-high prices.
Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad
Laad Bazaar is an older market that spans four roads and provides many primarily feminine goods such as bangles, gems, and other jewelry.
Heavy bargaining is not only allowed and encouraged but most required because that’s just how things are done in this market (and many others in India, especially the older ones).
Lakkar Bazaar, Shimla
Many of India’s popular markets are popular for both locals and tourists, but the Lakkar Bazaar is mainly targeted towards tourists.
This is because it emphasizes wood carvings and crafts, which make for great souvenirs and gifts to bring back home.
Besides wooden crafts, there are other antique items and knick-knacks that you can find at Lakkar as well.
Mall Road, Shimla
Mall Road comprises a plethora of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The market is where visitors can find wooden crafts, pottery, jewelry, and clothes made of wool — all for a more affordable price than a non-market environment would sell them for.
It’s also a splendid area to relax, hang out, and people-watch in Shimla.
Meena Bazaar, Delhi
Mean Bazaar is another market in Delhi. And somewhat similar to Ima Market, the focus is on women.
The market sells fashionable and traditional Indian clothing, so it’s a great spot to look for an appropriate outfit for an Indian wedding or other special occasions.
New Market, Kolkata
The New Market in Kolkata used to be called the Sir Stuart Hogg Market
Beyond the name, this market has been through a lot of transformation, as there have been three major fires in this area — in 1985, 2011, and 2015.
Today, there are still around 2000 shops operating in this area, and you can specifically pick up a Bengali saree or try some Bengal cheese here.
Police Bazar, Shillong
The Police Bazar in Shillong has many local street food options, which many people specifically visit the market for.
In addition, you can find handicraft shops, local clothing, and branded clothing.
It is one of the more crowded and congested, and some find it almost impossible to find parking. So going early and either taking local transportation or walking is the way to go.
Pondy Bazaar, Chennai
As one of the main shopping centers of Chennai, Pondy Bazaar is also one of the busiest areas of the town.
However, it is worth it to go if you love having many different shops to choose from that are clean, organized, well-maintained, and still offer insanely cheap items.
You can find personal items like clothes, footwear, utensils, toys, and so on.
Sarojini Nagar Market, New Delhi
Lastly, the Sarojini Nagar Market is a sizable market in New Delhi that emphasizes fashionable clothing and other decorative items.
It’s an excellent stop for people furnishing a new place because you can find beautiful sheets, covers, cushions, lamps, paintings, and other home decors.
We hope you enjoyed reading this list of top markets in India. Visit our Asia Travel hub for more travel news and reviews.