There's great shopping to be done in Goa, with the most popular shopping spots being in Panaji and Anjuna. The quintessential Goan souvenirs are azulejos, Portuguese-style tiles and ceramics that have been beautifully hand-painted, but there is a huge selection of fine and funky goods in the markets, and it is easy to see that Goa still caters to the hippie crowd when exploring the shops. Sometimes the outdoor markets have a carnival atmosphere, with musicians and entertainers performing around the stalls. Tourists will be expected to bargain in the Goan markets; a good rule of thumb is to try and barter the price down to half of the original. Visitors should remember that most goods will be offered by multiple stalls, so they shouldn't be scared to walk away and compare prices.
The Anjuna Wednesday market has everything from trendy rave gear to comfy hammocks; while semi-precious stones, paintings and local crafts are available from the Ingoe and Mackie night bazaars. The Mapusa Friday Market is good for freshly baked Goan breads, homemade pork sausages and an assortment of pickles.
In Calangute, the Casa Goa boutique offers local designer wear, artwork and silk drapes, and tribal art is available from the nearby Leela Art Palace. Travellers can visit Sangolda for rattan loungers and Rajasthani chests. There are also stunning lampshades available at Soto Décor.
Flaunting its strong Portuguese heritage, Goa is definitely the nightlife hub of India. Goa still retains a laid-back hippie atmosphere in many areas and impulsive beach parties are a common occurrence, with visitors and locals relaxing on the beach after sunset with a couple of cold drinks and some mellow tunes. There are also numerous houses that have a room open to the public as a bar-cum-restaurant, usually serving great seafood.
Goa hosts great rave and trance music parties, especially in winter under the full moon. The venues for these raves are kept secret till just hours before they kick off, and visitors will have to ask around at local bars for details. Goa is also developing fast as a resort centre and many hotels provide their own party venues. The most famous Goan party season is over New Year's Eve, when visitors flood onto the beaches to dance under the stars and enjoy fireworks and trance music in this beautiful setting. If visitors travel to Goa for a new year's party, they should be sure to book far in advance as it is very popular.
Travellers should note that over the past few years, authorities have been cracking down on the Goan party scene, closing numerous bars and passing new liquor laws. Much fun can still be had in the state, but it is a good idea to get familiar with the laws before travelling, as state legislature is somewhat up in the air at the moment.