Are you sick of the same shopping malls and expensive shops? Do you want to shop in a way that no one else does? India’s busy streets are full of colourful markets and bazaars that are sure to catch your attention.
India is a shopping lover’s dream, from the busy streets of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk to the bright shops of Mumbai’s Colaba Causeway.
In this article, we’ll show you the top 10 places to shop on the street in India, where you can find everything from traditional textiles and handicrafts to trendy fashion items and unusual gifts.
Get ready to visit these lively markets that will leave you with a lasting memory of your shopping trips.
1:Chor Bazaar: Grant Road, South Mumbai’s Treasure Trove of Antiques and More
Nestled amidst the vibrant streets of Mumbai, Chor Bazaar, also known as the “Thieves’ Market,” is a captivating and historically significant market that has captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike. This bustling market is a hidden gem filled with antiques, vintage items, and a unique charm that tells tales of Mumbai’s rich history.
Chor Bazaar’s intriguing name, which translates to “Thieves’ Market” in Hindi, harks back to its colonial history. Legend has it that the market began as a place where stolen goods were bought and sold. Over time, it transformed into a haven for vintage collectors and bargain hunters.
Products and Antiques:
Chor Bazaar is renowned for its diverse array of products, making it a treasure trove for shoppers. From antique furniture and vintage timepieces to retro Bollywood posters and quirky knick-knacks, you’ll find a fascinating mix of items here. It’s a paradise for those seeking unique home decor, rare collectables, and vintage fashion.
Navigating the Market:
Navigating Chor Bazaar can be both exhilarating and overwhelming due to its labyrinthine lanes and the sheer volume of items on display. To make the most of your visit, start early in the day when the market is less crowded. Bargaining is a must, so hone your haggling skills to score the best deals. Remember to explore the narrow bylanes, where you might discover hidden gems.
- Start with a smile and a friendly hello.
- Do some research on the items you’re interested in to gauge their value.
- Politely negotiate and be prepared to walk away if the price doesn’t meet your expectations.
- Remember that charm and humour can go a long way in securing a good deal.
Anecdotes and Stories:
Chor Bazaar is brimming with fascinating stories. It’s said that you can find anything here, from antique gramophones that belonged to Bollywood legends to vintage cameras used in iconic Indian films. Locals and tourists often share anecdotes of stumbling upon unique pieces of history, making every visit to Chor Bazaar an adventure in itself.
Whether you’re a history buff, an antique enthusiast, or simply a curious traveller, Chor Bazaar beckons with its allure of hidden treasures and the promise of uncovering a piece of Mumbai’s captivating past.
2: Sarojini Nagar: Delhi’s Fashion Wonderland for Budget Shoppers
Sarojini Nagar, a bustling neighbourhood in the heart of Delhi, is a fashion haven that beckons budget-conscious shoppers with its irresistible mix of style and savings. This iconic market has earned a reputation as a treasure trove for those looking to snag the latest fashion trends without breaking the bank.
A Shopper’s Paradise:
Sarojini Nagar is synonymous with affordable fashion. Here, you’ll find a dizzying array of clothing, accessories, and footwear that caters to every taste and style. From trendy tops and dresses to ethnic wear and chic accessories, the market boasts an eclectic collection that rivals high-end boutiques.
The Shopping Experience:
Visiting Sarojini Nagar is an adventure in itself. The market is a bustling hub of activity where hawkers and shoppers converge in a vibrant and colourful atmosphere. The lively streets are lined with stalls and shops, each offering its unique selection of goods. The sound of haggling and the sight of fashion-forward finds create an unforgettable shopping experience.
While every corner of Sarojini Nagar has something special to offer, there are a few stalls that have garnered a loyal following. The market is known for its “export surplus” items, which are often high-quality products sourced from international brands. Stalls like “Export Bazaar” and “Fancy Store” are famous for these treasures.
Best Times to Visit:
To make the most of your Sarojini Nagar shopping spree, consider visiting during weekdays in the early morning or late afternoon. The market can get crowded during weekends, so a weekday visit allows for a more leisurely shopping experience. Also, keep an eye out for sales at the end of the season because Sarojini Nagar is known for having great deals.
Sarojini Nagar is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a fashion pilgrimage for those who love to stay ahead of the style curve while staying within budget. With its unbeatable deals and ever-changing inventory, it’s no wonder that Sarojini Nagar remains a favourite among Delhi’s fashion-savvy shoppers.
3: Chandni Chowk: Where History, Shopping, and Culinary Delights Converge
Nestled in the heart of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. This bustling marketplace, with its narrow lanes and historic architecture, offers a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and flavours. Chandni Chowk’s allure lies in its unique blend of history, shopping, and culinary delights.
Chandni Chowk, dating back to the 17th century, was designed by Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor famous for the Taj Mahal. The name “Chandni Chowk” translates to “Moonlit Square,” and it was once the grandest market in the Mughal Empire. Today, it retains its historical charm with its bustling streets and architectural marvels.
Chandni Chowk is a shopper’s paradise, offering an array of products that cater to diverse tastes. The market is renowned for textiles, especially wedding attire, intricate embroidery, and traditional fabrics. It’s also a hub for jewellery, electronics, and handicrafts. Khari Baoli, the spice market within Chandni Chowk, is one of Asia’s largest and oldest spice markets.
Must-Visit Shops and Eateries:
While exploring Chandni Chowk, take advantage of the iconic shops and eateries that have stood the test of time. Karim’s, a legendary eatery, serves mouthwatering Mughlai cuisine. Paranthe Wali Gali is famous for its delectable paranthas, and Ghantewala has been known for its sweets since 1790. For shopping, Kinari Bazaar offers a treasure trove of textiles and embellishments.
Cultural and Religious Landmarks:
Chandni Chowk is not just about commerce; it’s also a place of cultural and religious significance. The market is home to the stunning Jama Masjid, one of India’s largest mosques, and the Gauri Shankar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The nearby Red Fort, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adds to the historical feel of the area.
The Chandni Chowk Experience:
Visiting Chandni Chowk is more than just shopping; it’s an immersive experience that transports you back in time while tantalizing your taste buds. The chaos and charm, the flavours and fragrances, and the historical landmarks make Chandni Chowk an unmissable destination for those looking to explore Delhi’s rich tapestry of culture and commerce.
4: Colaba Causeway: Mumbai’s Trendy Shopper’s Paradise
Colaba Causeway, located in the heart of South Mumbai, is a bustling shopping destination that captures the vibrant essence of the city. This bustling street bazaar is famous for its eclectic mix of clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and more, making it a must-visit for both tourists and locals alike.
A Shopper’s Haven:
Colaba Causeway is a treasure trove of fashion and style. It offers a wide array of goods, from clothing and jewellery to shoes and handbags. Shoppers can explore a diverse range of shops, boutiques, and street stalls. Whether you’re seeking contemporary fashion, traditional Indian wear, or quirky accessories, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
Unique and Affordable Souvenirs:
One of the highlights of Colaba Causeway is its abundance of souvenir shops. Here, you can pick up mementoes to remember your visit to Mumbai. Popular choices include Indian textiles, intricately designed trinkets, and vibrant artwork. Be sure to brush up on your bargaining skills, as haggling is a common practice here and can lead to some fantastic deals.
Exploring Nearby Attractions:
Colaba Causeway’s central location makes it a convenient starting point for exploring other Mumbai attractions. Just a stone’s throw away is the iconic Gateway of India, a historic monument that stands as a symbol of the city. The picturesque Colaba waterfront is also nearby, offering stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
Tips for Your Visit:
- Bargain Wisely: Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices, but do so with respect and a friendly attitude.
- Try Local Street Food: Sample Mumbai’s famous street food at the stalls and eateries along the Causeway.
- Mind the Crowds: Colaba Causeway can get busy, especially on the weekends, so be ready for a lively scene.
Colaba Causeway Experience:
Colaba Causeway is more than just a shopping street; it’s an experience that immerses you in Mumbai’s dynamic culture and provides an opportunity to take home a piece of the city’s unique charm. Whether you’re hunting for fashion finds or soaking in the local flavours, a visit to this iconic Mumbai hotspot promises an unforgettable time.
5: New Market Kolkata: Where Tradition Meets Shopping Extravaganza
New Market, located in the heart of Kolkata, is a shopping destination that seamlessly blends tradition and commerce. This iconic market, with its colonial-era architecture, has been a bustling hub for shoppers for over a century.
A Walk Through History:
As you step into New Market, you’ll be greeted by an architectural marvel. The market’s red-brick façade and towering clock tower transport you back to the British colonial era, making it a unique shopping experience. The market was originally known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market and has retained its historic charm.
A Shopper’s Paradise:
New Market caters to a wide range of shopping needs. From clothing and accessories to electronics, spices, and confectionery, you can find almost anything here. The market is particularly renowned for its textiles, jewellery, and handcrafted goods. You’ll be spoilt for choice as you explore the myriad stalls and shops.
New Market truly comes alive during festivals and celebrations. Durga Puja, Kolkata’s grandest festival, sees the market adorned with colourful decorations and stalls offering festive essentials. It’s the perfect place to shop for traditional attire and decorations during this auspicious time.
One of the charms of New Market is its treasure trove of hidden gems. While there are established stores, remember to explore the smaller stalls, where you might discover unique and handcrafted items at competitive prices. Be sure to sharpen your bargaining skills; negotiating is an integral part of the market experience.
Tips for Your Visit:
- Arrive Early: New Market can get crowded, so it’s best to visit in the morning to enjoy a more leisurely shopping experience.
- Local Cuisine: Take advantage of the opportunity to savour Kolkata’s street food. The market area is known for its delectable snacks and sweets.
- Explore Nearby: The market is conveniently located near other Kolkata landmarks, such as the Indian Museum and Park Street.
New Market Kolkata Experience:
New Market Kolkata is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a slice of the city’s history and culture. Whether you’re searching for a unique souvenir, immersing yourself in the festivities, or simply exploring its rich heritage, a visit to New Market promises a memorable and authentic Kolkata experience.
6: Connaught Place: Delhi’s Premier Shopping and Dining Destination
Connaught Place, often referred to as CP, is one of Delhi’s most iconic landmarks and a bustling shopping and dining hub. Located in the heart of the city, it combines the charm of traditional bazaars with the sophistication of modern boutiques.
What sets Connaught Place apart is its stunning architectural design. The market is built in the shape of a horseshoe, with white colonnades and Georgian-style facades. It houses some of the city’s most prominent and historic structures, making it a popular destination for both shopping and sightseeing.
Connaught Place offers a diverse shopping experience. The market is divided into different blocks and circles, each specializing in specific products. From high-end fashion boutiques to handicraft shops, you can find a wide array of goods here. Janpath, an adjoining market, is famous for its clothing, jewellery, and artifacts.
CP is not just about shopping; it’s a culinary delight, too. The market boasts a vast array of restaurants, cafes, and street food stalls. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or traditional Indian dishes, CP has something to satisfy every palate. The open-air rooftop restaurants are especially popular for a scenic dining experience.
- Palika Bazaar: Known for electronics, clothing, and accessories, this underground market is a treasure trove for shoppers.
- Khan Market: Just a short walk away, Khan Market is famous for its boutiques, bookstores, and diverse dining options.
- Central Park: Take a stroll in the park at the centre of Connaught Place, offering a peaceful oasis amidst the shopping frenzy.
- United Coffee House: A legendary establishment serving a blend of European and Indian cuisine.
- Saravana Bhavan: Renowned for its South Indian delicacies.
- Farzi Café: Offers modern Indian cuisine with a unique twist.
Connaught Place Experience:
Connaught Place is more than a shopping and dining destination; it’s a testament to Delhi’s rich history and modernity. Whether you’re exploring its architectural beauty, hunting for unique finds, savouring delicious food, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, a visit to Connaught Place promises a memorable experience in the heart of the capital city.
7: Sarojini Nagar Market: Shopper’s Paradise in Delhi
Sarojini Nagar Market, affectionately known as SN, is a shopaholic’s paradise in South Delhi. It’s renowned for offering trendy clothing, accessories, and footwear at unbeatable prices. The market’s popularity lies not only in its affordability but also in its ever-changing inventory of fashionable items.
Sarojini Nagar is a treasure trove for fashion enthusiasts. You’ll find the latest styles, from clothing and handbags to footwear and jewellery, all available at incredibly low prices. The market is especially famous for its surplus export garments, so you can score designer-inspired pieces without breaking the bank.
If you’re new to Sarojini Nagar, here are some tips for a successful shopping spree:
- Inspect Thoroughly: Due to the low prices, items might have minor defects. Always check for any flaws before making a purchase.
- Bargain Skills: Bargaining is the name of the game. Sellers often quote higher prices, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better deal.
- Quality Matters: While the prices are budget-friendly, prioritize quality. Some shops offer higher-grade items at slightly higher prices.
Best Times to Visit:
Sarojini Nagar Market is typically bustling on all days of the week, but there are certain times when you can snag the best deals:
- Weekdays: Visit on weekdays to avoid the weekend rush, ensuring a more relaxed shopping experience.
- Early Mornings: If you want first dibs on fresh stock, arrive early in the morning when the market opens.
Sarojini Nagar isn’t just about clothing and accessories; it also boasts a thriving street food scene. After a long day of shopping, recharge with delectable snacks and beverages from the street vendors.
- Carry Cash: Many small shops may not accept card payments, so it’s wise to carry cash.
- Come Prepared: Wear comfortable clothing and footwear, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking and trying on outfits.
Sarojini Nagar Experience:
Sarojini Nagar Market is a testament to Delhi’s vibrant shopping culture. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to SN is an experience filled with fashion finds, bargain hunting, and a taste of local street food. As long as you know how to bargain and have a good sense of style, you’ll be able to leave with a bag full of stylish deals.
8: Khan Market: Delhi’s Upscale Shopping Haven
Nestled in the heart of New Delhi, Khan Market is a prestigious shopping district that has earned its reputation as one of the poshest and most exclusive markets in the city. This vibrant locale boasts a unique blend of high-end boutiques, speciality stores, and gourmet eateries, making it a magnet for Delhi’s fashion-forward and discerning shoppers.
Khan Market is synonymous with luxury and sophistication. Its upscale boutiques cater to those with an eye for fashion, offering designer clothing, accessories, and jewellery. The market is a favourite haunt for those seeking bespoke tailoring and handcrafted items, making it a one-stop destination for premium fashion finds.
Book lovers will find solace in the numerous bookshops that grace Khan Market’s streets. These stores offer a diverse collection of books, from literary classics to contemporary bestsellers, ensuring that bibliophiles have access to a literary treasure trove.
Beyond its shopping allure, Khan Market is renowned for its culinary scene. The market is dotted with upscale restaurants, cafes, and speciality food stores that cater to food enthusiasts with discerning palates. Here, you can savour global cuisines, shop for gourmet ingredients, and indulge in delectable desserts.
Khan Market has a long history of being frequented by celebrities, politicians, and high-profile individuals. It’s not uncommon to spot famous personalities enjoying a meal at one of the market’s restaurants or perusing the boutiques. This reputation only adds to the market’s allure.
The Khan Market Experience:
Shopping at Khan Market isn’t just about making purchases; it’s an experience in itself. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in luxury, discover unique fashion pieces, explore literary gems, and indulge in gourmet delights.
The market’s elegant ambience and a wide array of offerings ensure that a visit here is always a delightful affair. So, whether you’re looking to splurge on designer wear, unwind with a good book, or savour world-class cuisine, Khan Market welcomes you to an unparalleled shopping and dining experience in Delhi.
9: Sadar Bazaar: Delhi’s Wholesome Shopping Extravaganza
Sadar Bazaar, situated in the heart of Delhi, is a bustling and vibrant shopping district that effortlessly combines both wholesale and retail markets. This labyrinthine marketplace is an essential stop for shoppers looking for a wide array of products, ranging from textiles and electronics to spices and home goods.
Retail Meets Wholesale:
What sets Sadar Bazaar apart is its dual identity as both a wholesale and retail market. It caters to the needs of individuals seeking single items as well as bulk buyers looking to strike deals at wholesale prices. This unique characteristic makes it a go-to destination for shoppers with diverse requirements.
A Shopper’s Paradise:
Sadar Bazaar boasts an astonishing variety of merchandise. Textile enthusiasts can explore countless shops offering fabrics, clothing, and traditional Indian attire. Electronics stores offer gadgets, appliances, and accessories at competitive prices. For culinary connoisseurs, the market is a treasure trove of spices, dry fruits, and traditional Indian sweets.
Mastering the Bargain:
Shopping in Sadar Bazaar wouldn’t be complete without mastering the art of bargaining. Vendors expect customers to haggle over prices, and it’s considered an integral part of the shopping experience. Be prepared to negotiate, and you’ll likely walk away with fantastic deals.
Sadar Bazaar comes alive with unparalleled energy during festivals like Diwali. The market is adorned with colourful decorations, and its stalls overflow with festive goods, including diyas (lamps), decorations, and sweets. It’s the ideal place to soak in the festive spirit and shop for everything you need to celebrate with grandeur.
Navigating the Maze:
Sadar Bazaar can be an overwhelming maze for first-time visitors. It’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what you’re looking for and do some research beforehand. Additionally, keep an eye out for pickpockets, as the market can get crowded.
Sadar Bazaar is more than just a market; it’s a sensory experience that immerses you in Delhi’s vibrant culture. Whether you’re a seasoned shopper or an adventurous explorer, a visit to Sadar Bazaar promises to be an unforgettable journey through the heart of Delhi’s commerce and traditions.
Ima Market: The Unique All-Women Bazaar
Ima Market, also known as Nupi Keithel or Khwairamband Market, is an extraordinary marketplace located in Imphal, Manipur. What makes this market truly exceptional is that it is the world’s only market entirely run and managed by women. Male shopkeepers and vendors are not allowed inside this bustling bazaar, making it a one-of-a-kind commercial centre.
A Cultural Gem:
Founded in the 16th century, Ima Market has a rich history and is deeply ingrained in Manipuri culture. Today, it stands as both a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Manipuri women and a captivating tourist attraction. The market is a cultural gem that reflects the strength and resilience of the women of Manipur.
An Array of Offerings:
Ima Market hosts an impressive array of products. You can buy fresh fruits and veggies, clothes, toys, fish, spices, and cooking tools.
The market’s diversity is a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of the women vendors who come here to sell their wares. Exploring the market is like embarking on a journey through Manipur’s vibrant traditions and daily life.
- Respect the Rules: As a visitor, it’s important to respect the market’s rules and the cultural norms that govern it. Remember that men are not allowed to sell or shop inside, so be mindful of this unique aspect.
- Bargaining: Like many markets in India, bargaining is part of the shopping experience. However, do so respectfully and with an understanding of the local economy.
- Exploration: Take your time to explore the market’s various sections. Each area has its unique offerings, and you might stumble upon something truly special.
- Local Cuisine: Take advantage of the opportunity to savour some of the local cuisine offered by women’s vendors. Imphal’s street food is famous for its flavours and authenticity.
- Photography: Seek permission before taking photographs, as some vendors may prefer not to be photographed.
Ima Market is not just a place to shop; it’s a living testament to the power of women in commerce and culture. It provides a unique window into the daily lives and traditions of Manipur, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring this remarkable region of India.
In conclusion, India has a lot of exciting and different ways to shop on the street that you should take advantage of. There is something for every shopper in this country, from the busy streets of Chandni Chowk in Delhi to the colourful markets of Jaipur.
These top 10 places to shop on the street have everything you could want, from traditional textiles to beautiful jewellery to one-of-a-kind crafts. So, pack your bags and get ready to learn about India’s rich cultural history and many shopping choices.
As you make your way through these busy streets, enjoy the chaos, haggle, and look for secret treasures. Take advantage of the chance to see India’s lively street markets. It’s an experience you will remember.
1. What are the 10 best places to shop on the street in India?
A1: Sarojini Nagar Market, Janpath Market, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, Commercial Street, Chandni Chowk, Hill Road, and Fashion Street are some of the best places to shop on the street in India.
Q2: Is it cheap to shop on the street in India?
A2: Yes, Indian street shopping is known for being cheap. Some trendy clothes and items will stay on the bank.
Q3: Can I make a deal when I’m shopping on the street in India?
A3: In India, haggling is an important part of shopping on the street. Most shop owners expect customers to try to get a better deal.
Q4: Is it safe for tourists to shop at these street markets?
A4: Most of the time, people are safe at these street markets. But you should always take steps, like keeping an eye on your things and staying away from crowded places.
Q5: Are there places to buy food at these markets?
A5: Yes! Many of these street markets have food stands and local restaurants where you can get snacks and meals that are both tasty and cheap.
Q6: Will these shops have traditional Indian clothes?
A6: Yes, of course! Some street shops only sell traditional Indian clothes like sarees, salwar suits, and accessories like bangles and bindis.
Q7: Are these shops open every day of the year?
A7: Most of these street markets are open all year, but it’s best to check the hours before going because some may only be open on certain days or at certain times.
Q8: Do these stores take credit cards or other electronic forms of payment?
A8: Some shops might take digital payments or credit cards, but it’s best to bring cash to these street markets because most deals are done in cash.