Best Shopping Places in the Andaman Islands

Maushumi Sakhari
October 18, 2023

Sun, sand, and sightseeing are what Andaman is all about. It is an ideal destination to keep your stress baggage aside and walk freely on the beach with your partner or family. Explore various places and of course, go to sight see and know about the culture and lifestyle of the natives. Often tourists ask, what are the things to do in Andaman? But shopaholics looking for something unique and innovative want to know about the shopping scenario in the Islands. So, let’s find out what are the popular things to buy in the Andaman Islands.

Shopping for souvenirs is a popular activity for tourists on vacation, and it’s no different when visiting the picturesque Andaman Islands. With so many options, it can be hard to decide what to buy as a souvenir. From beautiful seashell jewelry to handmade wooden crafts, many unique items capture the essence of the Andaman Islands. So, take your time to explore the local markets and shops, and choose the perfect souvenir to bring back home for your loved ones.

If you are planning to visit Andaman, it’s essential to know what to include and exclude from your shopping list. While Andaman is a beautiful destination that offers a plethora of experiences, it might not be the best place to buy clothes. The majority of the items available on the Islands are transported from the mainland, and as a result, the prices might be higher than what you would pay on the mainland. Moreover, the options for clothes might be limited and not up to the mark. Therefore, it might be more sensible to buy clothes from your city, where you can find good quality and fashionable items at reasonable prices.

When it comes to gadgets, it’s best to avoid purchasing them in Andaman. As most things are imported to the Islands, you might not find the latest models or the best deals for gadgets here. Moreover, the prices might be higher than you would pay on the mainland. Therefore, it might be a better idea to buy gadgets on the mainland, where you can find better choices and prices.

What are the recommended things to buy in the Andaman Islands?

The Andaman Islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere, and rustic charm, which have always made them a popular destination for tourists. However, these islands are not just about aesthetics and relaxation. They also have a thriving handicraft industry that caters to collectors of unique and beautiful items. If you are one of those collectors, be prepared to have a flexible budget, as your list of must-haves will be long. From intricately woven baskets to beautiful seashell jewelry, the Andaman Islands offer a wide variety of handicrafts that are sure to captivate your heart.

1. Wooden artifacts

wooden artifacts in andaman - best things to buy in the Andaman Islands?

What the Andaman Islands have in abundance is wood. The locals here judiciously use this asset by carving beautiful wooden artifacts and preparing kitchen utilities. These are perfect souvenirs as the artistry wooden pieces complement interiors of any theme whether modern or classic. Also, they are low in maintenance and are not brittle, hence can be carried easily and will not rust or decay. Abundant wooden artifacts for sale include furniture, tabletops, and art objects made of premium quality timber such as oak, satinwood, and padauk, all of which can add elegance to your home.

2. Coconut carved decoration pieces

coconut carved decoration pieces

As coconut drinks are popular in the Andaman Islands similar decoration pieces made of coconut are the highlight here. You will find many variants in decoration pieces here including coconut lamps, coconut-shaped mugs, etc. It gives a very ethnic look and coconut lamps can even be used to lighten up the patio creating a warm and relaxing ambiance.

You can easily find coconut-carved decorations in Andaman at places like Anup Eco Arts and Andaman Market. These shops sell a variety of items including coconut lamps, mugs, table lamps, showpieces, boxes, ashtrays, bangles, and necklaces

In Havelock Islands, there is a small emporium called Anup Eco Arts, which specifically deals in artifacts made of coconut including coconut lamps. The owner manufactures his own products and the shop has been featured on television as one of the popular shops in the Andaman Islands to buy souvenirs. He is famous among tourists especially European travelers for his eco-friendly, innovative, and reasonable souvenirs. So if you are on Havelock Island then do not forget to visit this place to get something exquisite and unique.

3. Ornaments made of shells

ornaments made of shells

The Andaman Islands are home to beautiful items and jewelry made of seashells. The natives use seashells in almost every item to decorate handbags from sarongs to mats and fuse the modern and ethnic look. Neckpieces made from seashells make a perfect souvenir for your loved ones. The Andaman Islands offer many places to purchase shell ornaments. Sagarika Emporium, which is government-owned, has an extensive collection of conch and sea shell products. Queen Sea Shell Craft is located at Supply Lane in Aberdeen Bazaar in Port Blair.

jewellery made of pearls

Aberdeen Bazaar is a major market that offers a variety of shell jewelry and other items. Port Blair, a city with many shell jewelry options, is another great place to shop for shell ornaments. Other places to buy shell ornaments in the Andaman Islands include Electric Plaza, Shell-Based Products Markets, MG Road Andaman Craft Corner, and Andaman Shells. We recommend private shops for their extensive collections compared to government ones.

4. Crafts made from Cane

Crafts made from Cane

Have you ever wondered what a handbag made of cane would look like? Beautiful is the word. Cane is not just used to make furniture or hats but Nicobari women use cane to make handbags that are a hot favorite of travelers. These are beautiful, durable, and embellished with seashells that make them look all the more spectacular.

Perfect vacation bags can be bought from the lively streets of Port Blair or the popular Aberdeen Bazaar known for ethnic products. Bamboo placemats, floor mats, or bed mats also count for a perfect present if you are gifting it to a fitness freak or someone who loves eco-friendly and ethnic products.

Cane and bamboo crafts are readily available in almost every gift shop and local market in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These unique items can serve as great gifts, souvenirs, or home decor. Our top recommendations for finding these crafts would be Sagarika Emporium, Market 3, Havelock Island, Anup Eco Arts, Ratnam Market, Sunday Market, and Junglighat Jetty. Although there aren’t any exclusive stores for cane craft, you can find everything you need in different shops at varying prices.

5. Spices

Cinnamon, the king of herbs, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper should be on your shopping list here if you love to cook. These are freshly grown and available in abundance in the Andaman Islands and are of superior quality. So, pack a bundle for your friends and family.

The Andaman Islands are well-known for their spices, which attract many tourists who are eager to sample the local produce. The market has been selling naturally grown, pesticide-free spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg under the name “Spices of Andaman” for the past 30 years.

6. Sarongs and Hats

The Andaman Islands are known for beaches and what is the fun of going to the beach wearing jeans that will obstruct you from enjoying sunbathing or diving in the sea? Opt for sarongs that will make you look beautiful and beach-ready. These are made of simple cotton or georgette material that is light in weight and non-sticky.

Compliment printed sarongs with bamboo hats and you are good to go to the beach and yet ditch sunburn. You can buy these items at shops in Andamans such as Radhanagar Beach Market, Anita Clothes Shop, and Sagarika Emporium. Sagarika Emporium has fixed prices if you don’t want to bargain.

7. Pearl Jewellery

Pearl Jewellery

Who doesn’t love pearls? Nicobari women make beautiful neckpieces, rings, and bracelets from pearls. Pearls and seashells combined make beautiful ornaments that are available at reasonable prices and can be worn anytime and anywhere. When shopping for pearl items in coastal areas, be cautious of quality. Despite numerous options, ensure authenticity and quality before making a purchase. To ensure the quality and authenticity of pearl jewelry, it’s best to buy from reputable shops, whether it’s a government or private store. Although locals in coastal areas may sell pearl jewelry, it’s still safer to purchase from a shop even if it costs a bit more. This way, you can be confident that you’re getting what you paid for.

8. Jute Items 

jute items in andamans

Jute handicrafts are a popular item to buy in Andaman. The industry is growing in importance as more local sellers and marketplaces switch from plastic to jute and cloth bags to preserve the environment. You can pick from a variety of jute items like bags, footwear, hats, jewelry, and clothing. You can buy them from local markets or emporiums on MG Road. The starting price is INR 50.

9. Tribal Statues

tribal statues shops in andamans

Andaman and Nicobar are islands in the Bay of Bengal. Indigenous tribes live there with their own culture. Visit the local markets to find unique tribal statues and masks for souvenirs. They showcase the islands’ rich cultural heritage.

10. Coconut Oil

If you have yet to try the cold-pressed coconut oil from Nicobar, you’re missing out! we highly recommend purchasing it from Sagarika or other small gift shops. Your skin and hair will thank you for it! If you are looking for a place that has everything to offer then without a doubt opt for the Andaman Islands. It is an ideal destination for adventure seekers as they can enjoy water sports, families can opt for sightseeing, and shopping enthusiasts can shop all they want and collect exquisite tropical souvenirs. The best places to shop in Andaman include Aberdeen Bazaar in Port Blair; it has everything that you need from sarongs to handicrafts to jewelry. Apart from this market, one can also explore Goalghar, Junglighat, Prem Nagar, and Delanipur and many street markets near beaches offer the best of the products at reasonable prices.

In Havelock Islands, there is a small emporium called Anup Eco Arts, which specifically deals in artifacts made of coconut including coconut lamps. The owner manufactures his products and the shop has been featured on television as one of the popular shops in the Andaman Islands to buy souvenirs. He is famous among tourists especially European travelers for his eco-friendly, innovative, and reasonable souvenirs. So if you are on Havelock Island then do not forget to visit this place to get something exquisite and unique.

11. Fish Pickle

fish pickle shops in andamans

Fish pickle is a popular and spicy dish from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, made with tuna. It is well-liked by locals and visitors alike. There are plenty of fish dishes available on the island due to the abundance of fish captured from the ocean. While locals enjoy a variety of dishes, fish pickle is a popular favorite and can be found in restaurants and hotels. If you are a non-vegetarian, it’s worth giving it a try. There are many markets and stores where fish pickles can be bought, including Blogesh Sea Food, Kushi, and Super Crown Achar Masala shops situated in Port Blair. These shops are known for their quality and authenticity.

12. Local Coconut Ladoos

local coconut ladoos in andamans

Coconut ladoos are a special dish in Andamans and are celebrated in a festival at Frenched Beach of Corbyn’s Cove near Port Blair town. The locals prepare the traditional sweet balls with coconut and a sweetener like sugar or jaggery and add a light scent of ground cardamoms. These ladoos, also called Nariyal Laddu, can be found at various stalls and sweet shops. You can taste them or take them with you when you visit Andamans. Some of the shops known for their coconut ladoos are Hare Krishna Stall at Billiground and Saraswathi Sweet Stall found in Rangat, a town in the middle Andaman Islands.

Before leaving Andaman, make sure to pick up some unique and stylish souvenirs for your friends and family. These are the most popular items to buy while on vacation in this tropical paradise. Keep in mind that there are many other things to purchase in Andaman, but these are the essentials you shouldn’t miss. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are the popular spices found in the Andaman Islands?

Cardamom, vanilla, betel, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper are abundant on the Andaman islands. The best things to buy there are these spices.

2. What are some popular gift items that can be purchased in Andaman?

When in Andaman, consider purchasing fishbone dolls and wall hangings as they are popular gift items. These decors are readily available in the markets at reasonable prices.

3. Where can we find timber-based decor items in Andaman?

Andaman is known for its wooden crafted materials, which can be easily found in any craft market. These decor items are beautiful and add a touch of elegance to any home.

4. Is it necessary to keep the receipt of the bought gift items in Andaman?

When buying decor and gift materials, keep the receipts as they may be required at Andaman airports.

5. Is it possible to find high-quality jute products in Andaman?

Andaman is renowned for its abundant supply of high-quality jute products.

6. What are the top handmade home decor items that can be found in Andaman?

Coconut handicrafts make for excellent traditional home decor and can be found in Andaman’s markets. The hard shells are creatively used to make figurines, lampshades, and bags.

7. Which bamboo products can be found in the Andaman Islands?

There are bamboo and cane products available in abundance in the markets of Andaman. From trendy hats and bags to pitchers, vases, and mugs as well as wall hangings, beautiful keychains and flutes are made up of bamboo wood. They are less expensive and elegant.

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