Shopping in The Bahamas: Handcrafts, Souvenirs & Malls
Bahamian customs and traditions have remained well conserved over the years and are reflected in regional craftwork throughout the islands. Natural materials such as straw, wood, shells, and clay are traditionally used in the making of these highly sought after artistic pieces.
Apart from offering fascinating crafts as a souvenir of your stay on the islands, the Bahamas also features many great places where you can buy duty free products such as cigars, liquors, wines, cigarettes, perfumes, jewelry, photography equipment and more at very reasonable prices. The Bahama Islands have many options for those travelers who set apart a day in their agenda exclusively for shopping and buying the best each destination has to offer.
The perfect place for shopping on this stunning island is the famous Bay Street, the island's main road, where you'll find a variety of bars, cafes, restaurants and colorful historic buildings. On Bay Street, you can also explore many exclusive stores offering an array of jewelry, perfumes, clothes, beauty products and more. On Prince George Dock, visit Festival Place, a shopping center whose brightly colored architecture reflects the style of an authentic Bahamian island and where you can acquire all types of crafts made and sold by the local people, including the famous Harl Taylor handbags.
Another great shopping option is the Mercado de Paja de Nassau (Straw Market), where local vendors offer merchandise made with palm leaves, such as baskets, hats, dolls, and other handmade crafts that will make great keepsakes of your visit to this warm island.
Traditional artwork abounds at The Bahama Craft Centre, including beautiful pottery, paintings, and items made of wood, straw, and seashells. Local stores such as Discount Warehouse, Cole's of Nassau, John David and many more offer leather products, perfumes, clothes, fine jewelry and many other high quality items.
The artistic talent of the Bahamians is represented through their crafts, and on Grand Bahama Island you're sure to find innovative creations. The International Bazaar, located in Freeport, offers the island's best shopping. This shopping center is divided into sections that represent different countries of the world, including a French section, a South American section, and many more where you can buy typical merchandise and cuisine from these regions.
Port Lucaya Marketplace also offers great shopping opportunities. This amazing commercial center holds everything you could want all in one place. In its restaurants, you can try delicious local food or even French, Italian, Thai, and Greek specialties.
Entertainment is an integral part of life in the Bahamas, and at night many spectacular shows take place, displaying the Bahamian culture through music, dancing, and reenactments of the traditional Junkanoo festival. Port Lucaya Marketplace offers you the possibility of acquiring a wide variety of crafts such as bags, sandals, hats, wood pieces and many other accessories made by the local people. A wide variety of duty free items is available at Port Lucaya Marketplace, such as clothing, accessories, wines and liquors, perfumes, artwork, leather products, beauty products, jewelry, and more that you can obtain at low prices in the many stores and boutiques.
Although shopping areas aren't as abundant in Exuma, on a visit to George Town you can find some establishments offering duty free items like perfumes, linens, watches, photography equipment, leather goods and much more. As on many other islands in the Bahamas, Exuma has a Straw Market where you can buy great souvenirs of your stay in the Bahamas, including baskets, bags, and jewelry made from seashells and sand, along with products carved from wood and coconut.
Shopping at Other Islands in The Bahamas
While commerce is not prevalent on some of the islands in the Bahamas, on other islands such as Abacos, Andros, Bimini and San Salvador you are sure to come across typical items representing each destination. At Abacos, visit the charming souvenir shops and the small straw market at Marsh Harbor. On Andros, the Red Bay and Fresh Creek areas are ideal for buying wood carved products, while Mangrove Cay is famous for its crafts made out of coconut fiber. On Bimini, visit the artisans' market at King's Highway, and on San Salvador you can buy typical breads and homemade pastries along with traditional wood and straw craftwork.
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