The Straw Market is a covered market place where hundreds of locals will sell you all kind of souvenirs.
Mo-Sa: 9AM - 6PM
Su: 9AM - 5PM
What to buy: Woodcarved birds, toys made from Coca Cola tins, postcards and more.
Around the water tower on the top of the hill in Nassau are a number of street stalls selling souvenirs.
If I recall well I bought 3 T-shirts for just $10.00 in 2003.
What to buy: Souvenirs.
What to pay: Lower prices than in the rest of town.
Both the Sea Grape and the Plait Lady specialize in some items made right in the Bahamas. The Sea Grape is a vendor for Androsia batik fabric, made in a small factory on Andros (do visit the factory and outlet store if you visit Andros). The Plait lady sells baskets and other straw work made on several of the out islands.
The Sea Grape is a part of the Traveller's Rest restaurant complex so you can get a great lunch or dinner and shop as well.
What to buy: The Sea Grape is a vendor for Androsia batik fabric, which has been called "the national fabric of the Bahamas." It's made in a small factory on Andros (do visit the factory and outlet store if you visit Andros).
The Plait Lady sells Androsia as well as baskets and other straw work and shell items made on several of the out islands. Each island has straw designs and traditions that are unique.
What to pay: Androsia clothing is reasonably priced.
Straw can be inexpensive for small items and more expensive for large ones.
The straw market is a place where many locals come to sell local crafts (i.e. woodwork) and also knock off items (i.e. Coach purses). It is an open air tent with booths set up. Many women grapped on my arm and pulled me saying "come see my stuff come see my stuff". I would politly refuse but they would not stop asking until you completly walked away.
What to pay: They are expecting to bargin, so play the game.
The Bacardi store it's impossible to miss - not only because it's right in the centre and a few steps away from the harbour - but manily because of its bright red colour. You may buy all sorts of bacardi-related things, including hats and t-shirts. The store is pen six days a week, from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
What to buy: bacardi products - some of them at least - are made in the Bahamas - and there's a bacardi Distellery on te island to prove it. My advice is to buy some Nassau Royal liquor - it's produced by bacardi and has a delicious hint of vanilla.
What to pay: about 13 dollars
Bay Street is where all the main shopping stores are. You will find everything along this street from jewelry to junk shops. There is a large varity of high end stores such as Luis Vuitton, Cartier, Coach , etc. If you do your homework ahead of time you will find some bargains to be had but most of the things for sale seemed like overpriced junk or were the same price or cheaper at home.
The walk in humidor at Graycliff offers the cigar aficionado almost too many choices. While I plead that my own preferences run to Lonsdales and Churchills I left with a wide selection of these long beauties. In multiple colours (for a full explaination visit their site) My only comment would be to do your homework before visiting. Graycliff Cigars are built on the fame of Avelino Lara, once Fidel Castro's personal torcedore and so I was very surprised during my visit to find that I seemed to know much more about the product than the "girl" left to manage the store. However, her lack of knowledge about her product did not stop me from aquiring my personal grouping which happily reside within my humidor.
Although it has played host to royalty, presidents, leaders of business and entertainment. With the only 5 star dining in the caribbean and one of the great wine cellars of the world I was surprised, However, from almost anywhere in Nassau you can see Government House, A large Pink structure
What to buy: The Red or Blue are an ideal choice for the beginner, for a special taste go for the Green or "Crystal" (white) and for a truly enjoyable experience go for the Black or Purple.
Please try to visit these spots, the people are so nice but there were a few that seemed a tad bit pushy. They are trying to earn a living here. We bought from the nicer ones. Being nice does pay off, but I can understand, they may need the money, but being rude will not get mine or ours.
What to buy: Rum cakes are the best.
What to pay: They are reasonable.
Would like to purchase wooden carving of card players at table, or dominoes players. Its a shop located on side street in straw market area. Have purchased two and would like another to give as a ggift. Would appreciate any help you can give me. Mamieflounoy@aol.com Thank you for your help.
In addition to the City Markets, Super Value Food Stores is another good grocery store chain on New Providence Island.
After we came back to get the boat, which was in Coral Harbour, Nick took us and dropped us off at one of these grocery stores. (Coral Harbour is very isolated with no services that can be walked to)
What to buy: They had green island grown tomatoes which were way cheaper than the red ones imported from the US - you just have to ripen them in a brown paper bag and if you can wait a day or so, they are just as good as (or better than) the ones that are already red.
In addition to the one in Cable Beach, there's one on East Street (325-5844)
What to pay: Bob did more provisioning here
We bought this Bahamian made cake to give to our wedding guests as favors, its delicious and comes in a small, or large tin. Makes a fab souvenir and tastes just delicious. we found out later that you can buy them online here: Bacardi Rum Cake
What to buy: Rum Cake
In the 1940’s the sponge industry came to a close in the Bahamas. The locals searched for another way to make a living. Women started painting and decorating dried palm and plant leaves to create baskets, bags and dolls. Thus, the straw market was born and soon more women began to make these items for tourists.
In 2001 a large fire destroyed Nassau’s straw market. Today, the straw market is smaller in size and held in a large tent. There are many merchant with tables of items for sale in a small space. You can find handmade mats, baskets, fabrics, hats, jewelry, woodcarvings, and guava jellies. When here, I brought a straw Hello Kitty bag for one of my sisters. It does seem like many of the items probably imported from other countries and not natively made. There are a few vendors that make items in front of you, I would buy from these stalls if you are looking for authentic.
There are several tips to remember when shopping here. Do not pay the first price, the merchants are willing to bargain with you especially if you buy in bulk. Thursday is the best day to go since there is less cruise ship activity and merchants are more willing to bargain. Saturday and weekends in general are the worst days because there are more cruise ships and tourists. The market is open 9 am - 5 pm or later and is located on Downtown Bay Street. It is close to the harbor, the Hilton and Senor Frog’s.
Bay Street is the main shopping street in Nassau and it is lined with high end designer boutiques such as Gucci, Calvin Klein etc, jewelry shops selling Swiss made watches (where I bought mine!), leather goods and other artwork shops, perfume shops and other cheaper clothing shops. There are also a few 'booze' shops that sell duty free liqor especially cheap rum. The bank on the right of the main photo is where I changed money and got a very good rate (better than I got in Miami).
The Straw Market is located at the west end of Bay St and makes for a nice stroll around. There are well over 100 different vendors selling all kinds of goods from woodwork to T-shirts. Some of it's nice, some of it is tourist rubbish. You can watch some of the craftspeople carving wood or weaving straw. The market can become crowded when the crusie ships are in port and it can be a bit difficult to get around as the aisles are narrow.
It'a a HUGE Tarp. With tons of Baskets, T-Shirts, Towels, purses, shells and lots of other stuff from China. Nothing other than a few basket weavers are even made from there. I did get a big Star Fish shell to bring home.
What to buy: You can't leave without getting T-Shirts, But don't pay much for them. I got 3 for $10.00. My sister got 2 Beach towels for $9.00. This is NOT a place for the faint of heart and SUCKERS!!
What to pay: Around $10-20.00 is the least.