Nadi Markets: Handicraft And Municipal

Municipal | Handicraft

There are two main markets in Nadi town. The Handicraft Market, which is just off the main street, selling souvenirs. And the Municipal Market, which sells fruit & vege, spices, fish etc. Even if you are not in the mood for buying anything, they can make for a very pleasant distraction. I have spent many many hours at both of them, not just to buy, but also to meet and talk with local people. They are also great places to practice a few Fijian words and phrases.

Stall holders at the Municipal market in Nadi
Stall holders, Ulai and his wife Saba.

Nadi Municipal Market

Every city town and village in Fiji has a fruit and vege market. The one at Nadi takes up a complete block, although it's not as big as the one at Lautoka. Still, there are literally hundreds of stalls inside, with dozens of people outside selling their produce. The ones outside are those that don't rent a stall in the market, and are often people that might have come miles to sell a few home grown veges. So I tend to buy from them when I can.

People selling produce

The produce here is cheap... if you came to the market with fj$10 you could probably buy too much to carry by yourself. Compare that to the cost of fruit and vege at an Australian or NZ supermarket! If you are a on a self catering holiday and happen to be vegetarian, then you are in for a nice surprise with how far your food budget will stretch.

The busiest day at the market is usually Saturday, and like many places in Fiji it is closed on Sunday. However, a lot of the people still set up their little stalls outside the market so you can buy produce from them. It's just the main building that is locked up.

Across the road, opposite the market and under the shade of the trees, you might spy an older local lady running her little business. That's Waqa, and every day she brings her gas stove down to the park, and makes pots of tea, to sell by the cup to market stall holders.

Some days are busy, others not so much. It all depends on how the stall holders are doing and if they can afford to part with $1 for a cup of tea. But she never complains on a slow day, there is always tomorrow.

I always go and say BULA when I'm in Nadi and have a cup of tea, while chatting about life and it's meaning. If you see her, stop and say hello and maybe have a cup of tea.

On Sundays, Waga doesn't bring her tea making equipment. Instead, she preaches the gospel to the stall holders, and holds a service. Like many Fijians, she holds strong Christian values, but she won't try to impose those onto you. A really lovely lady, and just one of the many colorful locals you might meet around the Nadi Municipal Market.

Come And Have A Look At The Market With Me

The Handicraft Market

The market is owned by the Nadi City Council, and stall holders rents their individual stalls. One thing you will have to learn if you visit here, is how to say NO. Unless of course you want to end up with bags full of souvenirs.

Nadi Handicraft market

That is just the way of shopkeepers in Fiji... hustle for the sale. And really, there is nothing wrong with that. You will find a lot more sales pressure in places like Bali or Thailand. Still, for somebody that's not used to it, they might find it difficult to be firm with their "no thank you, we are just looking".

As the majority of stall holders are Fijian Indian, maybe you could be a little bit adventurous and try saying that in Hindi. "nahin, dhanyavaad, ham abhee dekh rahe hain."

But don't let persistent sale pitches put you off. There is a lot of good stuff here, and it's reasonably priced. Just remember, HAGGLE. When you ask what the price is, take whatever they say as a first gambit and counter with a lesser amount. They almost certainly WILL come down in price.

Because this is a council approved market, you are far less likely to get ripped off than if you let yourself get taken away to look at some of the souvenir scammers shops. I have written about how they operate, it's worth a read.

Perhaps the quality is not as high here as you will get at Jacks of Fiji just up the road. But you will pay a whole lot less for your souvenirs here.

We have more general

information about Nadi.

This article was printed from

Print Article