Vanuatu shopping is an opportunity to discover authentic and handmade wares. This isn’t a destination renowned for its boutiques or flashy shopping strips, although resorts are starting to embrace the retail trend.
The best place to enjoy shopping is at local arts and crafts markets, but the centre of Port Vila also offers all the necessities you may seek including duty-free items, and supermarkets along with more boutique handicraft stores. If you’re looking to buy fresh fruit or sample the local produce, the main market by the waterfront in Port Vila is a must-visit destination.
A variety of Vanuatu markets offer an insight into the culture and creativity of the Vanuatu people. Souvenirs are readily available at arts and crafts markets, which can be found along the shoreline of Port Vila. The busiest days (and higher prices) often coincide with the arrival of cruise ships, so if you’re looking to bag a bargain, this is not the time to shop.
If you’re pondering what to buy in Vanuatu, then popular local items include bead and shell jewellery, woven baskets and mats, woodwork, sculptures, and bright beachwear like sarongs. Just remember bargaining is not a customary practice. It’s also worth being mindful of Australian quarantine restrictions as you select any souvenirs. Woven mats and wooden items need to be clean and free from bore holes.