Traditionally, a Straw Market is a market specializing in straw products. Straw baskets, mats, hats, and more, all handmade, are found throughout a typical straw market. The famous Straw Market in the Bahamas in Nassau is one of the largest in the world and definitely the largest in the Bahamas.
The largest and most well known Straw Market in the Bahamas is located in Nassau near the Bay Street shopping center and George Street. The Straw Market in the Bahamas is also located near the Christ Church Cathedra and the Woodes Rogers Walk, and can be part of your larger walking tour from the Queens Staircase or Rawson Square.
At the Bahamas Straw Market, travelers will find an array of handmade straw goods, as well as tubs of homemade Guava Jelly for sale and homemade woodworking goods. Unfortunately, the Bahamas straw market was mostly destroyed by a large fire in 2001, and has not been rebuilt to its former glory since. Today, the Bahamas Straw Market is housed in a large tent. Despite the fire, the Straw Market of Nassau Bahamas still provides an excellent chance to shop, with access to some unique handmade goods.
The Straw Market of Nassau Bahamas is open 7 days a week, from about 7am to 8pm. Tourists should note, however, that the Straw Market of Nassau Bahamas is run like a farmer's market, with every vendor setting his or her own hours. About 200 vendors will comprise the market on a typical day, and tourists hoping to visit the market at its liveliest should visit during the middle of the day or afternoon. Anyone wanting to avoid the crowds should try the early morning or late evening.
Shoppers should note that although bartering is not a part of shopping at the hotels, it is very much a part of shopping at the Straw Market, and some of the other public markets in the Bahamas. Any traveler who has been to a bartering market knows that vendors will naturally extend the highest possible price to anyone looking like a tourist. Don't be afraid to try and talk the price down to something that seems a bit more reasonable. Tips regarding bartering can also be provided by your hotel concierge.
A trip through the Nassau Straw Market is a great way to experience a bit of culture and pick up unique souvenirs. Bring cash, as you won't find that vendors accept anything else. A trip through the entire market will take about an hour, depending on how long you linger at the shops. You can combine your tour of the Straw Market with other nearby attractions and walking tours, or even head to one of the nearby beaches after your shopping adventure. Hartleys Underwater Seawalk, the Blue Lagoon Island tour, and Dolphin Encounters are all located near or leave from Nassau.