come for the shopping, stay for the lime

From Port of Spain to Sando, Explore Trinidad and Tobago The fashionista’s paradise

From exquisite handmade craft, local fashion and original art to fine fabrics, hand-crafted jewellery and international brands, whatever you’re looking for, Port of Spain has it all.

With its compact core of shops, mini malls, packed food courts, fine dining restaurants and buzzing street markets, Port of Spain, the capital of the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a one-stop shop for serious shoppers.

A relaxing stroll along the tree-lined Brian Lara Promenade leads to Charlotte Street, and the feeling that you’re in the middle of a Middle Eastern souk (market). Among the dense thicket of pushcarts, honking taxis and hawkers of fresh fruit, clothes and everything in between, you’ll find bargain hunters moving to the beat of soca and “slows” blaring from music vendors on the street.

Charlotte Street is also home to a thriving Asian quarter featuring Oriental shops that sell jade jewellery, brassware, carved furniture, embroidered slippers and silk apparel. On Sunday mornings the street transforms into a thriving Chinatown-style market with traditional vegetables, meats and foods such as sticky rice offered for sale from large straw baskets.

Looking for the sweet stuff, you’ll find locally made tamarind balls, benne balls, nut cakes, sweet and salty roasted nuts and much more are available at most street corners.

For fine jewellery, accessories, clothing and high-end bric-a-brac and souvenirs, all roads lead to Frederick Street. There you can also sample the very best in Chinese, Creole and East Indian dishes from the many restaurants that line busy malls.

Ever the fashionista? Then make your way to Queen Street, where the finest Irish linens and Asian silks can be found at bargain prices.

For one hundred percent locally made items, you simply must pay a visit to craftsmen on Frederick Street and Independence Square. These are the places for hand-carved articles, straw, leather and sisal goods, imaginative ceramics and tiles, vivid paintings, hand-embroidered clothing and chic copper jewellery.

There are several shopping centres in and around the city, including a small mall at the Cruise Ship Complex on Wrightson Road that features duty-free stores, clothing boutiques and souvenir shops (only open when cruise ships are in port).

If you journey westward, you’ll find more modern malls, such as MovieTowne, The Falls at West Mall and Long Circular Mall offering luxury brands and quality goods at competitive prices.

In east, central and south respectively, mainstay shopping centres, Trincity Mall, Centre City Mall and Gulf City Mall offer a variety of shopping outlets including gourmet food, electronics, household and garden items to pretty much whatever you may need for your home.

Membership shopping is also available at four PriceSmart (akin to Costco) warehouse clubs throughout Trinidad. Each location differs slightly, but they all carry the same standard items to outfit everything from your pantry to your patio.

In Central Trinidad, downtown Chaguanas is known for its frenetic pace and crazy traffic just as much as it’s known for fabric and food. Both street and store vendors offer bargain prices on each item.

Hopping over to Tobago, to relax? The new Lowlands Mall offers a wide range of shops.

Hungry from all that power-shopping? When you’re in Trinidad and Tobago, you’re spoiled for culinary choice. Both islands have a reputation for sumptuous, mouth-watering culinary fare, a legacy of Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural and ethnic diversity.

Meal options range from street food and intimate eateries to fine dining, with Ariapita Avenue on the outskirts of Port of Spain regarded as the country’s restaurant district.

Street food is also very popular, particularly in St James, Port of Spain’s centre for nightlife and another district known to attract intrepid shoppers.

Whatever you’re in search of, maybe that one-of-a -kind outfit or the perfect Christmas gift, you’ll find it in Trinidad and Tobago. Even if you can’t, there will always be someone willing to source that item for you. Such is the life of a shopper in Trinidad and Tobago.

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