Shopping in British Virgin Islands

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Let's face it! Studying abroad comes in handy with a good shopping culture! Everyone wants to get time to explore markets and pick a few goodies to add to the cart list! Shopaholics welcome to British Virgin Islands, the land of beauty and charming crafts! This is where your shopping impulse is put to the test. With numerous shopping malls, stalls, shops, and supermarkets British Virgin Islands will certainly take thy breath away!

While the country is not exactly a place to ‘shop until you drop’, there are a few options for visitors who would like to take some souvenirs home. The best places to shop are in local markets, situated in every city and town. All are packed with souvenirs and handicrafts from all over the country.

Not only is bargaining and haggling common practice, but it's also a must-do. That mentioned, most traders in the country are not intent on ripping customers off and, even more importantly, are probably just trying to make a living. It is essential that foreigners bargain respectively and fairly, and, more often than not, this method leads to a more positive outcome than the alternative.

Although most international chains are banned in the British Virgin Islands, one exception to the rule is Little Switzerland, whose awesome watches and jewelry are especially popular among Caribbean shoppers. However, the real shopping paradise here is Road Town’s Wickham’s Cay. Most boutiques on Main Street are brightly painted and housed within tiny traditional West Indian homes.

None of Road Town’s shops may be prominent more than Serendipity Bookshop, where visitors can surf the internet at the café upstairs or browse through the extensive Caribbean cookbook and history selection downstairs. Road Town visitors should also stop at Kaunda’s for authentic Caribbean music, Latitude 18 for beachwear, Sunny Caribbee for locally made spices, and Samarkand for hand-crafted jewelry.

Liquor is cheap, easily found, and not taxed on the British Virgin Islands. Beer, wine, and cocktails can all be purchased at local supermarkets, but Road Town’s Tico shop offers the largest selection of specialty rums on the islands which make a great turnout. Road Town is also filled with small bakeries where visitors can sample freshly baked coconut bread, roti, and Johnny cakes.

Trellis Bay, close to Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, provides the widest selection of British Virgin Islands shops outside of Road Town. There are also a handful of gift stores on Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada to get last minute souvenirs. Trellis Bay and Virgin Gorda each have well-stocked supermarkets if you forgot any necessities.

When shopping in the local markets, feel free to bargain. If you want to get an idea of how much you should be paying, visit the state-run craft markets, which have steady prices. Shops here are mostly open all day. Most are closed at least once a week, usually on Sundays, but you will still find something open every day of the week.

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