Goa Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-7 days

Best Time: October to March Read More

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"Beaches, Sunsets and Crazy Nights"

Goa Tourism

Lying on the western coast, Goa is India's smallest state and unlike any other, known for its endless beaches, stellar nightlife, eclectic seafood, world-heritage listed architecture. Spread across just 3,702 km, Goa lies in the Konkan region. It is a far cry from the hippie haven or a beach getaway, and one of the only few destinations that is open 24x7. The laid-backness (susegad) of Goa attracts as many international tourists as it does Indians, or even more so.

The Goans are quite friendly towards tourists and celebrate many festivals throughout the year, the most famous being the New Year and Goa Carnival. While the seafood is excellent, Goa has one of the best nightlife in India with trendy bars, beach shacks, elegant cafes and many clubs and discotheques. Thanks to lower alcohol prices in the state, Goa is also great for younger tourists with relatively tighter pockets.

For those of us perpetually confused between North Goa and South Goa, this might help - the state of Goa is divided into North Goa and South Goa. While North Goa is the nightlife hub where all the touristy beaches, flea markets, and beach shacks are located, South Goa is the land of luxurious resorts and laid-back beach vibes. 

Having been a Portuguese territory for almost 450 years, the Portuguese architecture is nowhere as prevalent as in Goa - visit one of the many whitewashed churches, crumbling forts or spectacular churches. The yellow houses with purple doors, ochre coloured mansions and oyester shell windows is what completes the kalieodscope of Goan architecture.

Panjim, the capital city located in the centre overlooks the calm Mandovi River where the famous floating casinos of Goa are docked. The centre is well-connected with an international airport and roads and trains run from North to South part of Goa. With a coastline stretching for over 100 kilometres, Goa has stunning beaches. While Baga and Calangute are more popular among the Indian family crowd, Anjuna and Arambol draw a lot of foreign tourists. The beaches in South Goa are relatively lesser explored, but some of them like Agonda and Palolem are more beautiful.

Must Know Before You Travel to Goa

  • Some beach shacks and water-based activities may be shut down during the monsoon season (June to September).
  • Pre-book accommodations, especially during the peak tourist season (November to February).
  • When choosing accommodations, consider your preferences. South Goa offers serene beachside cottages and resorts, North Goa boasts vibrant parties, Panjim is rich in culture and heritage, and Vasco near the airport is ideal for business travelers.
  • Some beaches in Goa, especially in North Goa, have strong rip currents, marked with red flags. Swimming in such areas can be dangerous, so heed warnings and consult lifeguards.

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What Makes Goa An Amazing Tourist Destination

Adventure & Water Sports
If adventure activities are what you’re looking for, Goa has ample opportunities for you to explore the waters of this town whichever you want to. Regardless of whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced adventure enthusiast, a few of the adventure sports you can take a pick from include wakeboarding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling and white-water rafting.

Nightlife of Goa
The other big thing in Goa is its nightlife, which is a critical aspect of Goa’s tourism. The juxtaposition of beaches and parties is the focal point of Goa’s nightlife and keeps drawing tourists year after year. Numerous bars and pubs dot the stretches along the beach in Goa, accompanied by food stalls and souvenir shops; you might even find a tattoo shop or two!

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Shopping in Goa
Shopping in Goa is one activity that every tourist loves to indulge in. Goa has plenty of flea markets and boutiques scattered all across the town, all of which offer great bargains on every item sold – ranging from beachwear to shell work to junk jewellery and hippie clothing. 

Goan Cuisine
Goa’s cuisine is a very famous draw the chief of which is the seafood, and tourists have the option of choosing between western restaurants and traditional eateries. Goa is famous for its locally made chilled beers (which are a lot cheaper compared to other states in the country), so you can taste the best of Goa without having to compromise on either quality or quantity.

Beaches of Goa

The beaches of Goa are famous across the country and it is the place associated most with beautiful beaches and with so many of these out there, read this guide to get down to the best beaches in Goa!

Tips for Visiting Goa

  • Explore Goa's diverse culinary scene, from beach shacks serving fresh seafood to authentic Goan curries at local eateries. Don't miss traditional dishes like vindaloo and xacuti.
  • Avoid wearing a bikini or skimpy clothes outside the resort area. Nudity on beaches is prohibited.
  • Be aware that drug possession, consumption, or trade is illegal in Goa and can result in severe penalties. Drinking in public places, especially on beaches, is also prohibited.
  • Exercise caution at Goa's beaches. Protect yourself from sunburn and sunstroke by applying high SPF sunscreen, taking sunbaths in small increments, and wearing sunglasses and a hat.
  • Explore Goa on a bike or scooter. Roads are well-maintained, and rentals are affordable. Always carry your driving permit, wear a helmet (included in the rental), and inspect the bike's condition.
  • Beyond beaches, explore centuries-old churches and temples, museums, forts, spice plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, and the picturesque Goan countryside.
  • Dial 108 in case of emergency. To connect to police (100), fire brigade (101), and ambulance (102) can be dialled.
  • Avoid walking along dimly lit or unlit deserted narrow road beach areas alone at night.
  • Free wifi is common in beach shacks, nightclubs, and other eateries. Ask for the password!
  • Smoking is banned at many (not all) restaurants though open-air eateries and beach shacks are mostly okay with it. It would be prudent to confirm before smoking in public places.
  • While visiting churches in Goa, cover your legs and shoulders. Avoid beachwear in religious places.

Culture of Goa

The Portuguese ruled Goa for over 450 years before being colonised by the British. Thus, a lot of the Goan architecture and culture has hints of Portugal. There are many beautiful churches such as Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. The bell in the Immaculate Conception Church is the World's Second Largest bell and this building served as a lighthouse for sailors in the past. Apart from these, there are also magnificent forts such as the Regis Magos Fort.

Goa is also known as the 'Rome of the East' and is graced by travellers throughout the world. This place is considered to be one of the most westernized states in India. The people natives of this place are known as ‘Goans’ and the language spoken here is Konkani. The Konkani dialect is influenced greatly by the Portuguese vocabulary as Goa was a former Portuguese colony. As this state was reined by many ethnicities throughout its history, traditions and festivals from all religions are respected and celebrated. New Years in Goa is a big thing and is celebrated on a huge scale.

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If spent wisely Goa is not a costly place to visit. It is one of those places which is visited by backpackers as well as the luxury-resort loving crowd. There are hotels which offer rooms at INR 200 per night basis whereas other up-market hotels offer rooms for INR 2,000-10,000. Goa will cost you INR 7000 (inclusive of food and exclusive of water sports) per person for a week if you choose Budget and Mid-range hotels. At times travellers wish to stay for a longer period of time and hence a long stay might cost you INR 3500-8000 per month, depending on the location.

History of Goa

Goa, in the Hindu Scriptures, has been named as Gomanta which means the region of cows. It is believed that Parashurama, the sixth reincarnation of Lord Vishnu was the creator of the Goan region. A legend says that he along with ten sages had performed fire sacrifices in the lands of Goa.

The gist of Sanskritisation in Goa's culture is said to be originated with the settlement of Parashurama and the sages from North following whom the people of Goa carry Brahminical hegemony. Walking down the lane of its History we come across another legend according to which Goa is considered sacred for its spiritually cleansing touch.

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Restaurants and Local Food in Goa

Goa is home to everything refreshing, zesty, exotic and colourful. And this includes Goan food. The food here is a blend of Konkani, Hindu, Portuguese and Catholic cuisines, providing wide and vibrant choices. Seafood, coconut milk, rice and local spices are the main elements of Goan cuisine and fish, curry and rice form the staple food. Goan food with its unique combination of coconut, rice, and spices form a rich Portuguese as well as South Indian cuisine. 

Traditional Goan dishes are xacuti (spicy chicken or meat cooked in red sauce), vindaloo (spicy dish marinated with vinegar and garlic), cafreal (fried chicken cooked in green masala and toddy vinegar), and bebinca (Goan dessert layered with coconut). Also, do try the Goan alcohol - feni made with cashew or palm toddy.

Beach Shacks 
Thalassa for Greek Salads and Grills, La Plage for French Mediterranean Cuisine, Brittos, a plethora of Seafood and Multi-Cuisine, Souza Lobo for Goan Seafood dishes

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Waves for Seafood and Italian Cuisine, Zeebop for Goan and North-Indian Cuisine, Home for European Cuisine, Smugglers Inn for British Cuisine, Bean Me Up for American, and Kamaxi Hotel for Goan food

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Big Vagator Beach, one of the many beaches of Goa
Interior View of Altar
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FAQs on Goa

What are the top hotels in Goa?

There are 1564 in Goa which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Goa are Sabinas Nest, The Secret Garden Goa, 2BHK Apartment In Candolim CM011, Aspire Casa Amarelo, Beaumonte by Vista Rooms, APARTMENT AS-6. You can see all the hotels in Goa here

Who should visit Goa?

The Party Capital of India, Goa is for anyone who wishes to take a break from their routine life and relax by the beach. From youngsters, spinsters, bachelors, honeymooners to working adults - everyone gets their share of fun at Goa.

What is not so good about Goa?

In the peak seasons, Goa can be very crowded. Can be expensive. Summers could be extreme.

How much does a package cost for Goa?

The packages for Goa start at INR 4100 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the things to do in Goa?

The top things to do in Goa are Calangute Beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Water Sports in Goa, Fort Aguada, Baga Beach, Cruise in Goa. You can see all the places to visit in Goa here

What is the best time to visit Goa?

The best time to visit Goa is in Winter between November to February when the weather is perfect, not very cold, not very hot. It's also the tourist season as almost all the beach shacks are open during these months. Monsoons from June to September are another great time to visit Goa if you love the beach during rains. However certain water sports and activities are restricted. Summer is not a good time to visit Goa. The weather from March to May are hot making it almost tiring exploring Goa. To get the best out of Goa visit during Winter as Water sports, like banana boat ride, jet ski, parasailing, etc. are also open to tourists during these months on most of the popular beaches.

What is the best way to reach Goa?

Goa is easily accessible by road, rail and air. The nearest major entry point to Goa from different parts of the world is Mumbai International Airport or Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Mumbai being the major city is easily accessible to Goa via flights, railways, and roadways.
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What is famous about Goa?

Beautiful beaches and scenery. Get a first hand taste of Portuguese culture and architecture. Amazing nightlife. Frequent music concerts.

What are the places near Goa?

The top places near to Goa are Tarkarli which is 70 km from Goa, Gokarna which is located 117 km from Goa, Chorla ghat which is located 35 km from Goa, Malvan which is located 72 km from Goa, Amboli which is located 54 km from Goa

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Popular Questions And Answers on Goa

Q. What is the best way to rent a self drive car in Goa, if I coming from Goa Airport ?

Akshobhya Abhigyan

3 years ago
You will have to look for local vendors in and around Panjim. Goa doesn't have players like Zoomcar, Revv or Drivezy.
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Q. When is best time to visit Goa ?

ashish jashupura

4 years ago
February 2020
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Goa Reviews

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neha shah

on Dudhsagar Waterfalls 6 years ago
It was an excellent trip with sea water sports, Dudh Sagar waterfall visit was one of the best memorable trips of my life. The natural beauty and white (milk) waterfall were the best. It was an aweso (Read More)me experience. Thank u sea water sports.

Antara Mandal

on Vagator Beach 6 years ago
It's a great place because of its neatness and the nearby resorts. It is a great place to spend your weekend. There are many nice places to hangout in that region like Casa Playa and Thalassa. The su (Read More)nset views are absolutely gorgeous. The beach also has options for water sports. I went for paragliding and it was one of my most adventurous experiences. It is a quiet a place. I would recommend it over Calangute, Baga and Anjuna.

Ajay Jangir

4 years ago
Calangute beach is one of the most popular beaches in Goa and is located in the town of Calangute. It is also the largest beach in North Goa. Around Calangute beach you can enjoy water sports activit (Read More)ies.
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