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Goa Travel Guide: Things To Do & See With Insider’s Tips

access_time September 14, 2018 chat_bubble_outline 9 comments 1976
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The moment we hear the name ‘Goa’, there is a sense of happiness, a feeling of joy and all we can think about is fun, beaches, parties, casinos, Feni and lots and lots of enjoyment. It is a land of festivals and celebrations where the party never ends and this quaint state makes sure that you keep coming back for more. It is a perfect amalgamation of the charm of the old world and the attractiveness of the current modern age. Started planning already? Wait, go through our exclusive Goa travel guide and get to know everything about this extraordinary place.

Goa travel guide

Goa- A place cuddled by happiness.

Table Of Contents

Best Time To Visit Goa

Best Time To Visit Goa

Goa travel guide - the beach

Goa is a place packed with sun, sea, sand and spirituality

Planning a trip to Goa? Well, the best time to visit Goa is between November and March. The weather is absolutely perfect, neither too cold nor too hot. It is a good time as almost all beach shacks are open and tourists can enjoy water sports such as jet ski, parasailing, banana boat ride, scuba diving, angling and much more. It is a great time to relax on a Goa beach amidst other holiday-makers and enjoy festivals like the Sunburn festival, Christmas and New Year celebrations. If you are a party animal who loves chilling in the crowd, this is the best time to visit Goa.

Goa travel tip: Make sure you book your hotels very much in advance if you are visiting Goa around this time since this is the peak season and the entire Goa is in the full mood of festivity and the prices of accommodations are way higher than other seasons.

Having said that, let’s have a closer look at the seasons of Goa.

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Summers hit Goa in the month of April and last till June. This is the time when the temperature rises and the weather becomes very hot and humid. Most water activities are closed due to rough sea condition and it is considered an off-season. But off seasons also have their own advantages. Goa trip around this time would mean cheap accommodations, inexpensive food and booze and a relaxed holiday without any rush.

Also Read: Packing Checklist For Goa

What To Wear In Goa | Beach Dresses, Clothes & Accessories


Monsoons start in the month of July and extend till September. If you are fond of rains and lush green flora and fauna, this is the best season to visit Goa. A trek to Dudhsagar Falls would be idyllic at this time. You can also enjoy the festival of Sao-Joao, a feast of St. John the Baptist, celebrated in the month of June. It is an out of the ordinary event where the men actually jump into the wells to get hold of bottles of Feni, a local alcohol. You may get a good deal at the hotels throughout this season.


Monsoons start to fade away in the month of October and there is a slight chill in the atmosphere. The winter starts setting in from the month of November and extends till February. The weather is cool and pleasant. This is a fun season with loads of parties, festivals, fairs and you get to see the gorgeous side of Goa at this time.

The best time to visit Goa actually depends a lot on the choice and the personality of the travellers. So, choose your best time and create your own Goa travel guide.

Interested in touring Goa?

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How To Reach Goa

How To Reach Goa

goa travel guide -road to Goa

Witness serene views on your way to Goa

Goa is an admired tourist destination which can be easily reached through all modes of transportation- by air, rail or road.

By Air

Dabolim Airport, which is approximately about 29 km from Panaji is the main domestic and international airport. All major domestic carriers have regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and other cities. Tourists can hire a taxi from the airport to reach anywhere in Goa.

By Rail

Reaching Goa by train is also quite convenient as the state has two main railway stations namely Vasco da Gama and Madgaon that are very well linked to the major cities and towns of the country through an extensive train network. The Madgaon railway station is roughly about 38 km from Panaji and the Vasco da Gama railway station is about 29 km away. Travellers can take a taxi or a traveller bus from the railway stations to reach the destination of their choice.

By Road

There are various State and privately owned buses which operate in and around the state. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and KTC are some of the operators that provide bus services from cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. Travellers who are driving to Goa from Mumbai and Bangalore can take NH4 route while those coming from Mangalore can take NH17 route. The Roads are very smooth and well maintained.

Explore our Goa tourism guide, select your mode of transportation wisely and make the most of your Goa holidays.

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Travelling Within Goa

Travelling Within Goa

goa travel guide

Soak in the real Goan feel as you explore this paradise

Wondering how to commute within Goa? Well, not to worry as our exclusive Goa travel guide will take care of everything. The state has many public and private options ranging from bikes to cars, taxis to auto-rickhaws and from buses to ferries which will make your travel faster and trouble-free. Here are some of the options.

By Bus

Buses are inexpensive and one of the best ways to travel within Goa. Both State and private buses cover most locations of the state. Tourists can opt for Goa tour packages offering sightseeing and day tours. Regular bus services are accessible from almost all points of the city. Kadamba Transport Corporation is a state owned bus service in Goa and can be boarded from all major tourist spots.

Goa travel tip: The destination and all important stop off points are written on a board in English on the front of the bus. Still if you are unsure, ask the fellow passenger or the bus conductor and trust us, they will be very happy to help.

By Ferry

Ferry is a fun way to travel within Goa. It is thrilling to tour around Goa on water and be in awe of the scenic beauty. The passenger ferries are low-priced and the best part about them is that they run from early morning till late evening.

By Taxi

If you are looking for comfort and don’t mind paying a little extra then taxi is a nice option. Most taxis in Goa do not go by the meter, so it is advisable to decide the fare in advance. Alternatively, taxis can also be pre-booked when needed.

Goa travel tip: Make sure that you access GPS through your mobile phone so that you can track your route yourself. Many drivers take a longer route to demand more money.

By Auto-rickshaw

Auto-rickshaws are very good for short trips. They are often cheaper than the taxis but like taxis they too do not go by the meter. Do negotiate the price before the ride to avoid any confusion.

By Car

If you want to explore Goa at your own tempo, travelling by car is the best option. There are a number of car rental companies that offer self-driven and chauffeur driven cars. Be sure to carry your driving license and an identity proof.

By Scooty

Scooty or scooter is one of the most favoured modes of transport in Goa, not only for the tourists but for the Goans too. Scooty can be hired from all major towns, beaches and even from small villages. Make sure you carry your driving license and some identity proof such as PAN card or passport. The rent depends on the kind of bike you choose. Most rental companies also arrange pick up and drop service from airports, railway stations and hotels for an extra fee.

Decide what suits you best and set off on an unrivalled trip around Goa!

Want to discover the best of Goa?

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Where To Stay In Goa

Where To Stay In Goa

goa travel guide - stay in Goa

Experience the luxurious style of living in Goa.

Goa proves to be perfect holiday destination if you are looking for a relaxed and a rejuvenated break from your routine life. The state of Goa is divided into two districts- North Goa and South Goa. While North Goa is famous for a fast paced life, epic parties and a hippie lifestyle, South Goa is more about slow paced life, calm beaches and a laid back lifestyle. Honeymooners and tourists travelling with family can find some of the best hotels in South Goa. The accommodation options are countless ranging from budget hotels in Goa to home stays, shacks, boutique stays and luxury resorts. For all those who want to enjoy the cool sea breeze, party hard and still stay away from the blazing sun, staying at beach huts or shacks is a great option. The beach huts are not very expensive and offer a wide assortment of food and drinks to all its customers. Tantra Cafe and Huts on Patnem Beach is a very popular shack known for its pulsating crowd and happening music. The Hawaii Comforts, Mayflower Beach Resort and Palm Shades Spring are among other budget hotels. If you are fascinated by history and old mansions and houses attract you then heritage homes is the best place to stay in Goa. The best part about these heritage homes is that you are allowed to live in a bit of history while enjoying all the up-to-the-minute comforts. The Elsewhere, Capella, Rockheart and Palacio Do Deao are some of the best heritage homes. If you do not mind splurging and want to live life king size then luxury resorts and hotels in Goa are definitely going to spoil you with their sophistication and grace. Taj Exotica, Taj Vivanta Holiday Village, Park Hyatt Resort and Spa and The Leela are some of the best hotels in Goa. Accommodations are effortlessly available according to your taste budget and need. You can pick what appeals you the most.

Beautiful Places To Visit In Goa

Beautiful Places To Visit In Goa

1. Calangute Beach

goa travel guide - calangute beach

We all need vitamin Sea, don’t we?

Calangute Beach, commonly known as the ‘Queen of beaches’, is the largest in North Goa and one of the best beaches in Goa situated roughly about 15 km from the capital city Panaji. It is among the top ten beaches in the world and a hub for travellers from all over the world. It has a long wide coastline with an incredible view of the sea and the beach is spotted with restaurants, shops and clubs. The beach offers the best of water sports in Goa like parasailing, water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking and snorkelling. The beach transforms into a great beach party place at night with latest tracks and awesome food. Do not miss watching the sunset and sunrise at Calangute Beach for a mesmerizing experience. There are also many Goa sightseeing options near this beach such as St. Alex Church, Ashvem Beach and Morjim Beach. Shopaholics should not miss visiting the Friday Local Mapusa Market. It is basically a local farmers market selling a wide variety of fish, farm fresh vegetables and fruits, spices, earthen pots, glass bangles and local liquor.

Already in flip-flop state of mind?

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2. Varca Beach

goa travel guide - varca beach

Let the waves hit your feet and the sand be your seat at the Varca Beach.

Golden sands, stunning landscape and tranquillity perfectly define Varca Beach. Located in South Goa, the beach is home to many admired and plush resorts, ideal for tourists looking for fun beach holidays with their family and friends. The swaying palm trees, golden sands and the turquoise blue water of the Arabian Sea increase the picturesque outlook of the beach. It is an ideal place for both- people who simply want to laze around in the beach and for those who want to indulge in thrilling water sports like jet-ski, parasailing and speed boat rides. Dolphin spotting is one of the most appreciated activities here which is enjoyed by all age groups. There are also a number of beach shacks where one can have lip smacking Goan food and refreshing cocktails while enjoying the scenic beauty. With so much to do and see, Varca Beach is undoubtedly one of the most loved Goa tourist places.

Interested in exploring Varca beach?

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3. Fort Aguad

goa travel guide - Goa fort

Let Aguada Fort take you back in history and alluring architecture.

Nestled at the confluence of the Mandovi River, Aguada Fort is a heritage from the Portuguese architecture which was built to provide protection in opposition to the invading Dutch and the Marathas. Today, it stands as a famous milestone dividing the Sinquerium beach and the Candolim Beach. There is also an old lighthouse standing within the fort which was built in 1864. Fort Aguada is one of the best places to visit in Goa to view the wonderful shoreline, the Arabian Sea, the Mandovi River and the city of Panaji which is on the other side of the river.

Goa travel tip: Do not forget to carry a water bottle and a hat.

Also Read: 4 Secret & Best Beaches In Goa You Must Explore

4 Secret & Best Beaches In Goa You Must Explore

Things To Do In Goa

Things To Do In Goa

1. Try Hot Air Ballooning In Assolda Ground

goa travel guide - hot air ballooning

Have a unique and adventurous ballooning experience in Goa

Hot air ballooning is one of the most cherished activities in Goa which offers loads of fun and excitement to each and everyone. The balloon ride proffers a spectacular view and the feeling is absolutely out of the world. It is among the best Goa attractions and one must not miss it at any cost.

2. Go For Dolphin Watching At Paolem

goa travel guide - dolphin watching

Get your cameras ready, dolphins are just a click away!

If you want to go far away from the madding crowd of North Goa and want to experience peace and harmony, Palolem is the place for you. It is an isolated, laid back beach that offers incredibly tasty local Goan cuisine. Dolphin watching is a popular activity here and definitely among the best things to do in Goa that will surely leave you awestruck.

3. Visit The Spice Village

goa travel guide - spice market

Indulge in exploring the spice garden at Goa

Still wondering what to do in Goa? Well, go on an inspiring tour of spice village in Goa and get a chance to learn about the different varieties of spices. Gain knowledge on how each of the spices are planted, reaped and then further processed. Know about their importance in Goan cuisine and also in day-to-day lives. Also enjoy a traditional Goan lunch amidst a well-informed tour.

Goa travel tip: Do carry lots of water, sunglasses and a hat.

Interested in touring Goa?

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Also Read: 7 Off Beat Things To Do In Goa

7 Offbeat Things to Do in Goa

What To Eat In Goa

What To Eat In Goa

goa travel guide - Goan food

Get the true taste of Goa as there is no sincere love than the love of Goan food.

For most of us Goa is all about sun, sand, beaches and happening parties. But wait, what about the scrumptious cuisine of Goa? Well, the culinary scene in Goa is an amazing blend of exotic cultures, sea, spices and foreign invaders. From spicy street food and delectable sea food to cosy beach shacks and high-end restaurants, Goa has a lot to offer that will suit all taste buds and budget. Don’t know what to eat in Goa? Here we come to your rescue.

  • Try the delicious Goan Fish Curry, a coconut based delicacy flavoured with red chillies and served with steamed rice.
  • Do not miss tasting Cafreal, a Portuguese style grilled chicken served with ginger, garlic and green chillies.
  • Xacuti is another popular dish made with chicken, prawn or vegetables and spiced with red chillies, poppy seeds and coconut.
  • Do try the fresh Poi, a soft Pao like bread with a doughy texture.
  • Other celebrated delicacies include Goan sausages, Balchao, Bebinca, Pork Vindaloo and Prawns Orly.

Apart from the authentic Goan fare, the state has numerous restaurants serving a variety of cuisines such as Italian, Thai, Continental, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican. You simply cannot leave Goa without trying the very satisfying Feni, a local spirit made with cashew or coconut palm sap. So, get set for a gastronomic roller coaster ride because the tummy wants what the tummy wants!

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Nightlife In Goa

Nightlife In Goa

music festival

Keep your heels, head and spirits high.

Nightlife and Goa are completely synonymous. After the sun sets and the stars twinkle in the sky, the smallest state of India comes to life. Though the state is in high spirits throughout the year but as far as Goa nightlife is concerned, it is simply outstanding. It offers an assortment of booming nightclubs, attractive shacks, glittering night markets, sophisticated bars, grand party cruises and not to forget the thrilling Goan Casinos. Yes, it is very much legal and too much fun.

  • If you want to enjoy good music and affordable drinks then Club Titos, Cavala, Cafe Mambo( Baga Beach), Temptations and The Alcove (Vagator Beach) and Down The Road (Panaji) are the best options.
  • If you love Goa beach shacks then do check out Brittos (Baga Beach), Sublime (Anjuna Beach) and Bobby’s Shack (Candolim Beach).
  • If variety of drinks is what you are looking for then do explore the popular bars and pubs of Goa such as Zanzibar (Baga Beach), Shores Bar and Guru Bar (Anjuna Beach).
  • If you are fond of shopping under the blinking stars you should not miss checking out the Saturday market at the Arpora Beach and Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar at Baga Beach.
  • You should not leave Goa without experiencing the famous party cruises. Nothing can be beat the combination of happening music, great food, fantastic drinks, non-stop dancing and fresh ocean air.
  • If you want to try your luck at gambling, feel free to enjoy the celebrated casinos in Goa like Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride, Chances Casino, Crown Casino and Deltin Royale Casino. Apart from plentiful gaming options most of the casinos offer exceptional gourmet restaurants and VIP gaming suites where people can stay as well as play.

So, what are you waiting for? Just put on your party shoes and let the party animal in you groove at the party capital of the country.

Money In Goa

Money In Goa

The currency of Goa is Indian Rupee. Notes come in the denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000. Exchanging money will not be a problem in Goa as there are a lot of currency exchangers here. ATMs are widespread and all major credit cards and debit cards like Visa, MasterCard are accepted far and wide. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency the visitors can bring during their visit.

Travel Tips For Your Goa Tour

Travel Tips For Your Goa Tour

Goa travel guide tips for Goa tourism

Goa is one such destination which has something to offer to every traveller

  • Keep your identity proofs and other important documents handy.
  • Always keep a digital copy of all your important documents in your mobile phones in case of emergencies.
  • Avoid carrying large amount of cash, instead carry plastic money.
  • Many small shacks, restaurants and shops do not have credit card machines, so always carry some cash.
  • Make sure you carry your flip flops, light cotton clothes and a sunscreen.
  • Dress a little conservatively while visiting places of worship.
  • Drink only bottled water and avoid drinking tap water.
  • There are many places in Goa such as museums where photography is not allowed.
  • Nudity is not allowed in Goa beaches.
  • In Goa, certain areas are marked by red flags which means it is dangerous to swim there.
  • Do not choose between North Goa and South Goa, experience both.
  • In case of an emergency dial 100 (Police) or 108 (Ambulance).

Goa is an all time favourite holiday destination and you can never get enough of this place. So, start planning your holiday to this terrific place and do keep our Goa travel guide handy.

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Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

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  1. Sanjay
    September 16, 04:55 Sanjay

    Nice compilation! Very well written.

    reply Reply this comment
  2. Mrinal
    September 16, 16:10 Mrinal

    Cool guide. Thanks for giving in depth details on nightlife food and stay options in goaa.

    reply Reply this comment
  3. shobha
    December 19, 08:13 shobha

    awesome tips, thanks for giving

    reply Reply this comment
  4. Gayatri
    January 03, 06:21 Gayatri

    Very informative blog. Thanks for sharing information about goa.

    reply Reply this comment
  5. Sydney
    February 25, 14:32 Sydney

    I really love your article and i really want to visit these places in Goa Thanks for sharing your Experience Keep posting

    reply Reply this comment
  6. Ashley John
    March 26, 06:46 Ashley John

    Hey, lovely article.

    So descriptive and informational. Your this article served my purpose. I must say that you have done a great job. This single article is enough to finalize a trip to Goa.
    Thanks a lot.

    Please come up with one more similar article on Shimla.

    Looking forward to more article from you.

    reply Reply this comment

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