How to plan a trip to goa

Let’s face it. Most people visit Goa for the beaches and parties. However, there’s plenty more to experience. The Portuguese occupied Goa for about 450 years until the Indian Armed Forces finally drove them out in 1961.   The state was also a significant destination on the 1970s hippie trail. As a result, it’s quite unlike anywhere else in India and has a distinctly different culture. This Goa guide will help plan your trip.

Planning Your Trip

  • Best Time to Visit: Goa’s tourist season runs from October to March, when the weather is warm and dry. Most beach shacks open in November. They pack up by April or May due to the extreme heat and humidity. The southwest monsoon brings rain from June to September.
  • Language: Konkani is the native language of most Goans, however, English and Hindi are widely understood and spoken.  
  • Currency: Indian rupee.
  • Time Zone:UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) +5.5 hours, also known as Indian Standard Time. Goa does not observe daylight saving time.
  • Getting Around: Taxis and auto-rickshaws are the most common methods of transportation. Unfortunately, the notorious Goan taxi mafia keeps fares high and prevents app-based cabs such as Uber from operating. There is a state-run, app-based taxi service called GoaMiles. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is an inexpensive way of reaching Goa’s tourist attractions. Hiring a motorcycle or scooter is popular and affordable.
  • Travel Tip: The monsoon season in Goa is ideal for spending time in the state’s mountainous interior hinterland. White water rafting is possible.

Things to Do

Most people are surprised at how many things there are to do in Goa apart from the beach and nightlife. This includes water sports and adventure activities, hot air ballooning, cooking lessons, exploring old forts, seeing the spice plantations, browsing museums and art galleries, bird watching at Doctor Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, hiking in the nature reserves, yoga and natural therapies, cruising along the Mandovi River in a private yacht, betting at the casinos, listening to live jazz music, and of course shopping. Active travelers can go on these off-beat electric bicycle tours or walking tours.

Three of the main things to do in Goa are:

  • Hanging out at the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna beach, Friday Goa Collective Bazaar at Hilltop near Vagator, and Saturday Night Market at Arpora (between Anjuna and Baga). These markets are seasonal.
  • Wandering around Old Goa and the Fontainhas Latin Quarter.
  • Touring the Portuguese mansions in South Goa.

What to Eat and Drink

Goan cuisine was influenced mainly by the Portuguese and is predominantly non-vegetarian. Lesser-known is the traditional cuisine of the state’s Hindu Saraswat Brahmin community. Fish curry and rice is a ubiquitous staple in Goa. Common types of dishes you’ll find on the menu are xacutti (coconut-based curry), cafreal (marinated and fried/grilled), sorpotel (stew), recheado (stuffed), ambot tik (sour and spicy), and vindaloo (fiery curry marinated with garlic and vinegar or wine). Goan chourico (sausages) and pao (bread) are popular as well. However, you’ll need to venture away from the beach shacks to get authentic Goan food.

Feni is Goa’s pungent local brew and the unofficial state drink. It’s made from cashew fruit or the sap of coconut palms. Drink it with tonic water or lemonade and a slice of lime. Avoid cheap, commercially produced feni though, as it has a distinctively unpleasant smell. Instead, try and get your hands on some home-distilled feni (Dudhsagar Plantation Farmstay makes their own). Or, a bottle of premium Big Boss or Cazulo feni. It’s now possible to go straight to the source of Cazulo feni, as the company has opened its cellar in the Cansaulim foothills for tours and tastings. Call 8605-008-185 to book. Joseph Bar in Panjim’s Fontainhas Latin Quarter crafts some innovative feni cocktails. On the beach, King’s beer goes well with a curry.

Where to Stay

Goa’s coastline extends for about 100 miles. Every beach is different, and there are so many types of accommodations ranging from beach huts to luxury private villas. It can be confusing! If you’re looking for action, base yourself in North Goa because South Goa is relatively undeveloped and laid-back. Most of the luxury hotels are situated in South Goa. Palolem is the most happening beach in South Goa, while Agonda is ideal for chilling out and doing nothing. Patnem offers a bit of both. In North Goa, the Candolim-Calangute-Baga stretch of beaches is especially commercialized and gets super crowded during peak season. Backpacker hostels are prevalent near Anjuna beach, and the famous Wednesday flea market takes place there as well. The remaining psychedelic trance scene exists around Vagator beach, the Mandrem-Morjim-Ashwem stretch of beaches has become quite trendy, while Arambol beach is the new traveler’s center with a wide range of alternative therapies. Capital city Panjim is centrally located between north and south Goa. Its Fontainhas Latin Quarter is an atmospheric neighborhood to stay in a restored Portuguese mansion.

Getting There

Goa has one airport. It’s an international airport that operates out of a military airbase in Dabolim, roughly equal distance from Goa’s north and south beaches. Most people take a prepaid taxi from the airport to their hotel. There’s a counter in the arrivals terminal where you can book and pay. A shuttle bus service also runs from the airport to Panjim, Calangute, and Margao. It can be booked online here or at the airport.

Indian Railways train is another option for getting to Goa. It’s handy for budget travelers, and conveniently has multiple stops in north and south Goa. The stretch from Mumbai to Goa along the Konkan Railway is particularly scenic. Here are the best trains from Mumbai to Goa.

Culture and Customs

Goa is more liberal than other states in India. This means women can wear short dresses and bikinis on the beach. There’s no need to dress conservatively.

Scams are common in Goa, including the infamous gem scam. Beware of any Indian guys who try to befriend you. People offering to sell you drugs may also approach you. Don’t accept, as dealers often have arrangements with the police. The police are corrupt and will extort money from tourists found in possession of illegal substances such as marijuana. The cops often demand bribes for traffic violations too. If you hire a motorcycle or scooter, make sure you carry your license with you and wear a helmet at all times.

While Goa has a reputation for being a party hub there are very strict drug laws. Those caught with drugs could face jail times of 6 months to 30 years and there is no option for bail.  

Believe me, GOA is a place where every friend’s group would wish to visit. But costs always become an obstacle in your way and travel agents don’t really fall in your budget.

So I recently planned my trip to Goa for 5 days and here I am going to guide you on how to do it all by yourself.

#1st STEP -Plan Plan Plan!

You need to decide, when? and for how many days your trip will be.

#2nd STEP -Research

Research about the place online there are many websites like MakeMyTrip, Tripoto which informs you about different activities and places you can visit. The best method is to refer to travel Vlogs on You tube, they give a gist of different places in minutes.

North Goa is famous for its nightlife and beaches like Calangute, Candolim, Baga where you can have an adventure filled experience with your buddies. South Goa has beautiful old churches, museums, and colonial architecture.

If you are coming in big groups then you must try out cruise at Panjim which includes many Casinos, cruise party, and backwater tours as well.

Research Details For Any Trip Here-

Salim Ali bird century is eye soothing experience and if you have interest in photography or you just simply love clicking beautiful pictures this place is a must go. A boat trip to Grand Island or Chorao island is adventurous of all. The beach parties at Goa are totally for a crazy group of friends like you and me.

#3rd STEP- Make Your Itinerary

Plan your itinerary after you know what activities you are going to do and places you will visit. Google Maps helps you to plan your itinerary brilliantly. While jotting the places down you’ll also get the information of other nearby places of sightseeing nearby the location in your checklist,so you won’t miss on anything.

#4th STEP – Accommodation

(Staying up whole night on the beach would be fun but who doesn’t wish to relax on a comfy bed)

You should always book your hotel near the places in your checklist. As after having all the fun you can relax well for a fresh start.

#5th STEP -Travel

Travel is really expensive in Goa so the best option is to use public transport. In Goa public transport is safe and you can get all the information on google maps regarding the destination and bus timings. But if you want to travel comfortably there are bikes and cars are available on rent. Zoomcar is one I prefer the most as it is the most affordable and trustworthy option.

#6th STEP – Food

If you want to test your taste buds with authentic Goan food, you should try these homemade food corners also called locally as ‘ Bhojnalays’. The prices are also reasonable over there. You must have breakfast or plan a candlelight dinner at the beautiful Sea facing shacks, to have the most memorable experience.

I had this Veg. Thali at SANMAN restaurant in Ponda, Goa. It was very simple food but it had the taste of the Portuguese inspired cuisine. You should definitely try the seafood at local restaurants as Goa offers the authentic Portuguese inspired cuisine.

#7th STEP – Shopping

“A vacation is incomplete without some shopping” as per wise man.

The local markets at Mapusa or Panjim provide you with a variety of items like spices, clothes, dry fruits, footwear, etc. If you are a fashionista then Calangute flea market is a place where you would discover many trendy and cool outfits at reasonable rates.

Whoopee! You are almost done now just book your flight or train and your way for a fun trip. Bon voyage!

Goa is one of the most visited honeymoon destination for couples. It is known for its beautiful beaches and churches. A three day tour is enough to explore about Goa. In this article, travelguru will assist you how to plan your visit to Goa step by step, so that you can get maximum out it. Let’s find out little more about this place: Facts about Goa.

When is the best time to visit Goa?

The best time to visit Goa is from October to February. Summers are quite hot and humid. Temperature reaches around 35°C during summers. Whereas, beaches are muddy & slippery during monsoon season. Let’s see what travelguru has more to say on this:

  • Weather in Goa
    • Seasons in Goa
    • Average monthly temperature and precipitation

How to pack for your trip to Goa?

The travelguru advice is to pack light clothes for Goa like t-shirts, shorts, kurtas and beach sarongs. Always leave some space in your luggage bag to bring back some best deals from Goa. Let’s checkout some general & clothing tips for both men & women.

  • What to pack for Goa
    • General packing tips
    • Clothing tips for women
    • Clothing tips for men
    • Pack for the weather

How to reach Goa?

Goa is well connected by air, train and road transport. The nearest airport is ‘Dabolim Airport’ which is approximately 26 km away from Panaji. On the other hand, journey by train is very pleasant & full of excitement, you get to see many lush green mountains and beautiful tunnels on the way. The local transportation system in the city is quite cheap & economical. Majority of the hotels have tie-up with scooter/bike/car rental service, so that you can hire one two/four wheeler for yourself and roam in the city as per your convenience.

Let’s find out travelguru’s recommendation on how to reach Goa:

  • Air
  • Rail
  • Road
  • Sea

Where to stay in Goa?

Goa is a place where you can enjoy, relax and party out with friends and family, therefore choosing a right place for you is important. Goa is basically divided into two parts, North Goa & South Goa. North Goa is more happening and busier than South Goa. So if you want to be in action, than choose to stay in North Goa.

Let’s find out some more options how to choose a right place for you:

  • North Goa and South Goa
  • Where to stay
    • Goa with friends
    • Goa with family
    • Goa with girl friend/honeymoon
  • 17 Best resorts in Goa to chill out

Things to do in North Goa and South Goa

  • Beaches in North & South Goa
  • Heritage places
  • Shopping piazza
  • Exquisite cuisine
  • Nightlife
  • Sightseeing

Believe me, GOA is a place where every friend’s group would wish to visit. But costs always become an obstacle in your way and travel agents don’t really fall in your budget.

So I recently planned my trip to Goa for 5 days and here I am going to guide you on how to do it all by yourself.

#1st STEP -Plan Plan Plan!

You need to decide, when? and for how many days your trip will be.

#2nd STEP -Research

Research about the place online there are many websites like MakeMyTrip, Tripoto which informs you about different activities and places you can visit. The best method is to refer to travel Vlogs on You tube, they give a gist of different places in minutes.

North Goa is famous for its nightlife and beaches like Calangute, Candolim, Baga where you can have an adventure filled experience with your buddies. South Goa has beautiful old churches, museums, and colonial architecture.

If you are coming in big groups then you must try out cruise at Panjim which includes many Casinos, cruise party, and backwater tours as well.

Research Details For Any Trip Here-

Salim Ali bird century is eye soothing experience and if you have interest in photography or you just simply love clicking beautiful pictures this place is a must go. A boat trip to Grand Island or Chorao island is adventurous of all. The beach parties at Goa are totally for a crazy group of friends like you and me.

#3rd STEP- Make Your Itinerary

Plan your itinerary after you know what activities you are going to do and places you will visit. Google Maps helps you to plan your itinerary brilliantly. While jotting the places down you’ll also get the information of other nearby places of sightseeing nearby the location in your checklist,so you won’t miss on anything.

#4th STEP – Accommodation

(Staying up whole night on the beach would be fun but who doesn’t wish to relax on a comfy bed)

You should always book your hotel near the places in your checklist. As after having all the fun you can relax well for a fresh start.

#5th STEP -Travel

Travel is really expensive in Goa so the best option is to use public transport. In Goa public transport is safe and you can get all the information on google maps regarding the destination and bus timings. But if you want to travel comfortably there are bikes and cars are available on rent. Zoomcar is one I prefer the most as it is the most affordable and trustworthy option.

#6th STEP – Food

If you want to test your taste buds with authentic Goan food, you should try these homemade food corners also called locally as ‘ Bhojnalays’. The prices are also reasonable over there. You must have breakfast or plan a candlelight dinner at the beautiful Sea facing shacks, to have the most memorable experience.

I had this Veg. Thali at SANMAN restaurant in Ponda, Goa. It was very simple food but it had the taste of the Portuguese inspired cuisine. You should definitely try the seafood at local restaurants as Goa offers the authentic Portuguese inspired cuisine.

#7th STEP – Shopping

“A vacation is incomplete without some shopping” as per wise man.

The local markets at Mapusa or Panjim provide you with a variety of items like spices, clothes, dry fruits, footwear, etc. If you are a fashionista then Calangute flea market is a place where you would discover many trendy and cool outfits at reasonable rates.

Whoopee! You are almost done now just book your flight or train and your way for a fun trip. Bon voyage!

How to plan a trip to goa

The lockdown and the new-found stressful work structure has given us enough reasons to want to get out of our homes and plan a much-needed getaway. And what better destination than Goa, right? We know you’ve probably already started picturing yourself diving into a pool, facing the beach while sipping a glass of wine, gazing at the tranquil and gorgeous sunsets.

Well, for those who have been planning to visit Goa all this while, here’s everything you need to know.

Image Credit: iStock

You don’t need a covid test or an e-pass anymore

Goa had earlier made it mandatory for tourists to get a COVID-19 negative certificate two days prior to reaching the state irrespective of their mode of travel. Whether you travel via road, air, or take the sea route, it was a mandate. However, the state has now waived off the rules and travellers from other states don’t require any testing or stringent quarantine as long as they follow all the safety measures and precautions, including social distancing, sanitizers and masks.

But locals don’t want you to come

Image Credit: iStock

The locals are not quite in favour of the state lifting mandatory covid tests. Goans who have always been so welcoming and warm to tourists across the globe are currently requesting tourists not to come, the only reason being the healthcare of the state may not be equipped to handle a massive rise in cases.

Lifting mandatory testing is literally like lifting last line of defence right now.

I ma just so worried at how f**ked up Goa is going to get in the coming months. We have the worst tourists in the country and now with no mandatory testing, it’s going to be hell. If i was scared for my family before, I am terrified now.

to be clear: i know the tourism industry has been hit v v badly, and that its most vulnerable workers are suffering. which means the Goa govt needs to STOP wasting money on environmentally devastating projects and STEP IN to support shacks, bars, hotels, and their workers.

opening Goa for tourism with zero safeguards will not ‘support’ the lives of our most vulnerable residents. who do you think will be prioritized when the healthcare system is overwhelmed? daily wage workers who rely on the tourism industry – or wealthy tourists?

Goa has imposed a ban on drug-consuming tourists

In a bid to protect the region’s natural beauty and culture, the state has imposed a ban on tourists who consume drugs and cook in public places. Referring to the same, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar stated, “We want good tourists. We do not want drugs and tourists who consume drugs. We do not want people who cook food on the street sides. These two aspects spoil the image of Goa Tourism (sic).”

Keeping all these limitations in mind, here’s how you can execute your Goa vacay.

1. Try to drive down

Avoid taking flights, trains or any other crowded mode of transport where you’re more likely to contract the virus. If you take a flight, chances of touching any surface susceptible to human contact are higher. It’s advisable to travel in your own vehicle via road, away from the crowds, thereby ensuring a safe and socially-distanced trip.

2. Pick a less crowded place for your stay

Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram

Do not go for the crowded touristy areas like Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Arambol, Palolem and similar beaches. Choose secluded non-touristy beaches instead. The idea is to give yourself a break by adhering to the safety norms. And most importantly, book accommodations that are well-equipped with the new normal.

3. Avoid eating out at restaurants, especially street food

Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram

We know it’s hard to keep it that way when you’re in Goa, but we suggest you spend the maximum part of your trip inside your resort and its outdoor area. Read up reviews and book a hotel that serves great food with a stunning view; this will keep you from visiting crowded restaurants where the risk of the virus spread will be maximum.

4. Wear your mask, ALWAYS!

If at all you plan to step out of your resort and head to a secluded beach, wear your mask. Avoiding masks could risk the health of the local population as well as your own. You must be responsible when around others and sanitize regularly.

And lastly, maintain distance from other visitors.

Lead Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram

How to plan a trip to goa

How to plan a trip to goa

Goa is India’s smallest state by area. Goa is similar to a Southeast Asian city. When I first landed in Goa, I was very amazed to see such a huge crowd and the best part was that everybody was a tourist. Instead of booking a cab, I thought about using the local transport to reach my destination.

Goa, the state of beaches, babes, bikes, and night parties is often called “the Sin City of India”. Are you serious! How can you compare the smallest state of India with Sin City? There may be 2 reasons for it – One, they haven’t visited Sin City and the other is they don’t know anything else about Goa.

People go to Goa mainly for enjoyment which they cannot experience otherwise due to their busy life. So the holiday is not about relaxing, it’s about drinking like shit, behaving like a moron and many other reasons. People also call it “Bangkok of India”. Goa is a very hyped tourist destination and that too because of wrong reasons. It also hosts the World’s most hyped New Year Party: Sunburn. People spend hefty amount of money just to enjoy this party. I will suggest this crowd to go to the Full Moon Party held every year in Kho Phangan, Bangkok. It is the world’s largest New Year party.

I will tell you what Goa is all about and why it is so popular among domestic and international tourists.

Normally people visit Goa to celebrate Christmas and New Year. October to February is considered to be the best time to visit Goa. It is because of the weather, crowd and spices. Yes, believe me, Goa is famous for its spices. And it is the most famous among Russians. Ok, I will talk about it later.

According to me Goa is best during monsoons. It’s a must visit during late July till August end when monsoon is on peak. You will get a completely new picture of Goa. Its full green everywhere, less crowd and the best part riding in rain through country side is amazing.

Spices, are one of the reasons why Russians are attracted to Goa. You guys must be thinking how would I know all this?? I met an old Gujarati couple near Calangute area. They own a retail shop selling spices. They told that their main targeted customer are Russians. The sad part is the business is seasonal i.e. from Oct to April and for the rest of the months they don’t have any work but to sit idle and wait for the time to come.

The main cities of Goa are Panaji/Panjim, Vasco, Mapusa, Ponda etc. Basically people visit North Goa as it comprises of the main tourist destination like calangute, baga, anjuna, ashwem, Vagator etcc. All these are beaches. But if you really want a calm place then you can go to Palolem Beach in South Goa.

Goa lacks local transport. Buses are not that frequent. If you really want to enjoy the place you must rent a bike or a car. It will make your trip memorable.

Feni, the Goan local drink. Taste same as that of other aerated drink. You have to try the local food once, it’s really pathetic. But there are many options in food in Goa. You can eat Indian, Chinese, European food etc..

  • India Forums
  • United States Forums
  • Europe Forums
  • Canada Forums
  • Asia Forums
  • Central America Forums
  • Africa Forums
  • Caribbean Forums
  • Mexico Forums
  • South Pacific Forums
  • South America Forums
  • Middle East Forums

I am planning a Goa trip with family, staying in North Goa. Can somebody help in planning a 3 day sightseeing, so that I can take a return flight on the evening of day 3.

Must read before going:

What are your interests . and what exact days you are travelling ?? Presently its monsoon season out there and if you are going in monsoon season then north goa is a good option to stay for.

In Monsoon time you can go for spice plantation, Dudh sagar falls, visit old Goa, Churches and enjoy the music while having dinner in the evening. Lush greenery all over during monsoon.

hai good morning,

this is Raj from Vizag planning for Goa 3 days trip, and how can i plan to enjoy the beauty of goa and what are the best places to enjoy

and we are students, according to that one please suggest the best options and places to view,about lodging also ..thank u

-:- Message from Tripadvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you’ll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the Tripadvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

How to plan a trip to goa

The lockdown and the new-found stressful work structure has given us enough reasons to want to get out of our homes and plan a much-needed getaway. And what better destination than Goa, right? We know you’ve probably already started picturing yourself diving into a pool, facing the beach while sipping a glass of wine, gazing at the tranquil and gorgeous sunsets.

Well, for those who have been planning to visit Goa all this while, here’s everything you need to know.

Image Credit: iStock

You don’t need a covid test or an e-pass anymore

Goa had earlier made it mandatory for tourists to get a COVID-19 negative certificate two days prior to reaching the state irrespective of their mode of travel. Whether you travel via road, air, or take the sea route, it was a mandate. However, the state has now waived off the rules and travellers from other states don’t require any testing or stringent quarantine as long as they follow all the safety measures and precautions, including social distancing, sanitizers and masks.

But locals don’t want you to come

Image Credit: iStock

The locals are not quite in favour of the state lifting mandatory covid tests. Goans who have always been so welcoming and warm to tourists across the globe are currently requesting tourists not to come, the only reason being the healthcare of the state may not be equipped to handle a massive rise in cases.

Lifting mandatory testing is literally like lifting last line of defence right now.

I ma just so worried at how f**ked up Goa is going to get in the coming months. We have the worst tourists in the country and now with no mandatory testing, it’s going to be hell. If i was scared for my family before, I am terrified now.

to be clear: i know the tourism industry has been hit v v badly, and that its most vulnerable workers are suffering. which means the Goa govt needs to STOP wasting money on environmentally devastating projects and STEP IN to support shacks, bars, hotels, and their workers.

opening Goa for tourism with zero safeguards will not ‘support’ the lives of our most vulnerable residents. who do you think will be prioritized when the healthcare system is overwhelmed? daily wage workers who rely on the tourism industry – or wealthy tourists?

Goa has imposed a ban on drug-consuming tourists

In a bid to protect the region’s natural beauty and culture, the state has imposed a ban on tourists who consume drugs and cook in public places. Referring to the same, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar stated, “We want good tourists. We do not want drugs and tourists who consume drugs. We do not want people who cook food on the street sides. These two aspects spoil the image of Goa Tourism (sic).”

Keeping all these limitations in mind, here’s how you can execute your Goa vacay.

1. Try to drive down

Avoid taking flights, trains or any other crowded mode of transport where you’re more likely to contract the virus. If you take a flight, chances of touching any surface susceptible to human contact are higher. It’s advisable to travel in your own vehicle via road, away from the crowds, thereby ensuring a safe and socially-distanced trip.

2. Pick a less crowded place for your stay

Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram

Do not go for the crowded touristy areas like Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Arambol, Palolem and similar beaches. Choose secluded non-touristy beaches instead. The idea is to give yourself a break by adhering to the safety norms. And most importantly, book accommodations that are well-equipped with the new normal.

3. Avoid eating out at restaurants, especially street food

Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram

We know it’s hard to keep it that way when you’re in Goa, but we suggest you spend the maximum part of your trip inside your resort and its outdoor area. Read up reviews and book a hotel that serves great food with a stunning view; this will keep you from visiting crowded restaurants where the risk of the virus spread will be maximum.

4. Wear your mask, ALWAYS!

If at all you plan to step out of your resort and head to a secluded beach, wear your mask. Avoiding masks could risk the health of the local population as well as your own. You must be responsible when around others and sanitize regularly.

And lastly, maintain distance from other visitors.

Lead Image Credit: @shenaztreasury, Instagram