This Goa Travel Guide includes tips and tricks on getting there, when to travel, and what to do in Goa.
After traveling across India, I avoided Goa for many years. I never made it to Goa, despite having been on numerous trips.
I always believed that the city had lost its charm due to the influx of western European tourists from India and Europe. But I was wrong!
Goa Travel Guide
It was my first trip there in Nov 2016. I spent most of my time on the peaceful beaches of South Goa. It has a laid-back, tropical vibe that I love. It is a vast place so you can do many things here, including adventure sports, hiking and culture.
Some beaches are as tranquil as Himalayan villages and beaches that host all-night parties. You will find sun, sea, sand, and seafood to make your holiday even more enjoyable.
You will be able to relax and enjoy a wonderful experience. Enjoy a memorable holiday.
Before we get to the list of things to do in Goa, let’s talk about some Goa travel tips.
- Renting a scooter is a good idea. It would help if you refilled it at a petrol station rather than local shops selling petrol in plastic bottles. This will allow you to save at least 20 Rupees per gallon.
- It’s one of India’s most popular holiday destinations, so expect to pay a lot more for everything. You might find essential FMCG products with an MRP listed for a few more rupees.
- Before you shop in Goa, bargain and compare the price.
- While Goa is considered a safe tourist destination, touts are standard. Goa is an excellent destination for solo female travelers looking to explore India.
- Nearly all the major telephone networks are available here. You’ll find the fastest internet speeds, almost as fast as in Bangalore or Delhi.
- Goa is a popular destination for ex-pats in India.
Before we get to the Goa travel guide and talk about what to do there, I wanted to share a YouTube video I made during my 2021 trip. This video explains how to find the unusual in Goa. Let’s enjoy…
What to do in Goa
Although the water here could be better for diving in, especially compared to Andaman’s, they are still pleasant. On an average day, visibility can vary from 5 to 20 meters. My Goa Scuba Diving experience was enjoyable, with minimum and maximum visibility of 8-12 meters.
Because of the lower visibility, scuba diving is more affordable in Goa.
Fun diving starts at 5 000 Rupees. A 4-day open-water course costs 20 000 Rupees. It is more expensive in Andaman.
For more information on scuba diving in Goa, please read my Scuba Diving Experience.
Goa Dolphins – How to Spot them
You wouldn’t think of seeing dolphins in Goa, I’m sure. But you can. I recommend it as a must-have in the Goa travel guide.
Many boat services offer dolphin spotting trips in Goa.
These trips are most common in the North, near Calangute beach.
Hot Air Balloon
Although hot air ballooning may not be the highlight of your Goa itinerary, it is worth a few hours of flying as you pass traditional Portuguese-style homes and thousands upon thousands of palm trees.
However, the only thing that could encourage you to try it is the price, which is close to 10 thousand Rupees per head for a 2-hour flight.
For more information on what to expect, visit my Relax on the Beach
This is what makes a Goa experience truly unique.
Spend the evening with fellow travelers at your favorite beach shack, and enjoy a few beers. You will find frequent mentions in any Goa travel guide that a beach shack is an unforgettable experience.
St. Anthony (Baga Beach), Thalassa, Thalassa (Vagator), Bean Me Up(Anjuna), and Souza Lobo (“Calangute”) are some of the most well-known beach shacks.
Rent A Beach Hut
The North is all about having fun on the Beach, then returning to your accommodation to get to sleep. But the south is all about renting a beach house and listening to the waves.
Although renting the cheapest beach huts in Goa will save you more than 1500 Rupees per evening, it is well worth the investment.
Agonda and Palolem are my top beaches for a beach hut experience. Learn more about my experience with beach huts at Agonda Beach to see why it is one the top things you can do in Goa.
Rent a bike and ride
Goa has more than 50 beaches. It is worth hopping from one coast or another to get to know the place.
Rent a scooter, and you can go in any direction. It is an unforgettable experience to rent a scooter and ride it.
Partying in Arambol
Arambol was different from the place I visited. However, I have heard that Arambol has the best party scene and full-moon raves.
Israeli and Western European hippies dominate Arambol beach. They come here for a few weeks to relax and party on the Beach.
This is all about what to do and see in Goa. You can also visit them to learn about other tourist destinations.
How Much Does It Cost to Travel in Goa?
A tip is to remember that North Goa accommodation can be much cheaper than in South Goa. Both offer an entirely different experience.
South Goa has a more tranquil and recent development, while North Goa is densely populated with action and is much more active.
You can find a room in north Goa for as low as 500 Rupees per night. Finding a room in south Goa for as low as 800 Rupees can be challenging.
Calangute (North) was where I stayed at one of the most popular backpacker hostels for only 450 Rupees per day. For a staggering 2000 Rupees per day, I rented an Agonda beach hut.
South Goa is all about luxury resorts and beach huts, while north Goa is all about guesthouses and dormitories.
You can also choose from many hostels in Goa. They are primarily located in the city’s northern area.
Because there are many street food options, north Goa is a great place to eat cheap food. A meal in north Goa costs between 60 and 150 Rupees. South Goa is expensive, with a simple meal running around 100 Rupees.
Fish Thali is the most affordable and standard food in Goa.
After we’ve discussed the best places to visit in Goa and how much a holiday can cost, it is time to find out when you should go there. Before I get to that, I wanted to share this. Goa is expensive, and not everyone can afford it. My India budget travel tips guide will help you save money on your trip. Check out this affordable accommodation in India guide to learn some tricks and apply them wherever they are valid.
When is the best time to travel?
Although tourists can be found in Goa throughout the year, you should visit between November and February. It is the best time to enjoy the tropical weather and walk along the beaches.
Monsoon is also a great time to visit Goa. It stays between July and August. But only if it’s okay to get wet.