This year, I have been to many beach places like Seychelles, Mauritius, etc. which have been amazing. But a trip to Goa with your best friends is a must. Especially when there are so many fun things to do in Goa like scuba diving, partying, etc. in this tiny state.
So, I decided that we would have a chilled and relaxed holiday in this beach state. While the original plan was just for 3 days, I ended up staying for 10 days in this amazing place. And trust me, they were one of my most cherished days in India.
So, in this Goa Travel Guide, I will be giving you essential information on where to stay, how to travel, what to eat, and so on.
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Goa Travel Guide
A small state in the Konkan region that shares its boundary with the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, Goa is popularly known as the party place of India. Every year, millions of people flock to this tiny state for a relaxing weekend or to party all night long.
Known for its beaches and fishing villages, Goa is an Indian paradise. But that’s not all, due to the cultural influence of Portuguese who arrived here in the early 16th century, you can find a lot of Portuguese-styled buildings and streets here. With Panaji as its capital, Goa is often segregated into two regions known as South Goa and North Goa and there are tons of places to explore in the entire Goan region.
How to Reach Goa
Now, the first question that might come to your mind is how to reach Goa? Well, that’s a valid concern but the great thing about this city is that it is so easily accessible. So, you have a lot of transportation options connecting Goa to other major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and so on.
So, here are a few ways to consider as a solution to your how to reach Goa query.
Goa is connected to a lot of major cities via railways like Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum, etc. So, you can always book a train for yourself if you have the time and patience. A train journey will be long but will be cost-effective as well.
When you are booking a train to Goa, you will have two railway station options: Vasco Da Gama and Madgaon. Choose the railway station according to your plan. If you are planning to spend time in North Goa, then choose Vasco Da Gama. But if you want to explore South Goa, then Madgaon is the best choice for you.
However, remember that you might not have a lot of long-distance trains for Goa. So, you might not be able to choose the convenient railway station but do try if you can.
There is one International Airport in Goa, Dabolim Airport which is close to Vasco Da Gama and around 30 km from Panjim. The airport has both domestic and international flights going and coming to this airport so one can easily save some time by booking a flight.
You will find several flights connecting Goa to cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, etc. And there are a few occasional flights as well connecting Goa to Dubai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Manchester, London, etc. From the airport, you can take a private taxi to your hotel to reach quickly or you have the option of taking the Airport Shuttle Bus as well.
You can also check Kiwi.com which is our favorite as this website gives you the cheapest option in which you can travel as whereas aggregates the fare of various airlines. In fact, through Kiwi, you can also search for a destination from a couple of different destinations. You can choose as many outbound and inbound airports as you like.
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For people who stay in South India including cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kochi, etc., buses are a great mode of transportation as well. You have several private bus services to Goa which will take about 10 – 18 hours from nearby major cities.
Also, you have the option to choose from Sleeper, Non-Sleeper, A.C, and Non-A.C buses so you can choose a bus according to your budget. You can book a bus from Mumbai to Goa using this link.
Finally, you can also go on a road trip to Goa and have the ultimate fun with your friends. The Mumbai-Goa highway is quite smooth and amazing and will give you an amazing road trip feel.
A road trip from Mumbai will take around 11 hours while a road trip from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai will take 15, 10, 16 hours respectively.
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Best Time to Visit Goa
Technically, there is no single best time to visit Goa as it is a year-round destination. But yes, different seasons offer different activities and things to do in Goa. Here is what you can expect in each season here.
Goa in Summer Season
If you don’t want to experience heatstroke and humidity then summer season, i.e., April to June is the worst time to visit Goa. However, if you are looking for some peace and quiet at an affordable price then summer is the best time to visit Goa.
During the summer season, very few people travel to Goa so beaches are clean and mostly empty. And you can always start your day in the evening for an amazing time here.
Goa in Monsoon Season
Personally, I think the best time to visit Goa is during the monsoon season, i.e., the months of July – September. This is because the entire place is covered in greenery during this time which makes Goa even more wonderful to explore. Also, the waterfalls have more water during this time so it becomes fun to play in them.
So, if you don’t mind occasional rainfall then you can definitely plan a trip to Goa in September.
Goa in Winter Season
In terms of weather, the best time to visit Goa is the winter season, i.e., the months of October to March. This is also the peak season in Goa. So, you would see a large crowd at this time, especially around December.
But if you plan your trip away from the holidays then you can definitely have an amazing time here. Also, from November, most of the clubs and water activities are restarted in Goa. So, this is definitely the best time for party people and water adventure enthusiasts.
One thing to remember is that the prices are also high at this time so plan your trip carefully.
Where to Stay in Goa
One of the trickiest things to figure out while planning a Goa trip is where to stay in Goa. Should you stay in North Goa, South Goa, or Panjim? And should you go to a hostel or a luxurious villa?
Well, the answer to your where to stay in Goa depends greatly upon your budget, duration of trip, and itinerary. If you are planning to spend a couple of days exploring South Goa and North Goa, then you need separate accommodation. And if you aren’t planning to explore too much then Panjim is a good idea as it is closer to most beaches and clubs.
If you are on a budget then the best thing to do is look for an affordable hostel in your desired area. And thankfully, there are a lot of hostels in Goa like Seinfeld’s Hostel, The Hidden Island Hostel, etc. where you will get a bed for 100 – 500 INR per night.
If you are solo traveling, hostels are your best choice as you save a lot of bucks. And you end up making a lot of new friends here too.
Hotels and Guesthouses
In case, you don’t find a hostel for your dates then the next best thing would be to book a guesthouse/hotel. There are several hotels which have deals and offers so it doesn’t come up to be that expensive. My personal favorite is the Noname Guesthouse in Arambol.
In case you are with a big group, then getting a place at Airbnb would be a smarter option. This is because all of you will be able to enjoy in the same house and you will have more freedom than a hotel or hostel.
Usually, depending on your requirements and the amenities provided, you will get a place anywhere between 1500 – 5000 INR per night for the entire place. Also, avoid getting a place with a pool because you aren’t going to spend any time in it.
Trust me, you will spending the majority of your time relaxing at the beach or partying at the pubs only.
Resorts and Villas
Finally, if you aren’t held back by budget and feel that Goa trip happens only once (So not true in our case) then you can splurge a little on the resorts/villas here. Usually, these villas will start around 4000 – 5000 INR per night. But they will be spacious enough to fit 7-10 people at a time.
My personal favorite is Heritage Villa Resort & Spa as not only it is an exceptionally beautiful property but it also provides a large outdoor pool with a swim-up bar serving chilled beer and cocktails and a separate kids pool.
While Goa has become quite commercialized and crowded now, it is still an iconic trip that you have to do. And instead of spending all your time on beaches and partying, try to learn about the culture. Dive deep into the Goan history and you will be awarded some beautiful memories.
I hope that you find our guide helpful and let us know in the comments if you like it.
Also Read: 16 Magnificent Beaches to Visit in Goa