Goa Travel Blog: Table of Contents
Goa on C&C
Best Time To Visit Goa
Where to Stay in Goa
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Goa
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City
Goa Travel Blog: Where, How?
Goa, India, Asia
Population: 1,457,723 (2011)
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Airport Notes: The Goa International Airport, situated in the city of Dabolim, is the only airport in the state of Goa. It is the ninth largest airport in all of India. It has one entrance, used by both tourists and military. The airport is closed for certain hours during the day. It has one terminal that handles both international and domestic flights.
The three-level terminal has 75 check-in counters, 22 immigration stations for departures, 18 immigration stations for arrivals, 14 security check booths and 8 customs desks. Major airlines traveling in and out of this airport are Air India, Air Asia India, Azur Air, Aeroflot, London Gatwick, Thomson Airways, Thomson Cook Airlines, and more.
Transportation to-and-from the Airport:
Taxis are the most recommended form or transportation to and from the airport. There are local buses, however, they are not very frequent and often very crowded. Driving is another option, with rental cars available inside the terminal.
If you are looking to take the train, the Dabolim Railways Station is the nearest station to the airport, located approximately 5 kilometers away. Pre-paid taxis can also be requested at the airport. There are various transportation plans for the airport currently underway.
Much of Goa’s transportation services are operated by private transportation companies. They provide several inner-city bus transportation routes. Government bus services are overseen by Kadamba Transport Corporation, linking the larger and smaller routes throughout the state.
Other popular forms of paid transportation include un-metered taxis and auto rickshaws (three-wheelers). “Pilot Service,” or motorcycle rickshaws, are also available for those traveling solo. These services can be obtained for the entire day if needed, however, you will need to negotiate the price with the driver beforehand.
Women’s Taxi Service is the title for a fleet of taxi drivers exclusively reserved for female passengers and families. Pre-paid taxis and rental cars are available in Goa. Ola, Uber, Zoomcar are some of the more affordable and easy to obtain options. Additionally, there is a ferry service available in Goa for those looking to travel on the water.
A Note on Taxis:
Taking a taxi in Goa is pretty much the same everywhere in the country, would they be a car or an autorickshaw: use your GPS to evaluate the distance you’re travelling, decide on a price you’re willing to pay, negotiate with the driver before getting in, and have exact change. That way, you’ll get to your destination faster and you wont have to argue with the driver if he decides to make a few detours, because the price has already been fixed.
AFAIK, Uber isn’t available in Goa.
The ocean is west. Remember where the ocean is and you’ll know in which direction you’re headed.
Goa isn’t a city, it’s a province.
The southern part of the province is mostly visited by Indians, whereas the north of the province hosts a majority of Western tourists.
Palolem Beach is located in South Goa. It is the most visited beach in the area.
Other popular beaches nearby include Colva, Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna.
More About Goa on C&C
Best Time To Visit Goa
Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures
Average Monthly Hours Of Sunshine
Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall
Goa Travel Blog: Personal Notes
What’s This Place About?
Goa is a beach paradise. It’s the most laid-back province of all of India. It’s also a place where a lot of (expat) hippies live. “Goa Trance” has become a style of music because of the popularity of the electronic music dance parties on the beaches of Goa. Even though this popularity has somewhat subsided, it’s still a great place to find electronic music parties (and plenty of hard drugs).
What’s Great and Fun?
Other than the beach parties, Goa is still a vacation destination for all sorts of people. Indians of all walks of life love to go to Goa to relax. Cold beer, cheap food, cheap accommodation, riding around on a motorbike at tropical temperatures, and a laid-back attitude with a few great options where to stay in Goa. What’s not to love?
One of the most entertaining moments of my visit to Goa is when I visited a club that offered a free open bar and free entrance to all women, each Wednesday. I’m sure you can imagine how that went.
Goa Travel Blog: Where to Stay in Goa
Don’t expect the hostels where to stay in Goa to be extremely modern and clean; it is a less well-developed city after all. Having said that, Happy Panda Hostel, #Hashtag Rooms and Folklore Hostel Goa are good hostels if you’re on a budget.
Since this is a larger province, well-rated hotels where to stay in Goa are scattered around the coast, so it really depends on your preference which exact area you’d like to stay in. Seashell Villas The Villa Resort and Resort Coqueiral are both great hotels that are comfortable, clean, and provide good service.
Also, when looking where to stay in Goa, consider Anahata Retreat, it gives you a full beach getaway experience, where you can stay in huts overnight by the sea.
Other great options where to stay in Goa are Patnem Dwarka and The Sovva Hotel.
Obviously there are also the usual chain hotels where to stay in Goa, such as Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa and Le Méridien Goa.
Just like everywhere, Airbnb is a very interesting option. If you’re not already a member, you can use this Airbnb link to get $40 off your first reservation and find a great place where to stay in Goa.
Goa Travel Blog: Let’s Eat!
Famous Foods and Specialties:
- Cucumber Cake – this popular Goan baked good is often served for dessert. The simple recipe consists of shredded cucumber, flour, sugar, and eggs.
- Ambot Tik – a spicy and sour favorite of the locals typically made with shrimp, or a chunky fish, such as shark or catfish. The fish is cooked in a spicy sauce and served over rice with a salad.
- Sannas – a fluffy white bread baked with ground rice and coconut, commonly served with curry. It can accompany breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Sorpotel – fried pork simmered with onions, green chilis, and herbs. The finished product is a thickened stew-like dish typically served with sannas.
- Pork Vindaloo – this famous Goan dish combines ginger, chilies, cumin, and garlic to make a delicious red masala. Vinegar-laced pork is added and cooked until tender.
- Perad – a jam made from guava paste that is commonly served with crackers or bread.
Street food is also delicious in Goa. Don’t be afraid to try some authentic cuisine sold by street vendors throughout the region.
Goa Travel Blog – The Best Drunk Food:
- Goan Sausages – thick pork sausages which are immersed in pickling spices before being sun-dried. The sausages are typically served with Pulao rice or as a sandwich.
- Chicken Pakodas – boneless chicken tenders that are battered and deep-fried. Other popular variations include onion, egg bread, and cabbage pakodas,
Our Suggestions – Dishes and Restaurants:
Goan cuisine is a mixture of South Indian and Catholic influence. The state is well-known for its cashews and spices. The infusion of rice, seafood, coconut, vegetables, meats, pork cuts, and local all combine to make their local dishes memorable and delicious.
Still considered one of the best restaurants in Goa is a Greek place called Thalassa.
This is another destination where I’ve mostly enjoyed eating at small, street-food-style eateries and just getting what everybody got. There are many small restaurants, especially in Vagator, that serve a great vidaloo. Indian Red Chillie is a great example!
There also are many, many restaurants serving bad “Western food”. I don’t know why. My tip? Avoid them like the plague.
There might be one strange exception to this rule: I actually (relatively) enjoyed Sakana Japanese Cuisine.
Goa Travel Blog: Let’s Go For a Drink
Goa Travel Blog – What Do the Locals Drink?
Fani is one of the most popular drinks in Goa. It is a liquor is made from cashew apples. It is produced in Goa and not sold outside of the state.
Kingfisher is the best-selling brand of beer in India.
Drinking in Public
Drinking alcohol in public is generally just not viewed as socially acceptable in the state of Goa. As of late 2017, the government is working to issue a complete ban on drinking liquor in public spaces.
Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs
Goa has a special tax-free status on spirits, and many of the local bars take advantage of this. In general, beer, wine, and cocktails are easily available and inexpensive, including imported liquors. Goa is known for its nightlife and is considered one the most socially enjoyable states in the country. Drugs and alcohol are not difficult to obtain. The city comes alive in the night time.
Wanna go to a fun, dirty, strange, weird and really reckless place? The Mango Tree.
I think Tito’s Lane – a little street full of clubs and bars – is fun, but it’s clearly a bit of a dodgy place. Advice: Avoid this place when looking where to stay in Goa.
Popular drinking establishments in Goa include The Black Sheep Bistro, Waters Beach Lounge & Grill, and Riverfront Bar & Restaurant.
Note: Waters Beach Lounge & Grill has since closed its doors.
As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!
Goa Travel Blog: What to see and do
Goa is one of India’s best-known tourist destinations. Even though Goa’s beautiful beaches often steal the headlines, the city has an assortment of other top-rated attractions to offer visiting tourists as well. But lacks of a lot of places where to stay in Goa.
The Beaches of Goa are divided into two sections. The northern beaches are considered more touristy and commercialized. There is an abundance of mid-to-low budget lodging options available in this area. The southern beaches feature more luxurious accommodations, including some private beach areas. Keri Beach (aka Querim Beach), Mandrem, Morjim, and Siridao are highly recommended “secret” beach destinations.
Panaji, Old Goa, Margaon, Mapusa, and Calizz are the most prominent places to visit in Goa. The cities most historically significant destinations include three large churches. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, and Se Cathedral.
Chapora Fort and Fort Aguada are the two note-worthy landmarks in the northern part of Goa. The Japanese Garden, the Church of the Holy Spirit, and Fort Cabo De Rama are a few historical sites located in the southern sector of the city.
Goa is full of local markets and beach vendors looking to sell anything and everything under the sun. It is best to do your souvenir shopping in these areas. The city is famous for its different flavors of cashews, various spices, and other traditional Goan items. Mapusa and Anjuna are two of the most favored markets in Goa.
Goa’s rich biodiversity can be found on display at several key landmarks throughout the city, including the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Mollem National Park, the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
The Goa Carnival is a series of festivities that take place for several months celebrating the end of one year, and the beginning of a new. The tradition goes back to when the Portuguese first arrived in 1510. Colorful parades fill the city with music, dance, and performances engulf the streets. The Carnival is not celebrated anywhere else in India. Good Friday and The Feast of the Kings highlight some of the other religious festivals typical of the Goan tradition.
The city’s nightlife is remarkable, as the locals love to indulge and celebrate. With easy access to alcohol, the Goan nightlife experience can be quite unforgettable.
Tipping in Goa
Just like in most of Asia, it is not expected to tip but it is a nice gesture. If you have received good service, you can tip 7-10% of the total cost of the bill.
Goa Travel Blog: Common Scams & What to Avoid
There are plenty (plenty) of scams in Goa. Be careful. Don’t get too drunk or fucked up, this is when they like to pounce. Be aware of the presence of different gangs, including the Russian mafia. Be extra careful on Tito’s Lane.
Negotiate the fare before getting on.
Be careful on Tito’s Lane.
How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks
READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for India