A brief travel guide to Goa

Have you finally decided to take that long awaited holiday to India but aren’t sure where to go? If you’re looking for the perfect blend of colonial and modern charm, rich in history, cuisine and extraordinary culture, then look no further — Goa is your dream destination. Whether you’re looking to submerge yourself in vibrant city life or unwind by the seaside, Goa offers something for everyone.

"Goa coastline"

Goa coastline

History of Goa

Being a former Portuguese colony, Goa has a unique blend of cultures and architecture, attracting almost 2.5 million visitors every year. While many come as tourists, others venture out as pilgrims, drawn to the numerous Catholic and Hindu shrines.

Seeing that many coastal areas were under colonial rule longer than inland areas, it’s here where you’ll find greater Portuguese influence and consequently, a larger Christian population. Interior areas are home to the majority of Hindu communities and are chiefly comprised of villages, protected forests and mining zones.

Churches not to be missed: Mary Immaculate Conception, Reis Magos, St. Anne and Church of St. Augustine.

"Mary Immaculate Conception Church"

Mary Immaculate Conception Church. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Best Beaches of Goa

Situated along the Southwest coast, Goa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and trips to the shore are much more than crystal clear waters and glowing sands. Once there you’ll be met with mouthwatering Goan cuisine; the best dishes found in simple seaside huts and local markets.

"Beeches of Goa"
Beeches of Goa

If you’re looking for a quieter, serene atmosphere, you might want to stick with beaches in South Goa, but if you’re up for a night of music and dancing be sure to wander up north a bit. Popular waterfront areas include: Candolim, Baga, Arambol, Vagator and Palolem beaches.

Goan Art and Culture

Looking for a break from the sand and sun? Why not explore the countless art galleries, museums and libraries that Goa has to offer. One can easily spend a day in Panaji at the Kala Academy, Goa Science Center or State Museum.

If you’re interested in vintage aircraft, be sure to visit the Naval Aviation Museum in Vasco Da Gama. Old Goa is an ideal place to find both religious and secular art; both the Modern and Christian Art Museums are must-sees.

If you do decide to head into a city, keep in mind that many shops close around 20.00, and many observe a strict siesta break from 13.30 to 15.30.

"Palolem Beach Goa"

Palolem Beach Goa

Getting to Goa

While some airlines fly directly to Goa’s Dabolim airport in Vasco Da Gama, you’re better off finding a cheaper international flight via Mumbai. Once you arrive at Dabolim, look for prepaid taxis, which often offer a slightly better rate than yellow cabs.

If you have prior accommodations made, be sure to check with your resort as many offer free airport shuttles. If you’re travelling domestically, there are excellent bus and rail options available out of most major cities. Travelling by train is a popular way of getting to Goa, as it offers breathtaking views of the coasts and country sides.

Be sure to make reservations well in advance since many major trains are often times heavily booked.

While Goa enjoys a moderate, warm climate year-round, take extra care if you’re booking flights to India during Monsoon season, which lasts from June to mid-October. Now, what are you waiting for? Book your ticket to Goa today!

Hippie Beach in Arambol (Goa)

Author Bio:

Whether he is boarding flights to India, wandering the streets of Paris, or getting away from it all on a remote island, Vineet Desai is a writer and travel blogger who loves exploring new locations. He frequently takes time out to visit his family in Goa, but enjoys the freedom of going wherever he chooses and learning about new cultures. In his spare time he likes to study languages, watch movies and sample new flavours.

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55 Responses to “A brief travel guide to Goa”

  1. Michael Belk says:

    Now this looks like some places I have been. I like the spiritual dancing they were doing and everyone just respecting each other’s space. The dude at the edge of the pool was funny.

  2. Shalu Sharma says:

    You know Michael, that guy at the edge of the sea was a little funny as well. I wonder what he was doing.

  3. I will love to visit Goa after 10 years with my Wife :-)

  4. Richa Bist says:

    really beneficial for me…
    Thanx for sharing
    this is useful information….

  5. Ehsan Ullah says:

    This is for sure that whenever I travel to India, I’ll go to Goa because of those beautiful girls in beach lol, kidding 😛

    Thanks for sharing the travel guide to GOA. My only favorite place in India is GOA and Mumbai.

  6. Goa is just a dream place for me as I have never ever visited there till now. I not only want to visit there i want to settle there as its really an awesome place.

  7. Bhushan says:

    What a beautiful story about this beautiful land.I like it Goa very much because i have heard a lot of about Goa.My friends are recently on Goa trip.I am not with them because of my this busy schedule.I like Beaches of Goa so much….

  8. Goa has a special place in my heart. Thanks for this tour :)

  9. I visited there last year , Arambol is one the best place their. The nightlife is relaxed, with live music and jam sessions happening. Just north of Arambol are the deserted Keri beach and Tiracol Fort. It’s worth the walk there if you want total peace and privacy.

  10. sudeep says:

    Goa is a place which I wanted to go for long… did not happen yet…. Your article has made my memories addictive to Goa.. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Rakesh says:

    Goa has a special place in my heart..I used to go there to play on the lovely beeches. But I have not been there for a long time. I am thinking of going there again.

  12. Gaurav Kumar says:

    I have been to Goa many times from Bombay..its a lovely place to be. if you like hanging around on the beech and swimming in the sea you are going to like it. Arambol beech is a hippies hangout. lot of music, beer, rock n roll and a cool environment. I am back there next year…

  13. Arun Thomas says:

    Yes. Goa is beautiful place to be at especially for the nightlife and water sports at the beaches. I still love being at Aguada Beach in North Goa.

  14. Kiran Antony says:

    I heard lot about gova, i wished to go many times that not yet happened, anyways nice post …. i wish i could go there…..

  15. It’s great to learn more about Goa! I didn’t get that far south on my last trip to India (Udaipur was as south as I went) and I would love to head there when I plan to revisit India again in 2013 :)

  16. george says:

    Goa is best place to plan holidays for Honeymoon Tour and Beach Tour

  17. Went there when I was young! It’s been years and I don’t even remember how Goa looked! Planning to go with friends for a trip there! Am sure it’s gonna be fun Shalu! Cheers

  18. Your article has made my memories addictive to goa Thanks for sharing.

  19. Thank you for sharing this beautiful stuff with us.It’s give a beautiful look of goa……………..

  20. Megha Sarin says:

    I love GOA! It is a place to be.


  21. pradip says:

    in India Goa city is a interesting place and here available many of beech and amazing location.It’s really good topic on Goa travel and it definitely can help when i traveled the Goa. Keep up on working good article like this. thanks

  22. Richa says:

    Goa is indeed a very beautiful place. Thee beaches and the church there are just amazing. I went on a trip to Goa with friends and it was just unforgettable. Thanks for sharing the history, Shalu. It is surely a dream destination for vacations.

  23. Shane says:

    One of the famous seacoast in India. Lots of tourists comes to this place.

  24. Felicia says:

    Hi Shalu,
    Great beaches in Goa! It goes to show I know very little about India and its natural beauty. I recalled that a friend of mine took a vacation in India and he said most of the time they were in different beaches. I think he was referring to Goa’s beaches. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Aayna says:

    Goa is one of the most enticing places in India. The beaches and the churches of the city are worth visiting. The city has a culture of its own.The post provides a detailed information about Goa. The video is amazing. Thanks for the share.

  26. Margarita says:

    Goa is definitely a fantastic place to relax, visit great beaches, meet people from all over the world and sharing with them your experiences in India. I loved it, I could go pretty much everywhere there. The only thing I didn’t like that much was that sometimes it’s pretty hard to find real indian food. Since is a major tourist destination all restaurants want to please foreigners with western meals… huge mistake!

    Still, one of the places you can’t miss if you go to this beautiful country.

  27. Joy says:

    Goa seems to be one of the best tourist destinations in India and I will definitely make a side-trip! Thanks Shalu :)

  28. Kristine says:

    Hi Shalu, thanks for the interesting share. Goa seems to be another great destination in India that I can’t wait to explore :)

  29. Dipa says:

    Love your blog Shalu- am a regular here-at least when i have the time:-).

    Unfortunately most tourists come to Goa only to get high on drugs etc-at least that is the common purpose behind the visit.very few are in it for actual sightseeing/nature. Additionally, there were also a few cases where foreign women tourists were assaulted by some locals. all these things make a bad name for the country. Thanks for the detailed/informative post though!

  30. Arun Naik says:

    I love Goa. Goa is famous for the churches and beaches. Beaches in Goa are fantastic and you love to cuisine to get by the beaches.

    I love the visit to Baga Beach in Goa. Its the best beach I have ever seen.

  31. Fatima says:

    Goa has always intrigued me and after reading your post I feel like packing my bags and flying over to this beautiful beach. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Abhishek says:

    the Portuguese touch in Goa makes it one of a kind place in India and a top priority in the visitors list…but I must also mention that in the last few years Goa has been associated with a lot of negatives as well mainly on account of drug usage, cases of assaults etc which has dented its image…

  33. Ferb says:

    Thanks for the travel guides, I’ll have the opportunity to travel Goa soon :)

    Thank you – Ferb

  34. good post for those who want to know more about goa tourism and trips

  35. Goa is the one of the very famous tourist place when we consider globally. Tourists are coming form different countries to Goa in summer.

  36. anandmaratha says:

    Hey. I want to drop you a quick note to verbalize my appreciation. I have been watching your web site for several days and have got a heap of excellent tips plus cherished the way you have built your site. I’m going to create my own site however I sense it’s very basic in addition to I want to focus more on certain topics.

  37. Manya Singh says:

    Goa Carnival Festival is one of the best festivals celebrated around Goa. Another thing is to stay with the locals, which is most pleasurable thing and definitely not to miss.

  38. I am fan of india and its culture..i will surly plan a vacation to visit these beautiful places..

    Kevin Clerk

  39. anandmaratha says:

    i visit goa beach before 8 years that time they are quite good place to visit but recent i am not in goa for long time i think things are change quite little bit there i love to visit goa again

  40. Jessica says:

    I like your point with regards on your post, It seems to be interesting and great to hang out with friends.

  41. Sheenah Tan says:

    The hippie beach looks fantastic.

    Thanks for the interesting post Shalu!

  42. Pooja Sharma says:

    Goa used to be the beach paradise. Now it is filthy!

  43. Goa, one of the most beautiful tourist place in India, has several beautiful beaches. Aguada beach, Palolem beach and Baga beach are most famous beaches in Goa.

  44. kalpana says:

    fabulous place amazing I love goa. Thanks for this Interesting Post…

  45. Goa is the best place i have ever seen and the way this post is written i think you too are also pleased with the beauty of Goa.

  46. goa is undoubtedly the place to visit in india, it has everything that is required to have perfect holiday

  47. Raj Kumbh says:

    Yes Goa is a perfect holiday destination in India. There are good holiday packages available online for Goa. It is a very charming and lovely place to visit and relax.

  48. Woking says:

    Goa is a beautiful place. I’d love to visit it.

  49. Penny Sadler says:

    The hippie beach in Goa is how imaagine Goa to be. Is it only on this beach?

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