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 thoughts on “A brief travel guide to Goa

  1. 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.
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  2. 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….

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.
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  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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  20. My next job interview is about to be held in Goa, I’m really excited to go to Goa, I’m waiting for the time of My Interview.

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