Goa is a coastal city located on the South-West Part of India. Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Goa is the gateway to nature and beach lovers. Not only that, Goa is a paradise for party lovers. Goa has beautiful beaches, natural landscapes and fabulous food. Visiting goa seems like a complete journey as it offers everything you need as a traveller. Pack your bags now because this below information guide might tempt you.
Weather, Seasons & Best Time to Visit
Goa is hot due to its geographical location. Located close to the ocean, Goa humid feels tropical. Even though Goa’s temperature is not consistent throughout the year, it feels hot. The highest temperature goes up to 33°C, and the lowest will be 20°C.
Cost of Living
India, on the whole, is reasonable. The cost of living in Goa is much less than any other western countries. Even though Goa experiences high and low seasons, the entire expense is much cheaper. The hotel rent is much more affordable than any European countries but a little expensive compared to other Indian cities.
Best Area to Stay
Even though Goa is a small word, but the region geographically is enormous. Lets divided Goa into three main sections, namely North Goa, Margao, and South Goa. The areas in the North Goa are much popular among tourist. Margao or the midsection of Goa is decent enough to stay, even though there are fewer beaches. South Goa is the most peaceful and almost zero tourists. The South of Goa is not recommended for halting, but worth travelling. My favorate location to stay is somewhere close to Anjuna Beach, North Goa.
Choosing the Best Hotel
As recommended above, North Goa has beautiful hotels, resorts and even hostels. If you are travelling to Goa and want to stay at a beach house, watch out as you can get scammed online. Check the property online and read some reviews. I strongly recommend researching before booking any property in Goa.
Important Sightseeing Destinations
Goa has tons of Sightseeing Destinations, and half of those are beaches. Beautiful beaches like Anjuna, Vagator, Bagjuna, Baga beach are the best place to visit and relax. Ozran beach was famous among the hippies, and you can find a stone carved Shiva Face at the edge of the beach. Goa also has historic destinations like Chapora Fort, Aguda Fort, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla, Harvalem Caves etc. There are also places like Museums, Planetarium and Casinos.
What & Where to Eat?
Goa is traditionally a Konkan land even though most of the people in Goa are Russians. Goan cuisine has more of Konkan culture to it. Goan Fish Curry is the most famous dish. Goan Fish Curry tastes similar to Mangalore Fish Curry, but there is a slight difference in flavours and spices. The other must-try dishes are Prawns Xeque Xeque, Bebinca (Indo-Portuguese Dish), Fish Recheado, Goan Khatkhate and Sannas with Samarachi Kodi. Goa has many places to eat, but I strongly recommend to eat in small restaurants located everywhere along the beachside. I also recommend you to try Maggi Noodles sold in small tea shops everywhere because it’s just yummy. I used to go near Anjuna Beach where a woman from Shivamogga makes amazing Noodles and talks my native language Kannada.
Where to do shopping?
Goa is great for shopping for clothes because of its cheap and good quality. There are no specific places I can recommend for shopping but look for popup markets. Other than popup markets you can also check Anjuna Flea Market, Anjuna Flea Market and Saturday Night Market at Arpora. Just rent a bike and go near Ozran beach, if you are interested to buy some colourful clothes made by white hippies.
Goa is known for cheap beer and crazy party. There are a lot of bars on the beach where you can sit and chill drinking cheap local beer. If you are looking to Party in Goa then my suggestions are these: Cafe Mojo, Cafe Lilliput, Tease Bar, Tito’s Pub, Chronicle, LPK Waterfront Club etc. My favorate would be LPK Waterfront Club it looks incredible inside out. The liquor rates are also cheap comparing to other cities in India. If you are planning to visit Goa for parties then, I recommend you to visit during SunBurn Season. Sunburn is a commercial electronic dance music festival held in Vagator, Goa every ear during Christmas season.
Scams in Goa
Goa is one of the highest visited tourist destinations in India, which means there are a lot of scams. Even though Goa is the safest place in India, scams can land you in trouble.
- Drugs – Goa is known for drug peddlers, however, the police are on high alert. I was checked twice for drugs on 2 different days just for asking directions. I mean it’s not like the police will target you, but if you have stuff, then you are in big trouble.
- Prostitution – Goa is also known for Illegal prostitution. India has serious law towards prostitution, therefore, involving yourself in this as a tourist, might destroy your whole life. If anyone approaches you for the cheap sex trade, ignore it wisely.
- Renting Bikes/Cars – I do not know if I can call this as a scam but renting bikes or cars might be disasters sometimes. If the bikes or cars you rent is somehow damaged, you can be under big trouble, as the renter might ask you for a large sum of money.
These are the three major scams, but there are a lot more scams which may occur if you are not careful. Scams like Taxi Driver Fake Currency Scam, Cops charging extra from tourist scam etc.
Useful Travel Tips
Goa is hot and if you are going to the beach then make sure you apply high SPF sunscreen to avoid Sunburns. If you are shopping, make sure you bargain till the other person loses. Indians love to bargain so do it! Keep your personal belongings safe while on sand or sea. There are a lot of Pickpockters in Goa especially Vagator Beach. Rent a room well before you travel, because it is very difficult to find a suitable property to stay, as well as most of the hotels, are full.
Goa is one of the most beautiful places which comes under anyone’s budget. Make sure to visit at least once, I can bet you will never go back home.