The Complete Guide for Goa Trip in 2022
Let’s face it. Most people visit Goa for the beaches and parties. However, there’s plenty more to experience. The Portuguese occupied Goa for about 450 years until the Indian Armed Forces finally drove them out in 1961.
The state was also a significant destination on the 1970s hippie trail. As a result, it’s quite unlike anywhere else in India and has a distinctly different culture. This Goa guide will help plan your trip.
Planning Your Trip
- Best Time to Visit: Goa’s tourist season runs from October to March, when the weather is warm and dry. Most beach shacks open in November. They pack up by April or May due to the extreme heat and humidity.
- Language: Konkani is the native language of most Goans, however, Marathi, English and Hindi are also common methods
- Currency: Indian rupee.
- Time Zone: kolkata also known as Indian Standard Time. Goa does not observe daylight saving time.
- Getting Around: Taxis and auto-rickshaws are the most common methods of transportation. There is a state-run, app-based taxi service called Goamiles. Hiring a motorcycle or scooter is popular and affordable.
- Travel Tip: The monsoon is ideal for spending time in the state’s mountainous interior hinterland.
Most people are surprised at how many things there are to do in Goa apart from the beach and nightlife. This includes water sports, exploring old forts, seeing the spice plantations, browsing museums and art galleries, bird watching at Doctor Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, hiking in the nature reserves, yoga and natural therapies, cruising along the Mandovi River with private yatch, betting at casino, listening to live jazz music, and of course shopping. Active travelers can go on these off-beat or walk tour
Three of the main things to do in Goa are:
- Hanging out at the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna beach, Friday Goa Collective Bazaar at Hilltop near Vagator, and Saturday Night Market at Arpora (between Anjuna and Baga). These markets are seasonal.
- Wandering around Old Goa.
What to Eat and Drink
Goan cuisine was influenced mainly by the Portuguese and is predominantly non-vegetarian. Lesser-known is the traditional cuisine of the state’s Hindu Saraswat Brahmin community. Fish curry and rice is a ubiquitous staple in Goa. Common types of dishes you’ll find on the menu are xacutti (coconut-based curry), cafreal (marinated and fried/grilled), sorpotel (stew), recheado (stuffed), ambot tik (sour and spicy), and vindaloo (fiery curry marinated with garlic and vinegar or wine). Goan chourico (sausages) and pao (bread) are popular as well. However, you’ll need to venture away from the beach shacks to get authentic Goan food.
Feni is Goa’s pungent local brew and the unofficial state drink. It’s made from cashew fruit or the sap of coconut palms. Drink it with tonic water or lemonade and a slice of lime. Avoid cheap, commercially produced feni though, as it has a distinctively unpleasant smell. Instead, try and get your hands on some home-distilled feni Or, a bottle of premium Big Boss or Kaju feni. It’s now possible to go straight to the source of Kaju feni, as the company has opened its cellar in the book. If you are looking for organic food then must visit https://www.ambrosiaorganicfarm.com/ this is the Goa’s first organic company and the have wide options like delivery @ your door step.
Where to Stay
Goa’s coastline extends for about 100 miles. Every beach is different, and there are so many types of attractions ranging from beach huts to villa’s It can be confusing! If you’re looking for action, base yourself in North Goa because South Goa is relatively undeveloped and laid-back. Most of the luxury hotels are situated in South Goa. Palolem is the most happening beach in South Goa, while Agonda is ideal for chilling out and doing nothing. Patnemoffers a bit of both. In North Goa, the Candolim-Calangute-Bagastretch of beaches is especially commercialized and gets super crowded during peak season. Backpacker hostels are prevalent near Anjuna beach, and the famous Wednesday flea market takes place there as well. The remaining psychedelic trance scene exists around Vagator beach, the Mandrem-Morjim-Ashwem stretch of beaches has become quite trendy, while Arambol is the new traveler’s center with a wide range of alternative therapies.
Goa has one airport. It’s an international airport that operates out of a military airbase in Dabolim, roughly equal distance from Goa’s north and south beaches. Most people take a prepaid taxi from the airport to their hotel. There’s a counter in the arrivals terminal where you can book and pay. A Bus also runs from the airport to Panjim, Calangute, and Margao.
Train is another option for getting to Goa. It’s handy for budget travelers, and conveniently has multiple stops in north and south Goa. The stretch from Mumbai to Goa along the Konkan Railway is particularly scenic.
Culture and Customs
Goa is more liberal than other states in India. This means women can wear short dresses and bikinis on the beach. There’s no need to dress conservatively.
While Goa has a reputation for being a party hub there are very strict drug laws. Those caught with drugs could face jail times of 6 months to 30 years and there is no option for bail.3
- Hotels offer huge discounts of up to 60 percent during the low season from May to September.
- There are many budget accommodations in Goa that don’t advertise on the Internet. If you’re not traveling during peak season (mid-December to mid-January), turn up and find a place and negotiate the rate.
- Stay in a dorm or private room in a backpacker hostel.
- Keep an eye out for happy hours and ladies’ nights at bars for cheap or free drinks.