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Goa Travel Guide

Name: Goa
Area: 3,702 sq. km. (1,429 sq. mi)
Population: 1,820,000
Language: Hindi, English, Konkani
Capital: Panaji
Currency: Indian Rupee
Time Zone: UTC + 5:30 (IST)
Religions and Beliefs: Hinduism, Christianity, Muslim and Sikhism

Goa, India’s smallest state on the southwestern coast, is located in the Western Ghats, which is famous for its biodiversity. Goa is well-known for its crowded beaches, such as Anjuna and Calangute Beaches, attracting numerous tourists from home and abroad every year. Also, this state is rich in animal and plant resources. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary with various flora and fauna is great for family tours with children. In addition, Goa’s churches and monasteries are highlights of your Goa travel, of which the Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most popular Christian pilgrimages in Asia, also a fine example of the baroque architecture. Historically, Goa was once colonized by Portugal, so the streets, shops and bars in Panaji (Goa’s capital) all have strong Portuguese architectural features.

Goa Map

Goa provides everything to the beach lovers. With endless water activities and colorful nightclubs, Anjuna Beach becomes one of the most popular beaches. It’s a paradise for hippies and famous for its Wednesday Flea Market, beach shacks, rave party and coastline scenery. However, Goa’s not just about beach and nightlife. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a Portuguese church listed as a World Heritage Site, housing the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Calangute Beach can be described as a celebrity beach of Goa, offering rich watersports, sunbathing, parasailing and medicinal spring… Besides, the Baga Beach and Palolem Beach are well worth visiting.

Best Time to Visit Goa: October to January

Located in the tropics and close to the Arabian Sea, Goa had a warm and humid climate for most of the year. From October to January is the best time to plan a Goa travel. During this season, tourists can enjoy a cool and pleasant average temperature ranging from 28°C to 30°C (82.4 - 86℉). May is the hottest month of the year in Goa, when the temperature exceeds 35°C (95℉) with high humidity during the day. December is the coolest month with a low temperature at 20°C (68℉) at night, so you can wear jackets and jeans.

7-Day Panaji Weather Forecast

Ranking List of Goa Food

To have a perfect Goa travel, delicacy exploration is a crucial part for gastronomes. Goan Fish Curry is a staple food for most of Goanese, which is made of pomfret, together with coconut, raw mango slices, and chopped onion. However, the pomfret can also be replaced by albacore and salmon. Pork Vindaloo is a curried dish inspired by Portuguese colonizers. The pork is marinated in the special spice mix, making the meat fragrant and tender. Bebinca is a popular dessert, a multi-layered cake made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar, and flour. Usually, it’s served with ice-cream to enhance the flavors.

Best Restaurants in Goa
  • Thalassa:  Plot No 301/1 Vaddy, Siolim, Bardez, North Goa. The highlight of Thalassa is to enjoy Goa’s best sunset views and exotic European food at the same time. The foods served are vegetarian friendly, featuring exquisite Greek food - Thalassa.
  • La Plage:  Ashvem Road, Ashvem Beach, Mandrem, Goa. Nearby the Ashvem Beach, La Plage provides tourists with a great convenience for enjoying a western-style meal in a relaxed tropical atmosphere after the beach exploring.
  • The Red Ginger:  Florida Garden, Colva Road Vanelim, Margao, South Goa. This restaurant is an Asian-themed restaurant with red interiors. You can enjoy varieties of services like Bar, Take Away, Night Life and so on.
Where to Stay in Goa

If you’re visiting Goa for the first time, Panaji is the best place to stay, where you’ll find most of Goa’s cultural and historical attractions, and charming Old Goa. Both the luxury Goa Marriott Resort & Spa and budget Hospedaria Abrigo De Botelho are great choices here. Bardez is the most exciting district gathering Goa’s hottest clubs, busiest beaches and rave parties, which are perfect for people who love clubbing. Beach Box Hotel Baga near the beach is recommended. Canacona, Goa’s southernmost region, has the most peaceful beaches, offering the best options for families to stay and you can choose hotels like Credo Jungle Resort.

Transportation in Goa

The only airport in Goa called Dabolim Airport operates domestic flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. and international flights to cities like Moscow and Dubai. It’s about 29 km (18 miles) from Panjim - Goa’s capital. Goa has 19 train stations but the two major railway stations are Madgaon Railway Station (MAO) at Margao and Vasco da Gama Railway Station (VSG). It’s easily accessible to the major cities of India including New Delhi, Mumbai and Agra from Madgaon Railway Station while more long-distance trains stop at Vasco da Gama Railway Station.

Motorcycles and taxis are the most common transport means for internal Goa travel. However, the taxi prices are often higher than others, around ₹1,500 to ₹2,500 for a day’s sightseeing. Auto/rickshaw is India’s most typical short-haul vehicle, usually costing ₹25 within 2km and ₹8/km for the extra distance. In addition, there are ferries services in some areas of Goa, most of which run every around half hour from 7:00 to 22:00, free to pedestrians and two-wheelers.

Top Shopping Markets
  • Anjuna Wednesday Flea Market:  Anjuna Beach, Anjuna, Bardez India. Organized every Wednesday from 7:00 to 19:00, this market with a gorgeous sunset view is the best place where you can choose items like beachwear, jewelry, spices and handicrafts.
  • Calangute Market Square:  Calangute-Baga Road, Calangute, North Goa. This market is well-known for its traditional Indian and Tibetan goods like silver-work, semi-precious stone-studded jewelry, and exotic wooden Buddha statues.
  • The Saturday Night Market:  H. No. 392, Casa Babu, Agauda - Siolim Road, Arpora. The Saturday Night Market is divided into three sections where you can buy from high-end to basic fashion objects and enjoy entertainment and food flavors.

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