Goa is divided into two parts based on the geography. If you are staying in the northern part and are wondering what to do in Goa, then one of the best things to do in Goa is visit one of the many beaches. Depending on your mood and travel style, you can choose among the best beaches in north Goa for a memorable vacation. Baga, Candolim and Calangute are located close to each other and promise myriad opportunities for adventure lovers and nature seekers.
Calangute and Baga are where you can try water sports including parasailing, banana boat rides and water scooter rides. Candolim, on the other hand, is home to numerous cafes which serve delectable seafood delicacies. It’s also a great spot if you want to enjoy the nightlife of Goa. The cafes host karaoke nights and live gigs every day during the peak season.
For off-beat travellers, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Arambol are perfect. A little away from the main town, these beaches promise spell-binding views. Gradually tourists have started exploring these lesser-known beaches which are now home to numerous homestays and luxury resorts.
Cost: Exploring the beaches in North Goa can cost travellers anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.4000 depending on the places you visit and the restaurants you include in your things to do in Goa itinerary.
Shopping is one of the best and most fulfilling things to do in Goa. If you want to learn more about the people, the culture and of course take home some goodies, then keep aside a day for exploring the boutiques and markets. While the local markets are a delight to explore, there is another part of shopping in Goa that is definitely worth exploring. It's the local boutiques.
Swanky interiors, soft pastel shades and a welcoming smile are trademarks of new-age boutiques in Goa. But another thing that will attract you are the reasonable rates. Selling everything from apparel, home decor, jewellery to shoes, beachwear and food items – these boutiques have become one a must-include in your things to do in Goa itinerary.
Do take out some time to chat with locals here while you choose your favourites. While bargaining is not encouraged, you can try your luck and ask for discounts.
There are a number of boutiques which are ideal for shopping enthusiasts, among which our favourites are Sosa’s which offers apparel and accessories created by designers from across the country, People Tree which is known for ethical and sustainable shopping options, Paper Boat Collective and Janota which is run by locals and offers quirky and reasonable footwear.
Cost: Shopping in Goa’s designer boutiques can cost you anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.10,000.
Water sports is one of the most popular things to do in Goa. So much so that if you don't try these adrenaline-pumping activities, your trip to Goa is incomplete. From little ones to adults, these exciting water activities are for everyone and we suggest taking the plunge. Depending on your budget and mood, you can customise your things to do in Goa itinerary and only include what you prefer.
If you are travelling with little ones, we recommend including water scooter rides, banana boat rides, a luxurious boat ride and parasailing. On the other hand, adventure enthusiasts can include everything from snorkelling, deep diving to surfing in your things to do in Goa itinerary. It's recommended to try these activities under the supervision of experts.
If water sports is going to be one of the things you do in Goa then we also suggest keeping aside a few hours from your day. Both north and south Goa offer umpteen opportunities and depending on where you are staying, you can plan your itinerary. The most popular beaches for water sports are Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Palolem and Anjuna.
Cost: Exploring water sports in Goa can cost you between Rs.200 to Rs.1800.
If you ask a local about the best things to do in Goa, this will probably be on top of the list. Exploring the night markets of Goa is something you just can't get enough of. Taking you into another world, these bustling night markets show a different side of the beach town.
The most popular night markets which should be included in your things to do in Goa itinerary are Baga night market, Mackie’s Night Market and the one at Arpora. With everything from apparel, jewellery, beachwear, handicrafts to food items, local wine, flip flops and home decor, these markets will definitely spoil you for choice.
Bargaining will help in taking home some of the best deals and so will interacting with locals. If shopping is not something you enjoy, you can head here to enjoy the local delicacies. All night markets are set up around popular eateries and sometimes also include local vendors. You can try Goan dishes including prawn xacuti and fish curry while browsing through an enthralling display of accessories.
Cost: Shopping in Goa can cost you anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.5000 depending on what your shopping list includes.
Goa is one of the few places in the country which offers snorkelling. Since snorkelling depends on the season, you must plan your trip in a way that this water sport is a part of your things to do in Goa itinerary.
The most important thing to ensure before planning a snorkelling trip is that you are doing this activity under guided supervision. There are umpteen tour operators who arrange snorkelling tours and for the best tour options, you must ask the locals for suggestions. Bogmalo Beach, Calangute and Baga are some of the most popular beaches for snorkelling in Goa but depending on the tour operator you choose, you might want to try a new place.
While one doesn't need any elaborate training before diving in, there is a short session on safety and guidelines which everyone needs to follow. If snorkelling is a part of your things to do in Goa itinerary, remember to keep aside at least three to four hours for the entire experience.
Cost: Snorkelling tours in a things to do in Goa itinerary can cost travellers anywhere between Rs.1500 to Rs.3000.
Yes, it may come as a surprise to some of you but trekking is one of the best things to do in Goa. Especially for those who want to explore the natural beauty of this state. Popular across the world as a beach destination, what most travellers don’t know is that Goa is also home to numerous trekking trails.
Among the best places to try trekking in Goa is Dudhsagar Falls. One of the most beautiful places to see in Goa, it’s also a delight for adventure lovers. To plan a visit to Dudhsagar for trekking, you need to keep aside one full day. One of the tallest waterfall in the world, it is located 60km from the city. One can also combine a trip to the waterfalls with the popular Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
Monsoon is the best time to plan a visit here to admire the gushing waterfalls and also enjoy a luxurious picnic. We do recommend that you explore the waterfalls with the help of a local guide so you can see lesser-known spots and learn more about the local flora and fauna.
Cost: A trekking tour to Dudhsagar Waterfalls in your things to do in Goa itinerary can cost you between Rs.1000 to Rs.5000.
Visiting spice plantations is counted among the most enthralling things to do in Goa. Spices are a part of the local produce in Goa and are abundantly available in night markets and other bazaars. A visit to spice plantations will give you an opportunity to learn more about the intricacies of the spice industry.
A visit to spice plantations can be organised by local tour operators. But remember that you will have to keep aside at least 3 to 4 hours for an insightful tour. Savoi Plantations is one of the oldest and most popular spice plantations in Goa but if you don’t want to travel 25km away from the city, you can also visit Sahakar Spice Farm and Parvati Mandav Park Plantation.
Not only do these plantations offer an informational tour but also give you a chance to take back some local produce.
Cost: The cost of visiting spice plantations in your things to do in Goa itinerary can be anywhere between Rs.1500 to Rs.3000 including commute.
Goa makes it to the list of best party places in India. Complete with swanky nightclubs, welcoming lounges, world music and live gigs, partying is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Goa. There are nightclubs and lounges both in North and South Goa, however, the party culture is dramatically different. While the pubs and nightclubs in South Goa focus more on world music and silent parties, the pubs at North Goa play everything from popular, Bollywood to House music.
Depending on your budget and your party style, you can opt for either of the two parts of town to have a good time. In north Goa, Club Cabana, Love Passion Karma or LPK, Antares, Titos, Mambos and SinQ are some of the best places to party. On the other hand, Gatsby's Pub, Smuggler’s Inn, Outback Bar and Sundowner are the best places to enjoy the music and the laidback vibe of Goa.
Before you plan a night out of music and dancing, it’s important to remember that most clubs in Goa don’t allow stag entry and we recommend asking the nightclub about their rules before heading out.
Cost: A night of partying in Goa can cost you anywhere between Rs.1000 to Rs.10,000.
If this is your first trip to the beach town and you are looking for things to do in Goa, our top suggestion is a culinary tour. Goa is one of the richest states when it comes to food and there is just so much to try. Though the local food culture in the state has been influenced by a steady stream of tourists, the local food remains untouched. This holds true especially if you visit local Goan restaurants. Passed from generation to generation, these restaurants stick to age-old recipes and promise a gastronomic journey you won't forget.
Prawn xacuti, Goan fish curry, seafood platter, veg vindaloo, sorpotel, sorak and bibingka are some of the most popular dishes and should be a part of your culinary fare. There are several restaurants that offer a delicious treat and while we have favourites, we recommend discovering your own food trail.
For an authentic experience of local cuisine in Goa, we recommend visiting Amigos, Joe’s River Cove, Mum’s Kitchen, Viva, Bean Me Up and Furtado’s.
Cost: A meal in Goa will cost you between Rs.200 to Rs.2000.
History lovers visiting the city will be spoilt for choice when looking for things to do in Goa since the city offers so much. The first on our list is an enthralling tour of archaic churches. Popular across the world, the churches of Goa are a huge draw for thousands of travellers every year.
Bom Jesus Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the most beautiful churches here. A visit to this beauty should definitely be a part of your things to do in Goa list. The baroque architecture that the church boasts of is one of the main reasons history lovers and architecture buffs visit. But another reason why spiritual seekers visit is that the church preserves the remains of St. Francis Xavier.
Another church which should be a part of your things to do in Goa itinerary is the Se Cathedral. Among the largest and oldest churches in the country, it was built to celebrate the victory of a Portuguese ruler. Boasting of a Portuguese-Manueline architectural style, the church is a delight for architecture buffs. The most striking feature about this grand church is the huge Golden Bell. It is said to be the largest bell in the state and one can hear the ring of the bell for miles. While you can visit the church at any time of the day, we especially recommend heading here on a Sunday. For those who want to learn more about the architecture and history of the church, we recommend booking local Goa tours.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Church of St Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine and Church of Lady of Rosary are some of the other churches in Goa which you must visit.
Cost: A tour of the churches in things to do in Goa packages can cost travellers anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.1500.
It's said that nothing comes close to a beach sunset. While we completely second that, another place that you must head to for breathtaking sunsets are the forts in Goa. During the evening as the sun is slowly setting, the skies take on different hues of yellow and orange and one can hear the soft chirping of birds. Travellers have often said that sunsets views from the fort courtyard are incomparable. Perhaps it's the solitude or just the sheer natural beauty, but admiring a sunset from the fort must be a part of your things to do in Goa list.
Chapora and Aguada are the most popular forts in Goa and rightly so. The views from both these forts are breathtaking and you'll definitely be back for more. Chapora Fort has been featured in numerous Bollywood movies and you may feel nostalgic when posing for pictures here.
All forts in Goa have a rich historical past and you may need to read up a little before you go. If forts are a part of your local sightseeing tour, your guide will give you interesting information about the history and architecture. Though these two are the most popular forts in the city, Corjuem, Cabo and Reis Magos Fort are also definitely worth visiting.
Cost: A tour of all forts in Goa can cost you anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.800.
If you have always wanted to be one with the sea, then surfing is one of the best things to do in Goa. Perfect for both amateurs and professionals, Goa offers the perfect conditions to learn surfing and also to hone your skills. Among the best surfing schools and operators in Goa, Goa Wala, Banana Surf School and Atlantis Water Sports are ones which organise the most enthralling tours. You can be assured of a safe and secure session. While surfing is an all-season sport, we recommend staying away from the surfboard during monsoon. The best time to try surfing is during summer.
Among the best beaches for surfing, we recommend Ashvem, Baga and Arambol for an unforgettable experience. It’s important to keep in mind that you should keep aside at least one day for your surfing tour.
Cost: A surfing tour in your things to do in Goa packages will cost adventure enthusiasts between Rs.700 to Rs.1500.
There isn’t a better way to know more about a city’s culture than by learning more about the local cuisine. If you enjoy interacting with locals and are a food lover – you can combine these two things in one unforgettable experience. Cooking classes are a wonderful way to learn more about Goan culture and also to taste delicious dishes.
One of the best offbeat things to do in Goa, cooking classes are a must-try if you are spending time in the city. Available across Goa, there are numerous cooking classes which you can try but the most popular ones are hosted by Rita and Rahul. These cooking classes are not restricted to only Goan cuisine and one can also learn Portuguese and other international cuisines. Most of these cooking classes are held in groups which adds so much more to the experience. If you are travelling with friends, then this can be a great activity to include in your things to do in Goa itinerary.
Cost: Cooking classes in Goa can cost you anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.2000 depending on the duration of the class.
Give yourself a break from the endless beach tours and adventure activities and include an unforgettable dolphin spotting tour in your itinerary. Considered to be one of the most fun things to do in Goa, there are a plethora of tour operators who organise memorable dolphin-spotting tours. Most of these dolphin-tours are best enjoyed from small islands which are situated in South Goa.
Goa is among the few places in the country where you can interact with these gentle creatures. Your tour will begin with a cruise from the beach shore and take you to the most ideal spot where you can spot these beauties. Definitely one of the best activities to include in things to do in Goa packages for animal lovers and photographers.
Some of the best places for dolphin-spotting tours are Fort Aguada, Sinquerim, Palolem and Panaji. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can also combine your dolphin-spotting tour with a snorkelling tour. If the conditions are favourable, you can also dive in for a short but memorable swim. As is with most adventure activities in things to do in Goa packages, your trip will be more fun if you are with a large group of friends.
Cost: A dolphin-spotting tour will cost travellers between Rs.1000 to Rs.3000 depending on the number of people and the duration of the tour.
Cycling may not be on your mind while in Goa, but a cycling expedition at Divar and Chorao islands is a unique experience and must be tried by all adventure enthusiasts. Definitely one of the best things to do in Goa.
Divar is close to old Goa and has a lot of churches and temples to explore. The cycling expedition takes you through the charming streets of the old town and the experience is unforgettable. Chorao islands is home to the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The wetlands around the sanctuary are perfect for bird watching and photography. And a cycling expedition here is one of the best things to do in Goa.
This unique cycling experience at Divar and Chorao islands starts at 7:00 am and generally lasts 4 hours. You'll need a valid ID card to register for the expedition. The initial few minutes of the tour are spent on explaining the details of the tour and basic care of the cycle. The guides are passionate cyclists who know as much about Goa as they know about their cycles.
Cost: A cycling tour in Goa will cost you anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.700.
For those who enjoy off-beat experiences, South Goa is the ideal place to book your accommodation. Even though this is the quieter part of town, you will find a large number of places to see in Goa situated here. The most popular beach in South Goa is Palolem. Home to luxury resorts, hostels and homestays – Palolem is the preferred spot for foreign travellers. At the same time, South Goa is also ideal if you are looking for a quiet retreat where you can learn yoga or enjoy a healing vacation.
Varca, Cavelossim and Betalbatim Beach or Sunset Beach are some of the most popular beaches in Goa. Among the best things to do in South Goa, dolphin-watching, snorkelling, trekking and boat rides in this part of the city stand out.
Cost: A trip to here and a comprehensive itinerary of things to do in Goa will cost travellers anywhere between Rs. 2000 to Rs.5000.
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