Goa has gorgeous beaches, amazing flea markets, tasty unique seafood, and some of the nicest people I’ve met in my travels. After living there five years, I have done my fair share of partying and it seems like although the sea is the draw for families, the parties are the draw for the travelers and backpackers. I’m going to share a few essential tips for Goa nightlife so you can enjoy it. These are the tips I’d give my friends before they visit. Everyone sees Goa differently, so keep in mind these are just my personal tips that I think travelers passing through would appreciate.

Don’t forget to pick up my Insider Guide to Goa and my Guide to India

General Goa Travel Tips

TK Essential Tips for Goa Nightlife

10 Essential Tips for Goa Nightlife

1 You Don’t Need to Over-Plan to Find a Party

Goa IS a party. Don’t come to Goa looking for a party, it will find you. Just be open, make friends, chat with people and ask around about the best parties. Sometimes the less commercial ones that are more underground are even better so just see what pops up. Of course, there are some epic clubs you can go to if you don’t hear of anything crazy going on and still have an awesome time.

2. Meet Friends Before You Head Out

Don’t go out alone. Regardless of how chill Goa is, it has it’s dark side, too, like any place. It’s not a good idea (male or female) to go out alone. Try to meet a friend at your guesthouse or hostel to help keep each other safe.

3. Don’t Take Drugs at Bars and Clubs

Goa is known for its drugs, that can’t be denied. You’ll find that people might offer them to you in public places – just know that there are undercover police in Goa, in bars/clubs. Drugs are illegal in Goa and even if it seems Goa or India, in general, is “lawless”, it is not and you don’t want to end up in an Indian jail!

4. Think About Transportation Before You Are Drunk

When you leave a party at 2 AM you can bet the taxi drivers are charging a lot more than when you got dropped off. Don’t drive drunk and if you need to, leave your scooter where it is to pick it up the next day. If you know a driver you can call then do that, if not then be prepared to pay a higher price for a late night taxi. It’s a good idea in Goa if you find a driver who is nice and not cheating you to take their number and call them – the loyalty to them will help keep the prices fair throughout your trip. Don’t forget to tip if you do this! It will be appreciated!

5. Don’t Leave the Bars With Strangers Alone

If you meet some new friends at the bar, I do not recommend going home with them. I know you think you might do this all the time back home, but it’s different here. Roads are dangerous, winding, and dark – no street lights, no people around in the villages you’ll go through. It’s just not safe because if something happens and you do need help, you likely will not be able to get it. Either meet them the next day OR wake up and realize they were actually just cool because you were wasted, jk ;)

6. Do Inquire About Cover Charges Before You Head Out

Nothing is worse than getting a taxi out to a party to find out they want 2,000 INR per person to enter. See if you can message them on Facebook or if they have a flyer up on their Facebook with the cover charge fee. December and January will often have parties with covers even at places that don’t even seem that awesome. Sometimes they won’t let dudes in alone – only couples or women.

7. On NYE, Stick to One Place Only

New Years is the highest cover charge of the year and with that along with the traffic, it’s not a time to be party hopping. It’s best to choose ONE place and just stay there. You might think the grass is greener, but the second you leave that party for a new one and sit in traffic for 30 minutes at 1 AM you’ll end up just going home, buzz gone.

8. Don’t Miss Hilltop at Least Once

Even if you aren’t into trance Hilltop is one of the greatest party places in the world. Trance isn’t my thing, I’ll admit, and while all my friends go to Hilltop weekly, it was never my vibe. But I appreciate the history of Goa and these parties and this music is what made Goa the tourist destination that is today. It’s worth it to go see why and you might find that it’s a type of music you love, that you never even knew about.

9. Sometimes a Boozy Dinner is Where It’s At

Places like Thalassa are awesome to go for a boozy dinner. They have performaces, a great sunset, and it turns into a huge party most nights with people dancing on tables and spraying champagne. You’ll have a table to sit at, waiters to bring you drinks, and no cover charge. That is so much better than standing in a crowded club fighting at the bar for a drink. Other than Thalassa, you can go to so many other beachside restaurants for boozy meals and even chilled places. Those are the best nights!

10. Look Into the Festivals

Goa does have festivals throughout the year like Sunburn, the Reggae at Riva, Sunsplash and GOAT – although some get canceled last minute due to police permissions not being legit. You’ll want to just ask around if any festivals are on while you are there. You’ll see flyers for the most party. Keep in mind, they are never free! Sometimes pretty cool people play like Wiz Khalifa, so you’re going to have to pay to get in.

Want to know WHERE to party?

For where to stay, I recommend looking on Hostelworld if you are a single traveler or with just one friend. You can pre-game there and meet people to go out with. If you’re in a group, I recommend renting a villa. With Airbnb, you can use this link to get $40 off your first stay when you make an account from that link.

Best Places to Visit in Goa for Youngsters