This post is part of my Ask Me Anything series where I answer FAQ I get often via email and social media. In this post, I’ll answer the common question of “should I come to North or South Goa?”.
You might have noticed I write mostly about North Goa on my blog. That is because I live in North Goa. Goa isn’t a big state, and it takes about four hours to drive along the whole coast. They aren’t hugely different from how the look, so it never seems like it’s worth the drive for us. Maybe once a year, we go down there.
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Should I go to North or South Goa?
Many people email about coming to Goa for one week or two and want to know if they should stay in the North or bounce down to the South. The answer to this doesn’t actually depend on the amount of time you have to travel in Goa, but more so what your interests are because they are two very different places in some ways.
If I had to list the top 10 restaurants in Goa, they would all be in the North. If I did the top twenty, at least 15 would be in the North. Most of the best restaurants in Goa are in North Goa. The South has a few stand out places, but all the “famous’ restaurants (except Martin’s Corner and 5-stars) are in the North.
While there are parties in the South, I would say at least 95% of the massive parties are in North Goa. There are a few places in the South that have parties on the weekends, but not only are they smaller you have less options on where to go out.
The North has a handful of trance parties each weekend but all the clubs in Baga and Candolim area. If you want to party, especially trance, come to the North.
The beaches in the far South and the farthest North are the best. North Goa usually tends to be Anjuna/Vagator area (decent, crowded beaches) and Candolim/Baga (very crowded beaches), and Ashwem/Arambol (fun clean, pretty beaches). But there are beaches even further North that are totally undeveloped and empty.
In the South, you have the best beaches like this but they are developed a little and have shacks and guesthouses nearby.
In the South, I’ve written about the secret beach I love that isn’t so secret anymore (not due to me but more hotels popping up).
The North is by far more crowded that the South. If you’re dead against crowded party areas and are on of the people who think “Goa won’t be the real India” then you’ll most likely prefer the South.
The South is actually better for backpackers as you don’t have crazy crowds, can chill in quiet jungle, take cooking classes and other classes, and feel like you are somewhere from a movie.
The North has so many tourists here both international and Indian, that it’s way overcrowded. It is this way because almost all the best things to do/see are in the North.
There are yoga classes and retreats in both North and South, but the South has many more and is more known for doing yoga teacher training as there are multiple famous schools down there. It’s a little more “zen” in the South.
All my favorite shops are in North Goa, like Tia’s (pics I took for her above). FARA, Lamuella, and all the rest that I love are here. Also, the famous Anjuna market and Saturday Night Market are all in North Goa.
Overall, for me, the North of Goa is my jam! I know where to go to avoid crowds and I drive to Ashwem when I want a nice beach. Hopefully this helped you answer if you should go to North or South India!
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