This is an old post Rachel wrote in 2016. If you’d like to read an updated version, click here.
I’ve got a handful of articles on my blog about Goa. I still get a handful of emails a day from people saying they’ve read them all but want to know if there is anything else I can recommend. I usually just reply whatever random thing I’m thinking of right then. So, I am going to list here 50 things to do in Goa some of which I’ve probably said at some time before – but now they are all in one place!
While I have 50 fun things to do here, I have SO much more detailed advice in my ebook, Insider’s Guide to Goa. It’s 170 pages filled with the most up to date, comprehensive information about Goa plus it has all my secret places to go that I’ve found after living here almost five years. Click here to buy it now.
General Goa Travel Tips
- Safety Tips For Solo Female Travel in Goa, India
- BEST Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days
- Best Place to Stay in Goa
50 Things to Do in Goa You Don’t Want to Miss
Classic Things to Do
1. Watch the sunset from Thalassa Restaurant.
This is the best sunset spot! It is Greek food and it’s a bit of a splurge for backpackers but so worth it.
2. Visit the Spice Plantation.
I don’t think the elephants in Goa are treated well and don’t think you should ride them. You can learn a lot on the Spice tour and you can have lunch there. There are two in Ponda.
3. Celebrate Holi in Goa.
It’s a lot of fun. You can see the local celebrations in Mapusa or you can go to Hilltop for a trance-type party.
4. Buy some spices and tea as souvenirs.
You’ll see them so much that it’s hard not to. They make great gifts. See what else to buy in my India souvenir guide.
5. Check out the old churches in “Old Goa“.
It’s best to do this the same day you do Panjim as taxis, like I mentioned, can be expensive. The churches don’t take long to see and usually in the heat you won’t want to stay long.
6. Try SUP (stand up paddle board) at Vaayu.
You can also rent surf boards from them or try kite surfing classes. Their cafe, Prana, serves up delicious breakfast burritos and they have chilled out music and art nights.
7. Enjoy the lounge chairs at Antares in Little Vagator Beach.
I can’t believe I’m telling this secret! It’s not a secret exactly, but no one seems to use these and they are great. You have to buy food and drink to stay there.
8. Take the long drive up to Keri Beach.
It means you’ll have an empty beach all to yourself.
9. Lastly, go to the “secret” beach.
10. You can go white water rafting with the Goa crew.
11. Let yourself have a foot massage on the beach.
They come around asking to massage and thread you… just let yourself be pampered! You can also buy sarongs and such. But be warned, you will get bothered after as you will seem like an ATM so you need to be firm. Say you want a massage but you don’t want to talk.
12. Take some classes at Tito’s Whitehouse or Artjuna.
You can do kickboxing, yoga, pilates, and more. Classes are affordable and fun. It’s a great way to meet people.
13. Get a photo of the cows on the beach…
…and make sure they don’t eat right off your plate!
14. Rent a scooter or a car if you need to save money.
Taxis here really add up and they don’t use a meter.
15. Hit up the carnival in Arambol.
Arambol is kind of the hippiest place in Goa although it wasn’t back in the day (Anjuna was). It’s a cool place to stay for some time, but personally, I like Ashwem and Vagator best.
16. In Arambol, check out the sweet water lake.
It’s just near the beach and is pretty cool to take a dip and some photos. Here’s a little guide to Arambol.
17. If you’re here in September, watch Dahi Handi festival in Mapusa.
18. Visit the Mapusa Market
In fact, if you’re only visiting Goa (and nowhere else in India) make a trip to Mapusa market just to see the “real India” as they say.
19. Go to Snips for a massage.
It’s much cheaper than back home and is fantastic. Their mani/pedis are not as good unless you take your own polish (in my opinion).
What & Where to Eat in Goa
20. Make sure you’re here on a Saturday for the Saturday Night Market.
It’s incredible and you can eat and drink there. The Market usually opens end of November through March. It’s in Arpora near the go-karts.
21. Eat the famous chicken at the Saturday Night Market.
It’s crazy good – I don’t know how someone can make chicken that good.
22. If you must stay in for dinner, order pizza from Roma in Chapora/Vagator.
There aren’t many delivery options in Goa.
23. Eat the tuna sandwich at Artjuna….
Not sure why, but it’s my favorite sandwich in Goa along with their iced tea.
24. Have a Goan curry at Starlight.
You can go for a Xacuti but know that it might be a little spicy. They usually make them less spicy for foreigners.
25. Chill out and have a juice at the famous Scarlet’s juice center in Chapora.
26. Have a big burger at Baba Au Rhum!
I love this french bakery in Anjuna. It’s the perfect place to have a chill lunch over the paddy fields. There is free WiFi if you need to check a few emails from home.
27. Eat at Anand Bar.
When friends visit they love this place and can never believe how cheap it is. It’s located near Bobby Bar and you can find it on Google maps. I go for the butter garlic prawns and the tandoori.
28. For traditional Goan Food…
Try Bhatti Village in Nerul or Mum’s Kitchen in Panjim.
29. Try “rava fry fish” and squeeze lime all over it.
You can get it pretty much anywhere in Goa and it’s a don’t miss.
30. Pineapple chicken salad at Villa Blanche.
It’s the bomb, so are their German sausages.
31. Taste a bite of South Goa at Gunpowder in Assagao.
Their veg curry and chili pork ribs are my go-to but the chicken curries are what most go for. Definitely get a couple greasy heavenly parathas!
32. Have a nice dinner at Go With the Flow near the Baga Bridge.
This is my favorite restaurant in Goa. It’s fine dining Brazilian… and the pork belly is SO GOOD. The steaks are great and the cocktails are the best.
33. Eat Goan sausage, street style corn on the cob, and sweet lime soda.
If you’re really branching out you can try the local liquor: cashew feni. It’s rough.
34. Take time for a long lunch at La Plage.
I always go for the prawns and saffron risotto. Their Bloody Mary’s are very unique with a bit of curry and are a huge local favorite.
Fun Places to Stay in Goa
35. Stay at Jamboree Creek!
36. If you want to be in Anjuna, with a pool, party scene, and lots of people then look at Laguna Anjuna.
It’s got cool unique rooms and is better than a hostel. Click here to book.
37. If you want to splurge out in the North…
I love Shanti Morada. Click here to book!
38. For a “splurging out” stay in South Goa…
Go for the Alila Diwa in South. It’s my favorite 5 star hotel in all of Goa.
Where to Shop in Goa
39. You better be here on a Wednesday too!
The Wednesday Flea market is one of the most famous hippie markets in the world. It’s located on Anjuna beach and goes until sunset.
40. Buy an “India” scarf for the perfect souvenir from Fara.
They are hand drawn onto silk and focus on places and gods of India.
41. Make sure you negotiate with the vendors when you shop.
They really put the prices high on the beach. Most of the scarves and jewelry are bad quality so ask yourself if you really want it in the first place.
42. Explore the shopping in Panjim.
There are cute little Portuguese lanes and it’s an adventure going through them. Here’ s a little shopping guide.
43. For more shopping, hit up Alchemy in Ashwem.
44. Get some clothing tailored and make your own fun designs at great prices.
Here’s how to get clothing made in India.
45. (Update 2020: Sadly Club Cabana’s is now closed!) Girls can drink for free at Club Cubana’s ladies night on Wednesdays.
It’s the night they are the most crowded I think.
46. Friday party night at Waters.
It could change but for now it’s the place people go on Fridays. It’s on Vagator Cliff and is pretty cool.
47. Hit up Fort Aguada Taj Hotel for drinks.
It is an amazing view over an old Fort and will give you that 5 star feel!
48. Definitely try a trance party at Hilltop or Curlies OR Shiva Valley OR 9 Bar…
My point is there are a lot and you really can’t miss them. Goa is so known for this way of life that you really should check out the scene. Check wug.com for the party dates and these posts for more night life:
- 10 Essential Tips for Goa Nightlife
- 7 Best Beaches in Goa for Nightlife
- Goa Nightlife: 5 Most Popular Party Places in Goa
For if You Stay in Goa for a While
I wrote a few options here and once you see their struggles you might want to spend some time (or some money) on this cause.
50. If you’re here for long enough consider renting a house.
You can look on Airbnb or you can just stay in a guesthouse until you find somewhere to rent. Here’s a guide to renting in Goa.
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