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Mini guide to Goa for first-timers

Is your Goa Plan finally on?!!! Then why not, know a little more about the place that will surely help you plan your next go?

You may already be aware of Goa’s golden, and sparkling beaches, or you may have had the chance to taste some traditional Goan cuisine, but we’re here to tell you where you can see the very best of the state, from stay to beautiful spots

Here’s a quick guide to Goa for first-timers.

How do I get to Goa?

You can land at Goa’s international airport which is located at Dabolim, near Vasco Da Gama, and take a taxi to your hotel or rent a self-drive car for a more comfortable journey. Goa is also well-linked to the rest of India by train. Vasco Da Gama (central), Margao (south), and Thivim are the main train stations (north).

Where to stay

Goa is split into North and South Goa, with Panaji as the Capital. When visiting Goa for the first time, it is obviously difficult to decide where to stay because different parts of the state offer different experiences.

If you want to experience Goa’s vibrant and happening side, head to North Goa, which is alive with tourist-filled beaches, exciting water sports, happening nightclubs, and vibrant flea markets. If you want a tranquil and peaceful vacation, plan your stay in south Goa because it is peaceful and has unexploited beaches, spiritual retreats, and luxurious resorts. Alternatively, you can visit Panjim, which is rich in history and features Portuguese-influenced architecture and world heritage sites. It is illuminated by the first floating casinos in India on the Mandovi River.

Some of the highly visited beaches you shouldn’t miss!

Baga, Calangute, and Candolim in North Goa: These are the most well-known beaches in Goa. They’re surrounded by beach shacks and sun loungers. They have a variety of water sports available. Candolim is less populated than Calangute and Baga, but it is still very crowded. Candolim has a plethora of hotels, restaurants, and shops. This could be a good option for your first visit to Goa because the area is very central, so you’ll be close to everything. Be prepared to be pursued by tattoo shops. There is no peace! Only fun resides here.

Some of the most visited restaurants and clubs you can indulge in here are Caravela Cafe, Toro Toro, The Lazy Goose, Tuscany Gardens (Italian), Pousada By The Beach, A Reverie, Go With the Flow, Souza Lobos, Brittos, and Tomatoes. If you are a clubbing soul try out Las Olas, Hammerz, Sinq, Love Passion Karma (LPK ), Titos, Mambos, and Cape Town Cafe in North Goa.

You can also halt in Anjuna, which is close to the popular Flea Market, enjoy sundowners at cliff-top restaurants and party sights in Little Vagator, and relax at the rocky beach in Ozran.

These are a few exquisite spots you should not miss for sure! Felix, Luna’s, Baba Au Ruhm, Gunpowder, Burger Factory, Antares, Titlie, Bomras, Babka, Mustard Cafe, Bean Me Up, Olive Bar and Kitchen, Cafe Cotinga.

Beaches you should not miss in South Goa:

Palolem is a lively spot in comparison to other South Goa beaches, which is why it tops this list. Shopping, restaurants, silent noise parties (wireless headphones provided for dancing), yoga, water sports and boating, and more await your first visit to Goa. You can also dine at the following popular restaurants: Mill, The Olive Room, Dropadi, Sundowner, and Magic Italy. Silent Noise Club and Leopard Valley are the most visited clubs.

Betalbatim Beach in South Goa is another well-known beach for its sunset views it is also known as Sunset Beach. It’s a beautiful beach in South Goa that is rarely crowded. Just like other beaches, this one is also lined with coconut trees. This beach is also recognized for its vicinity to St. Thomas’ Church.

Bogmalo Beach is a popular South Goa beach located at Vasco Da Gama Goa known for its diving school. They teach both beginners and experts. While you’re here, try your hand at windsurfing. You will also notice numerous shipwrecks and a small fishing village. It’s amazing how much you can learn and do on a single peaceful beach.

Visit this South Goa beach known as Betul and stay in huts that are reasonably priced. Because Betul Beach is also a fishing port, you can take a relaxing boat ride here. Explore the Betul Lighthouse, which is located on a hill. This coastal landmark is a must-see and can inspire some stunning photographs.

To experience Goa’s colourful and vibrant side, take a walk through Fontainhas, Asia’s largest Latin Quarter, which has lanes lined with houses built in the colonial style and painted in bright shades of colours.

Goa is home to beautiful churches and temples where you can seek peace and blessings in addition to beaches and clubbing. Explore the beauty of these locations for their eye-catching architecture and serene atmosphere. You can include a few of these locations in your itinerary!

  • Mangeshi Temple
  • Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla
  • Maruti Temple Panaji
  • Shri Shantadurga Temple
  • Shri Damodar Temple
  • Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa
  • Church of Our Lady of the Mount
  • Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

To experience the beauty of culture and tradition on a different level, one must visit all of the temples and churches in Goa at least once in their lifetime.

What should you eat on your first trip to Goa?

If you enjoy trying new and different flavors, Goan cuisine will not disappoint. Its fusion of Portuguese and Indian flavors makes it unique, and visiting a spice plantation will give you a great understanding of what Goan flavors are all about. For your first visit to Goa, we strongly advise you to try a Goan fish curry. A popular dish found throughout the state, it can be made with a variety of fresh fish. We also suggest sampling the yummiest bebinca cake, Dodol, Kokad, patoleo, nevryo and so on, best for those with a sweet tooth.

Goa is one of those places that you can never get enough of. Each time you go, you discover something new – a hidden beach, a charming café, shack temples, churches, forts, and so on. You will be captivated by the allure of Goa and will not want to leave. Hope you find this blog useful and that your first trip to Goa is indeed a memorable one.