Goa has been one of the most sought after holiday destinations for a while now. Although you might see all the tourists now preferring other destinations like Gokarna, Pondicherry, Varkala and Kochi (which are honestly less crowded), Goa still has its own charm which makes people like me go back to the place, again and again.
I wouldn't take all your time and convince you about Goa's beauty but I hope this blog helps you plan your trip better :D
(The following blog post is a combination of my personal experiences in Goa. If you also have some things to add or things that I've missed out on, then you can leave your suggestions for others in the comment box below)
How to reach Goa?
By air: Goa is well accessible by air from almost all metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Dabolim airport (about 30kms away from the city centre) is equipped for domestic as well as international travel. Travelling from the airport to the city centre may become expensive due to the absence of Ola and Uber in Goa and the high prices of local Goa cabs (about 800-1600rs depending on the location). You can either take an Airport Shuttle (run by Kadamba Travels from the airport to Panjim and Calangute at specific timings) or use the Goa Miles App for a better price.
By bus: Nearby cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore have frequent buses to Goa. My tip would be to take a bus by Kadamba Travels ( http://goakadamba.com/ ) as is government run. Opt for an AC sleeper bus over Semi Axle buses for smoother travel.
By rail: You can book your rail tickets to either Madgaon or Thivim Railway Station.
Where to stay?
As a tourist destination, Goa has everything - Luxury Hotels, Party hostels, Airbnb's, Homestays, etc. I usually go for Villas when I'm with friends because the cost gets equally divided and is sometimes even lesser than what hostels cost (if you're in a big group).
Some hostels that I would recommend for a budget trip: The White Balcao and Old Quarter in Panjim, Piggy Hostel and Jungle by the Hostelcrowd and Pappi Chulo in Vagator, The Hosteller in Anjuna, The Lost Hostel in Palolem (South Goa) and Woke Hostel in Arpora.
Homestays: Casa Menezes- A Heritage Homestay, Noronha House, The Figueiredo Mansion to name a few.
Places to visit:
There are so many beaches and churches in Goa that you'll be overwhelmed just pondering about where to go!
Well known places: Chapora, Aguada and Reis Magos Fort, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Dona Paula,
Not so well known places: Parra (The Dear Zindagi road),Cabo de Rama, Butterfly Beach and the lanes of Fountainhas in Panjim, Divar Island, Hilltop Goa, Mingos,
Churches: Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Beaches: Vagator Beach (especially during the rainy season), Morjim Beach, Arambol Beach, Palolem Beach are some of my personal favourites. The more you move towards South Goa, less crowded the beaches become.
Places to eat/drink:
Food: Barrels and Bones, Blacksheep Bistro, Babazin's Shack for seafood, Burger Factory, the newly opened Burger House and Area 51 for burgers, Villa Blanche, Thalassa, Mr. Gelato- Cream Choc, Copperleaf for their scrumptious Thalis, Mango Tree, Old Bombay, Dropadi Bar and Restaurant, Magic Italy Pizzeria, Caravella Bistro, Viva Panjim.
Bars and Clubs: Antares,Brittos, Titos, SinQ Nightclub, Love Passion Karma (LPK), Capetown Cafe, Cafe Mambos, Shiva Valley, Kamaki, Joseph's Bar, Hilltop and Curlies.
That's just "some" of the information I have on Goa! :P I had a lot of fun writing this for you guys. If you have any more suggestions for our fellow travellers then please leave it in the comments below. Thanks in advance!
Do hit me up about your experience and do that Goa trip SOON!
ENJOY AND SAFE TRAVELS <3