Goa might be the smallest state in India, but it’s the main star and always makes sure to shine the brightest. Miles and miles of beaches stretch along the beautiful coastline, so a picture perfect scenery of lush white beaches is what you get. But Goa is full of surprises and offers much more than just fun under the sun. Keep in mind that most people visit between November and March, so prices are notably higher during that time. However, you shouldn’t worry too much – it’s still affordable compared to other similar places around the globe.
If you visit off-season, you can expect monsoons, extreme heat, and humidity, but you can save loads of money and still see a lot.
What to see and do in Goa
Hit the beach
Because relaxing and chilling on the beach is what Goa is all about. Well, mostly at least. Of course, there’s much more to it, but having a few stress-free days on beautiful sandy beaches under a palm tree is always a good idea. Let the stunning turquoise water and its surrounding charm you on one of the beaches such as Querim Beach, Arambol Beach, Candolim Beach, Agonda Beach, Utorda Beach, Anjuna Beach, Mandrem Beach and many others.
With the beaches covering almost every bit of Goa, it is no surprise that you can enjoy a colorful spectrum of different activities here. Be it on, in, under or above the water. Whether you want to jet ski, have fun riding a banana boat, snorkel, surf, sail, do some backwater kayaking, paragliding, or admire the beautiful dolphins on one of the tours.
See where the spices come from
Taste the real India. Goa is home to many spice farms and villages where you can see for yourselves how and where they’re grown and learn more about them. A trip to these plantations is sure to awake your palates so don’t forget to stock up.
Explore the jungle
See the wildlife ranging from different species of birds to mighty Panthers! You can do so at one of the parks or sanctuaries such as well-known Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. Discover nature’s best in Goa and head over to Dudhsagar Falls and witness the raw power of falling waters.
Other cool things
In addition to sunbathing and chilling on the beach, including a trip to one of the countless religious sites such as Basilica of Bom Jesus or Shantadurga Temple, one of the museums, historic sites or try your luck at the casino. Whatever you do, don’t forget to end your day with watching the magnificent sunsets.
Finding a place to sleep in Goa might be a tad pricier than in rest of India but still shouldn’t break your budget. For instance, you can find a cheap hotel for around 4-10 USD per night, while hostels usually cost between 2-4 USD. The price can heavily depend on the time of visit. During high peak season prices increase significantly so don’t be surprised to pay as twice as much as you would during offseason. You can try Airbnb. The prices vary but expect to pay around 20 USD.
Food and drinks
Inexpensive restaurant charge roughly 3 USD for their meals, which is approximately the same amount you’ll pay for a budget-friendly breakfast. Two can enjoy a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant under 20 USD, while fast food items cost around 5 USD. The domestic beer is cheap, costing only 2.50 USD per bottle. A must try drink is a local spirit called feni which is made of either cashews or coconuts.
Cappuccinos and soft drinks aren’t too pricey either. It’s advised to buy bottled water. If you want to avoid that, make sure you boil or use filter tablet for tap water before using it.
Taxis from the airports cost around 20 USD, while taxis from train stations to beaches cost between 8-16 USD. An easy and a cheap way to explore the area is renting a motorbike. Rentals usually cost around 3-7 USD per day (make sure you take photos of the condition of your rental before taking them out). A local bus ticket is the least expensive as it costs as little as 0.25 USD or less.
The prices of sights and activities depend on what you like. If you want to take a private tour to explore Goa’s Portuguese heritage, it’ll cost you from 45 USD. The price of sports activities varies while beaches are usually free.