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Top 5 Tips for Your First Goa Trip

Goa is one of the few destinations in India that is as popular with local tourists as it is with those visiting the country.

Over the years, this small part of such a vast country has achieved almost cult status. For many – students out on their first trip without parents – it’s the right of passage. For others, Goa is the perfect romantic destination.

Goa has lots to offer the young at heart who want to party all night. Lastly, there is the magnetic pull of Goan beaches, which might not be much in comparison to those of the Caribbean or Mediterranean, but still welcome traveler from around the world with their soft sands and a fresh sea breeze that graces this land all year long.

What makes Goa so special is the variety of activities it presents to those willing to experience it. From some of the best yoga retreats to fun in the water, there’s something for all age groups and all tastes.

A visit to Goa, especially your first, can be a little unnerving with so many options at hand. But if you take it slow, and plan a little in advance, there’s a good chance that you’ll leave with memories that will stay with you for a long time.

Goa Beach

Fort Aguada


Everyone wants that perfect beach view when staying in Goa. While there’s obviously no harm in that, one must explore other, more inward resort options as well. These resorts provide a unique opportunity to explore a different side of the region.

Take Resort Rio Goa for instance, which is situated by the banks of Baga river, and close enough to Baga Beach to give its customers the best of both worlds.

Fort - Goa - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – Sudha G.

Palm Trees and Secluded Beach


Goan food is in a class of its own. Featuring fresh local produce and catch of the day, which includes the freshest of sea-food, Goan food is a medley of tastes and flavours that are sure to impress the most ardent of food lovers.

Goan food is influenced by Indian, Portuguese, Konkani, and to some extent, even Muslim cuisines, making it truly unique and a must-try.

Most hotels have multiple restaurants, with one or more focusing on the local cuisine. If unsure, ask the concierge at the resort you are staying for a nearby local foodie hot-spot.

And then there is the locally produced cashew or toddy-palm liquor, Feni, which is trademark Goa and demands at least a taste when there.

Goa Beach - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – My Favourite Things


There is an abundance of activities to partake in when exploring Goa. One can rent a jet-ski, practice other adventurous beachside excursions or simply spend a day in the sun, by the water, doing absolutely nothing.

On rainy days, it’s always a good idea to stay in a resort where indoor activities are a-plenty, and most places will have kid-friendly options too.

Those interested in nature can plan a visit to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary or to Dudhsagar Falls for a refreshing and scenic view.

But, if your favourite activity is shopping, then Goa has some famous flea-markets during the week and weekends that draw visitors from all over.

The flea markets of Goa are excellent places to grab a great deal, find local artifacts, and test your bargaining skills.

River Ferry Crossing - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – Sudha G.


If you’re in Goa for a short period – say a weekend – then hiring a Taxi is the best option. But if your stay spills over for longer, then renting a car is the preferred way to go.

Taxis are an issue in Goa with some drivers demanding quite a high price for a short distance. Make sure you discuss the cost before sitting in one, or better yet, hire a taxi through the reception of the hotel you are staying in.

However, if you want to be a little more adventurous, then rent a scooter and zip through the inner roads. A great way to immerse in the beauty of the state that is tropical in nature and comes with all the attractiveness of palm trees along the highways and greenery all around.

Church - Goa - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – Sudha G.


Last but certainly not least, Goa is a lot more than resorts, the sea, and the beach. The Portuguese influence is evident everywhere you travel within the state.

From houses to churches, you must devote some part of your vacation plunging into the cultural aspects of this beautiful land.

A walk around the colourful Fontainhas in Panaji, a visit to Fort Aguada, or the incredible architecture of the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, are but a few experiences that will impress and leave you in awe of Goa.

Beach - Goa - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – My Favourite Things

Over the years, Goa has been balancing on a thin line. It has fumbled between being the number one tourist destination of the country and a few cases of illegal activities involving drugs.

Nevertheless, Goa is what you want it to be.

My visit to Goa included romantic walks on the beach, pottery making classes at the resort, drinks by the seaside watching a beautiful sunset, and of course lots of food, wine, feni, and dancing.

Love it or not, there’s a charm to Goa. A certain exclusivity that makes it so unique. The fact that it’s relatively accessible once you’re in the country makes it even more of an attraction.

Sun, sea, beach, food, drink, culture, tropical weather, and the chance to let go of everything and be free… that, in a nutshell, is the essence of Goa!

Fontainhas - Goa - Sudha G
Image Courtesy – Sudha G.


  • Suzanne
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 7:24 PM

    We didn’t get a chance to visit Goa when we visited India but it looks very chilled. I would have especially liked to try seafood cooked the Goan way. The architecture also looks quite interesting and European-influenced.

  • Lisa
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 7:42 PM

    Do cows really sit on the beach in Goa?! I’d love to go here one day, it looks so tropical. I like the sound of romantic strolls along the beach, and I’m not keen on spicy food, but would give the dishes a go!

  • Shibani
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 8:22 PM

    I really hate to admit that I have still not been able to visit Goa despite so many efforts of mine. This is actually a wonderful list and I would take care of your recommendations whenever my plan finalizes 🙂 I would love to see the Portuguese influence in the party capital of India!

  • Kate Storm
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 11:11 PM

    Goa looks beautiful! The weather is cool where I am right now, too, so those palm trees look doubly appealing–and the cows on the beach look adorable! When we eventually make it to India, Goa will definitely be on our list of stops.

  • quirkyglobetrotter
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 11:24 PM

    This is one of my top destinations in India. So wonderful! Love your picture of the cows lol

  • Sherrie
    Posted 2 November, 17 at 1:41 AM

    So cool that your resort offered a pottery class! Love the image of the cows on the beach and cashew wine sounds like something I need to try 🙂

  • Bhushavali
    Posted 2 November, 17 at 7:08 PM

    Can you believe that I’m yet to visit Goa. Somehow everytime I plan, it somehow doesn’t work out. The activities to do are indeed endless. Dudhsagar and Salim Ali sanctuary would be a must visit for me… Renting car or bike definitely makes sense…

  • James
    Posted 2 November, 17 at 9:09 PM

    I visited Goa years ago and it was one of my favourite Indian states. The Portuguese heritage you mention is worth visiting for alone. The beaches are stunning and some are up there with those of the Caribbean. I love the pic of cows on the beach!

  • Abigail Sinsona
    Posted 3 November, 17 at 6:47 AM

    I have to admit – reading all these blogs of Goa has got me curious. In fact, I’ve been wanting to go! The forts along the coast and the beautiful architecture seem to be calling my name!

  • thattravelnurse
    Posted 21 November, 17 at 2:26 AM

    I’m going to Goa in January! Fantastic advise, I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

  • Anna Auza
    Posted 11 December, 17 at 2:24 AM

    Can not wait to go to Asia! Is it enough to know Portuguese (I still have to learn a lot though)?

    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 11 December, 17 at 10:55 AM

      Hi Anna, English is spoken across most of Asia as a second or third language, so that is often the language of communication for tourists.

      • Anna Auza
        Posted 11 December, 17 at 3:57 PM

        Thanks for reply! 🙂
        What about rural locals? You see, I would like to escape tourism and be a traveller (and communicate with them directly – is Portuguese studied only by the educated or everyone there?)

        • Post Author
          Ticker Eats The World
          Posted 11 December, 17 at 4:24 PM

          Portuguese isn’t taught really as far as I know. There are a lot of Portuguese influences in architecture, food, culture you can see and some older people might be speaking, but English would be the most common language along with Konkani and Marathi which are the local languages.

          • Anna Auza
            Posted 11 December, 17 at 4:57 PM

            Thanks! I feel safe (and encouraged) now 😀

  • Mike
    Posted 8 April, 18 at 5:41 PM

    Thanks for these amazing tips! I hope I will make it to Goa one day – so far I’ve only managed to visit the North of India from Delhi to Kolkata. But I’ve heard the south is completely different and Goa has a special draw for me…

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  • Ana Poala De Souza
    Posted 3 November, 20 at 5:22 PM

    Most Catholic Goans and some Hindu Goans who are native to Goa have emigrated to the West. Goans speak Konkani in their houses and people who now live in Portugal speak Portuguese. The over tourism of this tiny area of India has driven the Goans to better lives elsewhere!

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