Arriving in Goa after 1 month and a half in North India, felt like arriving in another country. Firstly, everything is cleaner, there’s not the same madness on the streets, not the same traffic and hospitality has a different meaning for Goans.
Goa is today one of India’s most popular holiday destinations, with long and nice beaches, coconut trees everywhere and nice weather. From 1510 until 1961, it was Portuguese ruled, an aspect which you can notice in its architecture, religion, language or even music.
Tips & Tricks in Goa
- In case you come on holiday and don’t want to spend time on public transportation, from the airport you can either book a prepaid taxi (quite expensive) or use GoaMiles (their version of Uber) where you can choose to pay cash or by card. Also, taxis and rickshaws charge differently during the day than during the evening/night.
- Again, if you come for a short period of time and only stay in Goa, then this tip is not for you.
If you’re traveling around India, this is probably the most expensive place to go shopping, unless you’re going to the Flea Market in Anjuna on Wednesdays. Also, Indians here don’t bother to negotiate, you either want to pay their price, or end of the deal.
- Alcohol is legal in this state. Most restaurants don’t sell it, and if they do, you have to ask for it because it’s not written on the menu.
- Bring mosquitos repellent, they’ll drive you crazy at night.
- Choose the part of Goa you want to go to depending on what your plans are. North Goa is more hippie, with music and parties everywhere, while South Goa is more for relaxation and quiet beaches.
Where to stay
When we arrived in Goa, we first went south, to Agonda, this small and fancy village with nice huts and cozy restaurant on the beach.
We booked a cottage at Wave on Waves, which was clean and 5 minutes walking from the beach.
Where to eat
Agonda Sunset Restaurant
We’ve basically spent every day here, where sunbeds are free and you can order tasty food at a decent price.
A very good cocktail bar where they also serve food, but I didn’t get the chance to eat here.
How to get to Agonda
We used the GoaMiles app from the airport and paid around 1200Rs (15€), while at the prepaid taxi counter the fixed price was 1900Rs (24€). The ride is approximately 1’30 hour long.
You can check here my tips on how to use the Indian transport apps, including this one.
Where to stay
When we arrived, we booked 4 nights at Rudra Holidays in Arambol, but we ended up staying almost 2 weeks.
The place is a hidden gem, located on a quiet street, within 10 minutes walking from the beach and 1 minute away from the main street. It has 8 main cottages in a cute garden that keeps you away from the burning sun during the day. There is also another newer building in the back with studios, but I wouldn’t recommend booking those, as they’re not in the same garden.
Where to eat
This is a small new place where they serve almost all kinds of food, but my favorite dish was certainly the South Indian Dosa.
Taste of India
This place is the typical local restaurant, very cheap, with amazing food and always crowded. Above all, they prepare fresh samosas all day every day and again, the dosa is amazing.
Morjim Beach Restaurant
Dosas, dosas and again dosas. I could never get enough of them.
How to get to Arambol
When we first went there, we took again a taxi from GoaMiles app which costed us around 1500Rs (19€). After that, we realized how much it was compared to public transportation.
On the other hand, when we left from Arambol to Margao (25km south from the airport) to get a train to Kerala, we used public transportation and we were shocked by the price difference.
Firstly we first took a bus from Arambol to Panjim, which was 50Rs (0.64€) for both of us and then another bus from Panjim to Margao for 80Rs (1€) for both of us.
Therefore, in total, to get from Arambol to Margao, which is even further away than the airport, was 140Rs (1,70€).
No doubts, I would recommend you to use public transportation if you have time and want to save quite some money.
How to get to Goa
Certainly, the easiest way to arrive in Goa is by plane and the prices are decent. We paid around 60€ from New Delhi to Dabolim Airport in Vasco da Gamma. However, you can also reach it by train.
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