Goa – India’s Bohemian Beach Destination


Goa is the western coastal state of India that attracts tourists and travelers from all over India and the world! Goa was colonized by the Portuguese and that influence is still prominent in the region with the food, architecture, religion, and more.

Need to Know for Goa:

Goa is commonly referred to as two main sections: North and South Goa. Generally people think of the north as where you go to party and the south as where you go to relax. You can, of course, find both in both places, but that’s the general association. I was not necessarily looking to party, but we still went to North Goa since there were good Airbnb options and it had the beaches and restaurants we wanted to try!

Currency: Indian Rupee (check exchange rate here)

Language: Hindi and English


Goa – GOI

Electrical Outlets: 230V supply voltage and 50Hz, plug types C, D and M.

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation: We loved the Airbnb experience in Goa! We stayed at this Portuguese style house that had a private pool in Siolim! The rooms were fine, just enough for what we needed, but the common spaces were really fun! We were just quick drive from the beach and lots of restaurants. There are also plenty of hostels, hotels, and beach resorts you can explore.

Getting Around: 

  1. Scooters – The go-to mode of transportation in Goa is scooters. You will see everyone riding them, even tourists! I’d recommend taking an airport taxi to your accommodations (which won’t be cheap since there is a monopoly on taxis in Goa), then rent a scooter from a local shop near by. Try to book this ahead of time since scooter rentals are very popular
  2. Rent a car – if you’re comfortable driving, you can rent a car to get around.
  3. Hire a driver – like anywhere in India, you can hire a driver to take you around.
  4. There are no Ubers in Goa, so don’t count on that for transportation!

Since there is a monopoly on taxis in Goa, they tend to charge a lot – which can also lead to more people risking it and trying to drive under the influence. Plan accordingly to avoid this situation because the cops also crack down on drunk driving since they know this is a common scenario.

airbnb goa
Scooter Goa
Scooter Goa

Restaurants (North Goa)

These were our favorite places for a variety of reasons! Read the comments for thoughts on food, vibes, drinks, and more!

  1. Gunpowder($$)  – Delicious and colorful eatery with outdoor seating specializing in South Indian food
  2. Jamun ($$) – Super cool space with wonderful classic Indian dishes. This place had vibes and food on point
  3. Maai ($$) – fun spot with great Portuguese Goan food and lovely design
  4. Thalassa ($$) – greek style food where the vibe really picks up in the evening and turns into more of a club scene.
gun powder goa
Jamun Goa
maai goa

5. Titlie ($$$) – best spot for a sundowner! Make sure to get a reservation and enjoy a cocktail (and hookah if you want) for a perfect sunset and dance into the night!

6. Pisco by the Beach ($$$)Another great spot for beach views. I loved that this place had nets off the front where you can lay down and truly chillax.

7. G-Shot Cafe ($$) – We happened upon this place looking for coffee and absolutely loved it! Very hippie vibes with all organic, fresh, natural options.

Titlie Goa
Pisco by the beach Goa
G-shot Coffee

Things to See and Do in North Goa

Anjuna BeachCheck out this lovely beach lined with bars, restaurants, flea markets, and more. Where I was on Anjuna beach, there weren’t too many people swimming or lounging, more people at the bars and taking local boats out on the water.

Morjim BeachThis is the beach we went to to swim and relax on the beach. We got breakfast at a beach club and then rented one of their beach chairs for the day. There are all kinds of vendors that will come up to you trying to sell hair braiding or wrapping, crafts and goods, and even foot massages! This was my favorite beach that we visited.

Chapora FortMade popular by its feature in the movie “Dil chahta Hai,” Chapora Fort is perched up on the cliffs above Chapora Village. You park at the base (and have to pay for parking), then hike a little ways up the paved path to spectacular views of the coast, Arabian sea, and beyond. Make sure to grab a fresh coconut (Nariyal Pani in hindi) on your way!

Anjuna beach goa
Morjim Beach Goa
Chapora Fort Goa

A little further out

FontainhasHead over to Panjim to explore Goa’s Latin Quarter which shows strong influence of the Portuguese colonization. This area was built as residential quarters for Portuguese administrative officials and government personnel. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets, enjoy the colorful buildings, unique architecture and street art, and indulge in the variety of cuisine available.

Aguada Fort: Originally built to guard against the Dutch, the vast fort has many areas to explore including a lighthouse you can climb! You can enter the fort from either side and you will have to pay for parking and entrance. You will get wonderful views of the ocean and enjoy this historic location. 

Basilica of Bom Jesus and Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi: More of the portuguese influence comes in the large population of catholics in the area. Stroll through this stunning basilica and marvel at the beautiful architecture. When we visited, there was a huge mass going on outside of the church with thousands of people in attendance. There are also tons of street vendors in this area as crowds take the streets at night. 

Aguada Fort Goa
Catholic Church Goa

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