Introducing the city

£1.00 | 86.63₹

GBP | INR

3 * Hotel p/n £15.86 | 1,374.13₹

One-way ticket £0.32 | 27.74₹

Beer £0.70 | 60.52₹

Main Course £2.33 | 201.74₹

About Goa

A tiny state with a big soul, Goa is half party paradise, half tranquil beach escape; it also boasts some of India's best seafood and beaches.

Nestled on India's west coast, tiny Goa stretches for 3,700 kilometres (although it's still tiny by Indian standards) and is one of the country's most visited destinations. A blend of old meets new, Portuguese meets Indian and party land meets peaceful haven, this region is unique and eclectic. Historically known as India's hippy paradise, in recent years it's become a major tourist hotspot, thanks to its gorgeous beaches, bustling market towns and temperate, sunny climate. Split into North and South Goa, the region offers an abundance of sleepy villages and big cities - south Goa is generally considered quieter.

Palolem to the south is a stretch of sleepy fishing villages and quaint buildings; in contrast party-mad Colva is a mecca for trancers, dancers and tour groups. In the heart of the region lies Old Goa, complete with colourful Portuguese townhouses and churches - most are small but perfectly formed. A region famed for its beach parties and amazing food - Goa isn't one to miss.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

February is the best time to visit which attracts post Christmas crowds and avoids the pre-monsoon mugginess.

Goa has a tropical monsoon climate and is hot and humid for much of the year. The temperature remains similar all year round (28 to 35 degrees Celsius) although the hottest months are May and October. The monsoon season falls between June and September, when the region sees a large amount of rainfall. The Christmas and New Year period can see the area get extremely busy, crowded and overbooked. Given its high temperatures, Goa is the perfect year round destination, although many of the hotels are closed during the monsoon months.

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Travioor top tips

BEACH HUT
TRAVEL
PACK LIGHT

Insider Info

  • Save your pennies and rent a beach hut - for the price of a beer you get your very own seafront property, often with a private bathroom.

  • Goa is huge; explore the north and south by hiring a moped or car, you'll see a lot more.

  • Pack light; the beauty of Goa is its laid-back vibe. Flipflops and sarongs are de rigueur.

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Food and drink

Main Course £2.33 | 201.74₹

3-Course Meal £11.64 | 1,008.68₹

Cappuccino £0.88 | 76.28₹

Beer £0.70 | 60.52₹

The Scene

Spicy, diverse and nearly always home-cooked, Goan cuisine is one of the biggest lures to the region. Seafood plays a huge part in most meals and if you only try one thing, make sure it's prawn curry (you may see it referred to as balchão), which is practically a regional staple. Vison (kingfish), shellfish, lobster and squid are also firm favourites. Chili is a crucial part of Goan cuisine as are tomato based sauces, which were introduced during the Portuguese occupation. Chamuças (a sort of samosa) and bhajis (fried Besan batter fritters) make a great light lunch as does dangar (fried fish cutlets).

Sugar lovers are spoilt for choice too; popular desserts include dodol (a sticky coconut pudding), serradura (vanilla whipped cream and biscuits) and bebinca (a luxurious layer cake made with almonds). Wash it down with the local brew, Feni, which is usually made from cashews. Potent, powerful and guaranteed to start a party, this spirit is native to the region.

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History

Goa’s Story

Dating back around 25,000 years, Goa's history is complex, varied and fascinating. Thought to be the site of the earliest humans in India, archaeologists have found stone-axes and tools from around 10,000 years ago. In the millennia that followed these first settlers, Goa was ruled by dozens of different Empires and rulers, including the Mauryas, the Chalukyas, the Kadambas and the Bahmani Sultans.

In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur Sultanate and established the town of Velha Goa, beginning a rule over the region that would end up lasting over four centuries. When India was granted independence from Britain in 1947 it demanded that the Portuguese returned Goa - the Portuguese refused. The Indian army intervened in 1961 and (after several decades of turbulence and annexation) Goa was finally made India's 25th state in 1987. Today, it retains its unique identity, attracting millions of visitors to its beaches and party towns every year.

Language

Dev Boro Dis Dium | Hello
Dev Bhorem Khorun | Thank you

Konkani

The official language of Goa is Konkani, a Indo-Aryan language that is spoken along the west coast of India. Many people also speak English and you shouldn't have a problem at main tourist spots and hotels - many signs are also in English. If you feel like giving another language a try, the following in Konkani might be useful:

  • Bye: Yetha
  • Please: Maashe
  • Excuse me: Matshe aikta
  • Do you speak English: Tumi English ulayta ve?

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Need to know

+91 Dialling Code
100 | 102 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • The number for the fire service is 101.
  • With the raving party scene comes plenty of people trying to sell drugs. Our advice: Don't. Penalties are severe and the transactions are often scams. 
  • It may look calm, but Goa's sea can hide powerful riptides. The safe swimming season is November to March. 
  • Unprocessed cashew nuts (which grow in abundance) are poisonous. Avoid. 
  • Avoid ice from bars, be wary of ice-cream and always wash hands before eating. There are plenty of stomach nasties about. 
  • Make friends with a local taxi driver and arrange to use them for any transport you need during the trip. They're unlikely to rip you off and offer more security then lots of different drivers. 

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for India here

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Travioor Recommends

1. HIT THE BEACH

You're spoilt for choice with beaches; Mandrem and Agonda are particularly clean and idyllic.

2. MARKETS

Goa is famed for its shopping - hit the famous Saturday Night Market in Arpora for beautiful handicrafts and trinkets.

3. EAT LOCAL

Seafood dishes are a staple part of Goan cuisine - the local prawn curry is out of this world.

4. PARTY

Hit one of the late night raves in Colva or follow the sound of drums to the beach - this is party heaven.

5. EXPLORE

Head to Dudhsagar Falls or visit one of the churches in Old Goa - the region offers plenty to explore.


See What's On In Goa