One day in Goa itinerary – Top things to do in Goa, India
Often called the “tourist paradise of India” or the “Pearl of the Orient”, Goa is undoubtedly a must-visit place in India. Given that it has sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and crispy prawns you can get by the beach, there can be no doubt – Goa is an absolute delight! Goa is a coastal region located towards the western part of India and bounded by the Arabian Sea on one side and land on the others. Although this is the smallest region in the country, it has the largest number of beaches spread across an area of 3,702 km square. With more than 50 beaches in the region, Goa witnessed a footfall of 633,100 tourists in 2017! Quite a big number for such a small place. But that’s the beauty of it: it never gets cramped here!
The period from March to June is the scorching hot summer season during which the temperature can reach as much as 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) with a skyrocketing level of humidity. On the other hand, the sea is calm and tepid with warm and breezy evenings. So, if you don’t mind some tan lines on your body, you might consider visiting Goa in summer. The Monsoon season lasts from June to September and is marked by the onset of heavy rainfall and a drastic drop in temperature. It is not advisable to visit the place during this season as you might not be able to experience everything it has to offer due to unpredictable weather conditions. However, if you are a venturesome person and would love to get yourself drenched in rain and strangled in mud, then you should try risking your Diwali holidays on it.
The winter season is indeed the best time to pull off your Goa trip since this is a winsome time for pretty much all tourists. The place is all shiny and lively during this season and very much available for water sports. Winter in Goa is the perfect time to make the most out of your trip. Festivals, parades, parties and an enthralling nightlife are just some of the brownie points of visiting Goa in this time of year.
A few facts about Goa
The city has more than 7000 bars licensed to serve alcohol. So, if you wanna grab some booze, you’ll never have to worry about where to go!
The fusion of Indo-European culture is exclusive to this place. A treat for all you wanderlusters out there.
The place is not only about beaches and parties – it has some very exotic wildlife and birdlife with more than 245 species of birds and 40+ varieties of other animals and reptiles.
A native Goan has the perk of having a dual passport, Indian and Portuguese! Isn’t that really fancy?
The largest church in Asia is situated in Old Goa, which makes this a historically important place as well.
One day in Goa Itinerary
Goa has a myriad of tourist attractions, and 24 hours are way too little time to cover all of them. Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Goa.
Rent a motorbike right in the morning
Start your day in Goa by renting a motorbike. In case you want a good bike, expect to pay around Rs. 400-500 for a day’s rental. If you’re fine with renting a scooter, it will cost you Rs. 300 or less. After you find yourself a bike, start your journey from Vasco to Panjim (also known as Panaji) via NH17/NH17B.
Visit the Sao Jacinto island
Only a short ride from Vasco is Sao Jacinto Island, the first stop on your way to Panjim. This small island with an abandoned Old Portuguese lighthouse on the cliff is a calm and relaxing place and a must-visit site. The island is connected to the mainland via the Silver Gate Bridge, so you can easily reach it on your bike, but it’s recommended to dismount the bike and take a short walk around the island. Don’t skip on checking out the charming St. Hyacinthi Church.
Spend some time in Panjim
Panjim is the capital city of Goa; if your taste buds are not fond of seafood, then this is the place for you. You will be able to find numerous multi-cuisine restaurants in this city.
There’s not much to explore in Panjim, but surely you can spend 10-20 min at the church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in the middle of Panjim city. It is a Portuguese Baroque style church, first built in 1541 during the colonial rule of the Portuguese in Goa.
Explore the heritage site Velha Goa
Get back on the bike again, cross the Ponte Conde de Linhares and within 10 minutes you’ll reach Velha Goa (Old Goa), a historical city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Popular sights here include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Se Cathedral . Be sure to pay a visit to the latter and admire the great architecture and cultural heritage. Afterwards, go to the Basilica of Bom Jesus and visit the body of St. Francis Xavier and brush up on your knowledge of Portuguese history and the origins of Christianity.
Time to hit the beach
Go back to Panjim, take a ferry to Betim, then follow the road to Candolim and Calangute. The ferry is operational between 6:00 to 22:00 hours. Don’t worry; you can carry your bike along!
When you reach Candolim or Calangute, head north to the famous Baga beach and grab some snacks. The beach is adorned with small shops and also has a karaoke arrangement every weekend. After satisfying your taste buds, it’s time for an adrenaline rush. Roll up your sleeves and live the experience of water sporting.
Evening in Goa
In order to calm that adrenaline rush down, drive yourself all the way to the famed Chapora Fort and enjoy the serenity of the place with a perfect view of the sunset.
After that, climb down the hill and head towards Vagotor beach to dig into some evening Greek-style snacks. Have your dinner at Titos lane in Baga and get the experience of the nightlife in Goa with all the bars and young people around you.
Where to stay in Goa?
Vivanta Panaji, Goa
Vivanta Panaji is a 5-star luxurious establishment located in the city center with an amazing view of the Mandhi River and Atino Hills. The hotel has hardwood floors with air-conditioners and a 32-inch-flat television in each of the rooms. A well-stocked mini-bar and a work desk are included. Bathrooms have a separate bathtub and rain shower. You can choose between a variety of cuisines here, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
The Woke hostel is located in Arpora and is 1.9 km away from the Baga night market. The hostel has a free wifi facility and serves a complimentary continental breakfast with well- equipped rooms and a microwave. The cozy rooms are perfect for a short stay, and you also get free access to an outdoor pool and sports.
– Trek to the marvelous Hivre and Sada waterfalls for a breathtaking experience!
– Go on a wildlife sanctuary expedition and let loose the hidden photographer in you.
Extra tips for visiting Goa
Pack up your flip-flops, sun-screen, mosquito repellent and some extra pair of clothes according to the season.
Get a rented bike to commute around the city which is both economical and adventurous.
Do not forget your official documents in any case, don’t leave them in your hotel room.
Make sure to see a Tiatr, a Konkani play filled with music, dance, comedy, and political satire.
If you are one of those travelers who likes to bring a little something from their trip back home, check out which Goa souvenirs you should choose from.
All of us have done that.
We all plan a Goa trip during our college days. And once we return from such a fun-filled experience, we always want more of it. More exposure. More exploration. More thrill in our lives. We start to ponder on planning bigger trips like that of moving abroad, especially if we want to get into a university.
But, oh! All our dreams begin to fade once we realize the tedious task of attaining a visa for an abroad visit! If that’s what’s keeping you away, then don’t worry, we’re here to help!
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If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Goa Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.
Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe & has an engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation & Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online start up for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company. He is very passionate about writing and marketing.