Sooo…done with the chills and rainy spells and the zero-sun game of the icy winter? Pack up your bags, book a fabulous Hotel in Goa – the epicenter of fun – and read our bucket list of all the fun things to do in Goa. Whether you’re travelling with your SO, a bunch of friends or just solo, Goa offers something totally fun for everyone. Here goes:
1. Do Not Move From The Beach!
Because the beach is where the maximum fun is. It’s got the sun, the glorious sea, sand for sandcastles and shacks for gorging on yummy food and beer; the beach rules. And there are so many beaches to explore.
In North Goa we recommend:
- Sinquerim Beach for its tranquil, palm tree-lined sands
- Candolim Beach for its sheer energy
- Calangute and Baga beaches for all the color, the holiday atmosphere and leisure activities
- Anjuna and Vagator beaches for their fun vibe, excellent beachfront restaurants and great views of the sunset
- Morjim and Ashwem beaches for their relaxed ambiance, clean sands and trendy bars and shacks. Both beaches are also famous as the nesting grounds of the famous Olive Ridley Turtles (tread carefully!)
- Arambol Beach for its quaint fishing village, clean sands and the perfect, relaxed holiday atmosphere
- Mandrem Beach for its silvery white shore, clear waters and tranquil surroundings
In South Goa, we recommend:
- Palolem Beach for its unspoiled beauty, throngs of vacationers that add color and atmosphere and dolphin sightings (hire a boat early in the morning and head out to the sea)
- Colva Beach for its phenomenal nightlife and powdery white sands
- Agonda Beach for being the biggest hidden secret on Goa’s beach trail
- Patnem Beach for its quiet, the hammocks and the yummiest seafood from the shacks
- Bambolim Beach for being one of the most unexplored beaches; this one’s truly off the tourist charts
- Cabo de Rama Beach for being another undiscovered beach, its beautiful namesake fort and stunning sunset views
2. Eat Till You Can’t Move
Stuffing your face with food is going to be one of the most fun things to do in Goa because Goan food is like none other – luxuriously spicy, influenced by various cultures and robust. Goa is also heaven for foodies, who want to try new cuisines and we’d recommend trying it all at every opportunity you get. Shacks are one option but we’d also recommend these:
- Poi or the local bread from your local bakery. Every village and town has its own multiple bakeries and they all excel at making poi, the staple Goan bread. Eat it with butter and hot chai or with a curry of your choice
- The mackerel fish curry and rice at Starlight in Arpora will light you up on fire! This awesome Goan cuisine place is housed in an old Portuguese villa and serves mile-high food to die for
- All kinds of crab dishes at Laxmi Family Restaurant in Morjim
- The ‘Catch of the Day’…whatever that maybe, at Bhatti Village in Nerul (plus everything else because it’s so good)
- The Rava Fried Mussels at Souza Lobo right on Calangute Beach; you’d end up falling in love with this legendary eatery that’s been in the Lobo family for 3 generations
- Keep your eyes wide open and hunt down Anandashram in Fontainhas (Old Portuguese Quarters in Panjim) for its delicious, home-style Goud Saraswat Brahmin cuisine. Especially recommended is the Fish Thali, Mungachi Bhaji and the Solkadi
- Traditional seafood at Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim – Martin’s is legendary and a must-visit destination in Goa
- Enjoy the cheese-stuffed crabs, the rare Serradura (a very unique Portuguese dessert) and nearly every other seafood dish at The Fisherman’s Wharf in Calangute
3. Tear Yourself Away From The Beach
(But not for too long!)
- Go see Goa’s amazing temples that narrate its centuries-old history with their deities and the stories behind them, their architecture that reminds you of both Portuguese-style buildings and traditional Indian structures and just for the feeling of calm they afford you. Goa’s churches are beautiful and storied and are a must-visit too. They are the punctuation marks in the region’s history when it was occupied by the Portuguese. If you can visit only some of these places of worship, we’d recommend the ancient Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple near Panjim and the baroque Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa.
- Goa is also home to many museums and they’re quite a fun thing to do in Goa. Visit the Naval Aviation Museum in Bogmalo for its huge collection of various types of aircrafts and military weapons, Big Foot in Salcette, Loutolim for a glimpse into Goa’s culture over the centuries, the Ancestral Goa Museum also in Loutolim is top eye candy for history aficionados and the Goa Chitra Museum for its stunning collection of nearly 4,000 artefacts that take you on a journey through Goa’s glorious past and its heritage.
- Another fun thing to do in Goa would be to go explore its rich forests. Several national parks like Netravali, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary & Mollem National Park, and Cotigao, Mhadei and Bondla wildlife sanctuaries call Goa home and are fun to explore. You can make reservations online to go stay a night or two (who doesn’t love camping under the stars?) in a state park.
- Go take a hike! Or trek. It’s the newest fun thing to do in Goa everyone’s talking about and you should definitely do this. Try one of Goa’s many national wildlife parks or trek up the Tambdi Surla Waterfalls or the much popular Dudhsagar Falls. You could also do an ocean trek at Arambol for the most awesome views of the Arabian Sea.
4. Dive Deep Into Goa’s History
With Ourem Creek on its east and Altinho Hill on its west, Fontainhas or Panjim’s Old Latin Quarters is a little place stuck in time. Once the capital of Portuguese Goa, Fontainhas was founded by a wealthy Portuguese, Antonio Joao de Sequeira in the late 18th century. It served as the Portuguese government HQ till an epidemic forced the babus to move to Panjim and the area developed as a residential colony. And those Portuguese-style houses and villas, the bakeries and the churches and the Fonte Phoenix (an ancient natural spring that gives the area its name) have all survived the ravages of time. You know what would be a fun thing to do in Goa? Explore Fontainhas on foot or a bicycle. Who knows what secrets you might unearth?
5. Get Back To The Beach!
- Try watersports. All kinds of serious fun in Goa revolve around the water. And admit it…you’re already missing the beach! So head to Calangute or Baga beaches for some adrenalin boosting watersports like parasailing and Banana boat rides, go kayaking at Palolem Beach, snorkeling at Sinquerim, Bogmalo or the Grande Island, knee boarding at Candolim Beach, kite sailing at Morjim Beach, windsurfing at Vagator, Colva or Dona Paula beaches, flyboarding at Baina Beach or jet skiing at Miramar, Colva, or Candolim beaches.
- Go dolphin spotting early in the morning – you’ll need to hire a boat – and watch a pod of these sea dogs frolic in the water
- Have a sandcastle tournament, a really fun thing to do in Goa (and totally cash-free!) with your friends and family
- Hire a boat (again!) and go fish for dinner. This one’s all the rage right now and a really fun thing to do in Goa especially if you’re with friends or family. Hope to find crabs and as a plus you can have them cooked at the local shack too.
- Party! On the beach, under a moonlit sky (or shimmering lights from the shacks if the moon is partying on the other side), in one of the countless pubs hemmed to the beaches or at a silent party, wrapped up in your own music
- Shop till you drop at Anjuna’s Flea Market, Mackie’s Saturday night market at Baga or the impromptu markets that sprout on the road leading to nearly every popular beach. Fun thing to do in Goa? Shop!
Staying the night at a haunted house in Goa (like the former home of the warring D’Mello brothers in Santimol), gambling the night away at a floating casino (the luxuriously appointed Deltin Royale), taking a houseboat cruise on the Mandovi River or just chilling out at a resort…the list of fun things to do in Goa is endless. Try our bucket list and add to it with your own suggestions in the comments below!