5 mins read
20 Things To Cross Off Your Bucket List In Goa
By Akansha Borthakur
06 Apr, 2023
Housed in the Konkan range, Goa is one of India’s wildest and hottest travel destinations since decades now. The white sand beaches, fresh seafood, unique biodiversity, lush flora and World Heritage-listed architecture make this place a perfect getaway for friends, families and our special someone. It is frequented by local and international travellers alike, many of whom decided to stay back forever.
Also famous for its notorious hippie culture, Goa was that one location where western hippie travellers came to, loved living and burnt their passports to never go back. Crazy right? It did happen. That initial phase has now lead to Goa being a hubspot for hippie handmade goods and street markets.
But if you are planning a trip to Goa and dunno what to do when you are actually there, well, here are 20 different things you could try. Might even take you an extra trip to finish all these.
1. Snack on seafood
Honestly, we would go to Goa just for the seafood. It is the best place for keen pescatarians and for foodies like us, who like to try whatever comes their way. Black snapper, white pomfret, squid, oysters, mussels, tuna, mackerel, shellfish, sea bass and crabs are just some of the items on the menu when it comes to seafood in Goa. Goans sure do make a mean rava oyster fry and the best part is, the seafood is all super fresh.
Must try - Goan squid fries with a chilled beer.
Cost - Rs. 800 for two.
Experience the finger-licking Goan cuisine
2. Go island-hopping
We're sure you’ve heard of club-hopping before - well, you can do that in Goa too; but you can also do some island hopping. Goa is surrounded by numerous offbeat, serene and gorgeous islands that can truly make a hell of an itinerary for a day. Go to St. Jacinto’s island for a walk along the languid beach, to Bat Island for some exciting water sports or Vanxim island to see old Portuguese houses and mandrake forests.
Must try - Sunbathing on Conco Island.
Cost - Starting from Rs. 1300 per person.
Relish the deep blue sea
3. Check out the churches
There is a reason Goa is called the ‘Rome of the East’. And no, it is not the day of drinking. It is because of the beautiful architectural marvels that are the old Portuguese churches. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Church of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catejan are the top 5 must-visit churches when you are looking for things to see in Goa.
Must try - Trying a confessional.
Take a peek at the rich history of Goa (Source: TheTopTours)
4. Clubbing @ Club Cubana
Club Cubana or ‘Nightclub in the Sky’ is located on a hilltop near Anjuna Beach, Club Cubana is one of the most famous clubs in Goa. Entry is quite cheap and the music is always banging since many national and international DJs are always there spinning tunes. There is an urban myth that says you might see one or two familiar faces in Club Cubana wherever you go there. There is also a pool right in the middle of the club so there is practically no reason to check it out. Don’t forget to order one of their famous pizzas.
Must try - Wednesday ladies night where ladies drink for free.
Cost - Rs. 1000 for couple entry
A boozy night in Goa (Source: Holidify)
5. Anjuna flea market bargains
Legend says that the first hippie settler called ‘eight fingers Eddie’ started the Anjuna flea market way back in 1975. When the foreign tourists first arrived in Goa, they fell in love with the place and many of them even ended up burning their passports. So they used to gather on the beach to trade clothes, guitars, food and other handmade goods to stay just a little longer in Goa.
Now, the market is full of expats and Indian nationals selling handmade jewellery, self-designed hippie clothes, leather shoes, yak sweaters, beaded decor and even homemade jams and pickles. A great place to talk to people, grab a beer and do some light shopping. And like every good old-fashioned street market, bargaining works here too.
Must try - A hippie pair of harem pants.
Tip - Be good at bargaining!!
A market by the sea should definitely be on your wish list
6. Picnic on a secret beach
Nothing beats a picnic with your friends in a beautiful secluded location. And unfortunately, not every tourist destination can provide one with that. But, lucky for you - Goa certainly can. Goa has a plethora of secret beaches that you and your friends can reach in a jiffy. We recommend the elusive Galgibaga Beach. Located about 18km from Canacona, this beach is also called ‘Turtle Beach’ since it is an occasional nesting/hatching site for the endangered Olive Ridley turtle. Consider yourself lucky if you spot one!
Must try - Picnic lunch at Butterfly Beach.
A sunset picnic on the beach is a must
Just in case you didn’t know, parasailing involves being harnessed to a parachute which is thrust forward by a fast-moving boat. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? It certainly is. And Goa is famous for its parasailing activities. It is not very expensive and there are many vendors on the famous beaches like Candolim, Anjuna, Calangute and Donna Paula who will be more than happy to provide you with this experience. And if you are not a parasailing person, you can choose to wakeboard, kitesurf, windsurf or even jet ski.
Must try - Parasailing at Baga beach.
Cost - Rs. 950 per person for a complete package including other activities.
Who doesn't love a little bit of adventure? (Source: GoaBeachWaterSports)
8. Take an art class
Taking a class during a holiday might seem like an arduous task, but not if it's something really cool and interests you. Goa is full to the brim with unique and spectacular artists of all kinds - many of them offer 3-day/1-week courses you can take to get a basic understanding of their art form. There are more than 100 different types of art classes happening in Goa at any one time, flyers of which you will see all over the city too. Candle making, clay sculpting, watercolour painting, beaded jewellery, woven bracelets, embroidery, gift packing and yoga are just some of the examples.
Must try - Take a macrame class and make a potholder.
Cost - Starting Rs. 700 for a 3 days
Feel Goa through art (Source: Pinterest)
9. Rent a Vespa
This one does not need an explanation. If you are in Goa & don’t know how to ride a scooter, we are sure you are gonna feel a little left out. This cute little transport is the best way to explore Goa and its surroundings. Drive up to Keri Lake for an empty beach, hit up Curlies for some munchies or take your scooter to the hippest club in town - you can do it all.
Must try - Drive along the beach before the sun rises.
Cost - Rs. 300 per day
Let the Vespa do the walking
10. Volunteer at the animal shelter
If you have some time in Goa and feel like giving back to the community or just doing some productive work, why not volunteer at an animal shelter? WAGS or Welfare for Animals in Goa is an organization that rescues dogs, cats, cows, camels, goats etc. and is run by a very involved person called Atul. You can use your time there to feed the animals, take them on walks, volunteer during events and even help fundraise. WAGS is located in Siolim.
Must try - Dog walking on the beach at sundown.
Cost - Free
Get yourself a scruffy partner
11. Snorkelling & scuba diving
Back to adventure mode. When you are midst the ocean - blue waters and beaches on all sides, a little fun time with the fishies is a must. Snorkelling and scuba diving are pretty common activities in Goa and finding a paid instructor is not difficult at all. Swimming with the pretty fishes, exploring the depth of the ocean and getting freaked out the first few dips is all a part of the ride. Just learn to enjoy it.
Must try - Grande Island snorkelling and scuba diving.
Cost - Rs. 1500 for each.
Get to know about the daily under-the-sea business
12. Get a tattoo
Feeling a bit adventurous on your trip to Goa? Why not make it a permanent memory on your body and get a fun and quirky little tattoo while in Goa? Doesn’t have to be something big and gaudy you know. Could be something sweet and small that you (and maybe all your friends) could get as a gentle reminder to this amazing vacation that you took. Ideas off the top of our head are a small ocean wave, the outline of a boat or a tiny sunset.
Goa has some very talented and great tattoo artists that can do you in a jiffy. But please be careful and do some research about the parlour before you step in. We highly recommend going to an actual professional, not a street-side tattoo shack.
Must try - Mandalism Tattoo Studio in Vagator.
Cost - Rs. 700 onwards
Get the Goan memories inked
13. Hot air balloon ride
This one is a bit on the expensive side. Not something you can do under 500 bucks, that's for sure. But it is exhilarating af. Hot air balloon rides usually happen before the sun rises and last for 40 minutes to an hour. The Goa Tourism Dept. has teamed up with several flight providers that employ trained professionals to do these flights. The hot air balloon sails across the vistas of South Goa and gives you ample opportunities to take some stunning photographs from up top. Another really cool thing is, the basket are actually handmade with wicker. How cool!
Must try - Leaning out and down from the balloon (you will surely freak your friends out)
Cost - Rs. 9000 onwards for 2 hours.
Soar high up in the skies
14. Day Trip to Dudhsagar
Dudhsagar literally translates to Sea of Milk and is a four-tiered waterfall located about 60km from the town of Panaji in Goa. Some of you might recognize it from drone shots in countless Bollywood movies, the most recent being Chennai Express. One can reach Dudhsagar by trekking. There are 3 routes you can follow for it - Collem, Kuveshi and Castle Rock route.
During the drier seasons, the Dudhsagar Falls are not particularly spectacular but as the monsoon arrives, it gets swollen with water and becomes a regular tour de force.
Must try - Waiting for the iconic Goa Express to go by.
Cost - Rs. 1500 onwards per trip.
It is the Western Ghats at its best
15. Meet travellers at Shiva Valley
Rumoured to be one of the first-ever beach shacks in Anjuna, Shiva Valley is the hottest destination for local and foreign travellers to dance all their woes away. Till 5-6pm, Shiva Valley is just another food shack where you will see people enjoying seafood platters and towers of chilled beer. After 6, it becomes much more happening and sometime’s they even hosts parties that go on till early morning. Wicked!
Party entries are usually free but clubs in Goa mostly do end up charging for stag entries. If you want to make the most of your Goa vacay, then definitely head to Shiva Valley once during the night and meet travellers from around the world. And also get a taste of the famous Goa trance.
Must try - Cheese olive pakodas.
Cost - Approximately INR 1000 for two.
Feel Goa through the beats (Source: planetgoaonline)
16. Go see a live jazz band
Trance might be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of music in Goa, but trust us, there is much more than that. One night in Goa is best spent eating some delicious food, sipping on a cocktail and vibing to the smooth jazzy tunes of local artists. Many restaurants like Soro, Cantare and Jazz Corner have dedicated jazz nights one or twice a week. A night of jazz combined with some aromatic spiciness of the Goan cuisine and the salty sea air is bound to make that night impressive.
Must try - Soro: The Village Pub at night.
Cost - Entry is mostly free.
Some good music never disappoints
17. Go, bookstore hunting
This is something we love to do no matter which new place we explore. Bookstore hunting. Put on those shorts and ganji and head out with your friends to find the best (or cheapest) bookstore in Goa. Lotuseaters and Singbal book store are out recommendations. If you find out some more, do, drop it in the comments down below and we will add it up here.
Must try - Lotuseaters in Bambolim.
Cost - Entry free.
Where are the bibliophiles at?
18. Learn Oceanic Yoga
The Oceanic Yoga Institute in Goa provides 6-day courses for anyone interested in learning more about this art form, learning the basics of yoga and enjoying a yoga retreat near the ocean. Although the institute specializes in 100, 200 and 300-hour courses for yoga teachers and professional yogis, the yoga holiday retreat package is a great way to meet yogis from around the world and indulge in some self love and healing. The institute is located in Mandrem in North Goa and they also provide airport pick ups and drops for any guest coming to stay.
Must try - Ashtanga Yoga course.
Cost - Starting from Rs. 200 per hour.
Let the Yoga and Goa calm your nerves
19. Crocodile safari
‘Mugger’ crocodiles that live in Goa are the bigger and less predatory cousins of the infamous salt-water crocodiles. They stay mostly in the brackish waters of the Cumbarjua wetlands that connect the rivers Mandovi and Zuari. The tour includes a 3-4 hour ride along the Cumbarjua wetlands - watching the crocodiles sunbathe, the groves of mangroves and birds nearby because of the proximity to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The Cumbarjua canal holds about 40-50 crocodiles.
Must try - Feeding the crocodiles. JK, do not do that!
Cost - Rs. 1000 per person (beverages and snacks included)
Scally isn't it? (Source: Goaexplocation)
20. Mollem National Park
The Mollem National Park is located near the town of Mollem and Dudhsagar falls. It was declared as a national park in 1978 and covers approximately 107 sq. kilometers. The tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests are inhabited by a plethora of animals and birds, including but not limited to bonnet macaque, common langur, drongo, emerald dove, civets, leopards, Malabar giant squirrels, crocodiles, Indian black woodpecker etc. You can choose to hike inside the national park or take a scooter or vehicle.
Must try - Hiking along the river that flows inside the national park.
Cost - Entry free Rs. 20 for adults, Rs. 5 for children ( separate charges for camera/devices)
Check out the wildlife of Goa (Source: Rohan Khaunte)
In conclusion, Goa is a land of diverse experiences, from sandy beaches to ancient temples and everything in between. Whether you're a history buff, an adventure enthusiast, or a beach bum, there's something for everyone in Goa. But what makes your stay in Goa even more enjoyable is where you choose to stay. The Hosteller Goa has launched brand new hostels that offer a comfortable and affordable stay with all the modern amenities that travellers need. So, after a long day of exploring, come back to our hostel to unwind and relax with like-minded travellers from around the world. Book your stay at The Hosteller Goa for an unforgettable experience!