Goa is a state to the south of Maharashtra and popular for its beaches, cheap booze and music festivals. Due to the influx of tourists, Goa has become a bit crowded and heavier on the pocket, but there are still some places which have preserved the “Goan Soul” without compromising on the price. North Goa is a place where you can find the perfect balance between celebration and serenity.
HOW TO REACH:
- Going by Bus is an overnight journey and would cost around INR 1000 if booked in advance from Mumbai or Pune.
- A train journey is time consuming, but will cost lesser than bus around INR 600-800, but personally the best option is to go “Dil Chahta Hai” style, by car, which could take a day at most with a halt in Kolhapur but the drive will be totally worth it.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The best time to visit would be from mid-October to January. The weather is cooler, the crowd is vibrant. A lot of festivals are happening. The New Year’s eve is something which draws a lot of footfall to Goa each year.
- “BUDGET” TIME TO VISIT: The cheapest alternative is to visit in June-July-August.
- The “touristy” crowd is not present at all, the hotel rates are never cheaper.
- Traffic is a lot less so you can rent a car (starting from INR 1000 a day) or a scooter (starting from INR 450 a day) and roam around without any hassle.
- All the rent,transportation and accommodation would be very reasonable during these months.
WHAT TO DO:
- Visit the magical “Dudhsagar Waterfalls” (INR 300 per person).
- Visit the Chapora Fort(DIL CHAHTA HAI! fort) and make a pact to meet your friends every year. (Free entry).
- Visit the Anjuna Night Market on Wednesdays to shop for little trinkets.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus – A UNESCO World Heritage site for the cultural significance.(Free entry)
- A spot on Vagator beach, far away from the crowd is a nice place to bathe in the sunlight or to swim in the ocean in a pretty secluded place.
- Tito’s Club- Tito’s has a hip,cool and chill vibe which is a perfect first night in North Goa. A bit expensive during peak seasons but reasonable rates during off season.
WHAT & WHERE TO EAT:
- Bebinca(Traditional Goan 7 layered dessert) at Fat Fish (INR 100)
- Chicken/Pork/Veg Xacuti(Sweet and Sour curry) at Fat Fish (INR 200-220)
- Pizza and Goan Prawns Curry at Thalassa (INR 400)
- Bombil(Bombay Duck) at any beach shack. (INR 150)
- Steak at Britto’s (INR 350)
- Caramel Custard, Pork Vindaloo at Bob’s Inn (INR 80)
WHO SHOULD GOA?
Basically, Everyone but still:
- Students looking for a nice weekend to unwind after the stressful exams.
- Families looking for a quick but peaceful getaway.
- Anyone looking to take advantage of a long weekend.
- If you want to get away from all the hustle-bustle of the city without hurting your wallet.
- Planning for such a short trip should be done in advance to take advantages of hotel discounts.
- Any online hotel booking portal can offer discounts and deals if booked in advance.
- Total cost may come around INR 5000.
- The best budget months are June-July-August in every year.