North Goa Beaches
Goa is actually huge which is why I’m just focusing on north Goa beaches in this. I didn’t go to the south of Goa. I got a bit overwhelmed when researching the options of where to go in Goa actually.
There were so many choices.
And most posts recommended getting a scooter and driving between them so you can stay at a few. But I didn’t drive a scooter back then and was scared of doing so as I heard so many horror stories of people injuring themselves and then not being able to carry on with their travels since it’s kind of hard to walk to busses and the like carrying your backpack with a broken leg. It just didn’t seem worth the risk to me.
And taxis in Goa are known for being ridiculously expense and hard to find.
I therefore asked my friend who live in Bangalore at the time which beach I should go to and she said to definitely stick to the north if I wanted to go to some parties in Goa too and recommended Anjuna Beach. So that’s where I went for a week. I could just have easily spent the time exploring south Goa instead as there are lots of options of things to do there too.
Apparently Goa has just launched its very own Taxi app like uber though so if you’re heading that way it may now be a lot easier to get around even if you don’t want to drive a scooter. And it looks like it has a woman only taxi service too for added safety, wow.
If you are going to hire a scooter remember they’re dangerous. There isn’t too much traffic in Goa but they’re not something to be fucked about with. Make sure you wear a helmet and take it slow. I say this not to be your mother, but because I did some pretty stupid stuff when I first started riding a scooter or travelling on them just because I didn’t know better so figure I might as well try and help stop you from doing the same. Here are my top tips of learning to drive a scooter
I didn’t make it there myself but if you’re looking for parties another north Goa beach that’s supposed to be good is Vagator beach.
For anyone judging me for the fact I was just hunting down parties in Goa I’d just spent a month in Rishikesh in the north of India doing Yoga Teacher Training when I got to Goa so yeah I wanted the party area. I’d done my chilled out yoga time already. You could easily put together a full Goa itinerary if you want to explore more though. There are plenty of things to do in Goa that don’t involve parties too.
I loved Anjuna beach. It’s not the prettiest of beaches in the world but it has such a nice atmosphere. All of the restaurants and bars that line the beach are really well set up for lounging around in during the day or proving a good spot for sunset
My favourite for a cheap good lunch was Guru Bar which did a great curry, even if it did make me break out into curry sweats every time I ate it!
Arjuna Flea Market
There’s a market every Wednesday just back from Anjuna Beach. It’s packed with stall after stall of clothes, jewellery and trinkets. Goa in general is great for picking up cheap beach clothing but the market is even better. Watch out if you buy jewellery though. Almost everywhere in India they mark silver jewellery with the 925 hallmark (this is the indented stamp that you’ll find somewhere on all real silver jewellery that says “925”). They do this on ALL jewellery that is silver in colour though. Seeing the stamp in India does not denote that the jewellery is real silver. Unless you’re in a proper shop where they weigh the jewellery to give you the price, it’s most likely not actually silver.
Night life in Anjuna Beach
There are parties down on the beach every night with the bars staying open until the early hours of the morning. As a result the parties don’t kick off till late. Most people stay at their hostels and pre-drink before heading down to the beach about 11pm-12am to party the night away.
Curlies, Shiva Valley and Lilliput are probably the most well know of the clubs along the beach but which bar is busiest changes each night. It’s easy enough to see which bar is the one to go to on any given night, just wonder down to the beach and follow the crowds of people.
Club Cubana Goa
A bit off the beaten track as this it’s not along the beach front and is actually right at the top of a very big hill but well worth a visit. We went to Club Cubana on ladies night where women get free entry and free drinks all night. Men have to pay to get in but again get free drinks all night. Kind of crazy. The place is beautiful with lots of different outdoor spaces, a swimming pool and great views over the top of Goa.
Where to stay in Goa – Anjuna beach
Prison by thehostelcrowd. The name doesn’t make it sound appealing but it’s a cool hostel. The rooms are really basic, there is no fancy decoration going on or anything, but it’s a good place to stay. They have a large common area that’s really sociable and the free breakfast every morning is much better than normal as instead of some miserable looking cereal and bread they actually cook eggs for you however you want.
If there are a few of you then looking at renting a cabin on the beach would be a good idea.
How Long to Stay in Goa
I stayed for a week at Anjuna Beach and had a great time. If you want to visit and stay at a few beaches whilst there, you’ll need a bit of time but you could work it with just one or two nights at each beach depending on how often you can be bothered to move.
Getting from Goa to Hampi
I actually went onto Bangalore after Goa as I have a friend who lives there and wanted to go visit her so I took a quick flight there. Most people go to Hampi after Goa though. You can take an overnight bus to get Hampi and it takes about 7-8 hours. Since that is where most people go after Goa, I’d suggest not planning the exact day you’ll go on and just make a plan with some others from your hostel doing the same route once you’re in Goa.
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of the ruins of many temples and palaces. I haven’t written a post about it since I unfortunately missed out on going there but I’m told it’s really worth visiting and feels a lot like Angkor Wat and Bagan.