The excitement to visit Goa gets double, especially when you are going to Goa first time.
A trip to Goa will always bring excitement & butterflies. All those insects bounce inside the stomach.
I know that you have been part of many groups that had canceled the Goa trip every time & spoiled your mood. So I went on a solo trip to Goa to avoid any group cancellations if, by chance, it took place.
The article is all about the pointers to know when going to Goa first time.
How to Reach Goa by Train?
Suppose you are someone who prefers to travel long distances & wants to enjoy slow traveling. Then, Delhi to Goa by train would be an excellent decision.
Delhi to Goa distance is 1872km.
The travel time distance could be more depending upon your train too.
Rajdhani express departs from New Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin to Madgaon Junction in Goa on Fridays and Saturdays.
Trivandrum Rajdhani departs from New Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin to Trivandrum station in Thiruvananthapuram Kerala on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays. You can drop out at Madgaon Junction in Goa.
The travel time distance could be more depending upon your train too.
If you had chosen Delhi to Goa Rajdhani Express, the traveling time would be 25-26hrs approx. That was totally from my experience while traveling & Yes, the arrival time will be accurate in many cases.
The Delhi to Goa train fare will range according to your preference of the train & class (3A,2A,1A).
Taking a 25hrs journey by train would be an unusual experience that you should take once in a lifetime.
23 Things to Note Down When You are Going to Goa First Time
You can write down or bookmark this article or even pin this article for future references because you should need this as a constant companion in Goa.
Three Golden Rules
1. The Dogs may Bark at you without any Reason!
That was not a one-time experience, but I can honestly say it happened almost every day when I went out on the roads.
People have dogs inside their house, sometimes 2-3 dogs. The dogs will start barking at you without reason whenever you pass a particular home. They would follow you till you become extinct from their eyes.
The dogs would not do anything as such. Instead, they want you to move quickly from the guarding house.
In that case, carry a stick or stone whenever you cross a house to scare them.
That would be necessary, especially when you get scared of the dogs. Also, this point will make your mind prepared before experiencing this anytime. facilely
During my 30 days of Volunteering in Goa, I used to capture images. But unfortunately, almost regularly, I encounter street dogs that bark needlessly.
2. Be Prepared to count Footsteps
If you are going to Goa on a tight budget, I hope you already have a fixed budget in your mind.
In that case, you will be willing to save as well.
Hardly you will find anyone walking on the roads. Goa’s rate to rent a scooter is too low that everyone prefers scooters over anything else. Sometimes, you would not even see a local walking along the roadside.
Therefore, Walking along the roadside can help you save some money. But you will find yourself an odd one out.
The point will make you prepared for shorter distances that you can walk. But, If you wanted to go far away, finding a means of transport would be advisable.
3. The language will not be going to be a problem when you know English
People from all over the world visit Goa.
It becomes necessary for people to communicate in a language that the Goan people easily understand.
In Goa, the people speak and understand Hindi English very well. But the local people of Goa are more comfortable with their local Konkan language.
You will have to communicate with a translator for a foreign tourist who does not speak English.
In Goa, the chances of bumping into a person from the same city are high.
Beaches and Season in Goa go Hand-in-Hand
4. Division of Beaches
Beaches like Arambol and Vagator become divided among tourists.
For e.x., On Arambol beach, you will mostly see foreign tourists & on Vagator beach, you will come across Indian tourists. In the majority of the cases.
The people divided the beaches among their preferences, taste, and word of mouth.
Also Read, 3 Days in Goa Itinerary from Remarkable 30 Days of My Adventure
5. Know about seasons in Goa
Just like any other state Goa also has an offseason.
The high tourist season in Goa starts from Nov – to March when people majorly come to celebrate Christmas and New Year. However, Summers & monsoon seasons remain to be an offseason in Goa.
But you can also visit Goa in the off-season. So the off-season would be a different experience for you as well.
Food lovers in Goa
6. Try the most loved Goan food
I know you had eaten Samosa and Pav before but had you tried the combination?
I hope most of you have not!
The Samosa Pav had become my favorite from the first day itself. I used to have Samosa Pav every time I got hungry.
Every state offers some combination that keeps knocking our minds when we feel hungry.
Let me know in the comments the most famous food of your state & fill all the readers with cravings.
7. Try Local Restaurant food with No Menus
Most small Goa local restaurants do not have menus. Yes, you read it right the restaurants do not have a menu. However, they will give either Veg thalli or Fish thalli.
The Veg thali will cost Rs. 70-80 per thali, and the Fish thalli will cost you Rs. 90-100 per thali.
Trying local food will also save a few bucks in Goa on food.
After being a first-timer in Goa, I advise you to try Veg and Fish thali.
8. Low-cost local Restaurants
The local restaurants in Goa have lower prices when you compare them with beachside cafes and restaurants.
The beachside cafes keep the tourists and local restaurants where the locals come and eat. So I do not think you will see a local going to a beachside cafe to eat.
Q. How to Identify a local restaurant?
Ans. You can pinpoint while on the road from the outside. The food will be tasty; you would feel like visiting every day to eat the delicious Goan fish curry.
To Avoid Pointers
9. Avoid staying in Hostels with Kids
If you are a family man with kids, avoid going to hostels because the hostels are not made primarily for families and kids under 18 in mind. The Hostel concept came into existence, keeping backpackers and low-budget travelers in mind.
How does spending one month in Goa under an 11k budget sound?
10. Avoid clicking Strangers on the Beach
Avoid taking photos and videos of the people on the beaches. Let people enjoy their privacy.
It is OK to click pictures of your near and dear ones but not strangers.
It is a crime to click pictures of strangers without even asking them. However, if you are a photographer and want to showcase the vibes of the Beach, then try the Landscape mode in which the presence is felt.
Similar to the image below. A person is walking along the seashore.
Zoom-in and close-ups are A big NO.
11. Avoid going out in the Afternoon in Goa
Avoid going out during the Afternoon, especially if you want to walk. That is because the Afternoon remains quite hot, and the evening would be the best time to go on a long walk in Goa along the seashore.
12. Bus Interchange option
Mapusa is a big town in Goa if you take any bus anywhere, for e.x.- Anjuna, Mandrem, etc.
At First, the bus will go to Mapusa, and then you have to interchange to reach your destination.
Towns like Mapusa’s capital, Panjim, are more commercialized by locals than foreign tourists. So the Goa local buses are the best way to travel longer and see Goa.
13. Avoid Overcrowded Buses in the Afternoon
The buses in Goa sometimes become overcrowded. Not sometimes, the majority of the time.
You cannot even put your hands inside the pocket because you will hold bars from both hands. You do not want to confuse yourself by taking your one hand down.
The best thing you can do is, travel early morning by bus, around 9 a.m – 10 a.m. That will ensure that your one-side journey will be hassle-free on the bus.
14. Don’t expect a lift on your own
If you go to Goa solo, do not expect anyone to give you a lift keeping the heat factor in mind. An exception would be the foreign tourist, especially women.
That is a hard truth, but YES, it is a truth!
Others will give you a lift if you try by yourself.
15. Search for cycles to save a bit more
You can rent cycles in Goa and that too from very selective places. Cycles would be handy in Goa because the roads are smooth and straight.
Therefore, it is easy to keep going with the flow of the cycles on the straight road.
16. Use Roadside Shops when your vehicle gets out of Petrol
You can buy Petrol from the roadside shops; almost every shop in Goa keeps 1ltr of Petrol in a bottle to sell.
The shop owners will provide you with Rs.90, keeping the current price. However, they will charge Rs.20 extra from the current price at the petrol pump.
The petrol pumps are located quite far in Goa. Therefore, buying Petrol from the roadside shops will eventually save you from dragging your wheeler to the pumps.
Let your Skills Talk
17. Show your Talent
If you want to stay longer in Goa and are also a first-timer to Goa, you will find this point interesting.
You can earn money while holidaying on the beaches of Goa. The beaches like Arambol, especially, foreign tourists set up their stalls and show their talents.
- People will provide you with a massage service.
- Handmade cakes.
- People Showing acrobatic skills etc.
Foreign tourists wanted to survive to know more about India and its culture. So the foreign tourists have to make something aside from hassle to stay longer in Goa.
Managing daily Goa expenses will be an option that will allow international travelers to spend a long time in Goa.
18. Be Creative when you want Good pictures
The Streets of Old Goa are creative and fascinating to the eyes.
It is suitable for street photography with natural colors in the backdrop. Moreover, the architecture of the churches of Old Goa will fascinate you to click as many pictures as possible for a lifetime memory.
The churches in Goa give an ancient vibe.
(One Photography tip – Just before Sunset is the best time to go on the roads and capture some breathtaking colors)
Just in Case – You would not be going to find any foot over bridges in Goa for the night trail photography.
19. Visit Night Market
Arpora Saturday Night Market will remind you of a perfect market to go out with your family and friends. Music, food stalls, local items, and much more will bliss your eyes.
The tourists who get settled in Goa & local people set up their food stalls. The people will perform as musicians and dancers, set up food stalls, and add spice to the night market.
There are no entry fees to enter the Arpora night market. You can go any time in the evening, just a few minutes away from Anjuna beach.
The Anjuna beach to Arpora night market distance is 4.4km.
Explore more but Gather Info
20. Locals are the way to go
You will agree that locals are the google of any particular area.
For e.x., If there are no fixed departures of buses in towns like Anjuna, Vagator, Mandrem, etc.
You probably have to ask a local when the bus will arrive. The local people will give an estimated arrival of the bus.
If you somehow missed a bus, the next bus will arrive approximately. 1-2 hrs on most of the time and even more sometimes.
The buses at main terminals such as Mapusa and Panjim have fixed daily departures.
21. Gather prior Knowledge of the Unknown areas
Don’t walk alone in the areas of Goa you haven’t been to before. Especially foreign women. The nights are alive in Goa, and you don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It would be fine if you are in a group, but avoid hanging out late at night at unknown places.
You can go to clubs and pubs that you have seen and are in the nearby surroundings.
Also Read, How to make One Exciting Month Exploring Alone in Goa.
22. Don’t end up exploring everything without prior Knowledge
Stay away from the jungle area at night if you hate insects because the night is the right time for the insects.
Water bodies and forests majorly surround Goa.
Therefore, Insects are a normal part of daily life there.
23. Escape from Beach life to explore more
Beaches are the first thing that comes to your mind & even mine too, when I hear about Goa.
But do you know that apart from the beaches, Goa has a waterfall too?
Yes, Dudhsagar Waterfall is counted among the highest waterfalls in India and is 50 km away from Madgaon Railway Junction.
I hope you’re now going to Goa by being more knowledgeable as a first-timer.
The first time to any place brings enthusiasm.
Similarly, read the First-Time to Jama Masjid of Delhi.
That was from my experience.
Would you please share and follow the blog? It will be going to help me to come up with more informative content.
Until then, See you on the roads.
Great Post! I need to add Goa to my bucketlist 🙂
Thank you ? Yes, surely you needed to add it.
I went to goa about 5 years ago and loved it. Loved this post but not number 17. Think it’s a shame that tourists are making money. I’d personally rather pay my money for local businesses, stalls and people or established businesses at least.
There is a big problem
In Thailand of western tourists busking, begging and doing art to pay for their travel. I hope this doesn’t happen in goa.
Hey Nicole, I am glad that you lived Goa and completely understood your point but there’s a larger probability that the tourist who is making money might be started living there and it became their full-time earnings. Also who wanted to spend a long time in Goa, surviving on their skills could be the only possibility. Anything might be possible in this case.
Great post! I just learned so much, and I feel as though I’d have some confidence heading to Goa if I’m ever able to! I’d love to visit. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for your valuable time in reading the post.
Agreed. This is really an ipressive article about Goa, one of the most visited tourist places in Western Indian Coast. There may be very few Indians, who have not visited this place once in their lifetime. The Portugese culture can be easily seen there. However, nowadays this place is much crowded round the year. You will have lots of acommodation options available here. I must tell you that, your photography skills are amazing, which makes your article even more eye-catching. Thanks. Keep posting good work.
Thank you very much for passing by the blog and moreover reading the post on Goa. I hope you have enjoyed the article. Thank you very much for your kind words and feedback on my photography skills.
Great tips & suggestion, Vansh
Thank you very much ?