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Where to Stay in Goa

Where to Stay in Goa, India – the land of sun, sea, and sand

The former dominion of the Portuguese Empire, Goa, a state located in the southwest of India, is an attractive travel destination famous for its many pristine tropical beaches spreading along 105 km long coastline. India’s smallest state has been quite popular among soldiers and backpackers ever since colonial times when bars, booze, and brothels were the major hotspots.

Today, it a rapidly developing holiday destination attracting more than two million travelers from all over the world as well as the domestic ones just during the winter. Aside from the white beaches and the Arabian Sea, Goa has plenty to offer to its visitors such as energetic nightlife, beautiful nature, places of worship as well as majestic architecture listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Image source: road_ruunneer

Safety alert!

Goa is known as a huge drug scene for years now and drug-related crimes are not uncommon. When in a night club or a bar, take care of your drink, especially if you are a woman since there have been reported cases of rape and even murder of young women in Goa before. Also, tourists are mostly victims of petty thefts, so pay special attention to your valuables and don’t leave them in your room, and scams, especially when it comes to transportation such as taxis. During the night, because of the drugs, taxi drivers can be high or drunk, since alcohol consumption is somewhat part of the culture, so do avoid them at all times. 

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Goa

Image source: Wikipedia 

Goa is divided into two main districts, North, and South. Each of these districts has numerous culturally and historically diverse cities, although they are a bit spread out so it might be difficult to explore Goa. North and South Goa are very different in nature so one should take into account their own interests when selecting the right area for their base. All exciting activities and nightlife are located in the North, while South Goa is peaceful and less crowded. We suggest staying in the following areas:

  1. Tiswadi District
  2. Bardez
  3. Salcete
  4. Pernem
  5. Canacona

Whether you are looking for a quiet and uncrowded beach to relax, or you want to visit the rich cultural and historical heritage of Goa, or you are simply searching for the memorable parties, you will pursue it here. Despite the growing popularity of this travel destination, the congested beaches, and the massive influx of travelers around holidays such as the New Year and Christmas,  you will always be able to find a place to stay so you can explore Goa on your own terms.

To facilitate the search for the perfect accommodation, we have made a list of the carefully selected areas where you can stay in Goa according to the most common interests. 

Area

Ideal for:

Why?

Tiswadi District – North Goa

First-timers

Cultural and historical values and other tourist sights

Bardez – North Goa

Nightlife

All bars, restaurants, nightclubs are located in this area

Salcete – South Goa

On a budget

Wide range of affordable accommodation options

Pernem – North Goa

Bohemians

The coolest place to stay in with amazing scenery and beaches

Canacona – South Goa

Long-term stay

Family-oriented, peaceful area

Where to stay in Goa for the first time – Tiswadi District (North Goa)

Image source: Wikipedia

Tiswadi District belongs to the North Goa. The majority of the cultural and historical landmarks as well as colonial architecture is located in this area. It is an island-ish territory including several smaller nearby islands and the capital of Goa, Panaji.

A World Heritage Site and former Portugal’s capital in India, Old Goa also belongs to this district. The remains of the prosperous historical past are scattered all around the area. That is why this district is an ideal base for those who are visiting Goa for the very first time and want to acquaint themselves with its culture and history. 

Image source: dronephotographybible

Things to see and do in Tiswadi District

There is plenty of sights to visit and activities to do in this area. From the cultural and historical landmarks to places of worship and white sand beaches for everyone’s liking. Here are our top picks: 

  • Explore Old Goa and see it for yourself why it was once called ‘’Rome of the East’’
  • Wander around Fontainhas, Latin Quarter
  • Visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus
  • Visit Sé Cathedral 
  • Visit Goa State Museum
  • Go for a ferry ride to Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
  • Visit Gitanjali Gallery

Old Goa

Old Goa was the capital of Portuguese India and known as the ‘’Rome of the East’’ for its majestic architecture. Today, its remains are on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Also, it is home to four major churches in the whole Goa such as the Se Cathedral, the Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of St. Caetano, and the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Image source: nikakulbatskya

Fontainhas

Fontainhas is a vivid Latin Quarter in Panjim, the capital of Goa. It contains unique and lively buildings, and colonial architecture reminding the locals and the tourists of the great influence the Portuguese had in Goa during colonialism. Each year, the people of this neighborhood turn their historic houses into art galleries displaying unique pieces of Goan art and heritage. 

Image source: glimpses.of.goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus

This Roman Catholic cathedral is located in Old Goa and as such forms the part of the Churches and Convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are kept in this church. Bom Jesus is a Portuguese word meaning ”Holy or good Jesus”. 

Image source: thegoantouch

Sé Cathedral 

If you decide to visit this cathedral, you should dress appropriately since it a holy place in Old Goa. This cathedral is one of the largest churches in Asia being 76 m long and 55 m wide. It was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim Army in 1510. Today, this cathedral is also the seat of the Archbishop of Goa. 

Image source: ashiquesimon

Goa State Museum 

If you are interested in the history of Goa, visit Goa State Museum or most commonly known as State Archeology Museum in Panaji, a very unusual place and find out all about its rich historical heritage. It is home to more than 8 000 artifacts on display such as archeological objects, sculptures, rare coins, etc. The museum won’t be found at this location much longer since the new museum building is in store. 

Image source: alexesaliev

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Take a short ferry boat ride to this natural oasis and bird sanctuary to see the common bird species. Apart from the birds, this sanctionary is well-known for the paved walk with different species of mangrove aligned on the sides.

Image source: duskendale

Gitanjali Gallery

Visit this gallery and acquaint yourself with the contemporary art scene of Goa spreading all around this interesting building. Also, this gallery possesses unique and large collection pieces of Scandinavian art from the 50s and 60s such as lithographs, serigraphs, linocuts, woodcuts, and etchings.

Image source: jain__harshali

Where to stay in Tiswadi District

Tiswadi District is very popular among tourists so the accommodation options are for everyone’s budget and preferences. Still, Airbnbs are the most popular accommodation option. The average nightly price in Airbnbs is $67.

We recommend the following Airbnbs:

Affordable optionThis princess guest suite with swimming pool

Moderate priceThis apartment with amazing sea view

Luxury optionThis super luxurious villa with pool and lawn 

Find more Airbnbs in Tiswadi District here.

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