Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days | The BEST of Goa

I hope you’re reading this because you’re planning a trip to ! It’s such a fantastic place to visit. Although I recommend coming longer than the 3 days mentioned in this title, often readers email who mention they have that amount of time therefore I wanted to put together a basic 3 day Goa itinerary and show you the top places to visit in Goa in 3 days.

It seems to be a question I am asked a lot! Perhaps, I’ll add a 5 day itinerary down the road.

My 2016 Journey Plans

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

This first things you have to decide about Goa is 1. how to get here 2. which area you want to stay 3. when to come. These are all pretty important details! Getting to Goa is easy enough. Before reading this itinerary in full, you might want to read my ultimate guide to Goa to learn more about the state and the areas you can stay in.

You can fly into the only airport (GOI) or you can take a train into Thvim or Margao stations, or a bus straight into the town you want to be in. As for which area, I am going to focus this itinerary on Anjuna/Vagator as a base since that’s the most common choice travelers make. The best time to come is October through March but if you want to come in monsoon, here is an article on what to expect in Goa’s monsoon. Because most come in peak-season, this itinerary will be based on that.

You also need to decide if you want to rent a car or bike. You can alternatively ask your hotel for a taxi drivers’ number.

My 2016 Journey PlansDay 1 in Goa

Check into your hotel! There are some seriously kickass places to stay in Goa and like I said I am focusing this itinerary on Anjuna/Vagator, but you can drive to Ashwem, , Arambol, Siolim, Saligao, and more easily. To choose a hotel, check out my article on the best hotels in Goa, which is a list of all my favorites. If you want to really budget, check out this list of the cheapest guesthouses and hostels in Goa.

After checking in you’ll want to see the beach I”m sure so for day one I recommend heading to Vagator beach to eat lunch and have a day in the sun. You can grab nice pizzas at the beach shack Antares or you can get some Goan curry at Shiva Place. You can head down the beach to the right further and have more food options at Sports Bar. You can surf at this beach if you get there very early in the morning.

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Let yourself be pampered on the beach by the girls: getting threaded, massages, and buying sarongs when they come around to your beach chairs.Places to visit in Goa in 3 daysAfter the beach and showering up for dinner, you could enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the new beer garden, Zorba, in Anjuna then head to a perfect Goan dinner of rava fish or Indian tandoori at Anand Bar which is near Bobby bar intersection on the way to Vagator. After dinner you can party! It depends on the night so check to see where the party is. Some nights its Waters to techno, others it’s Hilltop for trance.. you’ve got to see what is on each day.

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Day 2 in Goa

Don’t waste the day being hung over! Head to the brand new Puttu cafe for a kickass healthy breakfast. They have the best smoothies and fruit bowls the unhealthy stuff if you want like bacon sandwiches. It’s delicious.

You can skip the beach today to do the tourist things. There isn’t much for tourists in Goa because it’s a “chill out” place. You can go to Ponda to the spice plantation (learn about spices, see the elephants, eat lunch here) which is just near Panjim which means you can see Old Goa (Portuguese influence, old churches) in the same trip. It’s about 1 hour from Anjuna and will cost you about 2,500 Rs. You can wander Panjim and do some shopping in the old Portuguese lanes.

old goa guide

Head back to your hotel to freshen up for dinner then pick from this list of the top restaurants in Goa (all my favorites). I recommend Thalassa if you can get there by sunset. It’s on Vagator cliff and has the best sunset view in Goa the vibe usually leads to a fun night out after. Again, you have to check wug.com to see where the party is.

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Day 3 in Goa

If you want to see a new beach, I recommend going North about 20 minutes to Ashwem which is a lovely beach. You can have lunch at La Plage, a very popular French restaurant then catch some rays. There is great shopping on this side of town. Check out my shopping guide to Ashwem to see the exact shops.

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Places to visit in Goa in 3 daysIf you decide to stay in Anjuna/Vagator area you can still do some shopping. I wrote a guide to shopping in Goa. You’ll want to start at Tia’s Shop outside her mum’s restaurant Natti’s Naturals (try the colorful salad, I don’t know what it’s called!).  Tia carries all the best brands in Goa her own brand which is the cutest and I wear all the time.

Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

Places to visit in Goa in 3 daysYou can try Anjuna beach if you were at Vagator the first day. Anjuna is chilled out and the famous beach from the party days. You can have a beer at Curlies to see the vibe. They do a good fish curry there as well. If you’re lucky you’ll be in Goa on a Wednesday and can go to the Anjuna Flea market which is just on the edge of the beach.

anjuna flea market goaIf you want to do some more things before your last dinner and night out, you can check out this list of 50 things to do in Goa. If you weren’t lucky to be here on a Wednesday, perhaps it’s a Saturday and in that case you can visit the Saturday Night market in Arpora. It’s my favorite market and you can eat dinner there. They have loads of options like rotisserie chicken, authentic pizza, Thai food, Greek gyros, dosas, curries, and Tandoori.. lots more. The shopping here is fabulous and there are two little “clubs” in the market.

Goa Itinerary | Places to visit in Goa in 3 days

So, that’s really about all you can fit in this 3 day Goa itinerary. I kind of picked my favorites beaches and restaurants. I couldn’t list the bars as you really need to check each day to see what’s happening. It’s not fun to show up at an empty bar! I wrote a post answering a few FAQ about Goa including the nightlife which you might enjoy and I wrote my 5 top tips for Goa  where I talk more about transportation.

There are a few things I didn’t mention that are great to do in Goa but 3 days most likely is not enough time, unless you really prioritized these things: volunteering with animals and going to the secret beach.

If you take some time to read more of my articles on Goa you will see there are SO many fabulous options of things to do, that you might end up extending your time in Goa to a longer stay!

If you are coming to Goa, you definitely need my ebook, . It’s 170 pages filled with the most up to date, comprehensive information about Goa it has all my secret places to go that I’ve found after living here almost five years.This book has 50x more information about Goa than my blog and is organized to make things easy for you to find. . 

 

2017-08-17T13:50:12+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.

23 Comments

  1. Danielle April 5, 2016 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Looks like an amazing place to visit, glad you had a great time!

  2. Lu April 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I just got back from Goa on Saturday, April 2, 2016. I stayed in Manderm Beach. I have many regrets about traveling to Goa and I”m finding it very difficult to focus on the positives. I find your information misleading for future travelers. You failed to mention the TRASH all over the place. The SHANTIES right next to the places you discuss, the lack of safety when traveling the roads by any means. I saw motorbike accidents and it made me worried for all the babies and children on motorbikes and scooters without helmets. The dogs barking all through the night. Dogs are everywhere and I like dogs but you can’t sleep because they bark all night long. The conditions of restaurants, bathrooms, and most places are not sanitary. The sand has sand flies/fleas that leave bites all over your legs and feet. There is ample sunshine, warm sea breezes, and a warm sea to swim in. Food and drink are cheap but I would prefer paying more for cleaner conditions. I went to yoga three times at Ashiyana and the instructors were wonderful but the same as any other place in India it was not clean. The yoga mats were filthy and not wiped down after class. Cleanliness is not a priority in Goa India and I like things clean and sanitary. If you like the same then traveling to Goa is not for you.

    • Rachel Jones April 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Lu, it’s a shame you had such a bad time. Mandrem is one of the nicest beaches. In my “this is india” series I share A LOT about the things in India which are upsetting like slums, bike accidents (I lost a very good friend in one), kids without helmets, trash, and issues with stray dogs – Goa may be a cool beach town but it’s still India, and unfortunately India isn’t for everyone.

    • CK October 31, 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Jesus Christ why do you even travel Lu? How devoid of any form of common sense are you that you would travel to somewhere like India if you like things ‘clean and sanitary.’ What the hell did you expect? Maybe next time take a weekend away instead and stay in a 5-star hotel where you can be as anal retentive and boring as you please.

      • Emma August 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

        I am with you here !!

  3. Alison Kroeger April 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, a friend and I are planning a two week trip to India in Oct/Nov to celebrate her 50th birthday. We’d love to end off our time relaxing in Goa, but this would be over Diwali. We’d really like to enjoy the festivities & were wondering if there would be lots happening in this part of the world, or if we’d be better off being in a bigger city for these celebrations.
    Your advice and any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.
    Regards
    Alison

    • Rachel Jones April 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Diwali is a lot different in Goa and not as big as the cities – but I don’t know if you’d like the big city diwali! it’s full of smoke from firecracks and fireworks and with the haze already my friends who live in mumbai and delhi all want to leave at these times as it’s hard to breathe, traffic is crazy, and the men get very drunk

      • Alison Kroeger April 5, 2016 at 8:57 pm - Reply

        Thanks! Sounds like we’d definitely be better off in Goa over that time. Any specific recommendations for where we should stay to enjoy the festivities?

  4. Ari April 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    The nasty trash JUST piled up the last 3 months cuz of all the Indian tourists!!!! It is Not from Anyone in Goa! Everyone knows how to recycle and burn their trash and every season these Bombay and Delhi people move on and throw all their shit out the window at night and into everyone’s yards! They have no consideration and I don’t even like when Rachel’s blog tells of our good spots cuz these fools come here to have their first beer or celebrate their affairs with their secret man pal and throw the glass all down the stairs, where we park, and walking barefoot in the sand! We need more euro and out of India tourists, not out of state visitors who cause rude destruction. And the dog packs are fun. You have to train them and they’re all good.

    • Ari April 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      P.s Iam an ocd clean freak and I can’t believe I’m able to live in Goa lol. It’s called loving the “rustic” life and being one with the natural elements. There are sand fleas everywhere. Just use Dr. Bronners soap and take a proper shower scrub and they won’t follow you to bed. When I first came here, I was surprised how every resturant has a sink to wash in, in India. It is not a barbaric place. It’s just natural! Sometimes I joke about wishing I had my uv air filter from Costco, instead of using a fan at night, but India hasn’t smothered mother earth’s natural flaws. It’s a good thing. That’s why they stay unique.

    • Rachel Jones April 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      The dogs can be fun :) we’ve taken in two (shanti and omni) & they are family now! omni is a bit dense haha but shanti is clever :) you’re right about the litter. it’s a real shame.

  5. Faye April 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Now I am excited to visit any of these places.. i really enjoy your post. thanks!

  6. Sarah G April 11, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Rachel, I have been following your blog for years, but have never written (that I remember!). Thanks to your detailed information and enthusiasm for India, we made this amazing country a part of our year trip around the world. I am traveling with my husband and 2 kids (ages 8 & 10). We were in India from late October ’15 through late January ’16, and constantly used your blog as a guide for great places to experience in Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, and Goa (of course!). I’ve tried to chronicle our unique travel experiences as a family, on our own blog (also inspired by your website). I wanted to sincerely thank you for all of your hard work, and wish you continued success.

    • Rachel Jones April 11, 2016 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      That’s awesome – I’m happy that my blog helped you in your trip & it’s great that you’ve started one of your own about your time in India :D

  7. Megha April 15, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Wow Rachel.. absolutely loved your blog! Having been to a few myself, your recommendations are spot on! Wouldn’t change a thing in your itinerary. Brilliant.

  8. CL November 23, 2016 at 2:44 am - Reply

    I’ll try to incorporate to my travel plan to Goa. Thank you Rachel :D

  9. abhiu2x June 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel as you mentioned in your article i find it really nice but in comments your comments are horrible dear…India is not that bad.
    I just want to ask you question

    -> Other places in the world are free from accidents?
    (people use helmet in goa)

    -> Other countries dogs didn’t harm anyone?
    ( i think they won’t harm you until you disturb them)

    -> All beaches of world are free from sand flies/fleas?

    -> And goa is a very small territory of india… Goa is not high tech city.
    ( Goa have good restaurant, cafes and bars too it’s all about where you are spending your money)

    • Rachel Jones June 20, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      I think you need to read them again – Those are not my comments they are a reader’s comments to a post I wrote about how great Goa is … in my comments I say I have adopted stray dogs, love the beach, and the whole article is about good restaurants cafes and bars! literally don’t even know what you’re talking about.

  10. Emma August 19, 2017 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your recommendations ! I am going on a 3 day week end in October to celebrate a friend’s birthday, so I will try to to include some of your suggestion in the planning ! One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to get there !

    • Rachel Jones August 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      awesome I hope you have the best time! if you want more tips, I just released an ebook about Goa but for just three days, this blog post is probably all you need to know! have fun!

  11. […] I’ve done this for a weekend in this guide: 3 days in Goa, India […]

  12. […] Read more: how to have the PERFECT 3 days in Goa […]

  13. Mihir January 30, 2018 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Hello Rachel,

    Thanks for the information, I have never been to Vagator as of now, planning in few weeks though. I am not sure if you mentioned about the scam for liquor anywhere on your website or any other blog.

    The liquor is surely cheap and the vendor/ retailers never provide enough information about travelling with liquor. It is banned to take outside goa and they inform the cops who confiscate it on the border, charge you heavily and send half of it back to the vendor/ retailer.

    In my opinion readers could ask for the authentic license on the shop as well for very cheap that could be shown on the border to have a hassle free exit.

Like the Article? Leave a Reply