North Goa vs South Goa – Where to go and how to decide?

by Kirti Kabra
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Planning a Goa trip is legendary in itself, let alone finding yourself torn between choosing which part of the land to visit. The striking contrasts of North and South Goa make it one whole, and to experience it together may often be a challenge. If you’ve found yourself grappling with the question of choosing between North Goa beaches and South Goa beaches, or simply where to head first, then let us help you identify what’s best for you to make the most of your trip. 

Let’s talk beaches

If you’re up for engaging in water sports, then North Goa is for you. It is home to a few of the best water activities and experiences in Goa: scuba diving, paragliding, parasailing, and the best banana boat rides. Head to Calangute beach, Baga beach, Candolim beach, Vagator beach and Anjuna beach for some thrilling fun!

If you choose to lay back, relax and enjoy some peace, South Goa is perfect. It is the den of unblemished, pristine beaches that are beautifully secluded and offer an amazing landscape for photography. Check out Butterfly beach, Palolem beach, Colva beach, Agonda beach and Benaulim beach for natural, scenic beauty. 

What about Goa nightlife?

Yet another thing that comes to mind when you think about Goa tourism, is its upbeat, lively nightlife. Days must be spent living the old, susegad life; while nights are when the city comes alive.

If ‘party all night till the sun comes up’ is your kind of thing, North Goa is for you. Make way to hotspots like Café Mambos, Thalassa, Sinq Nightclub, Curlies Beach Shack and Club Cabana. 

For silent, mood-setting parties, head to South Goa. The Silent Noise Club in Palolem is known to be the best!

What are the best places to visit in Goa?

The Goan culture and food is a symbiotic blend of Portuguese influences with native Indian peculiarities, which is reflected in the city’s distinct cuisine, forts and attractions. 

The best of Goa’s authentic, gourmet specialities lie in North Goa. From cute cafes to beach shacks, the options are aplenty. Check out our favourite recommendations: Baba Au Rhum, Britto’s, Artjuna Cafe, Thalassa, A Reverie and Cafe Chocolatti. Mouthwatering local delicacies you must try in Goa are xacuti (spicy curry), cafreal (spicy marinated chicken), bebinca layered cake and sanna rice cake. 

To capture the best of Goa’s historical attractions, head to Panaji. These heritage sites are lined with ruins of cathedrals and forts, and the ever magnificent  Basílica de Bom Jesus and Sé Cathedral. 

To find unflinching serenity and unbeatable seafood, head to South Goa. Our favourites include checking out Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Cabo de Rama Fort, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, and eateries like The Fisherman’s Wharf, Martin’s Corner, The Farmhouse Bar and Bistro, and The Red Ginger. 

P.S. There isn’t a single Goa beach that isn’t worth visiting, regardless of its location!

Where is the best place to stay in Goa?

The best way to live in Goa is by finding your own pace and place! Gone are the days when staying in the best hotels in Goa was considered the most obvious choice. Having your own privacy gives you the freedom to embrace the truest susegad life Goa has to offer. And, no matter what your holiday vibe is, there’s a Vista villa in Goa ready to complement that mood!

To live close to the beach, the upbeat Goa nightlife, cosmopolitan cuisine and hippie markets, check out these Vista homestays in North Goa: Wings on Water, Villa Kinara, Saanu Ki? Villa, Terra Rosa, Villa Arcadia, Cerulean Villa, and Vista Willow.

To enjoy the calmness of the city with spectacular views and cleaner beaches, check out these Vista homestays in South Goa: Ashore by Vista, Nature’s Abode, Bay Terraces, Isle View, Hunter’s Lodge, and Casa de Fiesta

Get your own villa in Goa and experience the uninterrupted pleasure of Goa’s blissful way of life!

Any Goa travel guidelines to keep in mind?

We come bearing good news! Goa has reopened its borders for fully vaccinated tourists as well as those who present a negative RT PCR report. After registering a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, Goa travel and tourism has been reinstated. One does not require an Epass to enter the state as well. 

Please bear in mind that most public modes of travel, restaurants, hotels and casinos may now be operating on a 50% occupancy basis and all COVID appropriate protocols must be followed. 

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