I stayed in Goa for 2 years for my master’s degree and have been able to explore most of the places to visit in Goa. Based on my experiences and explorations, I have crafted this Goa itinerary. This itinerary would help you to plan your Goa trip well. I have covered the best places to visit in Goa along with some recommendations for stay, restaurants and nightlife. So, when you plan your next trip, keep this Goa itinerary handy! The tourism of Goa can be summarized in this post.
There are many entry points in Goa. The two railway stations are located in Thivim & Madgao. If you are reaching Goa by bus, you can drop at Mapusa, Panaji as well as Madgao. This itinerary of 4 days/3 nights covers both, North Goa & South Goa. This itinerary will help you cover the best places to visit in Goa.
I have suggested 1 night stay in South Goa and 2 night stay in North Goa. Your stay in South Goa will help you cover pristine, white sand beaches and North Goa stay will let you witness some of the famous landmarks in Goa.
Here’s your 4-day itinerary for Goa.
Candolim – Old Goa – Panajim – Dona Paula – Panjim – Candolim
For the first two nights, consider accommodation in Candolim, Goa. It will help you cover some of the North Goa attractions. I have stayed at Maggie’s Resort & Shalom Resort in past. I would recommend both of them. Both are budget hotels with swimming pools. However, Shalom resort has a much smaller pool than Maggie’s Resort.
Once you have checked in your hotel, freshen up and proceed for breakfast.I would recommend Chocolatti in Candolim. Here, you can order English breakfast along with fresh juice or a cup of coffee. The ambiance is really nice and you will have a pleasant time. However, do check if it’s open when you are planning to visit as it keeps shut during off season.
Chocolatti, Goa (Source) – Places to visit in Goa
After having a delicious breakfast, head towards Old Goa. You can rent a car or a bike to reach here. The distance to Old Goa from Candolim is around 24 KMs. In Old Goa, you can witness the grandeur of historical monuments.
Once you have admired the beautiful structures of Old Goa, visit Panjim to savor delicious lunch. My personal favorite is Gene. Located next to the calm river Mandovi, this place offers you amazing food. Cheese Garlic naan is my favorite dish here. If you want to try some authentic seafood, Ritz is the perfect place for you.
After having sumptuous lunch, head towards Dona Paula to witness the beautiful setting sun. if you still have time before the sun sets, stop at Miramar which appears on the way to Dona Paula. Miramar is not one of the best places to visit in Goa. So, if you want to spend more time at Dona Paula, you can skip it. Dona Paula is a jetty which will offer you spectacular view of the pristine Arabian sea. As you witness the sun hiding behind the waves, you will gradually be in awe of the panoramic view.
Sunset at Dona Paula (Places to visit in Goa)
Leave Dona Paula soon after sunset as Goa roads become busy. Come back to the main city of Panjim. To end your 1st day in Goa perfectly, I suggest you two activities: Dancing & Gambling. You can head towards DTR (Down The Road) or a Casino. DTR is a small pub located close to Nescafe. It can offer you good music and affordable drinks. However, if you want to try out some gambling, head towards any of the Casinos floating on Mandovi River. I had visited Deltin Royale and had an amazing night. Casinos are open throughout the night and are the best places to visit in Goa. So, you can combine both these suggested activities.
Down The Road, Panajim (Source) – Places to visit in Goa
In case you just want to have a peaceful dinner, visit Quater-Deck, a riverside restaurant. If you are in the exploratory mode, visit Fidalgo and check out various restaurants here. There is also a food street located right opposite Fidalgo. You will find a wide variety of food items here.
Once you have enjoyed to your fullest, call it a night and return back to Candolim. Day 2 is going to be even more fun by covering many places to visit in Goa!
Liking this itinerary? Here is a version of my itinerary which can be customized according to your preferences. Give it a shot!
Candolim – Arambol – Ashwem – Fort Chapora – Vagator – Candolim
On Day 2, start with breakfast at Tuscany Gardens. Order some delicious eggs or savor the lip-smacking pancakes.
Next, head towards Arambol beach. Located at a distance of 26 KM from Candolim, Arambol is considered to be one of the best beaches in North Goa. Spend some time shopping. Later, grab a beer and relax at a shack as the clean sea waves reflect the gradually soaring sun. You can also try paragliding here
Arambol Beach – Places to visit in Goa
Once you have relished some delicious food, head towards Ashwem beach. This pristine beach with fine sand is perfect to laze around. It is located at a distance of 6-7 KM from Arambol, towards Candolim. Spend some afternoon time here at a shack. Order a cocktail and relax.
Next stop, Fort Chapora. Located near Vagator beach, this fort is the famous “Dil Chahta Hai” fort. The fort offers you the best views of the sunset. To reach the sunset viewpoint, you might have to trek a little. Hence, make it a point to reach in time. Reach the view-point and wait for the sun to set. If you are facing west, on the right-hand side you will notice Morjim Beach and on the left, Vagator beach. From the top, you will see the Arabian sea create stunning patterns. Enjoy the amazing sunset as the boats return from their fishing trips.
Sunset at Chapora Fort (Places to visit in Goa)
Once you have trekked down, head towards the nearby Vagator beach. As the evening colors change, take a peaceful stroll on the beach. Join the locals playing football or just dip your feet in the ocean.
Head back to Candolim to indulge in some lip-smacking dinner with exquisite cocktails & live music. If it’s Saturday, check out Arpora Saturday Night Market before dinner. Arpora night market can top all the places to visit in Goa if you are looking for unique experiences.
In case you want to party hard, Club Cabana is the place to be! The tagline, “Night Club in the sky” is almost literal. Club Cabana is located in Arpora which is around 6 km from Candolim. This club is not open in the off-season. So, it is recommended to check the status before visiting. Other recommended nightlife spots are SinQ in Candolim or Cafe Capetown in Baga. In case you want to sing your way along, St Anthony’s, Baga will be your best bet!
If you would like to have peaceful dinner, I would suggest L’Orange. You can choose from a wide variety of cocktails here along with tasty food. Also, you can enjoy live music here. Over the flames is another recommended restaurant in Candolim. It serves delicious food and is good value for money. Another amazing option for dinner is Sunny Side up. The restaurant offers lip-smacking dinner along with a view of the sea. Dig in that delicious dish served as the gentle sea breeze soothes your senses.
Wrap up your night by visiting Lower Aguada Fort, behind Taj Vivanta, at Sinquerim beach. Don’t confuse it with Aguada fort which is way too commercial. Lower Aguada Fort will provide you a pristine view of the ocean and if the tide is high, you will be able to enjoy the Arabian sea splashes. If you wish, you can grab a hot chocolate in Taj, resulting to an epic end of Day 2.
Lower Aguada (Source) (Places to visit in Goa)
Also Read: 28 Recommended Experiences in Goa
Candolim – Colva – Benaulim/Sernabatim/Varca – Betalbatim – Palolem
On Day 3, you can explore South Goa. South Goa has all the best places to visit in Goa!
Check out from your Candolim Hotel and head towards South. Before getting on the road, you can relish delicious breakfast at Mango Groove. It is located on the main Candolim road and serves decent food. Post breakfast, your next stop will be Margao. This 2nd largest city of Goa is located at a distance of 44 KM from Candolim. After reaching Margao, head towards Colva beach to enjoy delicious lunch along with some chilled beer. Mickey’s Restaurant would be a recommended choice here. Your other options can be Jamies for the variety of cuisines they offer. However, it is not located on the beach.
Post lunch, you can explore the nearby South Goa beaches. You can visit Benaulim, Sernabatim & Varca beach to witness the calm & pristine Arabian sea waters. Enjoy some leisure time at these clean Goa beaches. You can find some shacks at Benaulim which can serve you a chilled beer or a warm cup of coffee. All these 3 beaches offer you spectacular sunset view. Just let the evening pass by and relax. That’s what South Goa beaches are known for. Sernabatim beach is my personal favorite. It is less crowded as there is only one shack. Perfect for a peaceful time. Also, these beaches are very clean. Hence, you can consider taking a dip in the ocean as it changes hues along with the setting sun.
Sun-kissed beach, Sernabatim (Places to visit in Goa)
After spending 4-5 hours at the beaches, get ready to have the time of your life! Think no more and head towards Betalbatim beach. Here, you can find the best restaurant in South Goa, Martin’s Corner.
I highly recommend this restaurant for mainly 3 reasons. A wide variety of cuisine, lip-smacking food & live music. The music is simply amazing as the singer takes you through a joy ride. I have never seen such a varied collection of compositions being played in a restaurant. Price maybe slightly towards the higher side. But, it is totally worth it.
Post dinner and some fun to remember, head towards Palolem beach, located at a distance of 43 KM from Martin’s Corner. In Palolem, there are plenty of accommodation options available. You can take a cottage close to the beach and wake up next morning to the music of ocean. Also, Palolem has some of the best restaurants in Goa for breakfast. Hence, I would recommend staying your last night at Palolem.
Reach Palolem, check in your cottage and take a stroll at the beach. If you are tired, just relax as the sound of waves put you to sleep.
It’s your last day in Goa. Relax. Spend the day peacefully at Palolem, one of the best places to visit in Goa!
The morning waves of the Arabian sea crashing on Palolem beach will start your morning perfectly. I recommend to get up early and take a dip in the calm ocean till the sun starts shining. Once you are refreshed with the morning swim in the ocean, head for breakfast. I would recommend Ciaran’s for great coffee and English breakfast. This beach shack is located right on the beach. It gives you an amazing view of the Arabian sea. Another recommended restaurants for breakfast would be Cafe Inn or Little world. Both of these restaurants serve amazing breakfast and will leave you completely satisfied.
Post relishing breakfast, opt for a boat ride to Butterfly Beach or Honeymoon beach. For reaching butterfly beach, you will have to take the boat. However, in order to reach Honeymoon beach, kayaking would be ideal. You can hire a Kayak at Rs 150-200 per hour and paddle your way in the relatively calm & deep waters. It’s an exciting adventure when you realize that if your kayak topples, you might plunge 100 meters into the ocean. However, you will be wearing the life jacket which will prevent you from drowning. In case your return journey from Goa does not start until late night, you can keep boating & kayaking in evening.
Palolem Beach – View from the boat (Places to visit in Goa)
Palolem is the best beach in South Goa as it offers amazing restaurants, water sports like kayaking, breath-taking view and clean white sand. I would recommend spending the whole day here lazing around and admiring the surrounding beauty. End the day by relaxing at Cocktails & Dreams or Papilon’s Restaurant while sipping your favorite cocktail. The sunset at Palolem is simply spectacular. You would feel like you have entered a different universe.
Cocktails & Dreams, Palolem (Places to visit in Goa)
Palolem will help you end your Goa trip perfectly. Start your return journey from Goa, reminiscing the awesome memories you just made.
I hope you liked the itinerary. What do you think about it? let me know in the comments. In case you have recommendations for restaurants or hotels, I would love to know about them. In case you would like to know about things to do in Goa apart from visiting beaches, do give my previous post a read.