Although Goa is a state in India, when people say they want to visit Goa or are going to Goa, they are generally referring to the beaches and coastline! Lots of people from all over the world visit Goa whether they’re on holiday in Goa or visiting Goa as part of a backpacking trip around India.
I knew I wanted to go to Goa on my 4 month India trip, it was one of the places I was most looking forward to but when I started looking into it I realised it’s not as easy as saying ‘I’m going to Goa’, you need to know where in Goa to visit.
That’s because Goa is huge! Not in comparison to the rest of India but huge in comparison to other areas in the world and Goa has lots of beaches, not just one!
So if you are a foreigner and backpacker to India and looking to go to Goa but not sure which beach in Goa to visit or which is the best beach for you, here are the best beaches in Goa and the most liked beaches in Goa suggested by friends of India By Backpack!
I absolutely loved Palolem Beach in South Goa. It reminded me of the beaches in Thailand or in the Philippines. It’s not a huge beach but not small either and located in a nice bay. The beach has lots of restaurants lining it offering sun beds free of charge when you buy food or a drink from them but none of them are flashy and there are no high rise hotels on the beach, or even in the area, just lots of huts and small buildings.
Palolem’s main road runs just behind the beach, it’s quiet with lots of shops and even more cafes and restaurants. My favourite was Zest offering Vegetarian and Vegan Healthy Food and I ended up there way too many times.
Overall Palolem Beach is a great beach in Goa for backpackers because it offers a non commercialised beach setting with plenty of accommodation options. It’s the kind of place you visit for a few days and end up staying for longer!
Who liked it? The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog
Related Post: A Guide to Palolem Beach in Goa for Backpackers!
Miramar beach located in the capital city Panjim is one of the most serene beaches in Goa. It is located at the confluence of the Mandovi river and the Arabian sea and is easily accessible from the main road so there is no way you should skip this in your Goa itinerary. One of the popular things to do on Miramar Beach is a dolphin watching cruise, at just Rs. 300 you can get a 1-hour guided cruise with DJ entertainment and of course chance to see the dancing dolphins.
The Miramar beach is also a great place to bathe and relax in the shallow waters. It is one of the cleanest beaches in Goa, and despite being in such a prime location, is away from the hustle of other beaches. Don’t forget to catch the golden sunset at Miramar while sipping a cup of chai.
Who liked it? Backpack & Explore Travel Blog
My personal favourite is Baga beach in North Goa, located 18kms from Panaji Airport. This beach in Goa is good for all age groups and offers something for everyone.
During the day, things to do in Baga beach include escaping the crowds by walking along the beach until you come across empty stretches of sand at Baga deck with few people and a couple of shacks, relaxing by ordering a cocktail and enjoy the sun, sand and sea in peace!
For fun filled and vibrant evenings in Baga beach there are plenty of colourful beach shacks where you can let your hair down and enjoy the atmosphere. The shacks offer delicious and cheap freshly BBQ’d seafood, choose a different one each night and gorge on the local fare.
For those with more fancy tastes, check out the iconic “Brittos” where you will probably have to wait for a table. ”St Anthony’s” is right on the beach and has a fun and lively atmosphere with karaoke and dancing in Goa. 10 minutes from Baga deck lies “Fat Fish” restaurant which is a must visit in Baga.
For the Shopaholic try the famous Saturday night market at Arpora beach which is only 3 kms from Baga. A little further away is Anjuna flea market.
So, whether you are looking for the beach like fun atmosphere, or an empty relaxing zone, Baga beach has got you covered!
For an unusual and interesting destination in India, check out our post on Meghalaya here.
Who liked it? Two Flashpackers Travel Blog
Goa is filled with wonderful beaches, but if you love sunsets and want a beach that provides the best sunsets in all of Goa, then Vagator beach should definitely be on your list to visit in Goa. Vagator beach is a little different from other beaches in Goa. It’s a rocky beach, and it’s got beautiful red cliffs which are beautiful in the sunset.
Vagator is also known for its parties. The wonderful people of India love “rave” music and Vagator is home to some of the best raves in all of India. But, it’s also got lots of great bars and restaurants that play live music by the water.
So if you want to dine by the beach with cheap cocktails (alcohol is cheap in Goa), then this is your perfect choice.
Who liked it? Dream Big Travel Far Travel Blog
Keri (aka Kerim or Querim) is one of those secret beaches you hadn’t heard of in Goa. The beach is located at the Northern end of Goa, next to Tiracol Fort. It’s special because you are almost alone on a wide long stretch of beautiful sand beach.
Besides that, Kerim beach in Goa has pine trees instead of palm trees which makes it all the more special and unique at the same time. If you are looking for peace and some time off the crowds, then Kerim beach will be your favorite. Some of the fish curry rice meals are absolutely amazing in the beach shacks.
To get to Kerim beach, just travel from the popular North Goan hubs towards Arambol beach and continue the scenic road to Kerim. Simple rooms and houses near the beach can be hired for a longer period of time for a real budget traveler price.
Who liked it? Masala Herb Blog
Who liked it? TraveLynn Family
Arambol is a popular beach in North Goa. It used to be a popular hippy spot and although there is still a hippy vibe with evening drum circles, yoga and various healing courses on offer it’s also very popular with holiday makers and backpackers too.
Arambol beach is huge in length and width with lots of restaurants a long it offering sun beds in return for a drink or food from their menu. The ocean is perfect for swimming in with enough waves for it to be fun but not dangerous and the sunset in Arambol is beautiful as the beach is perfectly west facing.
As well as there being plenty of restaurants on the beach in Arambol the town behind the beach is a hive of activity too with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes selling Indian Food but also healthy Western Food too making it a great beach to visit for backpackers to India!
Who liked it? The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog
Now you know where to go in Goa, do you want to know how to book train tickets in India to get to Goa?
What about what the best foods to try are when you get to India?
Need to book accommodation in India? We recommend using Booking.com as we love the huge range of accommodation and flexible booking options they offer in India.
Need to check out Flights to or around India? Kiwi.com is a great site to compare prices and routes to get the best deal!
Remember that you’ll need travel insurance when you travel to India. There are a lot of companies out there we know, but World Nomad’s is a travel insurance provider designed by travellers, for travellers and includes lots of unique benefits like not needing a return flight home booked, which many providers need proof of if you claim. Whilst you’re thinking about it, get a quote for them here!
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