The ultimate guide to all things Goa
From cafes and boutique hotels to luxurious hotels for a pleasant stay, save this handy guide to make the most of your trip to the sunshine state
With remote work and backpacking gaining popularity, Goa has once again become the go-to destination for many. This wonderland is divided into three parts—North, Central & South, each offering a unique blend of geography and culture. In the south, you'll find a laid-back, chill vibe that will leave you feeling refreshed, while central Goa offers a local feel, offering a glimpse into the lives of the localites. And the North? Well, here’s where the actual party is at (literally), where the good times never stop. The beaches here are so serene and the sunsets so magical, you'll want to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. And oh, the restaurants here are a foodie's haven, offering a plethora of options that will leave you drooling.
So pack your bags, put on your shades, and get ready to experience the time of your life in Goa, because we've got the ultimate list of must-visit places that will take you on an unforgettable journey.
Keep scrolling to create your own itinerary.
Brews and Views: Cafe’s in Goa
The Café Mademoiselle
This Cafe in Assagao is charming and stylish with soft pastel hues and plenty of natural light. Their French delicacies, including Pain Perdu, Bailey’s and Strawberry Tiramisu and Croissant Sandwiches, are expertly crafted and not to be missed along with other freshly baked croissants, breads, cookies, and cakes, which will transport you to Paris.
Eva Cafe is perfect for a romantic evening with a glass of wine, or a morning meal in their delicious breakfast bowls. The view of the majestic sea, all-white decor, wooden furniture, and boho vibe make it a gram-worthy spot.
Artjuna is a must-visit eatery in Goa that serves fresh and contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Their signature hummus, falafel, shakshuka, and Middle Eastern Thali along with the fluffy bakes from their French-style bakery are not to be missed. Pair your meal with a freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice, smoothie, or smoothie bowls. And the aroma of freshly ground Arabica coffee beans and the variety of brews will definitely appeal to coffee lovers.
Baba Au Rhum
Baba Au Rhum, is a popular dining destination for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant sits atop a small hillock and boasts stunning views of the surrounding fields. With a casual and lively ambiance and upbeat music Baba Au Rhum's energetic vibe is a perfect complement to the delicious food served here.
A bibliophile's delight, Booked Café offers not just a variety of tasty treats, but also a comfortable place to settle down along with a good read. The cozy corners invite you to unwind, with soft armchairs and pillow-plumped seats. Pick from an assorted range of books or choose to indulge yourself in board games like Twilight, Scrabble, and Jenga, as you sip a perfectly brewed cuppa joe.
Grilled and thrilled: Restaurants in Goa
Located in a charming Heritage House in Panjim and boasting the brand’s signature vibrant décor, this is the perfect place for dimsums, sushis, gyozas and tacos, and of course tropical cocktails to complement the meal. We highly recommend trying their Pad Thai and Ramen dishes that are bursting with flavour and soulful.
A Mediterranean restaurant with charming outdoor seating that will transport you to the streets of Europe, Rosé offers a diverse European cuisine that perfectly complements the Lebanese Mezze platter and Kebobs & Grills. Enjoy the flavours of Italy with their handmade pastas, risotto and Neapolitan pizzas, as you settle in a cosy and romantic space that boasts a French country atmosphere. Sporting the largest selection of wines in Goa and signature cocktails definitely adds to the playful dining experience.
Taj introduces Paper Moon, an Italian restaurant that has made its mark in Milan, to Goa, promising an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy stunning views of the fort, blue waters and palm trees while relishing in a leisurely lunch of signature dishes like pasta, risotto and tiramisu, prepared with fresh, seasonal produce. End your meal with a wholesome dessert of pineapple ravioli or a classic tiramisu that will transport you straight to Italy.
Roboto is the perfect casual-dining spot for you if South-East Asian flavours excite you. The extensive menu features everything from karaage dishes and kushiyaki plates to tasty ramen bowls. For those in a hurry, the bento box options are a great choice, providing a quick and satisfying meal. Roboto is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore Japanese and Korean street-food culture.
House Of Nomad
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa in North Goa is home to House of Nomad, a gastropub that offers delectable Portuguese and Goan cuisine, along with a wide range of artisanal cocktails. The establishment's menu is inspired by the quote, ‘A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving’; and encourages guests to take their time and enjoy the experience.
Sunset Sips: Sundowner Places in Goa
Azule offers an inviting and chic dining experience. Sporting a cosy and trendy interior and incorporating natural elements such as bamboo roofs and weathered wood aesthetics, Azule specialises in flavorful Indian-inspired dishes, as well as European cuisine, including delicious salads, pastas, and pizzas. You can sit by the beachside as you sip your drink and admire the sunset, or head to the gazebo-style seating area to enjoy with your posse.
Situated on Ozran Beach, Badmaas is adorned by the stunning panoramic view of the shoreline. Th bar menu is curated by mixologist Bensan Geevarghese giving you the chance to savour signature cocktails with playful names like Pushpa, a gin-based cocktail with Aperol and blood orange; The Dirty Four, a feni-based cocktail with a house-made tomato mix; and The Bulls of Badmaash, a vodka-based cocktail with Red Bull and basil. The Genda Phool, a bourbon whisky-based cocktail with dates and saffron syrup, vegan foam, and marigold, is a must-try for whisky enthusiasts.
Occo provides scenic and breathtaking views of the sky along with a wonderful dining experience. Their menu is a delightful mix of fresh salads, comforting soups, juicy burgers, flavourful starters, aromatic curries, scrumptious sushi, varied pastas, and irresistible desserts. The dining area has a refined yet rustic feel, with wooden-hued flooring, chairs, tables, and cushions. The atmosphere is stimulating and refreshing, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a delicious meal with a stunning view.
Anjuna's hippie vibe may have evolved over time, but Slow Tide beach shack offers a chance to revisit that era with its vibrant atmosphere and delectable menu. This restful and inviting space, located where the iconic San Francisco beach shack used to be, boasts elegant bamboo décor and direct beach access. You can choose to unwind in any of its four distinct areas - the outdoor deck, terrace, indoor community table or the high-chair bar, each offering a unique experience.
Recently opening its door to the crowds of Goa, Recca offers a unique blend of history and modern gastronomy. The restaurant takes pride in presenting a healthy lifestyle and culinary choices of the past, presented with a contemporary twist. And the white walls and wooden flooring are combined with aerial gardens, creating a beautiful and calming atmosphere as you dine peacefully. Whether you choose to sit by the waves, sink into leather couches or enjoy drinks at the bar, Recca promises a memorable experience.
Groove and Move: Party places in Goa
Soro, The Village Pub in Assagao is a happening place with a rustic charm. From its bricked-walls, to the music and ambience, everything screams retro at this pub. The menu is a blend of Indian and global cuisine, with a focus on local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The cocktails are a must-try, with the bartenders concocting unique blends using fresh herbs and fruits.
Romeo Lane, situated on the stunning Vagator Beach, offers an impressive array of cocktails and beverages, as well as a diverse range of dishes to tickle your taste buds. The ambiance of the place is undoubtedly the highlight, with its lively party atmosphere and the live music only adds to the already buzzing atmosphere.
Dubki offers a gastronomic experience that is second to none. The menu boasts a range of delectable options, from Xacuti Mushroom Samosa to Mutton Mandi. The ambiance of Dubki is both peppy and serene, making it a perfect spot for a romantic date or a chill time with friends. At night, it transforms into a glamorous party place with delicious dishes that are works of art.
Nestled near the serene Siolim jetty, this restaurant is a must-visit for all nature enthusiasts. From live events and dance floors, to private cabanas for a romantic dinner, Oh Lala has a little something for everyone. Don't miss the opportunity to sail through the mangroves and soak in the tranquil beauty of nature with a glass of champagne in hand. As for the food, the wood-fired pizzas and the Mexican delicacies are sure to tantalise your taste buds.
Raeeth is not just a restaurant, it is an experience that proffers the best of music, art, and gastronomy. With a fresh Mediterranean way of living, this venue is designed to help you unwind and find happiness in life's little moments.
Vintage Mirage: Boutique Hotels in Goa
Anamiva is a beautiful boutique hotel with a unique Vedic vibe. The statues of Hindu animal totems placed across the property add to the ambience and give it a distinctive touch. The lilting step waterfalls that seem to have no source create a calming effect as you enter the hotel. The designer suites are spacious and beautifully designed, with different categories demarcated on the basis of upholstery and flooring. The rustic and au naturel feel of the hotel makes it a perfect getaway for those seeking a peaceful vacation amidst nature.
Relax in the lap of luxury at Grandeur of Mademoiselle, where each suite exudes chic sophistication. The outdoor bath in the luxury suite is the epitome of bliss, while breakfast in bed with a glass of bubbly is the ultimate indulgence. The premium rooms offer picturesque vistas of the fountains, and the romantic deluxe rooms are perfect for couples seeking a snug atmosphere. Don't forget to visit the balcony bar for some refreshing mimosas as you soak in the opulent surroundings.
Maravilha, a Boutique Stay
Maravilha boasts an ideal combination of modern amenities and traditional Goan hospitality. The property has an all-day dining space, and you can also head out to explore Assagao's popular eateries. If you are looking for some activities, the hotel can arrange for a guided local village walk or yoga classes on-site. Whether you want to relax by the pool, indulge in some spa treatments, or explore the local culture, Maravilha has got you covered.
Ahilya By the Sea
A hidden gem for those who want to unwind in luxury and privacy. the hotel offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the popular North Goa tourist spots. The hotel features three villas with nine spacious rooms, each boasting the spectacle of the Nerul river. For the food lovers, the alfresco restaurant serves an array of delicious dishes from Goan, Italian and French cuisines. And for those who wish to be pampered, can head over for a relaxing spa session.
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel
Fort Tiracol offers a unique and historic stay for travellers, in North Goa. The former armed fortress, once belonging to the Portuguese, has seven rooms and suitesfacing the Arabian Sea and Tiracol river. The in-house lounge bar is a nod to the taverns of old Portugal, while the all-day café serves up delicious snacks and pastries with Indian, Goan, and European influences.
Plush Beach Retreats: 5 star properties in Goa
The ultimate destination for party-goers looking to let loose in the vibrant atmosphere of Vagator Beach, with scenic sea views, amenities and a lively ambiance, this resort promises an unforgettable stay. The Portuguese-style balconies in each room add a touch of old-world charm. Don't miss out on the FIT gym, WET Outdoor pool and Away Spa for an experience that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa is a blend of colonial architecture and contemporary luxury. The terracotta-roof suites and villas create a peaceful oasis for guests. Boasting an award-winning Jiva spa, sunken bar, pool, and a sunset deck perfect for romantic dinners, your stay here will be memorable. Pet lovers will be pleased to know that the resort is pet-friendly.
The Taj Fort Aguada Resort
Known for its unique and picturesque location, nestled amidst the historic Fort Aguada and overlooking the Arabian Sea, the resort is spread across a sprawling 73-acre property, offering the perfect blend of modern amenities and old-world charm. Guests can choose from a variety of accommodations, including spacious villas, charming cottages, and elegant rooms facing the sea or the fort. The resort also boasts of multiple dining options, including authentic Goan cuisine, international dishes, and signature cocktails at the sunken bar.
JW Marriott Goa
JW Marriott Goa is a haven of serenity and luxury. The resort features multiple dining venues, each offering unique and exquisite cuisine. The Spa by JW is a must-visit for anyone seeking relaxation, with Turkish and Moroccan hammams that leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The location is unbeatable, ensuring you can easily tour Goa's most famous landmarks and beaches.
Hilton Goa Resort
Hilton Goa Resort is a fantastic choice for a family vacation. Located on a hillside and looking down at a gushing river, all while you get to enjoy world-class facilities and four outdoor pools, there's something for everyone here. The kids' club is a great option for parents who want to relax while their children have fun. Additionally, the resort is pet-friendly, making it an ideal choice for families who wish to bring their furry friends along.
Well, that’s about as detailed as we could get about our recommendations. Hope these help you create the perfect itinerary for your next trip to Goa, a trip filled with good food and drink, idyllic vistas and of course the serenity of nature.