Things To Do In North Goa- The Entire To Do List

While almost each one of us has been to Goa some time or another, those of you who are planning their debut holiday to this tropical haven, you have landed in the right place. We will tell you everything you need to know and cover during your first blast in the party paradise! From things to do in North Goa (you will know why  we picked North Goa first) to sightseeing and shopping in general, it’s on the list!

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Let me tell you, Goa is not as small as it looks, it is in fact impossible to experience all of it on your first trip unless you are planning on a month long sabbatical. Goa is huge and is essentially divided into two parts- North Goa & South Goa. This blog is totally dedicated to the upbeat Northern part of the paradise and we strongly recommend you cover this side of Goa foremost on your first trip.

Here is an assorted travel regime for a binge adventure trip to the Northern bit of the state.

Sightseeing and Things to do in North Goa

Let me tell you, Goa is not as small as it looks, it is in fact impossible to experience all of it on your first trip unless you are planning on a month long sabbatical. Goa is huge and is essentially divided into two parts- North Goa & South Goa. This blog is totally dedicated to the upbeat Northern part of the paradise and we strongly recommend you cover this side of Goa foremost on your first trip.

Here is an assorted travel regime for a binge adventure trip to the Northern bit of the state.

Let's Talk Beaches!

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All things to do in North Goa infamously begin and end with the beaches! Baga, Anjuna, Calangute, Vagator are some of the most popular visited names. These four beaches are the most crowded and they are always up to some mischief. My personal favorite though is Vagator, its dark coloured sand with cryptic red cliffs that happens to welcome some of the best crowds in Goa. Head off to Calangute if you want to try out some water sports.

If you wish to take a break from the madness and want some quiet and beauty, one of the days, you can choose to visit Sinquerim, and Mandrem. Wait, did I forget to mention the must go-to spot- the Arambol beach, yes, you must come here to witness Goan sunset and sunrise at its best. Another interesting beach is the Morjim beach, one of the only two beaches in India that happens to be the nesting grounds for Olive Ridley sea turtles. So, now you know which ones to pick.

A Walk Through The Doors of History

Church time!
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Church of St. Cajetan, Old Goa

Goa is incomplete without a visit to some of its iconic forts and old feel churches. Tick off places like Aguada fort and its iconic lighthouse standing tall since the 17th century and Fort Chapora located in Bardez, Goa. . There is a lighthouse too, which was used in the ancient days to guide the vessels in the current.

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Basilica of Bom Jesus

Sightseeing and things to do in North Goa also must include a visit to a couple of churches namely- the 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus that contains the remains of St. Francis Xavier and is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Secondly, the St Cajetan church, located in the village of Assagao, Bardez, is a fine specimen of Baroque architecture. You will enjoy the vibes of both these churches.

Temples and Museums!

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Naval Aviation Museum

Well, if you are inclined towards temple visits, there are some beautiful temples that line the district of Northern Goa. To name a few- you can visit the Mangeshi temple, Mahalakshmi temple, the Gopal Ganesh temple and Nagesh temple.

All right, let’s move ahead from cultural visits and kick your vacay up a notch! If you didn’t know, Goa is not just about sun, sand and the sea. Now, this might not be ideally in everybody’s must list of things to do in North Goa, but let’s see, if this peek your interest. If you didn’t know, Goa is home to an awesome naval aviation museum which you can totally visit as a tourist for a thrilling sci-fi experience and then, maybe opt for a scuba diving session at Grande Island in Nagoa later in the day. And you thought Goa might not live up to its expectations?

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Banana Boat Ride

If your nerves nerves are inkling you to head out to the sea without having to acquire much courage, you can quietly enjoy a banana boat ride at one of the beaches of North Goa. Kayaking at Bicholim Taluka is probably one of the joy rides you would enjoy the most with friends and family.

For intrepids, the Sinquerim and Grande beach offer great avenues for snorkelling, so maybe this is your chance to dive head on to the Arabian waves to witness some incredible marine life underneath the deep waters. Among other water sports to pump your heart beat, Jet skiing and parasailing will inevitably blow your mind.

Indulge In These Water Sports In Goa

When you are done with all the sea fun you could possibly take on during the day, why not experience something local and authentic in the evening? You read my mind right, its time to swoon away to the local tropical Goan beats during a must watch Goan cultural show. You may actually end up having much more fun than you imagined.

 

Goa can satiate the craziest cravings!

If you were a foodie like me, probably, trying fresh and juicy seafood in Goa would top your list of things to do in North Goa! The tropical climate of this hippie state makes the food here spicy and fiery. The local cuisine of Goa is highly influenced by the Portuguese culture due to their long lasting stay in Goa of more than 4 centuries. Rice and curries are the staple diet of the people here. I have managed to jot down some of the popular local dishes that definitely deserve a mouthful.

 

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Source: myheartbeets Pork VIndaloo
  • Xitti Kodi is the local name for Goan fish curry. It is an excellent blend of spices and coconut with fresh water fish. You will spot this dish in every Goan restaurant menu. Usually a medium sized pomfret fish is used in this, but one may also use mackerels or shark fish. You can enjoy this curry best with rice.
  • The Goan pork vindaloo is an extremely popular dish which comprises of pork, onions, chillis, garlic and potatoes. The meat is blended in vinegar and is later prepared in a mix of onions, spices, herbs and potatoes. Hungry already?
  • Bebinca is an ultimate relishing sweet dish that rhymes synonymously with Goa. It is a multi-layered cake and you can taste the flavours of coconut milk, sugar and other ingredients in it. It is often served with ice cream, and you will be glad to discover layers of biscuits, wafers or bananas in it. This seven layered cake is lip smackingly delicious and is rich in texture.

 

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Chicken Xacuti with biryani rice
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Source: bongong Alle Belle dessert
  • Chicken Xacuti, is a not-to-be-missed dish, if you are a hard core non-vegetarian. Star anise and poppy seeds are the special elements of this dish, and a lot of spices are infused in preparing it. 
  • Goan Croquettes are a lightly fried local snack that are made from minced meat, chopped vegetables, breadcrumbs and mixed spices. The batter is rolled into lovely cutlet shaped domes and is fried until golden brown. Best served with beer! Slurrrrrrrrrrrrppppp!
  • Alle Belle, is a delicious Goan appetizer and tastes as delicious as it sounds! Milk, flour, cashew, sugar- all of these creates an explosion of flavours when blended with chocolate sauce, coconut and butter, yeah, this one takes you to another dimension altogether! Soft and spongy in texture, its a slingshot to the clouds!

 

Shopping in Goa

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Anjuna flea market

When in North Goa, not shopping is a sin! Yes, definitely makes it to the must things to do in North Goa. Lets begin with the most colorful and famous – Anjuna market, a sight to behold, especially on Wednesday evenings. Just as you walk down the beach, you can spot junk jewellery, oxidised trinkets, cotton sarongs, handbags, jute clutches, and other handicrafts made within Goa, all displayed to your right and left. With attractive food stalls, offering almost everything you are looking forward to eat when in Goa, this is truly a well blended paradise.

 

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Mapusa Friday market

Near the Anjuna beach and market site, there is another market area, or as we call it in the country – ‘a bazaar’. This market place is known as the Arpora Saturday market, since that is when it comes to life. But this bazaar is more about food and drinks. The Arpora market is more of a night market, and it stocks a wide range of display, ranging from local products to designer goods.

Apart from Anjuna and Arpora, the Mapusa market is also quite a catch, when in North Goa. Quite pulated by the locals, this chirpy market is open from Monday to Saturday, and you can buy yourself some cool Goan antiques, clothes, spices, fruits, artificial jewellery, and other sundry stuff. If you wanted to try local Goan cuisine, Friday is your best day to be here.

 

Night life in Goa

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Goa after sundown

Nightlife in North Goa can be best defined as – ESTATIC & INSTATIABLE! There are ample of places to party, amazing clubs to hang out at and beer cafes to enjoy a nice chilled drink. Goa is for sure a paradise of clubs and discotheques. Some of the popular names are- Club Cubana, Café Mambos, Club Kamaki and Cape Town Café. From breweries to resort pubs to beach clubs, North Goa rewards you in plenty!

goa at night palolem beach

However, take out at least a couple of nights  to spend time at the beach as this is where the real Goa puts its mask on. Only “the been there done that” can actually describe you the experience in its truest form. The vibes on the shore will not let you abandon the sea until the sun’s up. Besides the food yeah, this one surpasses all my list of things to do in North Goa.  Goa just comes alive and swoops the crowd along with its cosmic vibes that will keep you going on like forever. The Pine shack near Calangute and the Curlie’s shack near Anjuna are the ones you must have your eyes on.

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When you think, you have a had your big crazy scoop of fun at the shore, maybe you can now head to one of the offshore casinos that you keep hearing about all the time. Maybe place a bet or two if you have some dough spared essentially in mind for some luck along fun, who knows how much extra cash you might just return with by the end of the night. Just swear to yourself you won’t get carried away if luck hits you at the table!

If you fancy a yacht experience, Goa will make it happen for you. Pick a luxury yacht or maybe hop onto one of the party cruises that”s lighting up with local music and dance aboard. So, you see, things to do in Goa might as well outrun your days that you may plan to cover. So, plan well and fair because Goa will hit you hard and wild! So, make it an affair crazy enough to remember. After all, what’s life without a little crazy?

If you agree with my list of top things to do in North Goa, wait for my next post on South Goa!