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This travel blog post details the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days
Whether it's your first time visiting Goa for your tenth, there are always new, exciting places to visit and adventures you can embark upon. Given the craze of Goa and the countless things it has to offer, planning a Goa trip can often get overwhelming. Everyone has a busy life and planning an epic trip while you have a 100 other things to do is not always possible. That's where I come in. This article tells you all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days. If you need more info, you can also take a look at my Insider's Guide to Goa (opens in new tab) based on my experience of living in Goa for 13 years. So dive in and drop a comment of you still need more information 🙂
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Goa is the most popular destination in India. In fact, most Indians love to make a Goa trip plan for 3 days during the long weekends. From the trendy cafes in the north to the quieter beaches in the south, there's a lot to be covered. This article breaks it down for you in the form of a list of places to visit in Goa in 3 days as well as a Goa itinerary for 3 days. Moreover, it covers the must-visit sights in Goa to make sure you don't miss out on the best places.
Best Time to Visit Goa
Anytime is a good time to visit Goa. Although, that being said, October to April is the dry season which is considered the "on" season. Most tourists visit Goa during the "on" season. In fact, there are lots of events held in Goa during the months of November and December. Some of the events include IFFI (International Film Festival of India), Rider Mania, Sunburn, Serendipity Art Festival and many more.
On the other hand, May to September is the rainy season also said to be the "off season". This is when beach shacks are closed and most places are deserted. This is the time to visit Goa if you want to explore what Goa has to offer beyond the beaches, without the crowds.
How to Reach Goa
Goa is located on the western coast of India, wedged between the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. One can reach Goa from anywhere in India quite easily. Take a look at some of the ways you can reach Goa:
Goa has one international airport located in Dabolim, South Goa. Goa is well connected by direct flights to popular Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi and many others. Moreover, with Goa being one of the most popular destinations in India, it has many flights to and from international destinations as well. There is another airport being constructed in North Goa which will be in operation in a few years.
Margao railway station is the biggest railway station in Goa, located in South Goa. On the other hand, Thivim is the popular station in North Goa. Goa is easily connected to lots of places across India by rail. Visit the IRCTC website to book trains to and from Goa.
If you're looking to reach Goa from nearby cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru etc., you can catch an over night bus to reach Goa in the morning. Buses to Goa come in AC/ non-AC variants with various seating or sleeping arrangements. Head over to the redbus website to book a bus.
Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days - Goa 3 Day Itinerary:
This 3 day Goa itinerary makes sure that you don't miss out on exploring any part of Goa. It makes you cover all of Goa within short span of 3 days. Start your holiday at the busy and happening North Goa. There are a lot of beaches, forts and restaurants to keep you busy throughout the day. The next day, head to Panaji, the capital city of Goa, which is full of Portuguese architecture with river views for company. On the third and final day, take a deep breath and relax on a tranquil beach in South Goa. Here's a breakdown of the itinerary for a Goa trip for 3 days:
DAY 1 - NORTH GOA
Places to Visit in North Goa
When it comes to beaches, north Goa is known for Calangute, Baga and Vagator beach. Most lightlife happens around these beaches. However, Baga is the most crowded and touristy beaches among all others in Goa. Calangute and Vagator are much better alternatives. Whereas if you want to experience the hippie side of Goa, head up to Arambol, Ashwem or Madrem beach to get a taste of what hippie beaches in Goa look like.
Other places to visit are the forts, namely, Aguada fort, Chapora fort (where the famous Dil Chahta Hai sequence was shot), Sinquerim beach and fort as well as Reis Magos fort (shown in the picture above).
There are many markets held in North Goa such as the Arpora Saturday night bazaar or the Wednesday flea market in Anjuna.
Read 15 best places to visit in North Goa to know more such places.
Where to Eat in North Goa
There are lots of great restaurants in North Goa. From breakfast food to bohemian vibes, sea views to river views, you'll find it all. Eva Cafe (shown in the picture above) as well as Chef Cantando are my personal favourites in Anjuna. When it comes to fine dining, Old Bombay and The Lazy Goose are top choices. To know more, take a look at the best restaurants in North Goa.
North Goa Beaches
While I honestly feel that South Goa has the best beaches, there are a new in North Goa that you cannot skip from your Goa itinerary for 3 days. When you have just three days in Goa, you MUST visit the best of the best. That being said, there are 4 beaches in North Goa that are absolute favorites namely, Arambol, Ashwem, Morjim and Mandrem beaches. They are all nearby so you can cover all of them in one go. I suggest reading this guide to Arambol beach to help plan your visit.
Where to Stay in North Goa
Stay in the greener neighbourhood of Anjuna or Arpora if you're looking for some quiet time in close proximity to cafes. On the other hand, if you want to be in the middle of all the action, head further north towards Calangute.
DAY 2 - PANJIM CITY and OLD GOA
Where to Stay in Panjim City
There are numerous hotels in Panjim city. While some are located in the quaint neighbourhood of Fontainhas, others offer mesmerising views of the ocean. Book a stay near Panjim Church or Panjim market if you want to explore the city. On the other hand, find a hotel in Dona Paula in case you want to sit back and relax. If you're a solo traveller looking for a good hostels, Old Quarter by the HostelCrowd is the best option. In case you need a nice hotel with breathtaking views, I couldn't recommend Doubletree by Hilton Panaji enough.
Places to Visit in Panjim
Panjim might seem like a tiny laid-back city but there's no shortage of things to do here. Take a heritage walk through the best places to visit in Fontainhas to discover the history of this vibrant area. Next, pay a visit to Panjim Church, one of the most popular attractions on Goa. The other more famous church is the Old Goa Church which can easily be covered by taking a quick trip to Old Goa from Panjim. Come back to Panjim city to watch the sun going down from Miramar beach. If you have time for more, take a look at all the top attractions in Panjim City.
Where to Eat in Panjim City
Panjim city can easily satisfy your hunger pangs and how! Some of the best restaurants in the city are The Black Sheep Bistro and Barrels and Bones. Coming to cafes, Urban cafe and Cafe Basil are top choices among locals. Take a look at the top restaurants in Panjim Goa for the complete list.
DAY 3 - SOUTH GOA
Where to Stay in South Goa
South Goa, being a vast area, has numerous beaches and stay options. Palolem, Agonda and Benaulim are the top choices. Palolem is popular for it's relaxed hippie vibe. Furthermore, there are lots of beach huts to choose from. Agonda is like Palolem except for a smaller crowd. There are very few Indian tourists and a lot more foreign visitors here. Benaulim on the other hand, has a good mix of all kinds of people. All these places have lots of restaurants and cafes as well. Take a look at this guide to Palolem beach and Palolem beach huts in order to discover the best beach huts in Palolem, Goa.
Places to Visit in South Goa
End your last day of your 3 day Goa trip by relaxing at one (or more) of the South Goa beaches. You can even do a beach hop. First, start from the farthest beach which is Palolem. From there, head up towards Agonda beach. Next, enjoy the cliff-side views at Cabo de Rama beach. Agonda beach is another favorite among locals and visitors to Goa. Other beaches that can be covered are Cavelosim, Benaulim and Majorda.
Where to Eat in South Goa
When in Palolem, don't miss Art beach resort for drinks and Little World Palolem for a healthy yet satisfying breakfast. Speaking of healthy, Blue Planet Cafe in Agonda is the ultimate vegan and vegetarian cafe in all of Goa. Tucked away within a forested area, it's the best place to find homemade organic food in Goa (pictured above). Moving over to Cavelosim, Fisherman's Wharf is a popular river-side restaurant frequented by celebrities, and not just locals and tourists.