The excitement to visit Goa gets double, especially when you are going to Goa first time.
A trip to Goa will always bring excitement & butterflies. All those insects bounce inside the stomach.
I know that you have been part of many groups that had canceled the Goa trip every time & spoiled your mood. I went on a solo trip to Goa to avoid any group cancellations if, by chance, it takes place.
This article is all about the pointers to know for the first time going to Goa.
Table of Contents
How to Reach Goa by Train?
If you are someone who prefers to travel long distances & wants to enjoy slow traveling. Then, Delhi to Goa by train would be an excellent decision.
Delhi to Goa distance is 1872km.
The travel time distance could be more depending upon your train too.
On Fridays and Saturdays, Rajdhani express departs from New Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin to Madgaon Junction in Goa.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, Trivandrum Rajdhani departs from New Delhi Hazrat Nizamuddin till Trivandrum station in Thiruvananthapuram Kerala. You can drop out at Madgaon Junction in Goa.
The travel time distance could be more depending upon your train too.
If you had chosen Delhi to Goa Rajdhani Express then, the traveling time would be 25-26hrs approx. This was totally from my experience while traveling & Yes, the arrival time will be accurate in many cases.
The Delhi to Goa train fare will range according to your preference of the train & class (3A,2A,1A).
Taking a 25hrs journey by train would be an unusual experience that you should take once in a lifetime.
23 Things to Note Down When You are Going to Goa for the First Time
You can write down or bookmark this article or even pin this article for future references. Because you should be needing this as a constant companion along with you in Goa.
That you would need to remember during your first time to Goa.
Three Golden Rules
1. The Dogs may Bark at you without any Reason!
This was not a one-time experience, but I can honestly say that it had happened almost every day when I went out on the roads.
People have dogs as pets inside their house, and that too 2-3 dogs sometimes. Whenever you pass a particular home, the dogs will start barking at you without reason. They would follow you till you become extinct from their eyes.
The dogs would not do anything as such. They just want you to move quickly from the house they are guarding.
In that case, carry a stick or stone along whenever you cross a house just to scare them.
I think this would be a necessary point, especially when you get scared of the dogs facilely. Also, this point will make your mind prepared before experiencing this anytime. facilely
During my 30 days Volunteering in Goa, I used to go out to capture the images. Almost regularly, I encounter street dogs that bark needlessly.
2. Be Prepared to count Footsteps
If you are going to Goa on a tight budget, and I hope that you already had a fixed budget in your mind.
In that case, you will be willing to save as well.
Hardly you will find anyone walking on the roads. The rate to rent a scooter in Goa is too low that everyone prefers scooters over anything else. Sometimes, you would not even see a local walking along the roadside.
Therefore, Walking along the roadside can help you save some amount of money. But you will find yourself an odd one out.
The point will make you prepared for shorter distances that you can walk. But, If you wanted to go far away then finding a means of transport would be advisable.
3. The language will not be going to be a problem when you know English
People from all over the world visit Goa.
It becomes necessary for people to communicate in a language that is easily understood by the Goan people.
In Goa, the people speak and understand Hindi, English very well. But the local people of Goa are more comfortable with their local Konkan language.
For a foreign tourist who does not speak English, you will have to communicate using a translator.
In Goa, the chances of bumping into a person even of the same city are high.
After being a first-timer in Goa, I would advise you to try both Veg and Fish thali.
8. Low-cost local Restaurants
The local restaurants in Goa are very low priced if you compare them with beachside cafes and restaurants.
The beachside cafes are made keeping in mind the tourists and local restaurants where the locals come and eat. I do not think that you will see a local going to beach beachside cafe to eat.
Q.How to Identify a local restaurant?
Ans.Local restaurants in Goa are run by family people only. You can pinpoint while on the road from outside. The food will be going to be tasty; you would feel like visiting every day just to eat the delicious Goan fish curry.
To Avoid Pointers
9. Avoid staying in Hostels with Kids
If you are a family man with kids, avoid going to hostels because the hostels are not made primarily for families and kids under 18 in mind. The Hostel concept is made by keeping backpackers and low-budget travelers in mind. It has been derived from foreign Hostels.
Avoid taking photos and videos of the people on the beaches. Let people enjoy their privacy.
It is fine when you are clicking pictures of your near and dear ones but not strangers.
It is a crime to click pictures of strangers without even asking them. If you are a photographer and wanted to showcase the vibes of the beach, then try Landscape where people were not seen, but the presence of someone can be depicted.
Similar to the image below. The person could not be recognized but can be depicted that someone is there walking along the seashore.
Zoom-in and close-up are A big NO.
11. Avoid going out in the afternoon in Goa
Avoid going out during the afternoon and especially if you would like to do a long walk. The afternoon remains quite hot, and the evening would be the best time to go on a long walk in Goa along the seashore.
12. Bus Interchange option
Mapusa is a big town in Goa. If you take any bus to anywhere in Goa, for e.x.- Anjuna, Mandrem, etc.
At First, the bus will go to Mapusa, and then you have to interchange from there to reach your destination.
The towns like Mapusa, capital city Panjim are more commercialized with locals as compared to foreign tourists. Using the Goa local buses is the best way to travel longer and see Goa.
13. Avoid Overcrowded Buses in the Afternoon
The buses in Goa sometimes become overcrowded. Not sometimes, the majority of the time.
You cannot even put your hands inside the pocket because you will be holding bars from both of your hands. You do not want to create any confusion by taking your one hand down.
The best thing you can do is, travel early morning by bus around 9 a.m – 10 a.m. This will ensure that your one-side journey will be going to be hassle-free on the bus.
14. Don’t expect a lift on your own
If you are going to Goa solo, then do not expect that anyone will give you a lift keeping the heat factor in mind. An exception would be the foreign tourist and especially women.
This is a hard truth, but YES, it is a truth!
Others will give you a lift if you try by yourself.
15. Search for cycles to save a bit more
You can rent cycles in Goa and that too from very selective places. Cycles would be a handy pick in Goa because the roads are smooth and straight.
Therefore, it is easy to keep going with the flow of the cycles on the straight road.
16. Use Roadside Shops when your vehicle gets out of Petrol
You can buy petrol from the roadside shops; almost every shop in Goa keeps 1ltr of petrol in a bottle to sell.
The shop owners will provide you the petrol at Rs.90 keeping aside the current price. They will be going to charge Rs.20 extra from the current price at the petrol pump.
The petrol pumps are located quite far in Goa. Buying petrol from the roadside shops will eventually save you from dragging your wheeler to the pumps.
Let your Skills Talk
17. Show your Talent
If you wanted to stay longer in Goa and are also a first-timer to Goa then you will find this point interesting.
You can earn money while holidaying on the beaches of Goa. The beaches like Arambol, especially, foreign tourists set up their stalls and show their talents.
People will provide you massage service.
Showing acrobatic skills etc.
Foreign tourists wanted to survive to know more about India and its culture. The foreign tourists have to make something aside hassle to stay longer in Goa.
Managing daily Goa expenses will an option that will allow international travelers to spend a long time in Goa.
18. Be Creative when you want Good pictures
The Streets of Old Goa are creative and fascinating to the eyes.
It is suitable for street photography with natural colors in the backdrop. The architecture of the churches of Old Goa will fascinate you to click as many pictures as possible for a lifetime memory.
The churches in Goa give an ancient vibe.
(One Photography tip – Just before Sunset is the best time to go on the roads and capture some breathtaking colors)
Just in Case – You would not be going to find any foot over bridges in Goa for the night trail photography.
19. Visit Night Market
Arpora Saturday Night Market will remind you of a perfect market to go out with your family and friends. Music, food stalls, local items, and much more will going to be bliss to your eyes.
The tourists who get settled in Goa & local people set up their food stalls. The people will perform as a musician, a dancer, set up their food stalls adding spice at the night market.
What you call a perfect entertaining night.
There are no entry fees to enter the Arpora night market. You can go at any time in the evening. It is located just a few minutes away from Anjuna beach.
The Anjuna beach to Arpora night market distance is 4.4km.
Explore more but Gather Info
20. Locals are the way to go
You will agree with me that locals are the google of any particular area.
For e.x., If there are no fixed departures of buses in towns like Anjuna, Vagator, Mandrem, etc.
Probably you have to ask a local that at what time the bus will be going to arrive. The local people will give an estimated arrival of the bus.
If you somehow missed a bus, then the next bus will arrive after approx. 1-2 hrs on most of the time and even more sometimes.
The buses at main terminals such as Mapusa and Panjim have fixed departures every day.
21. Gather prior Knowledge of the Unknown areas
Don’t walk alone in the areas of Goa you haven’t been to before. Especially foreign women. The nights are most alive in Goa, and you don’t want to end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you are in a group, then it would be fine but still, avoid hanging late at night at unknown places.
You can go to clubs and pubs that you have seen and are present in the nearby surroundings.