The state of Goa, on the western coast of India, is easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. People from all over India, and from around the world, flock to this tiny territory to savor its beaches, nightlife, food and markets. However, while these are some of the cliched activities that every tourist takes part in, the state has a lot more to offer, including heritage buildings, flea markets and casinos, so here is the best way to spend 24 hours in India’s tourism capital.
All beaches are not made equal, and that is the case in Goa as well. There are many beautiful beaches that tourists can visit, but most of the popular ones, such as Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Candolim and Vagator will be crowded. Arambol beach, which is one of the less-crowded ones, is your best bet to catch the sunrise, and maybe even indulge in some yoga or light meditation, with the sea breeze ruffling your hair, and the calming sound of the waves.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there are plenty of delicious options for you to pick from in Goa. Cafe Infantaria on Baga beach is widely regarded as having one of the best breakfast spreads in Goa, or you could try AJ’s on Margao beach, which is famous for its pancakes and waffles. If you want authentic Goan food, try the choriz pao, which is a dish where Goan sausages are stuffed inside a pao (bread), or the Vatanyachi bhaji, which is once again served with bread, this time in the form of a poee.
As stated earlier, Goa has a lot of Portuguese heritage, with the state only becoming part of India in 1961. There are a number of churches and cathedrals for tourists to visit, while you can also hire a scooter and explore the state at your own pace. Fort Aguada and Chapora Fort are two very good options to visit and have stunning views over the sea, while the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a must-visit as well. It is the oldest church in Goa, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has the remains of St Francis Xavier.
You cannot come to Goa and not try the variety of seafood on offer. Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim is your best bet for fresh seafood, from calamari to butter garlic king crab or butter garlic lobster. You should also give the local brew, Feni, a try, but be warned that it is definitely an acquired taste.
Goa is one of the few places in India where casinos are allowed to operate, and so you must take advantage of this by visiting some of them. The state has over 15 casinos, with many of them offshore on ships moored just off the beach due to the gambling laws of the state.Deltin Royale Casino is perhaps the best and grandest of the lot, with a huge variety of casino games such as poker, real money slots, blackjack and so on, and an equally large selection of food and drink to keep patrons entertained throughout the day and night.
Goa also has a number of water sports available at its various beaches. Jet skiing, kayaking, surfing, parasailing, water boarding and catamaran sailing are all options for the adventurer in you to try, while there is also the choice to go bungee jumping or white water rafting as well.
Of course, the state is known for its nightlife and party scenes, so there should be no doubt that this is what you should be doing once the sun goes down. Tito’s, LPK, Club Cabana and Shiva Valley are some of the best destinations to let your hair down and party, depending on the vibe and type of music you prefer.