My Ultimate 5-Day Itinerary for Your Solo Trip to Goa, India
It won’t be wrong to say that Goa tops the list of the best holiday destinations for most people. And it deserves that spot too – the sun, beach, sea, party, and the fun. Where would you find this combo?
Sometimes, people think that Goa is all about the “party life.” But, the ancient temples and churches, Portuguese villages, old forts, unique museums, wildlife sanctuaries, and flea markets are only some of the other things that Goa has to offer. Most people do not realise the amount of variety Goa has and usually end up wasting their time on the Goa trip by just going to beaches and partying. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but there’s a lot more to do in Goa other than only partying and going to the beach.
Now you might think that there’s so much to do and how do I do it all in five days? Well, the sad truth is that you cannot explore everything about a state (yes, Goa is a state!) in just five odd days. But you can definitely plan your solo trip in such a way that you get to see the most you can. I know it isn’t easy, but I’m here to do that for you and guide you through your five-day solo travel itinerary to Goa.
One thing to note before starting off is that, if possible, do plan your trip somewhere between November and May because some major tourist hotspots are open only during these months.
Day 1 – Reaching Goa and exploring beaches
Once you reach Goa, you wouldn’t want to waste any time here. But I’d recommend you to take it easy on the first day, even though you have only five days. Instead of going straight away to Panaji, the most famous place in Goa, you should explore Anjuna on the first day of your solo trip because it’s a serene place without a lot of crowds.
8:00 am to 10:00 am – Enjoy your breakfast in Anjuna
You should definitely not start off your Goa trip with an empty stomach. Having a nice breakfast gives you the much-needed fuel and provides you with energy throughout the day. Here are two of the best cafes that I would suggest to you where you can have a nice breakfast –
- Artjuna, 940, Market Road – opens at 7:30 in the morning and costs Rs. 400 ($5.5).
- Eva Café, 129/45, Anthony Street, Dmello Vaddo – opens at 9 in the morning and costs Rs. 300 to Rs. 450 ($4-6). It is closed during the off-season, so make sure to check before dropping in.
10:00 am to 4:00 pm – Visit a beach
When you’re in Goa, it can be very hard to choose a beach to go to because of the number of options you have. I’d recommend a few beaches in the Northern part of Goa, and you can decide which one best suits your liking. And if you somehow have enough time, you can visit two of these beaches as well because they are all close to each other. You can visit all of these by cab, and it won’t cost you a lot.
- Baga Beach – famous for water sports like scuba diving, jet-skiing, paragliding, dolphin cruises, banana rides, and boat rides.
- Anjuna Beach – famous for its parties, temporary tattoos, hair braids, Ayurvedic massages, and water sports.
- Calangute Beach – famous for swimming, surfing, long walks, sunbathing, catamaran sailing, water skiing, and yoga.
After visiting the beach (or beaches, if you manage to visit more than one), you would be slightly tired and very hungry. I managed to visit all three beaches somehow and get to know about the specialities of each of these. Here’s a list of restaurants that will help you regain your lost energy –
- Britto’s, Baga
- Fat Fish, Baga
- Burger Factory, Anjuna
- Goa’s Ark Restaurant, Anjuna
- Souza Lobo, Calangute
- Pousada by the Beach, Calangute
If you are not a fan of crowded beaches, you can avoid these beaches in Goa.
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Head back to the hotel and have an evening nap
After visiting the beaches, you will be slightly tired. So, it will be a nice idea to head back to your hotel and have a nap and then get ready for the next location where you can stargaze!
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Enjoy the starry sky at Vagator Beach
Vagator Beach is one of the quiet, clean, and isolated beaches in Goa. It is rarely crowded with people, and you can just relax here while looking at the sky full of stars and enjoy the cool sea breeze and the sound of the waves. If you come early, you can witness the breath-taking sunset from the beach.
8:00 pm onwards (optional) – Partying at Tito’s Street
If you are a person who likes to party, you shouldn’t miss it in Goa. You can visit the club called Tito’s Street, which is named after the street it is located on. Everything about this club is amazing, right from food, the DJ, and the services. If you aren’t looking to drink, you can definitely visit this club as the entry for ladies is free of cost!
If you don’t like to party, you can come back to your hotel and have your dinner or eat out if you wish to and go to sleep.
Day 2 – Getting to know about Goa’s history
9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Visiting Old Goa
Old Goa beautifully depicts the state’s history. After your breakfast at the hotel, you can start your journey to Old Goa on a bus which will take about an hour.
I have shortlisted a few places you can see in Old Goa. It might not be possible for you to visit all these places, or you might not be interested in some, but here’s a list for you to see it for yourself –
- Se Cathedral
- Basilica of Bom Jesus
- Church of Saint Cajetan
- Ruins of the Church of Saint Augustine
- Church of Lady of Rosary
- Church of Saint John of God
- Royal Chapel of St. Anthony
You can click as many pictures as you want and then head to Panaji, the capital of Goa.
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Visiting the best places in Panaji
Here at the capital of Goa, Panaji, you’ll get a real sense of what Goa is. You’ll see beautiful streets and if you can, don’t forget to click pictures. You might feel lost and not know what exactly to see in such a short time. But don’t worry, I’ve shortlisted the best of the best places that you can visit in these four-odd hours that you have.
- Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
- Fontainhas Quarter
Once you finish the sightseeing in Panaji, it’s time for lunch, so here’s a list of restaurants which can kill your hunger on a budget–
- The Black Sheep Bistro
- The Fisherman’s Wharf
- Kokni Kanteen
- Ritz Classic
Once you’re done with your lunch, you must visit the Miramar beach for an evening stroll. Not only is the beach one of the most famous beaches in Goa, but it is also a very clean one with very soft sand, which makes it perfect for an evening stroll.
Speaking of cleanliness, you can check out my blog post on some of the cleanest beaches in Goa.
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Boat cruise on Mandovi River
After spending some time on the Miramar beach, the boat cruise on the Mandovi river will be one of your best experiences in Goa. It is an hour-long boat cruise with traditional dance performances, DJ music, sightseeing, and the beautiful sunset. You can also feed yourself on the cruise with the exotic dishes of the Goan culture.
7:00 pm onwards – Just get back to your hotel and relax
After a long day in the capital of Goa, your body deserves some rest. Even though you might think that getting back to the hotel at 7 pm is a little early, I would strongly advise you to get some rest, have your dinner at your hotel and get ready for one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India the next day!
Day 3 – Exploring the beauty of Goa
7:00 am to 12:30 pm – Dudhsagar Waterfalls
It is located on the Goa-Karnataka border and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India. And I’m not even exaggerating a bit! It is the fifth tallest waterfall in India, with a height of nearly 1020 feet. Reaching Dudhsagar falls in not an easy job, but it is completely worth it. The waterfalls have a good force during monsoons but usually dry up during summer.
You can take a cab from your hotel in Panaji and then take a private cab which takes you to Dudhsagar falls because you cannot go there yourself. Make sure you wear proper protective clothing and trekking shoes to ensure that your experience is not ruined due to these mistakes.
This is the best way to start your day and uplift your mood and calm you down completely. You will enjoy the true beauty of nature and experience something that you never had in your busy life!
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm – Come back to your hotel
After a tiring visit to the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, I would recommend you come back to your hotel and have a short nap or just relax, followed by lunch at your hotel.
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm – Visiting Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Named after the “Birdman of India,” Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in India. It is huge, with the size of around 440 acres. You will be amazed to see the various species of birds in this place, including the striated heron, western reef heron, little bittern, black bittern, red knot, jack snipe, pied avocet, and also mudskippers, and fiddler crabs.
Well, most of us wouldn’t know anything about bird species. But just looking at so many different species of birds in one place will make you understand the real beauty of Goa. Even if you’re not interested in birds or animals, you will really enjoy this place and remember it for the rest of your life.
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Exploring the Panaji Market
After looking at the beauty of Goa, it is now time for you to visit a local Goa market and have a look at the Goa crowd. You can buy anything you want, literally anything, from the Panaji Market! Be it clothes, electronics, meat, vegetables, fruits, seafood, flowers, or whatever you can think of – they have it here.
You will definitely have to walk a lot due to the size of this market, but the good thing is that you can find something to gift your friends and family as well. And because this is a local market, the chances of you being looted by the shopkeepers is negligible, and you will be able to purchase anything and everything you want at an affordable rate.
8:00 pm onwards – Have dinner and sleep
After a long and tiring day looking at Goa’s natural beauty and exploring local markets, you will definitely be tired. You can have your dinner at your hotel and have a good night’s sleep after that.
Day 4 – Exploring wildlife
8:30 am to 11:00 am – Mollem National Park
The Mollem National Park is the heart of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. You can see a variety of animals here, including the Bengal tiger, spotted deer, sambar deer, leopard, and many more. The national park also has several other animals, birds, and reptiles.
You can opt for a safari and truly enjoy this experience, and look at the wide variety of animals from a close distance. The entry fee will only cost you Rs. 20 ($0.3), but the experience is worth a lot more than that!
Chapora Fort (optional)
If you aren’t a fan of animals, you can visit the Chapora Fort, which isn’t as far off from Panaji (assuming you still continue your stay in Panaji). This fort is famous for the battles that were once fought here in the 1700s.
As this fort is near the sea, the views from this fort are breath-taking, and it a very picturesque venue for your Instagram stories and posts. You can take a nice walk around the fort or even near the sea if you wish to. But make sure to carry some snacks as there isn’t anything to eat around in this area.
12:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Lamgao Buddhist Caves
You never knew that Goa had something like this, isn’t it? Well, it is one of the hidden tourist attractions and totally worth your time. The Lamgao caves are made up of two man-made caves where the monks lived. The scenic route to the cave is another reason to visit them. Also, you can click a tonne of Instagram-worthy pictures here! Spending some time here will allow you to learn about the history of these caves, which you might miss otherwise. So, don’t hesitate to spend some time here and enjoy these beautiful ancient caves.
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Walking Food Tour of Goa
The walking food tour of Goa will be a fun thing and allow you to taste some of the tastiest local delicacies. The best part about this experience is that the guide tells you a story about everything, which enhances your experience multiple folds.
Some of the delicacies that you will taste during your food tour are as follows: –
- Prawn and Cheese Rissois
- Perrard (a local delicacy made of guava)
- Kalva tonak (shellfish curry)
- Pav bhaji
- Bolinhas (local macaroons)
- Chicken Xacuti
You get to eat from places which you would otherwise never be able to find on your own, which is the best part of their service. The icing on the cake is that you also get some free goodies, which can be memories from your solo trip to Goa.
8:00 pm onwards – Relax and have a good night’s sleep
After your food tour, you can get back to your hotel, and I am pretty sure that you wouldn’t want to have your dinner. After coming back, you can just chill at your hotel and have a good night’s sleep.
Day 5 – Last day in Goa
I know that it’s your last day in Goa and you don’t want to leave. But every good thing has an end, and so does your solo trip to Goa.
And so, make sure you take out your last day to explore what Goa is exclusively known for – beaches. You can have your breakfast at the hotel or somewhere near the hotel and head to the beaches in the southern part of Goa. After the first four days of your solo trip to Goa being hectic, the last day will just be lazing around on Goa’s beaches.
You can also check my blog post on hidden beaches in Goa.
You can take a cab to these beaches or, even better, rent a car/motorcycle for a day and drive at your own free will. Keep in mind that it will take you around 3-4 hours in total to cover all the beaches from your hotel, combined. Here’s a list of beaches that I had visited on my solo trip to Goa and those that I would recommend –
- Colva beach – famous for adventure sports like skiing, parasailing, and paragliding.
- Benaulim beach – famous for spice plantations, boat rides, bike rides, and other water activities.
- Agonda beach – famous for windsurfing, hiking, and dolphin rides.
- Palolem beach – famous for silent parties, dolphin spotting, scuba diving, and sunset viewing.
- Polem beach – famous for swimming and sunbathing.
If you’re thinking about lunch and evening snacks, you need not worry as there are a lot of restaurants and cafes around these beaches which offer delicious meals at an affordable rate. Here are some of my recommendations for restaurants, but feel free to explore new places to eat.
- Mickey’s Colva
- The Fisherman’s Wharf
- Martin’s Corner
- The Red Ginger
A very hard goodbye!
After spending as much time as you want on the beach and eating at restaurants, you can head back to your hotel and have your dinner in the hotel itself and quickly leave for the airport and say goodbye to Goa!
I can tell you that the solo travel itinerary that I have written down can get quite hectic on some days, but it is totally worth it! It might be hectic at times, but I am sure that it is never going to be exhausting. After the end of the fifth day, you wouldn’t want to bid adieu to Goa!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.