22 interesting things to do in Goa | Solo Female Travel
Goa is like Las Vegas of India. If you are looking for cheap-thrills, parties, beaches, or just some me-time, then Goa is your haven. If you sit long enough by the beach or a street café, you will realize the world is coming to you. I went on this trip as a loner, but I returned with truckloads of friends and memories. I also believe it is the melting point of India-meets-foreigners.
You will love Goa for its aura that the state has for its authentic food and night lifestyle. No other city in India than Goa has casinos, so if you have a heart of metal and want to have an experience of a lifetime, you must try your luck here.
This trip took me on an emotional crusade and led me to see the two extremes of the place. From nightclubs oozing rock music and beer to peaceful days where you can feel the wind in your hair, lie beneath the starry sky and watch the sunset to its beauty!
Of course, keeping 20 Tips to Remember While Travelling Solo as a Woman in India in my mind, I set my foot for this joyful journey.
1. Seafood by the seashore
Do you take a pick, a fresh-water fish, Bebinca, Goan prawn curry, or a Pomfret? Trust me. You will end up trying all of these dishes just like I did. These traditional recipes are full of homely authentic spice, flavors, and aroma that will directly speak to your heart. It will be fair to say that I was drooling over the meals, especially crabs and juicy chicken.
2. Less whine more wine
From Feni to Port-wine, from Cabo Coconut rum to Big-banyan wine, you will love these hand-picked and traditional Goan cocktails. Every evening I used to try a different drink with exotic cheese and fish fingers. These are also available in portable packs to take home as gifts for your relatives or friends. Yay!
3. Go beach-hopping
When you are in this beach capital of honeymoon, you must take it’s advantage and stroll from North to South Goa and spend time looking at the waves crashing by the shore and the vast sea. However, South Goa is one of the most peaceful places for enjoying some private time. But if you want to get a real feel, you should try the beaches at North Goa. They are flooded with tourists and are very lively. With so many beaches in Goa like Anjuna, Candolim, Baga, and more, beach hopping is a popular activity. And don’t forget to carry your bikinis and La-Sheild’s sun-screen, ladies.
4. You cannot avoid this splendid Portuguese architecture
Goa offers you a blend of action, beauty, and peace. You will discover a world beyond just the tourist brochures here. Walking on the local streets, you will find houses and mansions built from red laterite stones and wood with terracotta roof tiles. The old museums, churches, art galleries, exhibitions, and bakeries will offer a peek into Goan history.
5. All about Casinos and Cafes
Tito’s is one of the famous nightclubs in South Goa, and you will love the vibe if you are an insane party-animal. Hilltop at Vagator and Cavala at Baga are the epic clubs where you should ideally spend your weekends. Techno music, live band performances, and salsa will take you on a trance of energy and happiness where you would want to stay. Situated by the beach, most of these nightclubs have a decent and safe crowd.
6. Go-Organic is the mantra here
As opposed to culture in North India, locals in Goa strictly follow the no-plastic rule and are heavily dependent on home gardening and growing the pulses and vegetables organically. Most cafes let you hand-pick the ingredients and proteins you want to add to your meals and cook in front of you. How cool is that?!
7. Find your inner Zen by practicing yoga
Goa is not just about live music, parties along the seashores. It is also about Ayurveda, Reiki, Meditation, and Therapeutic yoga. There are other hot-spots in the country for yoga, but the picturesque beaches as a backdrop are the cherry on the top. Also, there are many wellness themed cafes in the city. And don’t worry, yoga classes cater to all levels, from beginners to inexperienced. There are centres and yoga retreats, so heading to Goa is your one-stop solution if you want to relax and unwind.
8. Traditional folk Goan music
There is no Goan culture without music, and it’s hard not to be absorbed by its magic. Even if you don’t understand the song’s meaning, you will still feel like swaying with its music and beats. Mostly it ethos from modern Goa’s hippie roots, but here you will find a fusion of music-loving ravers, curious backpackers, and even-aged couples hitting the dance floor.
If you are travelling solo for the first time, check out my personally curated guide that will be convenient for you to swiftly move on from uncomfortable situations – 14 awkward first-time solo female travel moments: How to tackle them
9. Take a walk at Spice farms
Are you yet to find exciting places to visit in Goa apart from the beaches? The spice plantations are some of the non-touristy places to go. You can walk through the fresh aromatic plantation and learn about various spices. Savoi plantations and Sahakar Spice Farm are some of the famous plantations! Let me tell you an interesting fact. Using traditional methods and modern equipment, Goa residents produce black pepper, nut palm, cashew, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and betels in their backyard.
10. Capture a perfect moment with Dolphins
Cruise over the Arabian Sea has the best kind of species of Dolphins to show you. You can watch them for hours as you cross iconic landmarks like Fort Aguada and Light House. I spotted white and grey dolphins swimming, jumping, and casually playing in their natural habitat. These harmless sea creatures often come closer to the boats, giving a full view of their playfulness.
11. Go Goa shopping
All my dear ladies, you will go wild looking at these hipster, carefree, colorful clothing. From the bead accessories to these pretty necklaces made from shells will sway away your heart. In particular, I went to Panjim for street shopping, and this place exceeded more than I expected. It is also one of those quintessential shopping lanes that most shopaholics love. I will advise you to bargain a little, and you might get lucky if the shopkeeper reduces the amount by 30 per-cent. Also, I will recommend buying hats, tote bags, nuts, and scarves from there for sure.
12. Surfing, Snorkelling, and much more
Does this ring a bell of fun and adventure to you? Goa is also known for its intriguing underwater marine life. Most beaches offer a wide range of water sports activities that you can choose from depending on your age and health. I will highly suggest going for scuba once because it’s an experience of a lifetime, and you will find calm within the chaos. Also, you can carry your sportswear, gears, and backpacks.
13. Enjoy the sunset by the sea
Goa is a place where you can expect the unexpected from within. This beach destination of India has a big surprise in store for every kind of traveller. Whether you’re a party animal or a person who is on a journey towards soul-searching, Goa has something for every backpacker. Long after you leave Goa, you will still feel the itch to go back and watch the sun setting by the sea. Plus, pictures captured here are my all-time favourite. I had a fun time clicking them through my Instax.
14. Get a tattoo that speaks about you
Live in this moment and make this trip truly memorable for you. All the souvenirs will fade away eventually, but the ink on your skin won’t. Hence, getting a tattoo at the local tattoo parlour in Goa is my fondest memory of the trip. I was just window-shopping at Anjuna beach, and I came across an artist who was making a dream catcher on the wrist of another person, and it looked so appealing and real to me that I couldn’t hold myself from getting one. I got the word ‘Fragile’ tattooed on my collarbone as it reminds me to be gentle with myself, forgive, and move on for our betterment.
15. Feel the wind while Parasailing in Goa
How can you miss looking at the sea from above? It is as magical as it sounds. I was scared before trying it initially, but I knew I would regret it afterward had I missed this opportunity. So please take a deep breath, calm yourself, and go for it. You will thank me later. If you want a bird’s eye view from up in the air, then you should sign up for a thrilling parasailing ride. All the adventure sports companies ensure your safety and protection by strapping you to a boat and then lift you high in the air. Also, get a proper briefing from the guides before trying this.
16. Take a cooking class
It is never too late for anything, especially when you are in Goa. Some great cooking schools help us to brush up on our homemade Indian cooking. It will be an ideal activity for food lovers. Usually, it begins with a trip to a local market to pick up ingredients, and then you prepare a range of dishes under the guidance of a Goan chef. Indeed, you will take away new recipes and the spark of showing them off to your family and friends back home. These recipes are a fusion of Indian, Portuguese, and Coastal traditions.
17. Don’t miss the charm of Old-Goa
Exploring beyond the beaches and trendy lifestyle, you will see Goa’s colonial-era heritage with churches, basilicas, and houses steeped in Indo-Portuguese history. I will suggest you visit the beautifully preserved baroque Basilica of Bom Jesus from my list of favorite places. You absolutely cannot miss this mighty structure as it is a UNESCO world heritage site! Also, are you even celebrating Christmas and New Years’ if you are not in Goa? It is the go-to-place around December and January as it houses the biggest carnivals of the country.
18. Romantic getaways on a cruise
Go on a date with yourself. You deserve this! Today, self-love is the inexpensive cure for most problems out there. Self-love is also one of the reasons why you should travel solo at least once in your life time. I treated myself to the finest wines, crabs, and sunset during the cruise tour. Furthermore, spending numerable hours on the cruise gave me the inner peace and strength of a lifetime. The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) also runs different river cruises on the Mandovi river during the daytime, sunset, and moonlight. Fortunately, I don’t have sea-sickness, so I enjoyed the trip throughout and clicked some of the best pictures from my Goa visit.
Self-love is also one of the reasons why you should travel solo at least once in your life time.
19. Fusion of Portuguese and Indian culture
If you are an architecture and interior enthusiast, then the Archaeological Museum of Old Goa is your place. Take a heritage walk from Panjim to get an exciting insight into the 450 years era of Portuguese colonialism. These colorful houses are objects of photography. You can also pay a visit to Divar island, which lies just before River Mandovi meets the Arabian Sea.
20. Wander in the wildness of Goa
Acquaint yourself with Goa’s diverse flora and fauna by visiting famous wildlife sanctuaries, including The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife sanctuary, and Mollem national park Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and the Bhagvan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. I was lucky enough to get along with a group of tourists there, and we went into a forest for camping, and there we saw one of the most magical miracles of nature. An elephant was birthing a baby; we all were very far, but we could hear the noise, and our tour guide took us to a far-away spot from where we watched this. You never know what is there for you until you go for it!
21. Go Cycling by the beach
Goa is famous for wandering, exploring, partying, and hiring a cycle! And tell you what, hiring a cycle is probably the best choice you’ll ever make. You can also try the impromptu cycling tours that are available there. Nothing is as non-touristy as exploring the beaches and rural parts of Goa on a bicycle. It can be truly fascinating! Some tours start at the Miramar beach, so that is one place where you can rent a bike and explore around.
22. Set your alarm for early morning and go for Bird-watching
For all who love to watch birds chirping, bird watching in Goa can be an enchanting experience. For this, you can go to a couple of bird sanctuaries in Goa and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of a large variety of birds you will find there. Believe it or not, the peace that one can find while bird watching is next to nothing. It is also like a breath of fresh after a long night of partying.
Goa is perfect for backpackers who are also thrill-seekers, adventurers, beach lovers, history lovers, and all those in between. If the city’s beaches and simplicity have overwhelmed you, I would recommend visiting the Spice Coast of India – Kerala. Read more about it here – My Ultimate Travel Guide to Kerala.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.