10 Best Weekend Trips In Goa, India

weekend getaways from goa
Richard Dean
Richard Dean 
| 4 min read
Nirja Bhatt
Endorsed by a Goa (state) Local Expert
Nirja Bhatt

World-class attractions, good weather, friendly people, rich history, happening parties - all of these make Goa one of the best tourist destinations in India. It offers plenty of things to do and see. Your Goa escapade is incomplete without experiencing the original Portuguese architecture. Western India is a piece of paradise to visit for those who want to embark on a water adventure, thanks to Goa’s marvelous coastlines and sandy beaches. Expect pristine and incredible beaches as well as outstanding fishing villages. If you want to have a memorable experience, read more of this article and explore the best weekend trips in Goa, India!

1. Anjuna

Anjuna Beach, Goa
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Jones used under CC BY 2.0

Situated in North Goa, Anjuna offers pristine beaches that never disappoint. Fresh air, clear and calm water, panoramic views, many water activities - that’s what Anjuna is all about. This is also a romantic spot for lovers where you can have the best seat to enjoy the peaceful sunset. What’s more? Anjuna has a famous flea market, which is open every Wednesday. You can browse plenty of nice shops to buy some souvenirs for your friends and family.

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2. Panaji

Altinho Panaji, Goa
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ramnath Bhat used under CC BY 2.0

Truly, you cannot mention Goa without visiting its capital city, Panaji. Previously knows as Ponjy and Panjim, Panaji is a great place for those who love arts and history. It is home to several historical places. You can explore the same and learn more about the city. One of these is the Immaculate Conception Church. It is a Portuguese Baroque-style church, built in the 15th century, overlooking Panjim. Do visit Dona Paula Beach too for its historical relevance and catch fascinating coastal views from Dona Paula View Point.

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Goa (state)

Immaculate Concept Church during Christmas An old family picture at Immaculate Conception Church

Immaculate Conception Church is a famous site in Goa. It is a location of many Bollywood movies, and people love to take pictures of themselves on the steps here. This church is perfect for a visit during Christmas when the entire place is lit up, and there are several cribs on display, too. Although the visitors can't enter the church, the iconic zig-zag stairway makes for a fun photoshoot session. However, it is extremely difficult to find parking here, so it's best to park your vehicle nearby off-street and visit on foot. As such, this location might be challenging for those with mobility issues. There are many restaurants and cafes around the church, so worry not if you get hungry after your photo session. Try Cafe Bhosale, a five-minute walk away, for a taste of the local flavor.    

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Goa (state)

Miramar Beach Miramar Beach Miramar Beach viewpoint

If you are exploring Panaji, don't leave out the locality of Miramar from your itinerary. Famous for the eponymous beach, this area is filled with dining establishments and fun experiences. After swimming in the ocean, rest on the pavilions to escape the heat. You can also explore the nearby restaurants and cafes for a satisfying experience. You can find casual cafes, local delicacies, fine dining options, and street vendors within a short walk from the beach.  

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3. Candolim

Candolim Beach Goa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user FaizanAhmad21 used under CC0

There’s no underestimating Candolim, though a small town located in the western part of India, it offers tons of attractions that can make your escapade a dreamy one. One of its attractions is Fort Aguada. It offers an old-world charm to the town and is a great spot for some photo op. Should you wish to engage in some water adventure, Candolim Beach should be the perfect choice for you. Candolim has several other amazing beaches like Sinquerim Beach. It is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Take a trip down Candolim Beach Road for some of the best eateries in the area and to buy local goodies for your family back home.

Traveler's tips

Main road in Candolim

On my last visit to Goa, I stayed in Candolim, which turned out to be a pretty convenient location. The main road, which is lined with chic and budget-friendly cafes, made for an even more pleasant time. Just upon our arrival in Goa, we had dinner at Cafe Jazz, whose live music set the tone for the trip. Before leaving for South Goa for the trip's second leg, we had a hearty breakfast at the Caravela Cafe and Bistro - definitely one of the best meals on the holiday.

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4. Cavelossim

Cavelossim Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Charan kumar kuppala used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Cavelossim offers quick getaways and plenty of beautiful attractions too. Cris Cruises & Water Sports encourages you to have an amazing water escapade. Varca Beach and Betul Beach, both offer a relaxing time. Cavelossim is a celebration of life, as proof, entertainment is just around the corner, from dancing to singing and dining. If you are fond of jewelry, Galleria of Jem is where you should head to.

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Goa (State) Tour Guide

Nibedita Sen

Nibedita Sen

A hearty WELCOME to our page Happiness Activist. We are here to solve the problems of foreigners who come to explore India. Firstly, we suggest them to stop visiting the wonders and mundanes of social media advertisements about overrated traveling. We provide them the basic needs and guidelines that the audience requires when they first step into an unknown land which we have already explored. Secondly, we are not like any other travel guides. If you are here to explore the museum, zoo, or places that you can easily google about Kolkata then Sorry, we are not the right one to help you. Our USP is to guide those travellers who are offbeat and craze for the undiscovered and less travelled places in India, Egypt and Israel. Through our eyes, 'WE WILL MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF'

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Goa (State) Tour Guide

Narender Kumar

Narender Kumar

I have been a tour guide/ escort for more than 10 years and have guided tourists pan India to historical and cultural heritage sites, national parks & bird sancturies, monuments places like- Delhi , Agra, Jaipur, Khajuraho Exotic Temples, Ranthambore National Park, Mumbai, Nashik , Aurangabad ( Ajanta Rockcut Caves & Ellora Rockcut Temples ), Goa etc. I am proficient in English, Russian, Hindi and Urdu. I became a tour guide due to my passion for travelling and I love meeting new people and share incredible experiences and learn more about a culture and place. I have a good sense of humor and love cracking jokes which will make your trip fun and lively. I love taking care of people and your safety is my top priority. You will have the best holiday memories with me as your tour guide/escort.

Tours by Narender

5. Calangute

Calangute Beach, Goa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sri Chinnu used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another exciting beach to visit, which is 15 km (9.5 mi) away from Panjim is Calangute Beach. Known to be the “Queen of Beaches,” it presents plenty of activities and water arrays that can be the highlight of your Goa adventure. Banana ride, jet-skiing, parasailing, water surfing, and more, are just a fraction of the action it offers. The fun does not stop during the day. At night, you can ride to amazing parties at Tito’s Lane which adds up to an awesome experience.

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6. Mandrem

Mandrem Beach - Goa, India
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user linux99 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another top-notch place in Goa is Mandrem. Situated just 20.9 km (13 mi) from the capital city, it offers plenty of things to do and to see. Mandrem Beach is the highlight of this place, which urges you to embark on an exciting water adventure, from wind-surfing to speedboat riding, from motorbiking to parasailing and more. You don’t have to go far away to experience Goa’s rich culinary scene, plenty of amazing restaurants are available within the area like Tom Yam Thai Restaurant, Café Unparalleled, Boonies, and Sunset Mandrem.

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7. Baga

best weekend trips in Goa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Designernj used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Those who love beaches will add Baga Beach to their list. It will take you a 48 minutes’ drive from Panaji just to reach this destination. In the morning, you can try their different water sports such as banana rides, parasailing, and dolphin cruises. You’ll be minutes away from Baga Creek, the best spot to enjoy with buddies. Several restaurants are also available for any taste, Cherry Olive offers Italian food and Relish serves Asian delicacies, from Chinese to Indian food.

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8. Arambol

Arambol, Goa, India
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aleksandr Zykov used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you happen to be in Arambol, you just need seven minutes’ travel time to reach the famous beach, Arambol Beach. Water adventures such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, and more, are available at this beach. Meanwhile, hiking and paragliding can be accessed at Arambol Mountain, which is situated at the end of the beach. This is the perfect destination for those seeking the extreme. If you get exhausted and famished, tons of restaurants welcome you to hot and delicious food. Check out Aether & Echo, Café Maitree, and Zen Oasis.

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9. Divar Island

The first school on the island of Divar
Source: Wikipedia

Take a free ferry service to get to Divar Island and have an exciting adventure ahead. Around the area, you can get a glimpse of an old church, St. Matthias, and learn more about Catholic history. Visiting one of the Portuguese houses may give you the opportunity to try local cuisine where you can also take down the recipes for a few homely Goan delicacies. Whether you are aiming to take a stroll across the sluice gates, learn more about the Khazan system, or check out the island churches - Divar Island has it all.

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10. Vagator

Vagator Beach Goa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nikhilb239 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Vagator is another great weekend trip in Goa. Relaxing ambiance, friendly locals, serene places, magnificent beaches - all contribute towards the wow factor of Vagator. The best way to explore the beauty of this place is by scooter. Meanwhile, the beach here is split into two. Little Vagator Beach, which is situated on the left side remains empty. It is a nice place to be if you want to stay away from the otherwise crowded beaches of Northern Goa. Big Vagator Beach on the right side has calm and pristine waters but is usually packed due to its amazing views.

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Experience Goa's best

Beaches, wonderful attractions, great food, friendly locals - the list is endless. Truly, Goa has all the wow factors if you are looking for a great weekend trip to a beach.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


This article has been endorsed by Goa (state) local expert Nirja Bhatt

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Richard, a writer and traveler, is also passionate about biking. When not immersed in bike parts or computers, he can be found at the market, hunting for ingredients to fuel his love for...Read more

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