Where to Stay in Goa: The Best Places to Stay in Goa in 2022 (for all beaches & budgets)

Where to Stay in Goa: The Best Places to Stay in Goa – for all beaches & budgets

Updated for 2022

Deciding where to stay in Goa is one of the most important decisions to make when planning your trip. Goa is very diverse but depending on why you are visiting there are different beaches and areas that are most suitable. So you need to do a bit of research to find the best places to stay in Goa to suit you.

Goa is not just a city – it’s India’s smallest state and has over 100 km of beaches and hundreds of towns and villages all with a different vibe. Whether you’re looking to party the night away or practice yoga, take a romantic honeymoon or couples trip or a family friendly holiday you can find the perfect place to stay in Goa.

It can be confusing trying to decide where to stay in Goa as there are so many places. So that’s why I wrote this post. I’ve been living here since 2015 and explored every corner. Not many people know Goa as well as I do and I often get asked to recommend the best places to stay in Goa.

So here’s all my insider tips for the best places to stay in Goa including the best beaches, areas and coolest hotels to help you plan the perfect trip!

Anna on vagator cliff without garbage Goa-01

Where to Stay in Goa: The Best Places to Stay

When planning a trip to Goa the first thing you’ll have to decide is which beach or area of Goa you want to base yourself in, then you can find the perfect place to stay there.

You don’t want to stay in South Goa if you want to party, and you don’t want to stay in Baga if you’re looking for a peaceful yoga retreat.

To make it easy for you to decide here’s a quick rundown of the best beaches and places to stay depending on your interest and who you are visiting Goa with.

I’ll describe the areas in more detail later in the post and give hotel recommendations for each – click on the links to skip to that section.

As prices change depending on season and demand click on the links provided to check the most up to date prices for your dates. 

  • My Favourite Place in Goa – Vagator and Anjuna
  • Best for Beaches – Calangute, Majorda, Palolem
  • Best for First Time – Calangute, Anjuna, Palolem
  • Best for Couples & Honeymoon – Majorda, Cavelossim, Palolem, Candolim
  • Best for Family – Candolim, Colva, Palolem
  • Best for Nightlife – Baga, Calangute, Arpora, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim
  • Best for Friends – Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, Vagator
  • Best for YogaPatnem, Mandrem
  • Best for Watersports – Baga, Calangute, Colva
  • Best for History & Culture – Panjim, Old Goa, Ponda

Where to stay in Goa. The best places to stay in Goa Tips on the best places to stay in Goa from an expat 2

Palolem Beach is one of the best places to stay in Goa

The Best Time to Visit Goa

The best time to visit Goa is in the peak tourist season between December – March when the weather is sunny, dry and relatively cool. Everything’s open, the beaches are at their best and the nightlife is buzzing.

Everything gets fully booked up during the busiest periods like Christmas, New Year and National Holidays so it’s essential to book your stay online in advance in these times.

The monsoon time from June – September brings a totally different and quieter experience as many places close down off season. 

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Visiting Goa in Monsoon

parra road monsoon

North Goa vs South Goa

When planning a Goa trip the first thing you’ll have to decide is which beach or area of Goa you want to base yourself in, then you can find the perfect place to stay there.

It’s only a few hours drive between North and South Goa so for the perfect holiday you could spend a few days partying in North Goa and then a few days relaxing in South Goa to get the best of both worlds in one trip!

I made this map of Goa to help you see where the beaches and towns are located in relation to the airport and Madgaon train station.

Goa Map

map of places to stay in Goa

North Goa is the busiest area where all the action is including the best restaurants, nightlife, shopping and attractions. Popular places to stay include Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Mandrem.

South Goa is quieter and less developed with long, uncrowded beaches, luxury resorts and yoga retreats. Popular places to stay include Majorda, Colva, Cavelossim, Agonda and Palolem.

Central Goa & Panjim(Panaji) is a good base for culture, history and nature lovers. Goa’s capital has a colourful, old Latin quarter and offers easy access to the UNESCO churches of Old Goa and the temples, spice plantations, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries.

Read More: Best Things To Do in Panjim & Central Goa

panjim church

The Best Beaches in Goa

With over 101 km of beautiful beaches it’s hard to narrow it down to pick the best beach in Goa – it will depend on what you are looking for from your Goa experience.

Here’s my quick picks for the best beaches in Goa:

Calangute – Best for nightlife, watersports and budget travellers

For many, Calangute, known as ‘the Queen of Beaches’ is Goa’s best beach. Calangute is also home to some of the best places to eat, shop and party with accommodation to suit all budgets.

South Goa – Best for peace, uncrowded beaches and luxury

The wide, clean and uncrowded beaches of South Goa like Majorda, Benaulim and Cavelossim, are arguably the very best beaches in Goa and home to some of the best luxury resorts that make for a perfect peaceful getaway.

Palolem – Best for swimming, families, yoga and colourful beach huts

The palm fringed crescent of Palolem is the most beautiful beach in Goa with sheltered and safe water, colourful beach huts and serene yoga retreats.

Read More: How to Find the Best Beach in Goa for YOU!

My Favourite Place in Goa

If I had to pick just one absolute best place to stay, or the best place for first timers, it would be Vagator Beach.

This area is not as crowded (yet) as Baga, Calangute and Candolim but it’s where some of the best restaurants and parties are. There’s a selection of unique beaches to explore and the parties on Anjuna Beach are only 15 minutes away.

W Goa Vagator Where to stay in Goa

W Goa, Vagator

The absolute best place to stay here is the W Goa. This unique, stylish 5 star resort is located on Vagator Beach under Chapora Fort with spectacular cocktails and sunsets from the pool. It’s close to all the most happening places and has so many facilities you’ll hardly need to leave.

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blu resorts vagator one of the best places to stay in Goa

Blu Resorts, Vagator

For a more budget friendly option Blu Resorts has great deals right now from ₹2,500. Stay in a luxury cottage with open air bathroom around a swimming pool and greenery at this new Mediterranean-style resort just 10 mins from Vagator Beach.

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The Best Place to Stay in Goa for First Time

Choosing where to stay in Goa for the first time can be overwhelming as there are so many beaches and places you’ll want to check out to find your favourites. Especially if you only have a few days – you want to spend your time enjoying not traveling around.

I recommend staying in Calangute for your first time in Goa because you will be in the middle of everything. You can experience the buzzing vibes of North Goa and will have the biggest choice of accommodation, restaurants, bars, nightlife, shopping and watersports all close by. 

wave calangute - best places to stay in goa for first time visit

Wave Calangute Beach Resort

Fully equipped AC 1 and 2BHK apartments to sleep upto 8 people with beautiful gardens and pool. Located 15 mins walk from Calangute Beach and close to Baga and Candolim. 

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The Best Places to Stay in Goa for Couples and Honeymooners

What could be more romantic than white-washed churches, candlelit restaurants and long beach walks at sunset hand in hand with your love. As India’s top honeymoon destination Goa has everything you could dream of for the perfect honeymoon.

Where you stay is one of the most important decisions to make when planning the perfect romantic couple’s holiday, wedding, anniversary or honeymoon in Goa.

The best places in Goa for a honeymoon or romantic couples trip are the uncrowded beaches of South Goa like Majorda, Varca and Cavelossim.

The Leela, Goa The Leela Resort

Located where the river meets the sea on one of the best beaches is The Leela – one of the very best 5 star luxury resorts in Goa. The opulent rooms, gardens, swimming pools, spa, golf course, casino and private lagoon are all you need for an unforgettable honeymoon.

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If you want a lively and fun honeymoon or couples trip there are also some romantic luxury resorts in North Goa in Candolim and Vagator that are located close to all the best nightlife, restaurants and markets.

Taj Fort AguadaThe Taj Fort Aguada

5 star resort located in the most picturesque spot on popular Candolim Beach with stunning beach views. I love the colourful, heritage style, luxury cottages, tropical gardens, pool and unparalleled hospitality.

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A luxury beach hut could also be great for a honeymoon or romantic couples trip where you can get back to nature and fall asleep to the sound of the waves. The best beach huts are found in Agonda and Palolem in South Goa and the exclusive, secret Cola Beach.

Dwarka Eco ResortDwarka Eco Beach Resort

Feel like you’ve got a private beach while soaking up the amazing views from the balcony over the sea and lagoon at these luxurious beach front cottages in the hidden paradise of Cola Beach.

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Read More: The Most Romantic Hotels and Honeymoon Resorts in Goa

The Best Places to Stay in Goa with Family

Families looking to be close to all the action should stay in Candolim. This area is a bit more upmarket and not as busy or noisy as Baga and Calangute but there’s still a great beach.

Candolim is also close to all the best things to do in Goa with kids including waterparks, go karting and the snow park – an experience all the family will love. 

Seashell Beach SuitesSeashell Beach Suites

Family friendly, sparkling clean, elegant 1 and 2 bedroom suites with a swimming pool only 1 minute from Candolim Beach.

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For a quieter family holiday South Goa is the best choice. Colva is the most popular beach in South Goa so there’s plenty of restaurants and watersports, but it’s still alot less crowded than North Goa and makes a good choice for families.

Beleza By The BeachBeleza by the Beach

Beautiful family friendly resort on Colva Beach in South Goa with tastefully designed rooms and villas, plus there’s a children’s swimming pool.

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For a quieter family holiday Palolem is the best choice. The sea in Palolem’s sheltered bay is one of safest for swimming in Goa making it one of the best places to stay in Goa for families. There’s also no noisy parties here. Stay in one of the colourful beach huts that line the beach front and enjoy amazing sunsets from your room. 

Royal Touch Beach HutsRoyal Touch Beach Huts

Family rooms in wooden beach huts right on Palolem beach front with a great beach restaurant.

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A good option when visiting Goa with family is to rent a private villa with plenty of space and privacy for all the family to enjoy. The kids will be kept entertained in the pool while the adults can spend quality time together.

Treehouse Blue VillasBest Villa for Families: Treehouse Blue Villas, Colva

Complex of modern and stylish European style 3 BHK villas with swimming pool in a peaceful spot between Margao and Colva Beach.

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The Best Places to Stay in Goa for Nightlife and Parties

As India’s party capital, the nightlife in Goa is legendary and a reason to visit in itself.

From buzzing bars and pubs to fun Bollywood nightclubs to all night psytrance raves and beach parties – partying in Goa is an unforgettable experience

My top tip would be to stay somewhere near the parties you want to go to so you don’t need to risk the roads when you are drunk or pay for expensive taxis. Never drink and drive!

The best areas for nightlife are Baga and Calangute (especially around the infamous Tito’s Lane in Baga) and there’s plenty of cheap accommodation. Nearby Arpora is home to some of Goa’s best nightclubs including Club Cubana.

Baga Beach ResortBaga Beach Resort

New beach resort with swimming pool just steps from the buzzing nightlife on Tito’s Lane in Baga and close to the nightlife in Arpora and Anjuna.

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The beaches of Anjuna and Vagator are best to experience Goa’s legendary psytrance parties, beach parties and raves. It’s also close to Thalassa – Goa’s most famous and most Instagramable restaurant and party place.

Curlies Zulu LandCurlies Zulu Land Cottages

Cosy cottages in lush gardens just steps away from the famous all night psytrance raves and beach parties at Curlies and Shiva Valley on Anjuna beach.

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Trendy Ashwem and Morjim are also great for nightlife with many new trendy house and techno nightclubs and party resorts like Marbella and Sinq where you can party the night away in style.

Living Room Beach ResortLiving Room Beach Resort

Classy new resort with cute chalets on a blissfully uncrowded, virgin beach near to all the coolest new nightclubs. The suite room even has a jacuzzi in the private garden area!

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Read More: The Best Nightclubs, Raves and Parties in Goa 

The Best Places to Stay in Goa with Friends

If you’re visiting Goa with a group of friends and want to party then the best place to stay is North Goa.

Stay in Baga and Calangute where there’s plenty of cheap accommodation, great beaches, fun watersports, shopping, exciting nightlife and instagrammable places.

zinhos beach resort in baga where to stay in Goa with friends

Zinhos Beach Resort

Good value AC rooms that can sleep up to 6 people near Tito’s Lane in Baga with 24 hour room service and small swimming pool.

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If you want to check out the famous psytrance parties stay in Anjuna, Vagator or Arpora.  Dine at Thalassa at sunset and take a selfie at ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fort 

1918 by Vacasso 1918 by Vacasso

Beautiful 5 BHK villa fusing traditional features and modern luxury with private swimming pool that sleeps groups of 10 on Anjuna Beach near the parties.

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A private villa is also a great option when visiting Goa with a group of friends. You can stay together and party at the villa and you could end up saving money when compared to booking several hotel rooms.

Riviera Hermitage GoaBest Villa for Friends: Riviera Hermitage Apartments

Great value gated complex in Arpora with swimming pool and AC apartments to sleep groups of 4. Located close to nightclubs like Club Cubana and Hammerzz and Baga, Calangute and Anjuna.

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The Best Private Villas in Goa

If you’re visiting Goa with a large group of friends, family or for a workation or longer stay then staying in an apartment or private villa in Goa is the best option.

Immerse yourself in history by staying in a Portuguese heritage home or treat yourself to one of the new, modern, private pool villas in Goa for an unforgettable experience.

Luxury Pool Villa CalanguteLuxury Pool Villas, Calangute

These colourful, modern, fully equipped 4 BHK villas with private pools and are steps from Calangute Beach and are perfect for groups of families of 8 people.

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Treehouse Blue VillasTreehouse Blue Villas, Colva

Complex of modern and stylish European style 3 BHK villas with swimming pool in a peaceful spot between Margao and Colva Beach.

Check Prices

 

1918 by Vacasso1918 by Vacasso, Anjuna  

Beautiful 5 BHK villa fusing traditional features and modern luxury with private swimming pool that sleeps groups of 10 on Anjuna Beach near the parties.

Check Prices

 

Read More: Most Amazing Private Pool Villas in Goa 

The Best Place to Stay in Goa for Yoga

Goa has some amazing yoga retreats and can be a really peaceful experience if you choose where to stay in Goa wisely – you don’t want to be kept awake all night by a thumping psytrance party if you want to do sunrise yoga class!

The best place to stay for yoga is in quieter South Goa – the beaches of Palolem, Patnem and Agonda are home to some fabulous yoga retreats, drop in yoga classes and yoga teacher training courses.

Bamboo Yoga Beach GuesthouseBamboo Yoga Retreat

Relaxed beach front eco huts on quiet Patnem beach with hammocks and excellent yoga classes in a beachfront shala for all levels. Their yoga retreats are the best in Goa.

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Quiet Mandrem beach is the best place for a peaceful yoga retreat in North Goa while neighbouring Arambol offers many drop in yoga classes, workshops, meditations and healing therapies. The advantage of staying here over South Goa is that you could still go down and check out some of the nightlife if you wanted to.

Amritara Aura Spa RetreatAmrita Aura Spa Retreat

Beautiful luxury yoga retreat and spa close to peaceful Mandrem Beach with an infinity pool overlooking the jungle. The standard rooms are good value while the villa balconies have private pools.

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Read More: The Best Yoga Retreats in Goa 

The Best Beach Huts in Goa 

Staying in a beach hut is the best place to stay for the ultimate Goa beach experience. Soak up the sea views and sunsets right from your hut with your feet in the sand and fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

Goa beach huts used to be basic affairs but nowadays there are many luxury beach huts for the perfect beach front stay without comprising on comfort or modern conveniences.

The best beach huts in Goa are found on the beaches of Palolem and Agonda in South Goa but there are also some on the beaches of Ashvem and Mandrem in North Goa and a hidden gem on Baga Beach.

Dwarka Eco ResortDwarka Eco Beach Resort

Feel like you’ve got a private beach while soaking up the amazing views from the balcony over the sea and lagoon at these luxurious beach front cottages in the hidden paradise of Cola Beach.

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little india cottages baga beachLittle India Beach Cottages, Baga

Rustic chic beach huts in a tropical resort with swimming pool just 1 min walk from Baga Beach.

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larisa luxury goa beach huts morjimLa Ri Sa Beach Resort, Morjim

Luxurious wooden beach huts with private jacuzzis on the beach front balcony. Located on quiet Morjim beach but close to the hottest new nightclubs.

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art resort palolem Art Resort, Palolem

Unique arty boutique beach hut resort on the sands of colourful Palolem Beach. Some of the rooms have boat shaped baths on the terrace.

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Read More: My Favourite Luxury Goa Beach Huts.

The Best Luxury Resorts in Goa

The best luxury resorts in Goa are found on the long stretch of blissfully clean, uncrowded and quiet beaches between Majorda and Cavelossism in South Goa.

where to stay in goa in luxury -alila diwa

Alila Diwa, Majorda

Beautiful Bali inspired luxury resort in Majorda has 3 dinning options, 2 bars, a spa and infinity pool overlooking the soothing, green, paddy fields. Stay in the Diwa Club rooms for ultimate luxury and privacy.

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There are also some amazing luxury resorts in Candolim which is a more upmarket area of North Goa yet still close enough to enjoy all the action in busy Baga and Calangute. Some of the best restaurants are also found in this area.

Taj fort Aguada romantic hotel in Goa

The Taj Fort Aguada

The classiest 5 star resort in Candolim with the expectational service you’d expect from a Taj resort. Colourful, heritage style luxury cottages, tropical gardens and pool with a stunning location under Fort Aguada with beach vistas. 

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Read More: The Best Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Goa

The Best Offbeat and Unique Places to Stay in Goa

Goa has much more to offer than just beaches and parties. Get away from the famous beaches to explore the beautiful countryside, heritage buildings and to find the real essence of Goa.

Some of the most unique places to stay in Goa are off the beaches. Stay in a historic, Portuguese fort or mansion, or try an eco farmstay near the waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries for a unique, offbeat stay to experience a totally different side to Goa from everyone else.

Figueiredo HouseFigueiredo House

Stay in a slice of history in a year old Portuguese colonial mansion with a swimming pool, gardens, museum in a traditional Goan village close to Majorda Beach, South Goa.

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Dudhsagar Plantation GoaDudhsagar Plantation

Be immersed in nature at this 50-acre plantation with bungalows, a spice garden, natural water swimming pool and nature trail out near Dudhsagar waterfall.

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Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel GoaFort Tiracol

Stay in a historic Portuguese Fort complete with white washed church on the banks of the river in far North Goa and enjoy stunning views from the excellent restaurant.

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wigwam in mandrem is one of the best offbeat places to stay in goa

Wigwam, Mandrem 

Stay in a comfortable tipi surrounded by lush gardens on a quiet back road only 2 km from peaceful Mandrem Beach. There’s also apartments, yoga, breathwork and great cocktails and food.

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Read More: The Best Portuguese Villas and Heritage Hotels in Goa

The Cheapest Places to Stay in Goa

If you’re visiting Goa on a budget there are still plenty of places to stay from cheap guesthouses, basic beach huts, budget hotels and fun and sociable backpacker hostels for under 1,000 INR

The cheapest places to stay in Goa are Baga and Calangute beach which has plenty of cheap accommodation, plus it’s closest to cheap restaurants, nightclubs, markets and everything else!

Bliss Holiday Inn Bliss holiday Inn, Calangute

Basic but comfortable fan rooms with attached bathrooms in a good location in central Calangute for under 1,000 INR.

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Kiara Hotel Goa Kiara Hotel, Anjuna

Comfortable no frills double and quad rooms with AC available from only 500 INR located between the party areas of Anjuna and Vagator.

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The most popular beach in South Goa, Colva, also has some great value and cheap places to stay. You could also go for a dormitory bed in a backpacker hostel for the most budget friendly stay in Goa.

Vinsons Cottages Goa Vinsons Cottages, Colva

Basic but colourful fan rooms with attached bathroom and gardens near to Colva beach for under 1,000 INR.

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The Best Backpacker Hostels in Goa

Trendy, fun, cheap and sociable backpacker hostels and coworking hostels have become very popular in Goa in recent years. You’ll find the best hostels in Goa around Anjuna and Vagator.

Red Door Hostel Goa Red Door Hostel, Anjuna

One of the first fun and sociable backpacker hostels. Close to Star Co junction in the middle of Anjuna with a lively onsite bar.

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woke hostel arpora Woke Hostel, Arpora

A beautiful Portuguese villa turned into a sociable hostel in Arpora. Near to the hottest nightclubs like Club Cubana, and also close to Baga and Anjuna beaches.

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greenspace coworking hostel vagator

Greenspace Coworking Hostel, Vagator 

Popular coworking hostel offering budget stays in tents, dormitories and private rooms with a restaurant, shared kitchen and coworking space in shady gardens close to the party hotspots. 

Check Prices

 

Read More: The Best Backpacker Hostels in Goa

So there you have it – all my tips from over 6 years of living in Goa. I hope this has helped you to find the perfect place to stay in Goa and you have an amazing trip!

If there’s anything I’ve missed out or you need any more recommendations leave a comment below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can!

Pin this for later! 😉

Where to stay in Goa. Tips on the best places to stay in Goa from an expat 2

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