The Best 3 Day Goa Itinerary: All The Best Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days
Although Goa is most famous for its beaches and nightlife, there is so much more to experience in Goa than just lazing on the beach and partying. If you want to get to know the real Goa this 3 day Goa itinerary will help you to see all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days.
Explore colourful hippie markets, historic forts and churches, luscious spice plantations, India’s 2nd highest waterfall and the unique mix of Indian and Portuguese heritage. All in just 3 days!
Goa is a larger and more diverse state than most people realise and you could spend weeks soaking up the susegad lifestyle and exploring off beat Goa.
But I know many people only have a short vacation like a weekend or 3 days in Goa. This 3 day Goa itinerary is pretty packed but will show you how to see all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days.
How to See All the Best Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days
To make the most of your 3 day Goa itinerary first you’ll need to plan a bit in advance. So first here’s my quick tips on when to visit, how to reach, where to stay and how to get around.
Planning your Goa trip should make sure your holiday goes smoothly and you get to see all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days.
Best Time to Visit Goa
The best time to visit Goa is the main tourist season which is between November and March when the weather is sunny, dry and not so humid or hot.
Some people also like the lushness of the monsoon season from June – October, although it’s much quieter and not so many things are open – see here for the pros and cons of visiting Goa in Monsoon
Where to Stay in Goa
Goa is really very diverse and each beach offers a different vibe so it’s worth researching a bit beforehand about the different beaches in Goa before choosing a hotel.
Generally speaking South Goa is quieter, and mostly the realm of luxury resorts. North Goa is where most of the action is and where the best parties, nightlife, markets, restaurants and attractions are.
I’ve based this 3 days Goa itinerary in North Goa as the travel distances are shorter so you’ll get to visit more places in a short time.
Candolim Beach is the best option as it’s close to all the action in Baga and Calangute but a bit quieter and more upmarket. It’s also not far from Panjim and the other sights in this itinerary.
Another option is Anjuna Beach and Vagator Beach. While the beaches aren’t so big some of the most happening nightlife spots are nearby and Chapora Fort.
Best Goa Hotels
This 5 star Taj resort is located in the most picturesque spot on popular Candolim Beach just under Fort Aguada. Soak up the stunning beach views from the swimming pool, relax in the colourful, heritage style, luxury cottages and enjoy the unparalleled hospitality from Taj hotels. Book here.
Mid Range: Blu Resorts, Vagator
A more budget friendly, mid range option is the new Blu Resorts. A Mediterranean-style resort just 10 mins from Vagator Beach and the nightlife hotspots. It’s a really cute collection of luxury cottages with open air bathrooms around a swimming pool with plenty of tropical greenery. Book online here
Budget: Pappi Chulos Hostel, Vagator
This colourful, funky, spacious and sociable hostel is located on the cliffs within walking distance to the beach and nightlife of Vagator. The hostel has cool pictures and murals, a nice sociable garden area with a bar which means it is easy to make friends with other travellers as well as comfy dorms and communal areas including a kitchen area. It’s become quite a party hostel. Book here.
How to Reach Goa
If you’ve only got 3 days in Goa then make the most of your time and fly into Goa Airport (GOI) I always check Skyscanner to find the best deals. f
You can also reach Goa by train to Thivim for North Goa or Margao (Madgoan) for South Goa or by bus from many places in India especially Mumbai and Bangalore. For this itinerary it would be best to get a bus to Mapusa.
How to Get Around Goa
Public transport isn’t great in Goa and taxis are expensive (there’s still no Uber here) The best way to get around and make the most of your 3 days in Goa is by scooter, motorbike or car. Your hotel should be able to help you arrange the rental. Having your own wheels is definitely the best way to get around and explore all the best places to visit in Goa.
The Best 3 Days Goa Itinerary
I’ve tried to pack all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days into this 3 days Goa itinerary – perfect if you are planning a weekend trip to Goa and want to see all the best beaches, markets, restaurants and parties and much more in a short time.
Day 1 – Welcome to Goa! Relax on the beach and party!
Reach Goa and get settled into your hotel. Then head out to explore some of Goa’s best beaches and forts.
Baga Beach and Calagute Beach are the most famous and busiest beaches in Goa and good for watersports. But if you fancy something a bit quieter and classier head to Candolim Beach and don’t miss visiting Fort Aguada.
Check out Anjuna and Vagator beaches, these were the original hippie beaches. If it’s a Wednesday check out the colourful Anjuna Flea Market.
Vagator Beach’s rocky coves are interesting and charming to explore. Also, check out the ruins and views from Chapora Fort made famous after the film Dil Chahta Hai.
Savour your first dip in the warm Arabian sea, feel the sand in your toes and eat a Goan fish curry in one of the beach shacks.
Enjoy a cocktail or cold Kingfisher while you soak up your first Goan sunset – they are pretty spectacular!
Make your first night in Goa special by visiting one of the best restaurants, Thalassa is a lively and fun Greek restaurant with great views over Chapora River and entertainment. It’s one of my all time favourites restaurants in Goa. Make a reservation to get a good table for sunset.
Goa is probably the best place to party in all of India, there’s lots going on every night in season. One of the most popular party places in around Tito’s lane in Baga, also check out Curlies Beach Shack on South Anjuna Beach, Hilltop in Vagator and Club Cubana in Arpora depending on what kind of music you like and what night it is.
Day 2 – Goa Sightseeing – Explore Goa’s history, culture and nature spots
A holiday in Goa has much more to offer than just beaches. Prise yourself away from the beach and hire a driver or take a day trip for a fascinating day exploring more of Goa’s nature, culture and history.
Stop by Goa’s capital, Panaji, check out the stunning Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and take a heritage walking tour through the colourful Portuguese architecture around Fontainhas – the old Latin Quarter.
If you’re into history then you can’t miss the impressive, UNESCO listed Portuguese churches of Old Goa including the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral. Take a guided walking tour to learn more about Goa’s history and bring the churches to life.
Carry on heading out inland and into the jungle for a refreshing swim in Dudhsagar waterfall and visit a spice plantation.
Most of the Spice Plantations include a Goan buffet lunch in the entrance price or Panjim has some great restaurants, Try Mum’s Kitchen – famous for Goan food or popular Hotel Venite.
If you’ve only got 3 days in Goa you’ll be able to see more by taking a tour. You can book the best Goa day tours online with Viator. Nature lovers will like this tour to Dudhsagar waterfalls and spice plantations.
History and culture lovers would enjoy this private Goa sightseeing tour which visits the Old Goa churches, the spice plantation tour and lunch at Sahakari Spice Farm and the historic Portuguese quarters of Panjim. You’ll finish off an amazing day watching the sunset on Miramar Beach before being dropped back at your hotel.
If you’re coming to Goa for the weekend then don’t miss the Saturday Night Market at Arpora.
This huge market situated between Anjuna and Baga is the best place to shop for souvenirs, clothes, handicrafts, sarongs. There are many Indian sellers and also some foreigners and hippies who sell unique handmade clothes, jewellery and other things.
The night market is also a bit of a party as there is a bar, many food stalls, live bands and music that goes into the early hours of Sunday morning. Don’t miss it!
Day 3 – Explore More Beaches
There are so many beaches you can explore on a 3 day Goa trip! Get on the bike or hire a Jeep/Thar, feel the wind through your hair and soak in the gorgeous countryside; green paddy fields, towering palm trees, white washed Portuguese churches and colourful Goan villages while you explore further up the coast.
Enjoy the drive further north and check out quiet Morjim Beach, the home of rare Olive Ridley turtles, the wide, empty sands of Mandrem and the hip Ashwem.
Eat at La Plage in Ashvem (one of the best restaurants in all of Goa right on the beach) or try Sublime in Morjim and Café NU in Mandrem
And don’t miss hippy Arambol, head over the cliffs at the North end of the beach and discover Kalacha Beach with it’s cute sweet water lake. You can even try paragliding here.
Try to be in Arambol for sunset as each night hippies, backpackers and long stayers set up a cute little sunset hippy market along the beach and you’ll see all kinds of weird and wonderful people practising yoga, meditation, fire dancing or juggling and the drum circle that Arambol is famous for.
If it’s a Sunday and you’re into Psytrance don’t miss the epic Hilltop Sunday Psytrance parties in Vagator.
So that’s my suggestion for a 3 day Goa itinerary that allows you see all the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days. I hope it helps you plan your Goa trip.
Your holiday will be pretty action packed with this itinerary but there’s so much to do in Goa and this is about as much you can realistically pack into 3 days in Goa.
A Quick 5 Day Goa Itinerary
If you have 5 days in Goa that would be even better. You could spend the first 2 days visiting the beaches of North Goa and partying.
Then head to Panjim and spend the next 2 days exploring the city, Old Goa, the spice plantations, temples, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries.
Finish off your 5 day Goa itinerary relaxing on the chilled out beaches of South Goa like Palolem – the most beautiful beach in all of Goa.