My 3 Days Goa Trip Plan – How to see the Best Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days only
Although Goa is most famous for its beaches and nightlife there is so much more to a Goa trip than just lazing on the beach and partying. What sets a holiday in Goa apart from other beach destinations is the crazy nightlife, colourful flea markets, the food and the unique, magical mix of Indian and Portuguese culture that is a delight to explore. In fact, there is so much to do in Goa that you could easily keep yourself entertained for weeks. If you have a week’s holiday in Goa check out my perfect itinerary for 1 week. But I know that many people only have a short time or a weekend to explore Goa but luckily you can still enjoy the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days only with my 3 days Goa trip plan.
3 Days Goa Trip Tips: The Best Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days
To make the most of your 3 days Goa trip first you’ll need to plan a bit in advance – when to go, how to get there, where to stay and how to get around to make sure your trip goes smoothly and you get to enjoy and see as much as possible.
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 although it’s much quieter and not many things are open – see here for the pros and cons of visiting Goa in Monsoon
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 cheapest flights, if you can be flexible and search across the whole month you can find the best deals.
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
Buses are infrequent and taxis are expensive so to make the most of your 3 day Goa trip you should also rent a scooter, motorbike or car so that you can get around easily and see the most of Goa. Your hotel should be able to help you arrange this and it should cost around 300 INR per day.
Best places to stay in Goa
Goa is really very diverse and each beach offers a different scene so it’s worth researching a bit beforehand about the different beaches in Goa before choosing. 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 and where I’m basing this 3 days Goa trip plan.
Here’s 4 of my favourite places to stay in the Anjuna/ Vagator area that are perfect for this 3 day Goa itinerary.
Backpacker: 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. Check out the reviews and book here.
Budget: Kaza Le Pearl Resort, Vagator
This collection of modern, clean, bright, spacious and comfortable AC rooms with large balconies are great value for money. Situated near Vagator petrol station so within easy access of everything but tucked away in a hidden spot away from noisy roads or parties so you can still get a good nights sleep. There’s Wifi, TV, AC, spacious gardens, friendly staff and pets and plenty of parking. There’s not a proper restaurant though but the staff can provide room service food and there’s plenty of restaurants and takeaway/delivery options nearby. Check out pics, reviews and book here.
Mid Range: Granpa’s Inn (Hotel Bougainvillea) Anjuna
This 200 year old Portuguese mansion on the very outskirts of Anjuna has lovely, clean, cosy character cottages in shady tropical gardens around a nice swimming pool. The place feels more like a beautiful old Goan village than a hotel and I loved the outdoor bathrooms. The hospitality and food were also good. It’s quite far from the beach though so you’ll need a scooter to get around. Check reviews and book here.
Luxury: W Goa, Vagator
Why not splash out and make it a trip to remember. For a luxury stay in Anjuna/Vagator area look no further than the new W Goa. This huge, modern, ultra hip 5 star resort is perched right on the quiet end of Vagator beach under Chapora Fort with amazing views – especially at sunset over the beach from one of the pools. The whole resort is really stylishly designed and makes a statement. Rooms are very plush and modern, theres a spa, sauna, bars, restaurants, swimming pools, landscaped tropical gardens, an indoor play area, yoga classes, shops and much more – the place is huge! Simply stunning. Check out the reviews for yourself and book online.
The Best Places to Visit in Goa in 3 Days – 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 trip plan – 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!
Get to Goa and get settled into your hotel. You will probably be pretty tired from the journey so taking a pre paid taxi from the airport to your hotel is the most hassle free way to arrive.
Once you’re all sorted with your accommodation head down to the beach to get your first dip in the warm Arabian sea, feel the sand in your toes, try some watersports, eat a Goan fish curry in one of the beach shacks and enjoy a cocktail or cold beer while you soak up your first Goan sunset – they are pretty spectacular!
To get the best out of your 3 days Goa trip you’ll need your own transport as public transport is not very convenient and taxis charge exorbitant prices. Most guesthouses and hotels should be able to arrange scooters and motorbike hire (about 300 rupees a day) and this is definitely the best way to get around and explore Goa and will allow you to visit all the best places.
Make your first night in Goa special by visiting one of the best restaurants, Thalassa is a Greek restaurant with great views over Vagator beach which is 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 on South Anjuna Beach, Hilltop and Waters in Vagator and Club Cubana in Arpora depending on what kind of music you like.
Day 2 – Explore the nature and culture of inland Goa
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. Head into the jungle for a refreshing swim in Dudhsagar waterfall and learn about why spices are so important with a visit to a spice plantation.
You also can’t miss the impressive, UNESCO listed Portuguese churches of Old Goa and make time to explore Panjim, Goa’s capital, check out the stunning Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the colourful old Portuguese architecture around Fontainhas.
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.
How to do it: There are lots of day tours and trips you can do to see the all the best places in a short time. Many hotels and small local travel agencies can arrange sightseeing and the daily cost to hire a car with a driver should be around 2500 rupees.
You could also book organised Goa day tours on Viator. Nature lovers will like this private full day tour to Dudhsagar waterfalls and spice plantations while culture buffs might enjoy this private full day Goa sightseeing tour private full day Goa sightseeing tour which visits the Old Goa churches, the most famous Goa temples, the historic Portuguese quarters of Panjim as well as a spice plantation tour with lunch.
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 – Drive up the coast and explore more beaches and join the drum circle
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.
Check out Anjuna and Vagator beaches, these were the original hippie beaches, Anjuna still has a famous flea market every Wednesday and Vagator’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.
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.
Check out this video by Drifter Planet for a taster of Arambol life
If it’s a Sunday and you’re into Psytrance don’t miss the epic Hilltop Sunday Psytrance parties in Vagator.
So there’s my suggestion of the best places to visit in Goa in 3 days for your 3 day Goa trip plan. There is a lot more to see and your holiday will be pretty action packed with this 3 day Goa itinerary but there’s so much to do here and that’s about as much you can pack into 3 days in Goa.