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How to plan a trip to Goa?

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Devil, Sep 22, 2016.

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  1. Devil

    Devil New Member

    I want a plan a trip to Goa with my friends, and require some help with planning for the whole trip.
    We are all from Delhi, and we need all kinds of details given on how to plan a trip to Goa from traveling from Delhi to sightseeing in Goa and coming back home.

    We are not too sure on how many days we should stay in Goa as well, so all the information provided such as places to see and things to do will allow us to find out what the duration of our holiday would be.
     
  2. djtravels

    djtravels Member

    A week is long enough for Goa. And you'd need about ten thousand rupees per head to enjoy the place. As you'll find Beer is cheaper than water in Goa.

    From Delhi you can take a flight to Mumbai or a train to Goa. Its up to you how you want to do it. I would recommend taking the train actually if you don't want to tour Mumbai.

    In Goa, ensure that you know a few homestays. Don't try to stay in a hotel since you won't really be staying at your room that much anyways. Also, the homestay people will ensure that you get vehicles to go around Goa. You don't really need a guide. You need bikes and cars, which can easily be arranged by local people, especially the home owners.

    So, now that you have a travel route, a roof on your head and conveyance, all you need to do is check out tripadvisor's "things to do in Goa" list. Pick 2 - 3 places per day according to your interest (architecture, beaches, etc.) and visit there. Like I said, you won't need a guide and most places have free access to them. All the best.
     
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, @Devil! Welcome to the forum!

    So first, let's figure out your transportation options from Delhi to Goa:

    1. By Bus - If you'd like to reach Goa by bus, you need to go to Mumbai first and from there, ride another bus going to Goa. So your route for this one would be:
    • Delhi > Bus to Mumbai > Bus to Goa.
    From Delhi to Mumbai, there are direct private buses plying this route. They are only a few though so you have to plan your schedule accordingly. Here are their timings and rates:
    • Rishabh Travels (Non AC Seater/Sleeper Bus) - Departs from Delhi at 6:30 pm and arrives in Mumbai at 3:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 2,200 to Rs. 2,500 per passenger. This bus departs from Filmistan in Delhi.
    • Shri Rishabh Travels (Non AC Seater/Sleeper Bus) - Departs from Delhi at 7:00 pm and arrives in Mumbai at 7:00 am. Fare is at Rs. 2,400 to Rs. 3,000 per passenger. This bus departs from Khanna Market in Delhi.
    Journey duration is around 33 hours to 36 hours so it is quite long.

    From Mumbai to Goa, there are also direct buses plying this route. You have two options, first is the government-operated bus to Goa and second would be a private bus. So for the government-operated bus, there is only one bus timing for this route:
    • Kadamba Transport Corporation (Volvo AC Seater Bus) - This bus departs from Ballard Pier at 6:00 pm and arrives in Mapusa at 7:00 am. It also has other boarding points like Dadar, Sion, Chembur and Vashi. It also has other dropping points like Panjim and Margao. Fare is at Rs. 650 per passenger. Journey duration is around 13 hours.
    There are also plenty of private buses plying this route:
    • Manish Canara Pinto (AC Sleeper Bus) - They have two timings: 7:35 pm and 8:05 pm. These buses depart from Borival Gokul Hotel. They then arrive in Mapusa at 9:05 am. Fare is at Rs. 700 to Rs. 800 per passenger.
    • Naik Tours and Travels (Non AC Seater/Sleeper Bus) - They have two timings: 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. These buses depart from CST Station. They then arrive in Mapusa at 7:30 am and 9:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 per passenger.
    • Paulo Travels (Volvo AC Bus) - They have two timings: 4:45 pm and 7:30 pm. These buses depart from Parle. They then arrive in Mapusa at 8:00 am and 9:25 am. Fare is at Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 per passenger.
    Journey duration is around 14 hours to 16 hours. Bus journey can be a bit tiring and long though especially if you go to Goa purely by bus.

    2. By Train - Goa has different railway stations. But the biggest railway station and the usual stop of passengers is the Madgaon Railway Station. Here are some direct trains from Delhi to Madgaon:
    • Goa Express Train No. 12780 - This departs daily from Hazrat Nizamuddin at 15:00 and arrives in Madgaon at 5:40.
    • Mangala Lakshadweep Express Train No. 12618 - This departs daily from Hazrat Nizamuddin at 9:15 and arrives in Madgaon at 20:30.
    • Goa Sampark Kranti Express Train No. 12450 - This departs during Mondays and Saturdays from New Delhi at 6:20 and arrives in Madgaon the next day at 15:00.
    • Trivandrum Rajdhani Train No. 12432 - This departs during Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Hazrat Nizamuddin at 10:55 and arrives in Madgaon the next day at 14:20.
    • Amritsar Kochuveli Express Train No. 12484 - This departs during Sundays from New Delhi at 13:40 and arrives in Madgaon the next day at 22:25.
    Journey duration is around 1 day and 14 hours. From Madgaon, there are plenty of buses, taxis and autos for you to reach your other destinations in Goa.

    3. By Air - There are direct flights from Delhi to the Dabolim International Airport in Goa. The airport is about 4 kilometres away from Vasco Da Gama and about 30 kilometres from Panjim. Here are some flights from Delhi to Goa:

    Air India
    • AI 865 - Departs from Delhi at 10:00 and arrives in Goa at 18:10. Fare is at Rs. 7,923 per passenger.
    • AI 636 - Departs from Delhi at 14:30 and arrives in Goa at 6:40. Fare is at Rs. 7,923 per passenger.
    • AI 102 - Departs from Delhi at 17:00 and arrives in Goa at 6:40. Fare is at Rs. 7,923 per passenger.
    • AI 624 - Departs from Delhi at 19:30 and arrives in Goa at 6:40. Fare is at Rs. 7,923 per passenger.
    Jet Airways
    • 9W 358 - Departs from Delhi at 10:30 and arrives in Goa at 17:50. Fare is at Rs. 11,209 per passenger.
    • 9W 340 - Departs from Delhi at 12:40 and arrives in Goa at 17:50. Fare is at Rs. 11,209 per passenger.
    • 9W 352 - Departs from Delhi at 14:00 and arrives in Goa at 17:50. Fare is at Rs. 11,209 per passenger.
    • 9W 356 - Departs from Delhi at 19:15 and arrives in Goa at 3:40. Fare is at Rs. 11,209 per passenger.
    As you can see, journey duration differs but the shortest one is at 4 hours. From Diabolic Airport, you can just ride a taxi or bus to reach your other destinations.

    Now that we're done with the transportation options, we now go to the places that you can visit in Goa. There are plenty of beaches and attractions to explore in the state. But for sightseeing, I'd recommend these places in Goa:

    1. Panaji - A visit to Goa won't be complete without exploring Panaji, the state capital. It is a bustling city, with plenty of hotel options and restaurants to experiment with. It's also a city with a rich culture and history, this is evident with the numerous Portuguese structures around the area. You can visit the churches of the city like the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary and the Chapel of Saint Catherine. Many of these churches have been well-preserved and can give you a glimpse of the bygone era. On the other hand, a stroll around Fontainhas can transport you back in time as the houses here still resemble that of the Portuguese era. There are also some museums and palaces that you can explore in the city. For those who want some wildlife viewing, there's the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, which can only be reached through a boat ride from Panaji. So if you're crunched for time and can only visit one place in Goa, I recommend Panaji.
    • Must visit places - Church of the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, Chapel of Saint Catherine, Fontainhas, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and many more.
    2. Margao - Margao is where the Madgaon Railway Station is located. Although it's usually just a stopover for tourists, there are also plenty of attractions in the city. So if you have the time, do explore the different churches, temples and markets in the city. The city was also named as the Cultural Capital of Goa and a visit to its cultural centre, Ravindran Bhavan, would tell you just why. Some of the churches worth visiting here are the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Our Lady of Grace Church. Margao also has a predominant Hindu population so you can also visit the Damodar Temple and the Chandranath Temple.
    • Must visit places - Ravindran Bhavan, Church of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Grace Church, Damodar Temple and Chandranath Temple.
    3. Mapusa - If you love shopping, then you'd love Mapusa even more. It is popular for the bustling Mapusa Friday Market, wherein you can find goods like produce, clothes, utensils, fish, you name it, they have it! Thus, this market attracts not only locals but also tourists alike. So if you'd like to bring some souvenirs home, consider the Friday bazaar at Mapusa. There are also a few temples that you can visit in the city like the Kalika Temple and Bodhgeshwar Temple. Because of its location, Mapusa is a good base as well for exploring the other beaches in North Goa.
    • Must visit places - Mapuse Friday Market, Kalika Temple and Bodhgeshwar Temple.
    4. Ponda - This city is located in North Goa. It is one of the best destinations for sightseeing in Goa as it has plenty of temples, plantations, sanctuaries and mosques to explore. Perhaps one of the most popular attractions here is the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa, with over 130 species of butterflies in its premises. Some of the other sanctuaries you can visit here are the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. There are also plenty of spice plantations in the city like the Sahakari Spice Farm and the Tropical Spice Plantation. A tour amidst these plantations can revive your senses and you can also buy fresh spices. So if you're someone who enjoys nature and wildlife, then visiting Ponda might just be the best decision for you.
    • Must visit places - Butterfly Conservatory of Goa, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Sahakari Spice Farm, Tropical Spice Plantation and many more.
    As far as the beaches go, I'd recommend the beaches of South Goa, as they are less commercialised and less crowded. However, if partying is one of your interests, then do visit the North Goa side as they have the best night life in the state. Do visit this thread for more information about the commonly asked question: How many beaches in Goa? Yet another thread that might help you is this one: Best Area to Stay in Goa for determining which part of Goa best suits you.

    Anyway, now that we have covered the tourist places in Goa, let's discuss your options when going back to Delhi. It's actually the same, you have buses, trains and flights.

    1. By Bus - Going home, you'd have the same route but backwards:
    • Goa > Bus to Mumbai > Bus to Delhi.
    From Goa to Mumbai, you can opt for the KTC bus or a private bus. Here is one timing for the KTC bus:
    • Kadamba Transport Corporation (Volvo AC Bus) - This departs from Goa at 6:00 pm and arrives in Mumbai at 6:45 am. Fare is at Rs. 689 per passenger. This bus has different boarding points in Margaon, Panjim and Mapusa.
    Then, here are some private bus timings:
    • Paulo Travels (AC Sleeper Bus) - They have two timings: 5:15 pm and 7:30 pm. These buses have different boarding points in Goa like Calangute, Margao, Panjim and Mapusa. They arrive in Mumbai at around 6:00 am and 7:45 am. Fare is at Rs. 650 to Rs. 950 per passenger.
    • Neeta Travels (AC Volvo Bus) - They have two timings: 9:00 am and 8:30 pm. These buses have different boarding points in Goa like Margao, Panjim and Mapusa. They arrive in Mumbai at around 1:00 am and 10:30 am. Fare is at Rs. 660 to Rs. 1,035 per passenger.
    • Goa Travels (Non AC Seater Bus) - This bus departs from Goa at 6:30 and arrives in Mumbai at around 7:30 am. It has boarding points in Panaji and Mapusa. Fare is at Rs. 400 to Rs. 450 per passenger.
    Now, here is one bus timing from Mumbai to Delhi:
    • Rishabh Travels (Non AC Seater/Sleeper Bus) - This departs from Mumbai at 2:30 pm and arrives in Delhi at 4:00 am. Fare is at Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,800 per passenger.
    2. By Train - There are direct trains from the Madgaon Railway Station to Delhi. Here are some of them:
    • Mangala Lakshadweep Train No. 12617 - This departs daily from Madgaon at 1:35 and arrives in Hazrat Nizamuddin at 13:15.
    • Goa Express Train No. 12779 - This departs daily from Madgaon at 15:50 and arrives in Hazrat Nizamuddin at 6:20.
    • Rajdhani Express Train No. 12431 - This departs during Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Madgaon at 11:05 and arrives in Hazrat Nizamuddin the next day at 16:55.
    • Nizamuddin Express Train No. 22653 - This departs during Saturdays from Madgaon at 18:35 and arrives in Hazrat Nizamuddin the next day at 4:00.
    3. By Air - There are direct flights from Goa to Delhi as well, here they are:

    Air India
    • AI 84 - Departs from Goa at 22:00 and arrives in Delhi at 10:55. Fare is at Rs. 9,251 per passenger.
    • AI 664 - Departs from Goa at 15:25 and arrives in Delhi at 15:10. Fare is at Rs. 10,311 per passenger.
    Jet Airways
    • 9W 476 - Departs from Goa at 13:00 and arrives in Delhi at 18:35. Fare is at Rs. 16,935 per passenger.
    • 9W 627 - Departs from Goa at 14:40 and arrives in Delhi at 18:35. Fare is at Rs. 16,935 per passenger.
    Flights going back home to Delhi are priced higher though so you'd have to spare more cash for them. Journey duration also varies but the shortest is at 4 hours.

    There you go. I hope this little guide helps you in your journey to Goa. Have fun!:)
     

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