What comes to your mind when you hear Goa? Probably sun-kissed beaches, water sports, river cruises, the gorgeous shacks, and seafood. Also, the fascinating flea markets and sizzling nightlife in Goa that entice tourists from all over the world. But what is that you must-do when you’re planning to spend 3 wonderful days in Goa on a long weekend is explained in our small 3-day Goa guide.
A “3 days in Goa” guide
Weather of Goa
Summer: The summer season in Goa commences from March and continues till May. The weather is hot and humid in summer and temperature fluctuates between 28 degrees to 33 degrees Celsius.
Monsoon: Monsoon season hits Goa from June and goes on till September. Goa receives moderate to heavy rainfall and the beaches look opulent and fresh during the rainy season.
Winter: October to February is the winter season in Goa. The temperature ranges between 21 degrees to 28 degrees Celsius. The weather is cool, comfortable and appropriate for all water sports and beach parties.
Best time to visit Goa
Winter months make the best time to visit Goa. The weather remains cool and soothing, and tourists can enjoy exhilarating water sports and beach activities during winter. Moreover, there are a lot of Goa festivals like Sunburn, Christmas and New Year that is celebrated with immense grandeur and pulls plenty of tourists during the season.
Goa beaches look invigorating during monsoon season. Though water sports are not operational during the rainy season, refreshing rainfall and luxuriant vistas make monsoon the best time to visit Goa for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Places to visit in Goa in 3 days
1. Beaches of North and South Goa
Goa is all about scenic beaches. Be it north or south, the beaches are truly mesmeric and one can chill out, sunbathe, relax or simply indulge in super thrilling water sports. If you just have 3 days in Goa, plan for half a day sightseeing and indulge in beach hopping. Visit Calangute, Baga, Candolim, Colva, Agonda and Palolem beach and enjoy the natural beauty, happening crowd, beach shacks and water adventure.
Time required: 4 to 5 hours
2. Basilica of Bom Jesus
Established in 1605, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Goa. Known as Old Goa Church, this marvellous structure is one of the ancient churches in Goa and boasts of marvellous architecture, beautiful frescos, precious stonework and works of Dom Martin Basilica Bom of Jesus. The preserved body of St. Francis Xavier is one of the major things, that pulls tourists here.
Time required: 1 hour
Opening hours: 9 am to 6: 30 pm. Only on Sundays, due to mass prayer session, the church opens for tourists at 10:30 am.
3. Fort Aguada
Tucked by the Candolim beach, Fort Aguada is an age-old Portugese fort in Goa, built in 17th century. The fort was built to safeguard the Portugese community from Maratha and Dutch attack. The fort was named Aguada which means water, because of a freshwater spring located inside the premises. Fort Aguada is counted as one of the most-visited tourist places in Goa which has become more popular after the shooting of Bollywood movie Dil Chahta Hain. So, if you are in Goa for 3 days only, make sure, Fort Aguada is in your itinerary.
Time required: 2 hours
Opening hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
4. Saturday Night Market
If one of your 3 days in Goa is a Saturday, head to night market at Arpora for a hearty shopping scene. The Saturday night market is a buzzing place where tourists and locals flock to pick up trendy outfits, accessories, Goan handicrafts, ornaments, gypsy boxes and leather goods. Moreover, the market is dotted with food stalls, so if you wish to relish authentic Goanese delicacy, this is the best option for you.
Time required: 2 hours
Opening hours: 6:00 pm to 2:00 am
5. Dudhsagar Falls
The 5th largest waterfall in India, Dudhsagar is one of the must-see places in Goa. Located near Kulem, this gorgeous cascade is a sight of delight and wonder. Enjoy the scenic drive of 60 kms from Goa to see how this mesmerizing waterfall gushes down in multiple layers amid thick luxuriant greenery. You need to keep half a day for Dudhsagar, enjoy time there, admire the beauty, click photograph and relax with this stunning backdrop.
Time required: 3 hours
Suggested Read: North Goa VS South Goa: The Never Ending Dilemma
Things to do in Goa in 3 days
1. Indulge in water sports
Holidaying in Goa and missing out on water sports is a sin. From surfing, knee boarding, white water rafting, kayaking to scuba diving, snorkelling, parasailing and jet skiing, Goa offers endless opportunities to entice the water baby in you. Don’t forget to keep half a day in your 3 days Goa vacation for such super fun activities. You can try these water sports in almost all famous beaches in Goa like Calangute, Baga, Colva, Candolim and Vagator.
Time required: 4 to 5 hours
2. Enjoy Mandovi River Cruise
Various tour operators organise evening cruise on Mandovi River. These are mainly sunset cruises, where large boats or steamers sail through the river, while people can enjoy stunning sunset views. Many of the cruises present cultural programs, showcasing traditional Goanese dance and music, followed by dinner. There are also some special dinner cruises, that operate from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm and let the guests admire the surrounding beauty over lavish Goanese dinner. Depending on your schedule of 3 days in Goa, choose any of the Mandovi River Cruise and feel the charm of the place, post sunset.
Time required: 2 to 4 hours, depending on the type of cruise you book.
3. Get lucky and watch dolphins
The coastal strip of Goa is the habitat of beautiful dolphins and other marine creatures. Take a dolphin boat tour, while your 3 days stay in Goa and if you are lucky you may spot many of them. Beaches like Candolim, Butterfly, Baga and Sinquerim are much famed for dolphins and so is Grand Island. There are many boat tour agencies in Goa, that conduct dolphin spotting trips. Choose and book the one that suits you.
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4. Explore the beach shacks and beach clubs at night
Goa is not only about beaches and water sports. The nightlife in Goa is fabulous and offers amazing experiences for all. Enjoy this sizzling side of Goa, while you visit various pubs, clubs, shacks and lounges, taste the best of food and cocktail and dance with peppy live music. So, if you are a party animal, make the most of your 3 days in Goa by enjoying this awesome nightlife scene. Most of the pubs are open till early morning, so you can even fit in this plan of club hopping after the cruise or night market visit.
Time required: 2 to 4 hours
There are many permanently anchored ships on the Mandovi River, which run legitimate casinos for tourists. Try your luck and enjoy some the exciting games there and you may earn some handsome amount of money. The casino offers package inclusive of drinks and food and offers amazing ambience and live music. Every casino opens from 9 pm until midnight, so whenever you are free on any of the 3 days in Goa, pay a visit to this fun zone.
Time required: It is upto you how much time you wish to spend in the casino. People generally enjoy approximate 2 to 3 hours in Goa casinos
Entry fee: Starting 1500/person
Suggested Read: 9 Reasons Why Goa Is A Backpacker’s HELL
Recommended places to eat in Goa
1. Bhatti Village
When in Goa, eat like the Goans do. And if its home-made Goan delicacies, there is nothing that can surpass the charm of this cozy and popular family restaurant. Indeed, Bhatti Village is one of the best places in Goa to try local authentic dishes. Even a simple crab fry, pork vindaloo or Goan fish curry taste surreal here.
Opening hours: 6:30 pm to 11 pm
What to eat: Pork vindaloo, chicken xacuti, kaju feny, and cera dora- a Portugese sweet dish.
Average cost for two: INR 500
Address: Bhatti Waddo, Nerul
2. Blue Whale
Blue Whale is an absolute favourite for those who love coastal cuisine. Be it sumptuous seafood platter, varities of pasta or best of port wine; every thing at Blue Whale is just mouth-watering. Moreover, the unobstructed view of the sea is surely an additional bonus.
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm
What to eat: Prawn in butter garlic sauce and pomfret rechado
Average cost for two: INR 650
Address: Baga Beach, opposite Royal Goan Beach Club
3. La Plage
Flaunting its beachfront location, outdoor seating set up and artistic decor, this quaint and cozy La Plage restaurant is one of the must eat places in Goa. This is indeed one of the best places to have French delicacies in Goa and its friendly and prompt service have won many hearts already.
Opening hours: 8:30 am to 10:00 pm
What to eat: Caribbean chicken and beef burger. If you have a sweet tooth, never miss their signature dessert item; Chocolate Thali.
Average cost for two: INR 800
Address: Ashvem Beach, Mandrem
4. Plantain Leaf
Craving for authentic south Indian food in Goa? Then Plantain Leaf is exactly the place you should be heading to. Not only palatable food, decent décor and good location, this quaint little place offers respite to those looking for pure veg restaurants in Goa.
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 11:00 pm
What to eat: Dosa and south-Indian thali
Average cost for two: INR 800
Address: Almita III, Beach Road, Calangute
5. Martin’s Corner
If you are fancying about a superb fine dining restaurant, live music, delicious Goan delicacies and best of cocktails; think no further and come to Martin’s Corner. Run by a Goan lady, Mrs. Carafina Pereira; this restaurant boasts sober ambience, good crowd and incredible hospitality and all these have helped Martin’s Corner bag few awards like Times Food Guide Award in 2012 and Life Time Achievement Award at the International cuisine conference held in Goa in 2007.
Opening hours: 11:30 am to 4:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm
What to eat: Fish rava fry, haldi-chili prawns, Calamari batter fry, and Chicken cafreal
Average cost for two: INR 1600
Address: 69, Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette
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Recommended places to stay in Goa
1. Taj Exotica, Benaulim
Located snugly by the private beach, Taj Exotica pampers all its guests with utmost luxury, comfort and world class facilities. From poolside decks, luxury villas, lobster shacks, golf course and personalised water sports facilities; this lavish hotel in Goa has everything for a dreamlike vacation.
2. Grand Hyatt, Bambolim
Elegant ambience, fine dining, spacious suites and superb amenities pretty much sum up what Grand Hyatt is all about. There are indoor and outdoor pools to relax and Shamana spa to rejuvenate your senses and the unobstructed view of azure sea make this place, one of the most recommended stays in Goa.
3. Goa Marriot Resort and Spa, Panjim
This is a fabulous resort that offers mesmerising views of the sea and finest hospitality in Goa. Relax in the swim-up bar, in-house spa or just spend some cosy time in the bay view patio rooms.
4. Ramada Caravela Beach Resort, Varca
One of the best resorts in Goa, Ramada Caravela Beach Resort offers plethora of luxuries to all its guests. Located by the Caravela Beach, this resort is in the preferred list of those looking for a relaxed and laid-back vacation in Goa. Equipped with discotheque, island bar, private beach and fine dining restaurants, this Goa resort will surely surpass all your expectations.
5. Casa Baga
If you are looking for a well-appointed hotel at moderate budget in Goa, book at Casa Baga. Featuring trendy décor, decent hospitality, authentic Goanese restaurant and a refreshing swimming pool, this boutique Goa hotel is highly recommended for both couples and families. The hotel is 2 minutes away from Baga Beach and this makes it all the more special.
Alhough 3 days in Goa can never be enough, this quick guide is surely helpful and effective to taste the taste of Goa. We admit the plan looks little hectic, but trust us, it will be equally fascinating and enthralling.
Further Read: 8 Most Amazing Places To Visit In Goa In December