The Budget Travel Guide to Goa

“Guys, let’s go to Goa,” something that we say all the time but does the trip really happen? Well! I was proud of myself to see my successful Goa plan after a long wait. Since I am from India, I know how people plan to go to this place every year and drop the plan and again do it in the next year, and this goes forever. But how many of you just hit it by making your trip successful? “A very few.” That’s what I listen from many of you. So tell me what that one thing that usually makes all your plannings a failure is? Budget? Is it? When I meet people and talk about my Goa trip, they mostly say, “I want to go to Goa, but I always run out of money.” Oh, wait! Who says that you need a lot of money to travel to Goa? Goa can be your cheapest trip ever. Yes, you heard it right.

Goa can be your cheapest trip ever.
Goa looks expensive until you are already there to experience the Goan roads, Goan food, Goan culture and the Goan way of living. Before leaving for Goa, even I thought I would be spending a lot, but I came back with a lot of savings. So here, I have come up with a guide to travel cheap in Goa. This guide is for every person who loves travel, India, and Goa and especially for Indians who are still waiting for a successful Goa trip.

The Ultimate Budget Travel Guide to Goa

Let me start with highlighting some amazing things about this place:
  • Welcoming and friendly locals
  • Low population, less chaos
  • Amazing weather
  • A place where you can wander around on a bicycle
  • Authentic Seafood
Even though traveling is cheap, it’s not free, so you need at least a little amount of savings for your trip. Here are my best ten ways to cut your expenses and save money for travel. It’s not at all difficult and has always helped to live my dreams. This guide on budget traveling in Goa will cover the following points:
  • The best things to do and see in Goa
  • The typical cost to everything
  • Tips to save money while traveling

The Best Things to Do and See in Goa for Free

We are fortunate that Goa is not a place that has museums, tall buildings, monuments where we have to pay for the entry fees. Like few beaches in south India, it doesn’t even have boat ride fees to go to the beaches. So here’s the good news: The most amazing places in Goa is all for free, and you can go there multiple times and stay as long as you wish to stay. Here is my list of the best things you can do or see in Goa for free:
  • Don’t miss the sunset at Cavelossim: I am dying to tell this to you that Cavelossim is the best beach in South Goa and my favorite of all the beaches in Goa. So, never miss out this place. Cavelossim is a calm beach where you won’t find many people. It’s great to go there in the evening so that you don’t miss the sunset and spend some time chilling and relaxing in the water. Even the water there is very clear and clean. If I am precise, less crowded, clean water, great weather, that’s Cavelossim.
  • Spend some peaceful time at Mobor: Mobor beach is just 2 Kms away from Cavelossim beach. You will hardly see anyone at Mobor, and that’s why I call it the most peaceful beach in south Goa. If you are looking for some quiet time to spend with your loved ones or even alone, Mobor is the place. Since, not many people go there, both the sand and the beach is clear, and you can also go for sunbath here.
Mobor Beach
  • Visit the most beautiful church in Panjim: By the most beautiful church I mean, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This Portuguese colonial church is built of the Baroque style and is white in color. I had already seen this church in many Bollywood movies 😛 and had a strong desire to go there. It was raining when I landed in Goa but regardless of everything I rode the scooter 50 km from Cavelossim to Panjim just to be there at this beautiful church.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
  • Spend an evening an Aguada fort: You know what's good about this fort? It’s free unlike other famous forts in India. It’s a large Portuguese fort on Sinquerim beach in North Goa where you can sit and chill after a long tiring day.
  • Enjoy the strong waves at Candolim: Candolim beach is just 5 Kms away from Aguada Fort. This is my favorite beach in North Goa, and it’s not at all calm. You will finally get to see some strong waves coming close to you. I also love this beach for the amazing shacks it has. If you are a seafood lover, don’t forget to try the seafood platter at the shack. Candolim also has a vast market area just before you enter the beach.


Other (Not Free) Things to Do and See in Goa:

  • Shop at Margao market: Margao is in south Goa. It’s a typical Goan market where you will find a lot of things to take back home or try while cooking. The Goan cashews, the Goan chilies, the Goan wine, dry prawns, dry fishes and even fresh prawn and fishes; you can shop almost everything from here. From the outer area of the market, you can buy Goan attires like shirts, shorts, dresses, and gowns. And the best is the Patisseries of Goa. It’s fantastic for you if you like too much of sweetness. 🙂
  • Eat at the Goan Room Panaji: The Goan room is an authentic Goan restaurant at Dona Paula, Panaji. I love seafood, so I loved this place. If you are a seafood lover, let me tell you that you will find some fantastic prawn, squid, mussels, Pomfret, and kingfish. There are two amazing thalis served here. The one is the Goan fish thali for Rs 150 which has fish, prawns,and other Goan curry with rice. And the other one is the Special Goan Fish thali for Rs 250 which has pomfret, kingfish, prawns, crab, mussels, different Goan curries served with rice and Indian sweet dish, kheer. This special Goan thali is for two. Isn’t the food cheap in Goa?
See, I told you until you visit there you won’t know how cheap Goa is. You can read more about my recent trip to Goa.

  • Eat at the shacks in North Goa: Almost every beach in Goa has shacks where you will find incredible food. The best shack I could find in south Goa was at Colva, but my heart lies in the North. My favorite one is the shacks at Candolim. You will also find a Goan Pani puri guy there.
  • Rent a scooter and keep exploring: Goa has a population of 17 lakh people, a number that’s too low compared to other places in India. Riding scooty in such an open space is amusing. Scooters and bikes are usually available in Goa at a little cost. Like, I rented a scooter for four days in South Goa for Rs 1600, and the petrol cost was Rs 400. So, Rs 2000 for all your traveling within Goa. It also makes more comfortable for you to explore new places and roam around to enjoy the weather.
  • Get souvenirs from the Candolim or Anjuna Market: Candolim and Anjuna, both are the fabulous beaches of Goa. I told you about the Candolim market in the above point. You can shop a lot of things from there especially souvenirs. As usual, I bought a lot of fridge magnets and postcards. Just in case you missed to see my fridge magnet collection, here it is: World through Erica on Instagram. And Anjuna flea market opens only on Wednesdays where you can get all kinds of eclectic goods, handmade items. It’s the most happening market in Goa and a place where you can go for never-ending shopping.
  • Dine riverside at Fisherman’s wharf: Fisherman’s Wharf near Cavelossim is a shack style riverside restaurant that serves rich Goan seafood. When I was there last August, they launched momos at the restaurant and served it for free of cost as a trial. It was great. Well! I might sound like a food blogger but I also tried the Red prawn Thai curry, and I felt this is the best thing on this planet. So, for some beautiful Goan food my topmost recommendation is Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Typical Cost to Everything

  • Accommodation: Finding perfect accommodation is the most critical thing while traveling. The most inexpensive option for your Goa stay would be hostels. Many hostels in Goa are hygienic and a great place to stay. You can either stay in dormitories or book your private room. The dorms will cost you Rs 250 to Rs 500 per night, and the private room will cost you Rs 900 up to Rs 1500 per night. You can book hostels with Hostel World or Hostel Bookers. You can also choose a local homestay that would cost you Rs 1000 up to Rs 2000 per night, take a look at my list of the best homestays in Goa.
Other than homestays and dorms you can also book your stay at inexpensive hotels with some necessities like WIFI and breakfast. You can use Booking for hotel booking.
  • Food: Food. It’s my favorite thing to talk about. 😀 Let me accept this, I was in Goa only for Seafood, and I ate as much as I could eat. Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian; you will find some great veggie food too. You will see a lot of cafes in Goa that will be expensive. I would recommend you to eat at the shacks, it’s not at all costly and would charge Rs 120 to Rs 200 per meal. At shacks, you will also find the Goan food that you would love to try. The prices of beer and wine are also meager in Goa. You will get a 330ml Tuborg premium beer for Rs 40. One place I would strongly recommend is the Goan Room, do try the Goan fish Thali there for just Rs 150.
  • Travel: The best way to travel within Goa is taking a scooty on rent. As I mentioned above, I spent Rs 2000 on transportation for four days. You will find a lot of vendors for renting a scooter in Goa. The petrol cost is lower than the diesel cost in Goa, so you are entirely in luck. The price of petrol is Rs 52.10, and the scooty rent cost varies from Rs 300 to 450 depending on where you are taking it from.
  • Activities: If you take up activities individually that will be expensive, so it’s better to take a combination package that includes 5 activities for Rs 950. These activities are a water scooter, bumper, speedboat, banana ride, and parasailing. You will find many water activities package providers at every beach in Goa.

Tips to save money while traveling

  • Stay with Locals: Staying with locals save a lot of money. Locals offer their place to stay at a little cost or sometimes for free. You can use Couchsurfing to connect and make friends with locals. Also, they know their native place well and can help you to plan your trip accordingly without wasting your time and money.
  • Carry a water bottle: Buying water bottles every day is expensive. We usually spend Rs 40 on water, so it’s better to carry your water bottle and refill it from the drinking water spots.
  • Walk to close by destinations: Goa is a beautiful place with a very low population, so it’s a cool spot to walk and explore. Since many of the beaches are just at a distance of 1 km to 1.5 Km, you can go for a walk and save your travel expense.
So, that’s all I have for you. I hope this motivates you to make your Goa trip successful. If there is anything else I can help you with you can get in touch with me here. 😀

Read More about My Experiences in Goa

Here's a video of my trip to Goa.

9 thoughts to “The Budget Travel Guide to Goa

  • Tracey Kifford

    Ooh Fisherman’s Wharf sounds like my kind of place! I LOVE seafood!

    • Erica Louise

      Me too. It’s just so amazing.

  • Norafiqin Hairoman

    I keep hearing about GOA and it’s slowly rising up in my rafar! Thanks for this!

  • Heather

    I just came back from Goa and found it pretty cheap. You provided some great tips on how to make it an affordable and fun trip!

  • Erica Louise


  • Sarah

    Goa is an interesting sea beach and it’s amazing.
    I love the marine drive there.

    Your guide was impressive and mind-blowing photos.

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