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Which Goa is Best? North or South?

Updated: Mar 24

The classic question when planning a Goa trip. "Which Goa is best? North Goa or South Goa?"

Goa sunset picture
Sunset across Zuari River

I remember when I came to Goa a few years ago, I was oblivious to the fact that Goa had so much more than beaches booze and parties. "What to see in Goa?" The problem is that most of this information is scattered everywhere and it becomes twice as hard for a true explorer to distill the best and plan accordingly. Whenever I asked anyone which is better, theyd say North Goa is more happening with parties and Nightlife. South goa is sober, quiet and less crowded.

After travelling more than 50000km within Goa, I can confidently say I have got your back and I can help you plan your Goa trip better.

Initially I thought its just North Goa and South Goa which are the options to choose from but then having local friends brought me to realize that there is East Goa too. The hinterlands away from the shore which is a world in itself. That's where you have the secret waterfalls, beautiful lakes, people who prepare the most amazing food that is the most authentic you can get and finally the festivals which are a treat if you are lucky to witness them.

First lets get this clear, Goa has a reputation for the beaches, parties, casinos, watersports, seafood, cheap alcohol and beautiful parties. There's more! Much MORE but if you haven't seen this side of Goa first, you must because that is also quite an experience when you do it for the first time.

Here I have categorized different regions in Goa based on what you could do there. Another section below is categorized based on who's travelling with you.

  • North Goa- For sightseeing like forts, churches, museums, old monuments, parties, fancy restaurants and cafes, popular beaches.

  • South Goa- Lesser crowded beaches, offbeat beaches, watersports, shacks with quieter music and good acoustic live, beautiful roads for rides and massive luxury resorts.

  • Old Goa, Ponda, Sattari, Netravali- Waterfalls, Cliff jumping, backwater boat rides, Portuguese Churches, Famous Temples, Village life. (Stay in North Goa)

  • Assagao, Anjuna, Vagator- Wide variety of restaurants, cuisines and concepts to explore food, wild Nightlife, Fun parties at hostels, techno, trans etc

  • Panjim- Casinos, Cruises, Yachts, popular film shoot locations like Panjim Church, centrally located for sightseeing, walking tours and even organized cultural festivals like Carnival, Serendipity, IFFI etc

betul beach south goa
Betul Beach in South Goa

Now if you would like to choose where to go based on who you're coming with,

  • Families and Couples- North Goa for Activities, tours, Outdoor experiences etc and South Goa to chill at good properties and relax.

  • Friends- Anjuna, Vagator, Assagao for Parties, house parties and Tours as a group.

  • Solo travellers- Anjuna, Vagator for the hostels, coworking and coliving spaces which will help you with friends. Palolem for a quieter sober vibe.

I'm not saying that these are the only places that are the best, there are other locations too in Goa that have a bit of both. These suggestions are based on the density of the available options in the region. Higher the number, more to choose from and plan your trip. What I would definitely recommend is that you do one region at a time. Goa might seem small but you will waste a lot of time just travelling between places and tire yourself with the journey.

I have put together some recommendations and itineraries which you can find here. In case you are still confused, write to me and I will help you plan your trip :)


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