The debate of where to camp in Goa has existed for a long time now and has given birth to many theories on why North is for party animals and South for peace lovers. This cute-as-a-button state along the western coastline has two polar regions, both famous for attracting exactly opposite crowds. To understand which suits you better, you need to decide what do you enjoy more and what will get your serotonin kicking. So hop on this review boat of ‘ North Goa vs South Goa: where should you stay in Goa? ‘ and see what gets your horses running.
North Goa is the best version of Portuguese architecture. Numerous old structures and magnificent churches decorate the town depicting a colonial history of over 400 years under Portuguese rule. Quaint structures surrounded with placid nature is a view worth thousand pictures. If you love rusty buildings that can recite a chapter from their past, North Goa should be your humble abode.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Catherine, Church of St. Lawrence, Chapora Fort, St. Anthony’s Church and Fort Aguada are popular spots in North Goa. Plan your Portuguese excursion hassle free with us.
South Goa on the other hand is not far from the race. Portuguese flavour is present, but not as dominant when compared to North. Churches are relatively new but possess the same grandeur and beauty as the Churches in North. Besides the colonial reflection, South Goa is home to some amazing wildlife sanctuaries. If you’re a fan of adventure explorations in the dense forest, then you should stay in South Goa and hunt for unexplored natural ponds and waterfalls.
Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhsagar Falls, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Three Kings Church, Our Lady of Hope Church and Velim Church are amongst the top locations for south. You can also book a cruise tour that offers Dolphin sighting. Visit the Old Churches of South Goa.
North Goa hosts some of the craziest beach parties across the country. If you want to experience the Goa known for exuberant night-life, head to North Goa no questions asked! You can also enjoy water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, kayaking, boat rides, paragliding, flyboarding and banana rides. Beaches will be relatively crowded and booming with friendly tourists. You can gobble some of the popular local delicacies right on the beach and socialize with fellow visitors.
Vagator beach, Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach, Calungate Beach are the crowd-pleasers of the North.
South Goa is your loyal companion if you love empty beaches, tranquility and natural beauty. Golden sand, long stretch of clear blue water and melodious sounds of splashing waves will transport you to zen like state. You can gawk at the silent beauty of endless horizon or head to nearby restaurants for some mouth-watering seafood.
Palolem Beach, Benaulim Beach, Butterfly beach and Colva beach are must-visit when staying in south. Explore South Goa Beaches for that much needed rejuvenation. And if you’re still looking for adventures, enjoy watersports to get the adrenaline running.
Goa has experienced cultural influences of Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese rule. Over the years, cuisine in Goa has emerged as the perfect amalgamation of flavours from its colonial roots.
Majority of the top rated cafes and restaurants are found in North Goa. Delectable combinations of diverse ingredients from the top-notch restaurants to lip-smacking Goan street food, North Goa is the absolute paradise for food lovers. Since beaches in the North cater to larger audience, you can find some amazing beach shacks serving cheap and delicious local snacks.
Matsya Freestyle Kitchen, Britto’s, Calamari Bathe & Binge, Fellini’s Pizza and Thalassa are known for their mouth-watering food.
Enjoy Goa’s local culinary tour with our forever-hungry folks.
South Goa on the contrary has fewer options that are popular for food binging. Even though the quality is as amazing as the North, you don’t enjoy the leisure of exploring new cafes everyday. The Village Square and Martin’s Corner are known for tongue tickling food in this area.
Goa is already known as the party power house of India. Every year many major music festivals and concerts are organised for enthusiastic crowds who travel to Goa for its amazing themed parties.
North Goa is your saviour if the central plan for your vacation is partying all night long. Endless escapade of club hopping never gets boring when you’re on this side of the road. Bollywood Club- By Titos and Cafe Mambos are known for throwing mind-blowing parties. Party under the stars at Baga beach or rent a bike and drive to casinos for some dice action. If ‘ less is more’ not you motto, then explore the majestic sea on a luxury cruise to soak in the best of what Goa offers.
North Goa unravels a brand new side after sunset and is the perfect option if you love partying till dawn. Casino Palms, Crown Casino and Casino Carnival are your answers to Blackjack and The Bollywood Club- by Titos, Curlies beach and Cafe Mombos for thrilling parties.
Bar hopping at classic Goan pubs is a widely popular activity and deserves its own special night!
South Goa is famous for exclusive parties in élite clubs. Extravagant resorts and luxurious clubs organise grand evenings that are usually private. Silent Noise Club is extremely popular in the area and worth the visit. Unlike beaches in the North, Palolem beach has the monopoly over silent beach parties on the relatively quieter South Goa. For blackjack lovers in the South, not many options are available but with the growing influx of tourists, new and luxurious casinos are opening every season. Casino Pearl and Casino Pride are the brand new options for you.
Also Read: New Years in Goa on a budget
Market in Goa are known for cheap, trendy and chic clothes. From ‘ 3 for 100′ to ‘ buy one get one free’, these irresistible deals are sure to awaken the shopaholic within you!
North Goa is hands down the best option for budget travellers. Flea markets in this area sell almost everything you need. Accessories, clothes, footwear, souvenirs, handicrafts and decorative items, you name it and it’s on their list. Indulge in guilt free shopping spree at Anjuna market, Apora market, Bicholim and Mapusa market.
South Goa has fewer options but equally great deals. This version of Goa is less crowded and you’re more likely to bump into locals than tourists. If you enjoy souvenir collections more than affordable fashion, then South is where you should stay. Streets will be less crowded and you can enjoy a peaceful shopping experience. Palolem Market, Colem market and Caculo market are best options for shopping in South. Don’t forget to bargain a better deal from the retailer.
Also Read: Top 10 places to see in Old Goa
Most important thing when choosing where to stay are rental options. It’s better to finalize a budget and choose accordingly.
North Goa offers affordable options in the middle of a bustling city with amazing view and delicious food. Beach side shacks, backpacker’s hostels, pocket-friendly lodges, resorts and hotels offer incredible views without burning a whole in your pocket. Due to it’s popularity amongst young travellers, food and accommodation is relatively cheap and you get to experience best of Goa at reasonable budget.
South Goa rates more on the lavish scale. Luxurious resorts and hotels that believe in grand experience are perfect if you want to enjoy the tranquility that surrounds the party town of India. You can relax at a spa or enjoy an extravagant meal at one of many beach side resorts. Head to South Goa if you want to skip noisy streets and cramped up restaurants. This does not mean South Goa is all pricey. There are scores of options available across all budget ranges even in South Goa.
Both sides have a different story that attracts different travellers. North Goa scores more for first visit because of the popular beaches and clubs while South Goa is the dream vacation of explorers looking for untouched nature. But our advise is to visit North first and savour those throbbing attractions that make Goa popular. Explore top tours and activities in Goa for more interesting itineraries.