Since the Hippie trail was laid down in the 60s, Goa has not only had a multitude of travellers tasting its vibe, but returning back for second helpings as well. Some have even returned for good. The unparalleled psy-trance and techno music of the Goa nightlife, the eclectic food, and liquid courage sprawled across the nightclubs will give you an exuberant palette of things to do in Goa.
One amazing feature of the Goa nightlife is that the off season is not devoid of parties! But if you want to experience the Goa nightlife in all its glory, plan your visit between the months of November and February, when the weather is perfect and everybody has made their summit here.
If you are looking for the season of cheaper accommodation, your window of opportunity is between the months of March and May. During this time. the cost of hotels can be really enticing, but it comes at the expense of higher temperatures and leaner crowds.
The monsoon, between June and October, is the off season time, at which time, most of the main nightclubs shut down. But you will find ‘Monsoon Parties’ going around in a few pockets here and there. These parties happen mostly indoors with a much lighter crowd, but that just means there is going to be a shorter queue in front of these nightclubs.
So when it comes to the best place to stay in Goa for nightlife, North Goa houses most of the action as opposed to the tranquillity of the south. Cocktailing the luxurious beach resorts in Goa and the gorgeous beach huts, this is where you should nest if you are here for the Goa nightlife. If you want to plan your stay beach-specific, Anjuna, Baga, and Vagator are your best options.
To know about the best backpacker hostels in Goa, check out our blog
One of the prime attractions of the Goa nightlife is the diversity of the nightclubs that dominate the industry. Each club has its own unique flavor and style with a pulse that demands to be felt. As for the music, they go all out bang bang with Goa’s favourite psy-trance and techno music.
Tito’s lane is known as one of the best places to visit in Goa for clubbing. The entire street showcases the party life with its neon vibe, tattoo artists and bunch of merchandise enticing the tourists here for the Goa nightlife. Tito’s Lane has also featured a lot of DJs with names spread far and wide. The most sought after nightclubs here are the Cafe Mambo, Cape Town Cafe, & Tito’s Cafe. It is also worth noting that the Tito’s Cafe is the one that plays a lot of Bollywood music.
There are a number of other nightclubs along the beaches, all with its own style and ambience. Again, most of them opt for either psy-trance or techno music, but they all offer an amazing party experience. The 9 Bar in Vagator beach, Club Cubana in Arpora Hill, and so much more.
To read more about the nightclubs in Goa, check out The 10 Best Nightclubs to visit in Goa.
Pubs, Bars, Beach Shacks, Restro-Bars & Live Music:
When you are past the nightclubs in Goa, what you need are beach shacks, pubs and restro bars with live music. On account of the liberal laws on alcohol, these places have accumulated a wonderful crowd and is bound to show you a great time. The ‘chilled-out’ and ‘laid-back’ vibe of their parties are definitely a change of pace from the regular mainstream Goa nightlife. They also span a long way in terms of the ambience, style, vibe and price range. Goes to say that these places can accommodate the diversified crowd that end up here. Many of them feature live music and hookah as well. The beach shacks, especially, adds a lot of flavor to the Goa nightlife.
Watson’s Grub Pub is one place loved very much by its visitors for the goan food and the ambience maintained.They also feature a great panel of live music and contemporary dance nights.
SinQ and Showbar are two famous resto-bars that host low-key parties of Goa meant for those who prefer a more relaxing experience as opposed to the exhausting dance-floors. The SinQ also has a relaxing lounge alongside a pool for a tranquil open air experience, and is very popular among the places to visit in Goa.
Among the beach shacks, Curlies at Anjuna beach is a legendary fan favourite. Everything about the place from the ambience to the food and drinks has had people revisiting this place quite often. The Pine Shack too is pretty popular among the places to visit in Goa, especially since they offer bonfire experiences with BBQs to blend in with the amazing beach vibe.
If Jazz is your scene, you have not been forgotten! A significant number of nightclubs in Goa showcases an amazing palette of Jazz musicians! A night in one of these clubs accompanied by a live Jazz performance, I believe, is one of the best things to do in Goa. If you are in search of this evergreen genre, your best bets would be the Cavala at Baga Beach, Fire Fly at Benaulim, Guru Bar at Anjuna, and the Habanero at Baga Beach.
Being fun and legal, Gambling is one of the best things to do in Goa. your options stretch from onshore casinos to the exuberant ones onboard the pleasure cruises. Though keep in mind that the onshore ones have a few restrictions and cannot have anything other than electronic games, so if you want some real action, hop on one of the cruises.
Two of the best casinos are the Deltin Royale, and the Casino Pride. The former is where the high-rollers end up. Equipped with gaming suits exclusively for VIPs and a gourmet restaurant, it is the kind of place where you would just want to stay and munch on all the fun. They are open 24 hours and the entry cost is Rs. 2000 on the weekdays and Rs. 3000 on the weekends. The latter is very popular among the Indian crowd and features live Bollywood acts, ensuring its spot among the best places to visit in Goa. The Casino Pride is also open 24 hours, and the entry will cost you Rs. 1500 during the weekdays and Rs. 2000 during the weekends.
Did you know that India’s ONLY offshore live gaming casino is in Goa? That’s right, the MV Carvela at the Mandovi river is one luxury you shouldn’t miss. It is to be noted that they have a reputation to keep, so they do have pretty strict dress codes. It runs two cruises on a daily basis, a dusk cruise, and a dinner cruise, with an entry fee of Rs. 2000 for singles, while the spouse entry is free.
So the Goa nightlife also showcases a bunch of other activities that cannot be placed alongside the mainstream activities. So for those who wish to experience another side of the Goa nightlife, try one of these:
Silent Noise Parties: This concept is a relatively new but it has been catching on as a major attraction of the South Goa nightlife. These parties don’t really have any music playing out loud, instead you put on the headphones provided and get with the groove on songs of your own choosing. This is a great option for places where there is a sound ban after 10 pm. These silent noise parties take place at Palolem beach, though the exact venue vary according to the organisers.
Saturday night flea market: Goa hosts a number of amazing flea markets that cater to every need of a shopaholic. One of the most famous among them is the Saturday night Flea Market at Arpora. The flea market is itself a party in its own way and is also very popular among the things to do in Goa, especially as part of the Goa nightlife.
Party Cruises: The Mandovi river is one of the best places to visit in Goa, mainly on account of the pleasure cruises here to revel in the music, dance-floor, food and drinks. A lot of these cruises offer a luxurious experience while a lot of them take you out sightseeing. Pick one and try out this face of the Goa nightlife.
Goa Food and Music Festival:
During summer, Goa brings in Bollywood singers, dancers and designers all under one roof for an exuberant celebration called the Food and Music Festival. A series of nights to indulge in the lip smacking food, the amazing music and ecstatic dance. This is a summertime festival held sometime around the month of April.
International Film Festival India:
With directors, artists and the rest of the Bollywood glamour making their summit here at Goa, this festival is sure to entice you with the wonderful events among other spectacles. The festival is held in the month of November and you can check out their website for more details on booking.
Sao Joao Festival:
Celebrating the feast of St. John the Baptist, Goa hosts the Sao Joao festival on the 24th of June, just as the monsoon starts. The revelry during this time is simply put, great food, nature cosplay, jumping into the ponds and streams, and a night with a lot of Fenni. May not be the same as the Goa nightlife, but is definitely worth a shot for party animals.
New year is one time in Goa, where everyone hits a party to go nuts. Obviously, a number of nightclubs in Goa hosts parties during this time, but a few of the best ones are that are the Nyex Beach Club at Anjuna Cliff, which showcases live Music various DJs, and the Boat party, which is organised by Paradise cruise at the Mandovi River.
To read more on the best new year parties, check out the Blog: 10 Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Goa.
Till 2016, the famous Sunburn music festival was held in Goa but this year they made the decision to shift it to Pune. This may be a let down to a lot of people, but Goa never falls short of parties and nightlife anyway.
To know more about the things to do in Goa including event and party schedules and ticket booking, check out the website Whatsupgoa.
Things NOT to do in Goa:
Obviously, when going nuts in a place like Goa, there are a few things you must NOT do, so as to save you a lot of trouble:
- Do NOT drink and drive! Drink, party, have fun, go play around along the beaches, but leave the driving for sober days.
- Do NOT fall into the ‘cheap stuff’ trap! People may come to you, offering cheap liquor among other things but walk away, you might get mugged or swindled. Not to be included in the things to do in Goa.
- Do NOT misbehave with anyone! Goa is meant for fun but misbehaving with people here could land you in a lot of trouble.
- Do NOT pass out on the beaches! It is always fun to get drunk on the beach but keep in mind: Pass out and you are in for a rough night, if not the looters, the crabs are sure to try you out.
- Do NOT mess with the locals! Remember, Goa is THEIR home, not yours, so try not to get into bar brawls or mess around with the locals. It will backfire.