Things to do in Goa, 6 Recommendations Apart from Beaches
Goa is not just a state. It is a state of mind! After spending 2 years in Goa, I have realized that your life should be full of good experiences. Before coming to Goa, I had always considered beaches to be the only attraction. But it turns out that there are many other things to do in Goa which you should enjoy. So, I have prepared a list of “5 things to do in Goa”. Hope you are able to add these up in your Goa itinerary
1) Gamble away in the Casinos !!
Time for some gambling ! Visiting Casino is one of the top things to do in Goa. You can spend a nice evening in Casino which provides a complete entertainment package. You have buffet dinner and drinks on the house along with live entertainment. Depending on different days, there are various performances. Starting with Jazz and Pop, there are also Bollywood nights, Old classics night and much more. You can check the schedule on the various casino website – Deltin Royale, Deltin Jack, Casino Pride etc.
I went to Casino Carnival earlier which has now been renamed as Casino Pride 2. The minimum package was Rs 2,000 which included food and drinks. We had to take the chips additionally. Initially they take you in a small boat to the main ship. Later, you are escorted to the Buffet area where sumptuous meal is awaiting you. There is a bar which can serve you free drinks. While enjoying the dinner, you can also sway away to the live performances.
As far as my experience is considered, it is censored. But, if you want to know, drop your email ID in the comments 🙂
You can spend the whole night here as it is open 24×7. As it is located in the Mandovi river, staying here for the whole night will give you a different kind of experience in Goa.
2) Visit Arpora Saturday Night Market
Visiting Arpora Saturday Night Market should definitely be there in your things to do in Goa list. Foreigners set up their stores and you are invited to take a look at them. Arpora Saturday Night market is bigger that your greatest imagination. It is so huge that to cover it fully will require two Saturdays !! Check out Arpora Night Market image gallery and you would definitely agree with me. Shopping here would definitely top the “things to do in Goa” list for many.
You can find the best of shops which exhibit great collection. Be it accessories, foot wear, clothes or fashion stuff. You will find it here.
In addition to the market, there is live entertainment going here. When I had visited the market, a Spanish band was performing and it was so crazy !! This band performed for 2 hours and we were all enthralled by his energy and pieces he played. The guy with Violin was the best and mesmerized us with his talent !!
But, the market is organized only from Dec to Feb. Hence it is recommended if you visit Goa then.
3) Trek up to Fort Chapora and watch the sunset!!
Fort Chapora is the “Dil Chahta Hai Fort”! I am not taking you to a Goa beach but a spectacular, hilltop view of it. The fort is situated between Vagator Beach and Morjim Beach. The fort is a little trek and as you ascend the slope, you discover more. Not much of structure is left in the fort. Hence, if you want to see some historical structures, better visit Fort Agauda which is not my preferred entry in Things to do in Goa as it is very touristy.
I had visited Fort Chapora at 5 AM in the morning. We waited for the sunrise which was splendid. Though you are facing the west waters, the whole experience of witnessing the blossoming morning is great. There will be fishing boats which will start going in the ocean as soon as there are a couple of sun rays. Watching these boats disappear in the mist over sea is a unique experience. They don’t know if the waters will be friendly, but there is hope which keeps them going.
Trekking up Fort Chapora should definitely be in your list of things to do in Goa.
4) Enjoy Go-Karting!
Go Karting is another entry in things to do in Goa. There are two Go Karting tracks in Goa. One is located in Verna and the other one in Arpora. The one in Verna is better. If you go to Verna, you can also go to MilSim which is basically Paintball. I have not gone to paintball, hence would not give my opinion for it. The track in Arpora is near the Saturday Night Market.
Go-Karting in Goa – Things to do in Goa
The rates are quite affordable. You get 10 laps for Rs 200/-. It is totally worth it if you enjoy Go Karting. I have visited it 4 times.
The timing is from 4 PM to 10 PM. The track remains closed on Monday.
5) River-Rafting @Dandeli
After Go Karting, if you feel that you need some more adrenaline rush, you can visit River Rafting at Dandeli. Dandeli is located in Karnataka, but it is not that far from Goa. Dandeli is located approx 140 KMs from Panjim. Rafting here can definitely be included in offbeat things to do in Goa and around.
The drive to Dandeli is also good. When you reach Dandeli, there are lots of activities to do. But, river rafting is the best adventure you can do here. Going to Dandeli does not guarantee that you will be able to do river rafting because it depends on the water level. The reason being the flow of “Kali” river, on which Rafting is done, depends on Supa Dam gates.
I would suggest that you take a car and leave for Dandeli early in the morning. Say 6 AM. You will take approx 3-4 hours to reach Dandeli as the route is hilly and it will be uphill when you go from Goa to Dandeli. You will reach by 10 AM. You can then have breakfast and proceed towards Rafting. The activity will end latest by 5-6 PM in the evening. You can leave for Goa thereafter.
Please book your Rafting activity through a reliable travel agent in Dandeli well in advance. The river rafting here is quite famous and without booking, chances to get a slot are lesser. Read my detailed rafting experience here!
6) Take a cruise on Mandovi river & explore the offbeat islands
You can visit Goa and just take a ferry to reach offbeat and lesser known islands of Chorao or Divar. If you love countryside landscapes, you are going to absolutely love these islands. In monsoons, there are lush green and resemble nothing less than nature’s miracle. You should definitely include a visit here in your “Things to do in Goa” list.
If you wish, you can also try kayaking in the backwaters around these islands.
So, these are the 6 things to do in Goa, apart from beaches. Although, if you are in Goa, you should not miss the experience of relaxing on a beach shack with a beer in hand. You don’t drink? Grab a coffee then.