City come to life
You should be prepared to throw yourself into the action when visiting here. Day and night, Calangute sparkles with life. Sprinkle in some beachside raves and Goa has its very own party central.
The beaches are busy and the streets are even busier, jam-packed with tuk-tuks and scooters. Your Zen can be found within the walls of your hotel, but we have a feeling you came to these rambunctious shores because it’s the energy you were after.
Beach shack nights
This patch of Goa’s northern coast is known for its party potential. You won’t even have to leave the beach for the best nights out. Down along the coast you’ll find beach huts fashioned like bars, hosting top performances that spill out onto the shores themselves.
Up in Baga Beach the late nights continue with the resort’s bar-stocked main street, also featuring a nightclub. Out here you’ll find everything from live music to dance nights, and even a dash of techno along the beach.
St Alex Church
Calangute’s standout building, St Alex Church, is a mixture of cultures, and just asks to be walked around. One of Calangute’s most popular attractions, the church is open for mass or just to pop in and admire the details that have left visitors marvelling for hundreds of years.
Its exterior is whitewashed and built in a style reminiscent of the area’s Portuguese ancestors, though its towers are fashioned after Indian architecture. The structure itself has been built a number of times and dates back to the 16th century, though the current building was built in the 1700s by the surrounding villagers. Inside you’ll find altars adorned in lavish gold and pulpits designed with Rococo flounce.
Finicky eaters need not fear the restaurants of Calangute – the cuisine selection here is far-reaching, with hundreds of restaurants dishing up everything from pizza to Thai food and Italian to a surprisingly hefty portion of Chinese.
Goan cuisine is a delectable blend of traditional Indian curries and Portuguese spices, with a healthy heaping of seafood, too. With Calangute’s wide range of restaurants, you won’t have to expand your palate unless you want to – although we highly recommend that you do.
Get ready to haggle, because it’s kind of a must when venturing into the throngs of Calangute’s Tibetan Market. Found under a series of packed tents just on your way to the beach, you’ll find rows of jewellery and trinkets, scarves and ornate teapots with an Indian and Tibetan theme.
The market in Arpora is another Goan classic, held just a 10-minute walk from Baga Beach. Clustered around a central stage where live music takes place, there’s a network of stalls offering everything from food to jewellery and religious statues every Saturday night.