Nestled in western India’s coastal region known as the Konkan, Goa is an Indian state unlike any other. A former Portuguese province, it embraces you with sun, sea, spices and a colourful splash of Iberian influence.
The currency in Goa is the Indian Rupee (INR), and the cost of living in the region is significantly cheaper than anywhere in Europe. Currency can be purchased on arrival in Goa at a Bureau de Change at the airport, or by withdrawing cash at an ATM using your credit/debit card. Make sure to inform your bank if you plan to use your card in Goa.
Dining out in Goa
Goa is awash with exotic spices, rice, seafood, pork, vegetables and coconut: a real foodie paradise! Prices are very reasonable, making eating out accessible for most tourists. As with many areas in India, street food is abundant and much cheaper than eating in restaurants. Head to one of Goa’s many food markets for a cheap-and-cheerful culinary awakening. Mapusa Market in Panjim is held every Friday evening, or alternatively head to Candolim Market – open daily from 7am to 10pm and brimming with chaat (snack food).
Prices for those of you who prefer to wine and dine in restaurants when abroad are perfectly palatable. Expect to pay around £4.50 for a meal for two in a cheaper restaurant and £11 for a three-course meal for two in a higher-end establishment.
Regional specialities In Goa include pork vindaloo, a sumptuously spicy and sour curry infused with Portuguese influences, made with pork, garlic and vinegar. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to order a serving of godachi sanna, spongy steamed rice cakes made with Goa jaggery (sugar), coconut and cardamom. Yum.
The price of drinks
Long days spent relaxing on Goa’s palm-fringed, golden beaches go hand in hand with cool refreshments. Luckily, drinks in Goa are reasonably priced with a 0.33l bottle of water in a restaurant likely to set you back about 20p, and a 1.5l shop-bought bottle likely to cost 35p.
If you’re looking to try something a little more adventurous, order a cool glass of kokum. Found in western India’s coastal areas, it contains the ruby-red juices of dried kokum fruits and is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Or get into the holiday spirit of things and order feni, a locally produced spirit with a distinctive taste. Made from fermented and distilled cashews or coconut palm sap and 30% proof, it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!
For the less adventurous, beer in Goa is plentiful and won’t set you back too much. A 0.33l bottle of imported beer costs around £1.15 in a restaurant, whilst a pint of locally produced draught beer is considerably cheaper at around 70p.
Out and about
Goa may be India’s smallest state, but it’s brimming with cultural and historical charm. Many tourists flock to Goa’s stunning coastal areas, from the magical stretch of Mandrem Beach to the beautifully tranquil Agonda Beach. Transport is required to explore the quieter spots, with scooter hire costing around £2.20 per day. If you prefer to explore Goa by taxi or tuk-tuk, always agree on the fare beforehand.
Goa’s stunning churches and temples are not to be missed. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Panjim is one of Goa’s most well-known churches and definitely worth a visit. While there stop off at the Mahalaxmi Temple – just a five-minute walk away. A quieter temple that attracts fewer tourists, it makes for a great contrast between the two. Most temples and churches are free to visit.
How much spending money should I take to Goa?
Significantly cheaper than holidays spent in Europe, there’s no need to break the bank when putting aside spending money for a trip to Goa.
Budgeting £25-£30 per person per day should cover costs if you’re looking to splash out on food and drink. Take less if you’re looking to stay in a hotel on a half or full-board basis, as activities and travel in the region are reasonably priced.
Tipping in Goa
Tipping isn’t expected in Goa, but as with many places it is always appreciated! If you’d like to tip the hotel staff after a two-week stay, £1 should do the trick.
Tipping porters anywhere from 10p to 30p, but ultimately this depends on personal preference. If you’ve had great service in a restaurant and would like to leave a tip, 10% is the norm.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.