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A Goa cruise booking will open your eyes to this magnetic and unique state, which is teeming with sunshine and spices. During your India cruise and trips to the surrounding areas, Goa is sure to surprise you. It’s a hub for international tourism and completely different from India’s biggest cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.
On a Goa cruise, booking adventurous excursions are a must to fully explore everything Goa has to offer, whether that’s a full day of visiting historic forts and museums or enjoying a traditional Goan tea ceremony. You can’t go wrong during your trip here when you head to Goa’s golden sand beaches, like Mandrem and Anjuna, and soak up every possible minute of sun. Goa also hosts a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and ancient ruins that will delight art and history lovers, like the Basilica of Bom Jesus or Sé Cathedral, where the Portuguese influence of Goa’s architecture and style shines bright.
The state capital Panaji has no shortage of things to see, whether you’re touring Old Goa’s historic churches and ruins or exploring the Latin Quarter. The Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church sparkles, painted all white, and it’s known as the crown of the capital. Art gallery hopping is popular here, too, like the Mario Gallery and the barn-red People’s Art Gallery and Cafe.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is arguably one of Goa’s most iconic structures found just outside of the capital city of Panaji. St. Francis Xavier is buried here, and the Baroque-style architecture immediately captures you as you pass the church on the street. It’s a must-visit place for history buffs and those who want to learn more about this magnificent site and its past.
Another must-see religious site in Goa is Sé Cathedral, which is the largest cathedral in all of Asia. The ruins provide a calming effect when you visit, and it’s close to the Basilica of Bom Jesus if you decide to make a day of hopping between Goa’s historic sights. The minimalism of the white stone exterior provides a stark contrast with Goa’s flashier attractions, but the interior offers a massive gilded altar. Head here for a meditative, quiet afternoon.
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the area’s villages, agrarian society, and history is on display at the Goa Chitra Museum, where thousands of artifacts take you back thousands of years. You’ll see how residents living in the area finished everyday tasks long before fancy tools and advanced technology were available.
At the edge of the region of Goa is Fort Aguada, a stunning and well-preserved 17th century fort that chronicles Portuguese settlement in Goa. Here at Fort Aguada, you can walk the grounds, take a guided tour to learn the history of the Portuguese settlers, and catch incredible views of the Arabian Sea from the fort’s main overlook.
Head to this regional market to experience the energy and fun of Goa’s big market scene, where you can find pretty much anything—pottery, handmade goods, fresh produce and vegetables, clothes, jewelry, and more. Try out your haggling, and note that Fridays are especially busy at Mapusa. It’s open Monday through Saturday.
Have you ever wondered about where the dried and powder spices in your kitchen cabinet come from? Goa is known for its thriving spice trade. Take a half-day tour of one of the regional spice plantations like Sahakari Spice Farm or the Tropical Spice Plantation, where knowledgeable guides will walk you through different types of plant life.
Unassuming Cafe Real in Panaji offers tea and snacks for both vegetarians and vegans. The menu boasts a variety of dosas, which is a type of South Indian crepe or savory, crispy pancake. Try the pav bhaji, a comforting vegetable curry served with a fluffy roll.
Viva Panjim mixes Portuguese and Goan food effortlessly in a cozy environment, which has a full bar as well as dozens of vegetarian and non-vegetarian mains. There’s everything from chicken curry to palek paneer. The menu is huge and includes plenty of seafood options, from mussels and shrimp to squid entrees.
Down the Road
Sit on the balcony of this pub and restaurant, located within a Portuguese-style villa, for a romantic meal during your time in Goa. Down the Road is ambient and perfect for special occasions without being too pricey. Dishes include entrees like burgers and pizza, chicken and steak, or traditional pub foods like fish and chips.
Come here for lunch to sample traditional Goan cuisine, including the region’s native vindaloo. Graffiti and art cover the walls here, so it feels like a dive bar that just happens to have great food, too. Located in Panaji, Venite feels relaxed and accessible without trying too hard.
The state of Goa is located on the west coast of India. It’s primarily known to those living in India as a tourism destination because of its beaches, sunshine, and the region’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites, which attract thousands of visitors each year. As a result, Goa is expertly prepared for guests, whether you’re shopping at the local markets, touring its historic sites, or opting for Goa cruise packages. The Portuguese ruled the area of Goa for nearly 500 years, until India achieved independence in the mid-20th century. Even then, the Portuguese remained in Goa until 1961. Portuguese influence is greatly seen in the culture, architecture, and overall vibe that Goa presents to the world. With a Goa cruise booking, you’ll experience the melting pot of Portuguese and Indian culture as soon as you step off the cruise ship.
The Goa cruise port is called Mormugao port, and it’s about an hour’s drive from the port to the heart of Goa. Taxis are generally available at the gate of Mormugao port, and bargaining with your driver is recommended. A Goa cruise booking that includes a shore excursion with Celebrity is the most seamless way to see as much of Goa as you can during your stop.
After arriving in the Mormugao Port, you can rent a personal driver to take you into Goa. This is one of the main ways tourists get around. You’ll see tuk-tuks and taxis buzzing around Goa, which are also available for rent. Ride-sharing like Uber isn’t allowed in Goa to encourage the traditional taxi industry, which is huge here. Locals commonly take the ferry to different parts of the city, and they’re free for pedestrians.
Goa cruise packages provide a few opportunities for local shopping. The majority of shopping at the Mormugao Port is going to be kiosks and small items sold by local vendors, including souvenirs, fabrics, keepsakes, and more. Flea markets in Goa are some of the best in the region, perfect not only for people watching but also taking home authentic Goan souvenirs, local produce, and more.
During your time in India, you’ll use the rupee as India’s official currency. Keeping rupees in your pocket instead of relying on credit cards is recommended. Credit cards aren’t widely accepted in Goa, and cash is preferred for most transactions. When you head to open-air markets, haggling and bargaining is encouraged. Tipping isn’t the norm in India, but since Goa is a holiday and resort town, maybe people working there rely on tips. 10% of a bill in a restaurant or for a tour guide is recommended, and if you rent a taxi for multiple stops or a day-long tour, tipping your driver 10% is customary.