How to cover most places of Goa in 2 days?

If you have only a weekend to make your dream Goa trip come true then you are in the right place. I agree, that 2 days is too little to explore a place but spending 2 days in any of your dream locations will go a long way in making your boring daily life seem not so boring after all. What I am trying to say is instead of waiting for our annual vacation, we can go on small-small breaks in the long weekends to enjoy (or appreciate) our life a little more.

So, coming back to our 2 days in Goa. It was EPIC! Without partying all night long, we still managed to have an awesome time in Goa. We traveled on local buses, walked majorly, tasted various flavors of Feni and watched sunsets.

Posing with a Rock lobster in Abyss Marine Fish Aquarium
Posing with a Rock lobster in Abyss Marine Fish Aquarium. Be very gentle with them!

Travel Options

By Air:

The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, which is 29 km away from Panaji. You can get prepaid or rental taxis just outside the airport to take you to your destination.

By Bus:

There are a number of public as well as private bus operators in Goa, which offer various options for intra-city and inter-city conveyance.

By Train:

Goa has two major railway stations: Madgaon and Thivim, which are well connected by trains from all over the country.

By Car:

Driving yourself to Goa is the best option to enjoy an epic road trip with your buddies or family.

I am sharing my weekend itinerary with you all so that next time if you have a long weekend or not, you can still manage to relax and unwind in Goa.

2-Days Goa Travel Itinerary

We flew from Bangalore to Goa on a Friday night and went straight to our hotel in Panaji. Why we chose Panaji over Baga beach to stay is a story of another day.

Entrance of Se Cathedral
Entrance of Se Cathedral
Day 1:
  • Start your day with a self-guided tour of the Fontianhas in Panaji or head out early morning to Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary in Chorão Island. You can do a boat ride amidst the mangroves and catch glimpse of various birds nestling theirs.
  • Hop on the “Hop on hop off” buses to explore the new Panaji city.
  • Go on a Dolphin watching boat ride in Miramar beach.
  • Relax in an evening cruise ride over the beautiful Mandovi River.
Day 2:
  • Have a hearty breakfast and head out for a private spice plantation and Old Goa tour.
  • Visit Abyss Marine fish Aquarium and get a chance to touch a live rock lobster.
  • Visit the Reis Magos fort and admire the sunset at Miramar beach.
  • Enter a casino lining the Mandovi river to try your luck and spend the rest of the evening.

3-Days Goa Travel Itinerary

If you want to travel at a slow pace and spend more time at each place, I will suggest you need one more day. So, here is a slow-paced 3-day itinerary of Goa.

Day 1:
  • Start early and explore all the old and new churches of Goa.
  • Visit a private spice plantation.
  • Enjoy an evening on a cruise on the Mandovi river or enter a Casino to try your luck.
Day 2:
  • Leave early and go to North Goa for beach hopping.
  • Visit the northern most beach of Goa: Kerim beach and enjoy delicious local seafood at Ashwem beach
  • Spend some time at the Aguada Fort and the lighthouse.
  • Make your Dil Chahta Hai moment at the Chapora fort.
  • Look for a bargain or a souvenir at the Anjuna Flea market or Saturday Night Market or drive back to South Goa.
Watching the sunset at Varca beach
Watching the sunset at Varca beach
Day 3:
  • Swim and relax at any of the South Goa beaches or engage in water sports.
  • Go for a half-day tour of Grande island. You can also do Scuba diving in Grande Island.

What you must eat in Goa if you are a first-timer or not?

1. Vindaloo

We enjoyed a freshly prepared spicy Pork Vindaloo on our last day in Goa. Vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese carne de vinha d’alhos (literally meaning “meat in garlic wine marinade”). The tangy taste of vinegar will linger on your tongue for a long time.

Rava Chicken Nuggets
Rava Chicken Nuggets served with veggie salsa and potato wedges
2. Rava fish fry

We tried Rava fish fries (Kingfish) as well as Rava chicken nuggets from various restaurants. I will be honest, the tastiest Rava chicken nuggets I had, was from a roadside shack called Vintoo’s.

3. Bebinca

I just loved Bebinca. The first time I had Bebinca, was in Fisherman’s Wharf in Bangalore. It was beautifully served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream but I tasted authentic Bebinca in South Goa, without any assortments. You can buy some and bring to your home as well (if you are flying out on the dame day)

4. Feni (duh!)

The Feni I tasted and super liked in Panaji was flavored and less strong whereas the Feni we tried in South Goa was very strong. We had to dilute it with some coke to drink it in an afternoon. I wish I had brought some Cashew and Coconut flavored ones back to Bangalore.

Cashew, plain and coconut flavored Feni
Cashew, plain and coconut flavored Feni

Goa is a kaleidoscope of Indian and Portuguese culture, which cannot be covered in just two days. But you can travel at a slow pace and enjoy each and every moment in Goa to the fullest. While you are here, don’t forget to enjoy the nightlight of Goa and party responsibly!

Note: This rough itinerary is more beneficial to the locals who can visit Goa for the weekends. For visitors coming from far away, I would suggest you stay in Goa for at least a week to fully absorb Goa’s culture and heritage.

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