How to Explore Goa, India like a Local

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How to Explore Goa, India like a Local: Locals introduce their city.

In today’s MYCITY interview Rachel from “Hippie in Heels” introduces Goa, India where she is living since more than two years. Send me an email when you’d like to present your city.

NAME, Profession

RACHEL JONES, travel writer, masseuse, candle-maker… ex-Nurse.

Please introduce yourself:

I’m Rachel and I run the blog hippie in heels which is a “glamorous travel blog” about my travels around the world, but mostly Asia and islands. Recently I’ve spend almost a month in Hawaii & time in Indonesia and Langkawi Malaysia. I live in Goa, India and have for the last 2+ years.

How to Explore Goa, India like a Local

My city:

North Anjuna (Goa is the State).

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My favorite place to eat in Goa:

Vinayak, it’s a small hidden Goan restaurant in my village of Assagao.

A typical dish of Goa:

Goan cafreal is a common curry here that people come to have, but what the locals eat everyday is “fish curry rice” which is exactly what it sounds like!

My favorite bar in Goa:

There aren’t so much bars as there are random beach trance parties. We like to drink at Thalassa after a long boozy dinner which turns to a nice party in Vagator on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

What about the Nightlife in Goa?

The nightlife in Goa is all about psy and trance music. The fees to enter places can be high because apparently the DJ’s are well known. It’s unlike nightlife anywhere in the world and people come to Goa mainly to party.

How to Explore Goa, India like a Local

Things to do for free in Goa:

You can go to Dudsagar Falls although you’ll have to rent a scooter ($4 per day to get there) and you can go to the beach! Take time to tour Old Goa’s churches and Panjims European streets.

Keep away of:

Baga area.. it’s a little bit trashy in my opinion although there are some good restaurants you can’t really enjoy the beach here without being bothered by men.

Best way to move around in Goa:

Renting a car or scooter is a must. Taxis band together and charge really high prices! You’ll spend a fortune if you taxi everywhere.

Best place for first date in Goa:

Again, Thalassa. It’s known as the sunset spot in Goa and it’s where my boyfriend and I met and went on our first real date.

Best place to meet locals in Goa:

Shady little street side bars and restaurants. Locals don’t really go to the “famous” places to eat.

How to Explore Goa, India like a Local

Best place to relax in Goa:

Little Vagator beach is nice but it’s best to rent a villa for the week and split it with your friends – choose one with a pool and a housekeeper, maybe even hire someone to cook local dinners. An example of this is Noi Varo in Siolim.

Best spot to watch people in Goa:

You can go to Charpora river and watch the men fish or in Ashwem you can watch people learn to kite surf. If you visit Old Goa you’ll get that “real India” feel that some say Goa lacks.

Five hot tips for enjoying Goa:

  1. Renting a scooter is a must when traveling in India.
  2. Pack separate Goa clothes (for nightlife) with all your other conservative “india clothes”.
  3. Don’t buy much at the markets, they can be such a rip off! It is better to buy outside Goa where the stuff is coming form, mostly the mountains and Rajasthan.
  4. You can see Goa on your own rather than pay for tours like “dolphin” tours that aren’t great.
  5. Don’t be disappointed if there isn’t a lot to “do”. It’s a place to just chill!

One thing you would like to change about Goa?

Tough question… I love Goa, and the things to change like traffic, power outages, and road work are just “India” so they aren’t set to Goa. I guess I wouldn’t change anything!

Find here 10 fun things to do with family in Goa.

How to Explore Goa, India like a Local

Rachel Jones is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches on Goa, India two years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Her award winning website gives advice on the other 24 countries she’s been to but has become the go-to site on India travel, focusing on off beat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine & was voted by Flipkey one of the top 25 female bloggers to follow this year. You can follow her adventures on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Google plus.

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How to explore Goa, India like a Local


  1. Colourful Movement June 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed reading your interview, Rachel! I'm already following your page on Facebook for a while but only have now seen your actual blog which looks great – very inspiring photos and stories from your travels abroad! Looking forward to reading more from you in the future. :)

  2. Manuel Matteo June 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    nice! hope to go to India one day!

  3. Claudia Tavani August 4, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Lovely interview and nice tips. I really can appreciate the one about renting a car or a scooter. Most places are better visited this way, actually!

  4. Laura Lynch August 5, 2015 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed reading about your time in Goa, Rachel! It's so outside of my norm that it's just awesome to see you loving so much. Shows that you can go outside your comfort one and be so happy and at home.

  5. Casey O'Connell August 6, 2015 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Trance music is definitely not my thing, so I probably wouldn’t get into the party scene, but Goa sounds like an interesting place still! I’d definitely want to hit up Thalassa!

  6. Tim OCallaghan August 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    It has been a long time since I was last in Goa and loved the state; one of the great ones in India. Congratulations on the sunset spot and the the first date; that's a good story.

  7. Revati Victor August 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I love Goa, and am familiar with Rachel's blog. Definitely agree with all her choices!

  8. Christine Messina August 10, 2015 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I would lvoe to go to Goa. Great interview :)

  9. James June 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Nice article. I like it. I have never been to goa and the next month I hope I can plan.

  10. goa vacation packages July 4, 2018 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Nice Post about Goa it is given in brief details from best place to eat till best airline . I appreciate your work.

  11. Akansha Negi August 3, 2018 at 7:56 am - Reply

    All the praises for the writer who has presented Goa in a simple yet beautiful way. All the information about Goa is very useful and I will surely re-read the blog before planning a trip to the party capital of India.

  12. NavbharatTours May 2, 2019 at 5:08 am - Reply

    Good post about Goa, brief description about the places, airlines, hotels, accomodation are given which very useful for the tourist.

  13. Sarah June 6, 2019 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Goa is an interesting sea beach and it’s amazing.
    I love the marine drive there.

    Your guide was impressive and mind-blowing photos.

  14. Same Day Agra Tour By Train September 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Superb Blog!

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