How to get around Goa - Palolem beach

How to get to Goa

Margao (map) or Panaji (map)

Nearest airport: Goa (map)

Margao (map

How to get to Goa pretty much depends on which beach you’re staying at. There is one airport only – Goa international airport. The main train station in Goa is Margao. This is where most of the trains from other big cities in the north (south as well) stop. The main bus junction is either at Panaji or Margao. But you might be able to get a bus going directly or closer to your beach.

How to get around Goa

Easy way - private transfer

The easiest and fastest way is to use a private transfer or a taxi. Most of the cars also have AC. You will easily organize your private transfer in Goa. Either as at your hotel, most of them provide help with these services. Or ask on the street. The only downside si the price. The same route via bus can be even 10x cheaper!!

Average prices from Goa airport:

  • to North Goa (Calangute, Vagator, Anjuna) – 35€
  • to Central Goa (Panjim, Vasco, Miramar) – 25€
  • to South Goa (Canacona, Colva, Majorda) – 34€

Book your transfer in advance HERE.

You can also book your private transfer to Calangute area HERE.

Cheap way - local buses

Since we prefer to use the local transport wherewer we go, we did the same in Goa. And it was pretty easy. The biggest problem is that unless you get on at the main bus station somewhere, you’ll never really know when is the bus coming. Ask the people and they will all say the same – 10 minutes, it’s coming. This might really be 10 minutes but you can also wait for 1 hour. You never know. Most of the buses don’t have AC. They stop almost anywhere you ask them to and it might be a bit hectic.

During holiday season expect the buses to be very crowded. If you get on in the middle of its route, you won’t find a seat. We were lucky we could at least fit in! Once the  bus was so full we couldn’t even get on. If you have a lot of luggage or small kids, this might not be the best idea. But of course, it depends a lot on day of the week, time of the day and the bus route.

We would like to describe a few routes that we used when in Goa. In general, the main bus hubs are Margao, Panaji, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa. From there you will find multiple buses in any direction you need. Read the next paragraphs for more details.

Goa airport - South beaches

Most of the buses towards south start at Vasco da Gama or Panaji. Since Panaji is actually quite north, it didn’t really make sense to us to go there. It’s the opposite direction. If you are coming from the aiport, make your way to Vasco da Gama (map) first. From there you have to get to Margao. Good news! There is also a direct electric AC bus! And it only costs around 1-2€ and it takes 40 minutes. Buses are not too frequent. Just get to the bus stop and wait.

Once you are in Margao you will find a bus going to Canacona. This buses goes around Palolem and Agonda beaches. You can also get off at any other beach on the route. If you are going to Palolem, the bus will actually drop you off at the main road which is around 20 minutes walk from Palolem. Either go to Canacona and wait for a bus to Palolem beach, take a tuktuk or take a walk. Getting from Margao to Palolem takes more than an hour and the ticket costs 2-3€.

Goa airport - North beaches

Your journey starts at Vaso da Gama or Panaji bus stop. Whatever you can find first. If you are going to Calangute or Baga beach, there is a direct bus from Panaji. It takes around 1-2h and expect to pay 1-3€. For Baga beach, you will have to change the bus at Calangute. Or take a taxi from there. 

If you are going even more north, you will probably need to get to Mapusa. That is another main bus hub. From there you will find a few buses going to Anjuna or Arambol beach. Same like with every other bus. They might be crowded. 

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Rent a bike!

Want to be independent? You can always rent a bike in Goa. It is the best way to explore surrounding beaches and other places. Usually prices are around 4-5€/day. We were in Goa around New Year and the cheapest bike was around 12€ (1000-1500 IRS). And it might also be harder to get a bike. 

Our tips

Renting a bike is a perfect way to travel arround Goa. However, there is a few things you MUST keep in mind.

1. Wear a helmet – always, especially the driver. We are not sure about the regulations but it’s definitely better and safer for you, if everyone sitting on a bike wears a helmet. Otherwise expect a fine from police.

2. Rent a bike with yellow plates – those are meant for tourists. Not only foreigners but even Indians from other parts of the country. In scooter rental they will not even tell you this! Again – another reason for a fine.

3. Make sure you have valid international driving license – trust us, the police WILL check this one. Our license is only valid for cars (type B) not scooters (type A). Police officer obviously didn’t like that and wanted to fine us (10 000 IRS!).