Transportation - Get In
The Dabolim airport , in Vasco da Gama is Goa's only airport. Some airlines fly directly to Goa, but most international flights arrive via Mumbai. Air India has international flights to Kuwait and UAE twice a week. Air Arabia has discount flights to Sharjah. Qatar Airways has flights to Doha, along with convenient connections to Western Europe, Africa and USA.
Flights can be chartered to the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Switzerland.
Many domestic airlines have daily flights to and from Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad,Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Kozhikode (Calicut).
On arrival, take pre-paid taxis from Dabolim Airport. A yellow pre-paid taxi booth can be found 30m on the left when you exit the main building. There is also a pre-paid taxi stand in the international arrival area. Rates are slightly cheaper than the yellow cabs .
Many resorts pick up guests from the airport for free, so make sure you ask your resort for free pick-up.
Indian Railways connects Goa with direct train services from Delhi, Mumbai,Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvanantapuram, Bangalore, Chennai andHyderabad. The destination station is usually Madgaon in South Goa. Travelling to Goa by train is a real pleasure as the route passes through greenery and many tunnels. Goa is also connected to Pune via the Belgaum Miraj line.
A railway station some tourists tend to miss is Thivim, which is served by most trains and is just 20 minutes away from Calangute beach by taxi. For budget travellers, this is the cheapest option, along with being faster and much more comfortable than travelling by road. It is advisable for tourists to make reservations well in advance as the major trains such as; Konkan Kanya and the Nethravati Express are usually heavily booked.
Trains from Mumbai and most other places have a quota of seats set aside for tourists. Quota tickets must be purchased in person at the rail station by the tourist and cannot be booked via a travel agent. Note that quota tickets are only sold at the station of origin. Tickets can be booked online.
Unless travelling on a shoestring budget, it is advisable to travel in air conditioned sleeper coaches. These are quieter and much more comfortable. Each bunk is provided with two freshly laundered sheets, a blanket, and a pillow. You can also have a hand towel on request.
Most travel agents will book tickets for a small fee (₹200), but be aware that trains do get busy and you need to book in advance. Do not leave booking your ticket to the last moment as you may be disappointed.
Travelling by train can be quite an experience as you are more likely to interact with fellow Indian travellers visiting Goa from different parts of the country, under more relaxed conditions.
There are bus routes from various cities, but most traffic is from Mumbai and Pune. Due to increasing demand from the south, there has been an increase in buses and trains from Mangalore and Bangalore. Overnight buses from Mumbai to Goa are an alternative to trains and flying. Book in advance during the crowded seasons (particularly during the Christmas-New Year rush, for Carnival, or when other Indian regions have school holidays when families travel).
Kadamba Transport Corporation is the Goa state-run transport service. Its buses have seen better days, and more efficient times. There are also other state-run buses run by the governments of Karnataka (some services are efficient, specially the Volvo buses), Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. Many private players also offer bus connections to other cities, with varying levels of discounts and efficiency, with the two usually being inversely related.
Some of the more efficient private operators with well timed , well connected and clean services is VRL (Vijayanand Road Lines) based from Karanataka. They have a well connected and systematic service for passenger and cargo along the Konkan coastal belt and between the Western-Eastern-Southern states of India. Book online on their well maintained website VRL Travels Online booking
The main centre for booking train and bus tickets, in Panjim, is around the Kadamba inter-state bus terminus. Tickets for the Konkan Railway can also be booked here, though expect long queues during the holiday season (which in India, can also coincide with the timings when children have a school break).
Occasional cruise services used to sail from Mumbai to Goa, but these were discontinued because of security concerns and unpredictable weather and are unlikely to resume.
Transportation - Get Around
High resolution maps are not available for Goa. For example, some popular isles are not shown in many maps.
Parts of Goa lack sign boards, so finding your way around could be challenging. When in doubt just ask - usually people are friendly and helpful- but don't expect precise answers (a so-called 'five minute drive' could take a good twenty minutes).
When driving, expect surprises like domestic animals and little children darting across the road, unmarked speed breakers and speed bumps.
There is a choice of manual and automatic gearbox motorbikes and scooters to be rented (typically without helmets). Those planning to stay long may consider buying one instead. Rentals are around ₹300 a day (₹200 in non-peak season) for a Honda Activa scooter and a little more if one is looking for a geared motorcycle (you buy the gasoline as needed). Many small roadside shops sell gas at ₹75 per litre, while the going rate at a station (these are hard to locate in the coastal areas) is around ₹65 per litre.
For the motorbikes, always ask for a discount if renting long-term (one month or more). You should not have to pay more than ₹100 per day. Ensure that you have all the ownership documents of the bike. Also, avoid taking motorbikes with yellow plates out of Goa, as it is a punishable offence. Hiring a bike with white plates is acceptable for local travel in the immediate vicinity but if you want to travel further afield then always rent a bike with yellow plates.
Wearing a crash helmet is compulsory when you go on any major roads (there is a ₹100 fine for not wearing one). Foreigners will need an International Driving Permit (Convention 1949); this is the first thing police will ask you for if stopped. You should also carry your normal driving licence with you.
Travelling by bus in Goa is extremely convenient as the road network easily connects all the places in Goa with roads. State Transport Corporation and private buses are available which serve transport services in major locations.
Despite the off schedule service, noise and overcrowd, there is some unique charm in travelling by private buses which are designed with colourful local characters.
Buses are an inexpensive and fares are often around ₹4-6. ₹10-15 will get you a 30-40 km ride.
There are many car rental companies available.
FLIGHTS & HOTELS
- We have access to a global database of flights by 728 airlines and 200 flight booking agencies, which allows us to find flights in real time and compare them with each other.
- We collects prices at the 200 largest hotel reservation agencies and official websites of hotels. Get all prices in just one place.
- We use TrustYou™, the smart semantic analysis system, to gather reviews from many booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), and calculate ratings based on all the reviews available online.