A Day In Goa, India For Less Than $25

Note from Editors: In view of the current situation, please avoid all unnecessary travel and try to stay home. Don’t worry, like all things, it will end at some point and you’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, check out what you can do while staying at home.

Are you looking for somewhere full of take-your-breath-away beauty? The kind of place that you can have a luxurious holiday, while being in a constant state of culture shock? Goa, India is the place. The state lies along the western coast, and the village of Anjuna is one of the top destinations in the north of the state. It isn’t a “sightseeing” town. Luckily, in India, just being there gives you all the sights you could EVER want: cows laying out at the beach, monkeys jumping from tree to tree, and locals dressed in bold colored saris and draped in gold jewels.

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India is chaotic, magical, and full of wonder and awe. Whether you travel solo or with a friend, you’ll enjoy this tropical land! The entire country of India is a budget destination, but Goa is the most expensive place you’ll stop on your Indian Adventure. If you can make it in Goa on less than 25 dollars a day (and you can!), then you can make it anywhere in India.

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As in Expat in Goa, here are my tips to help you get the ultimate experience during the high tourist season. It doesn’t get more expensive than this. This is my perfect day in North Goa.

Anjuna, Goa for less than 25 Dollars/Day

  • Don’t book online, don’t use lonely planet, and don’t stay in a hotel! I know it’s scary for some, but just SHOW UP (except the 2 weeks surrounding Christmas). Adorable, private, beach huts line the Arabian Sea. They might not have A/C or hot showers, but you don’t need them. The temperature is comfortable at night, and you can plan to shower while the well water is still hot. You can look for find a hut for about 400-500 rupees (8 dollars) a night. Some are up to 1,000 but other than maybe a softer bed, they will be all the same: simple, basic beach huts. Wouldn’t you rather stay in a cute place like this for 10 dollars with a hammock out front, than a boring hotel room for ten times the price?
  • Rent a scooter! You don’t want to stay in Anjuna the whole time. Other villages are just minutes away by bike. Bikes go for about 150-200 rupees a day (under 3 dollars) and petrol might cost you about 1-2 dollars a day. Drive to Vagator beach for lunch!
  • Eat at Sri, it’s an Indian Intercontinental Restaurant that serves anything and everything, like most Indian restaurants, but has a very interesting laid-back vibe. Even Bollywood stars stop in while in Goa. Another awesome option is a beach shack. Many are scattered along Little Vagator beach (as well as all the beaches) and you can eat lunch for under 2 dollars.
  • Now, indulge! Lay out on a lawn chair outside the beach shack. No need to get up to do shopping. They will come to you! Grab a tropical print sarong for under 150 rupees (less than 3 dollars), get your eyebrows threaded for 50 rupees. Go ahead and add on an Ayurveda lower leg and foot massage. A thirty-minute massage that is just as good, if not better than a professional one, will cost you about 2 dollars. All you had to do was plop down with a book and wait for the salesmen to walk by. Enjoy the crashing waves and reggae music until your skin just can’t take any more sun
Anjuna 25 A Day
  • Jump on your scooter and head to Ganesh Juice shack in Chapora, just 5 minutes away. Sip on some fresh pineapple juice (50 cents) and meet the huge group of travelers and locals that gather here. It’s probably about 4 o clock and so far today, you’ve spent 21 dollars. You might think you’re cutting it too close with all that frivolous spending… but you haven’t.
  • Once you’ve gone to your hut, showered, and put on your brand new sarong as a dress, you’re ready to catch the end of the Wednesday Anjuna Market. Stalls will be getting ready to close, but the sun will be on its way down and the breeze is well worth the wait. The market is massive. Everywhere you look you’ll see bright colors, jewelry, spices, and teas. Inexpensive body piercings, hair wraps and dreading, and tourists getting their hands and feet painted with henna. Here you will see artifacts from all over India and Tibet. With your last 4 dollars, you can grab street food here for 1 or 2 bucks, a beer for 1, and spend your last little dollar on a cute bracelet to give as a gift to someone back home! (There is also a market on Saturday that goes on much later).
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  • The live music will die down, and the market will clear, but you don’t have to leave until you’re ready. I’ve led you down a path that leave no more money in your pocket, so once you’ve enjoyed the beach bars of the Wednesday Market enough, you can go home and relax in your hut.

This is not your typical backpacking day in Europe or North America, but in India, or SE Asia you can live like this, a princess, for under 25 dollars a day. If you are traveling with a friend and can split the price of your beach hut, then you’ve got an extra four dollars you can spend on shopping, food, yoga/cooking classes, or booze.

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View from my favorite restaurant in Vagator, Thalassa. You could eat here if you didn’t do any beach pampering.

This is a day that I would like in Anjuna, but you may hate the beach and shopping. I’d have to say if you hate the beach, you might want to skip Goa altogether! Other things to do in Goa are: hang out in a bar. Ok, just kidding, that’s not all you can do, but you get the gist. This is a party place! This is the place to relax, but here is one other option that I enjoyed:

  • Wake up and head to the Spice Plantation so you can help bathe some elephants. This will take your daily budget, but if you haven’t seen an elephant before, it might be well worth it for you. They will serve you lunch, and you’ll have just enough money to get a local dinner.
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 Have you ever been to Goa? If so, how did you like it?

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Rachel is a travel blogger living in Goa, learning what being an expat is all about as well as continuing her travels to England, Mexico, Thailand and beyond. She is sharing her stories to inspire other girls (and boys) that you can quit your job, travel, and look cute doing it. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be with your friends, and we are only getting older… so what are you waiting for? Check out her blog and follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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66 thoughts on “A Day In Goa, India For Less Than $25”

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      It does make for a nice day. There is a lot of controversy about animals mixing with tourism, so I know that option won’t be for everyone, but touring the spice plantation and having lunch with them is nice too!

  1. Thanks for the great tips Rachel. I’ve never been to Goa but the people I know who have absolutely love the place.

    The idea of turning up without any initial booking sounds a bit scary to me but I do think staying in those huts would be a wonderful experience.

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      The only benefit of not booking the huts is that you’ll get a better discount in person, they rarely will do a discount over the phone, so if you’re more comfortable booking ahead, go for it!

  2. Lisa Imogen Eldridge

    I’ve never been to Goa but every time I read one of your posts about it I am tempted to book a flight. One day I will get there :)

  3. Stefania @The Italian Backpacker

    I’ve always dreamed about going to India, but Goa has never been at the top of my list of places I want to see in the country. With this post, however, I understand that I might as well like it, especially as a break from the rest of the craziness of India! Ahahahah, I hope to go in the near future and write about it.

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      It is a FANTASTIC break from the chaos in this country! I am traveling away from Goa now, just a few hours south- stressed out and craving my little nook of peace

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank Mike. Will add this link to our favourite links! We also love the photos of Goa. They all make us wanna go there!

  4. This sounds great! I’ve been wanting to visit India for ages, and Goa looks like it could be a good place to start. Great tips; thanks!

  5. A private hut on the beach with that view? Oh heck yes! And if they would deliver that ice cream and fruit I would be a very happy guy. Great post, Rachel! :)

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      Yes! There are lots of huts like these, some in Vagator on the cliffs. For a few extra rupees you can get anything delivered :) Most of the huts are right next to beach shacks.

  6. I had to go to Goa in order to have some time off from India. Goa is not really India and Goans are very proud of their own culture and lifestyle.

    For me it was an interesting mix of Portugal meets Asia, as older people still speak fluent Portuguese, the street names and villas have Portuguese names. I even found the grave of one of the first settlers in Goa who had the same family name as me (Coelho) and died on the same day I was born, but a few centuries before, which was quite creepy, lol Maybe he was my great, great, great grandfather :)

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      Wow that’s neat! Yes I love the Portuguese villas in Goa! It’s fun to wander around Panjim and look at the architecture.

  7. Tim | UrbanDuniya

    OMG I could so go some of that fruit salad with ice cream right now!!

    I liked Goa, but for me the highlights were the old crumbling cathedrals in Old Goa. It almost felt like a ghost town, as if people had just been removed from the scene but the buildings stood still… Beautifully haunting!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      We really hope to add India to our travel list this year. I am so obsessed with the local trains and curry!

  8. Goa looks like a colorful and vibrant place. Excellent tips by the way, but I would never ride a scooter (seen too many motorbike accidents)in a million yrs.

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      haha Rachel I feel you there! I go back and forth all the time. Having been in India so long, not a day goes by I don’t see someone (usually tourist) with a bandage on! But it’s just so convenient when it’s hot :)

  9. Nice post with beautiful colours! Have wanted to go to Goa ever since I saw Jason Bourne sprinting down the beach.
    Good job!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      Hi Frank! Thanks for the comment. I didn’t realize a movie was filmed here? I’ll have to look into that!

    1. Rachel of Hippie in Heels

      Even longer! haha I’ve already been here 12 and haven’t seen nearly enough of that state- or India for that matter!

  10. I think a day wouldn’t be enough for me in such amazing place, I’ll need at least a week ;) The market looks fantastic.

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