India is famous for many things; the Taj Mahal, it’s amazing curries, it’s beautiful mountain ranges, and it’s fabulous beaches. Goa is home to those beaches. Each year millions of locals and foreigners flock to the beaches of Goa to soak up the sun and drink alcohol (thanks to the dirt cheap alcohol in Goa).
Sometimes the beaches can be a little crowded with locals. Not that there is nothing wrong with local people of course, but sometimes we want to escape to a little serenity. So if you’re looking for the best beaches in Goa for foreigners, then you’ve come to the right place.
Before we went to Goa after visiting Sri Lanka, I did A LOT of research on the best places to stay with the best beaches in Goa. So, I know my stuff.
So sit back, relax, and transport yourself to the beaches of Goa. All these beaches are best to be visited in November to March, which is peak season. The temperatures can hit 40 degrees Celsius, so make sure you pack your suncream!
I figured it’s best to give you five Goa beaches for foreigners so we can cover both North and South Goa.
There is always an argument about what side of Goa has the best beaches: is it the South or the North? In general, the south has more picturesque, quieter beaches, for those looking for peace and tranquility. Whereas, the northern beaches of Goa are more lively and filled with parties and lots of opportunities to drink.
So, it really depends on what you like.
Palolem is a backpacker's paradise and this picturesque beach is located in South Goa and it’s crescent-shaped beauty offers a range of boat trips to enjoy the sea and lots of beach huts which offer drinks, snacks and sun beds for relaxing.
The beach itself has tropical like views and you’ll find the waters are safe for swimming. There is usually a few lifeguards on duty too. The sand is white and the area is lined with palm trees. The area is actually well known for its silent discos (where you listen to music but with headphones on), keeping in tune with the tranquil essence of the area.
This beach is located in North Goa and I would consider it one of the best beaches in Goa for foreigners who are looking for no crowds at all.
It’s considered one of the most well-maintained and cleanest beaches in Goa and it’s less crowded than the rest (which is really rare for busy Goa). Due to the lesser amount of people, the beach is a lot cleaner, as is the water. This makes it perfect for swimming.
This 1.5 km beach boasts beautiful blue water, swaying palm trees and soft sand. You’ll find a wide range of cafes, pubs, restaurants to eat and drink there are even sunbeds and umbrellas provided free of charge. Not bad eh!
You could do bodyboarding at this beach too thanks to the little waves.
This is a popular beach that’s also located in North Goa and it’s perfect for those seeking thrills and fun in the sun. It’s one of the three famous trio of most popular beaches in Goa: Baga, Calangute, and Candolim.
And it’s no surprise why. It’s a busy beach with sun beds lined across, so it’s a great spot to catch a tan.
It’s also popular with more foreign and domestic tourists, but you’ll often find in peak season, it’s flocked with foreigners, so if you don’t want to feel like you’re on a beach at “home”, then maybe head to one of the other beaches.
But, due to its popularity, it’s got everything you need for an amazing beach day or stay. It’s 30 kilometres long, making it one of the biggest stretches of beach in the state of Goa and it’s got bars, restaurants, beach shacks, 5 star resorts, hostels, everything you can imagine.
Also, one of the best things to try when in Goa is to try water sports. And Candolim Beach is one of the top spots for exactly this! Including, banana boat rides, parasailing and jet ski rides. These will only set you back around 300-500 rupees, so it’s good fun to get involved!
Well, you can probably tell by now why it’s one of the best beaches in Goa for foreigners (and locals alike), it’s got everything!
This beach is famous for its turtles, so if you love turtles as much as I do, then you’ll want to visit here! It’s the nesting ground of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles.
There are many foreign tourists here and it’s very popular with Russians, probably why it’s known as “Little Russia”.
I once had a local lady trying to sell me something on the beach, (of course), but we chatted for about 20 minutes and all she did was complain about the Russians, which was strange. I haven’t had a bad encounter with any Russians yet, so I politely listened then left haha
So, this beach is located in North Goa too but it’s one of the “quieter” ones. It’s 3 km and has beautiful soft light sand and it’s a great spot for swimming. There is also the chance to see dolphins if you take a boat tour.
A little further up from the protected turtle area, you’ll find beach huts, food places and nightclubs. This is also a great beach for kitesurfing if you’ve ever wanted to try it!
The village of Morjim and the beach is not overly “touristy” and gives off an authentic Goan charm. So, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Last, but certainly not least, the last beach to feature on my list of best beaches in Goa for foreigners is Benaulim beach. It’s located in the South and is one of the evergreen beaches of Goa.
It’s a sandy beach with no rocks (so perfect for romantic walks down the beach).
It’s a very tranquil and “empty” beach and it’s perfect if you’re simply looking to escape and find your own thoughts. There are many foreign tourists who visit throughout the season, but even in peak season, it’s still the quietest beach in South Goa.
After a long walk on the beautiful empty beach, you can retreat to one of the beach shacks for some local food and a well-deserved drink.
So, now that we’ve finished with the best beaches in Goa for foreigners, I’m going to consider some other beaches in Goa that fit other categories….keep reading!
There are two beaches that can fall under this category: Vagator and Colva.
Firstly, Vagator. This is one of the most popular beaches in Goa for nightlife and young people, and there are many beach bars and clubs that offer raves. (India LOVES its rave music). It’s not a smooth beach, it’s a rocky beach, with red cliffs. It’s also the best beach in Goa for a sunset.
Bradley and I went to Vagator, over our 3 year anniversary. It’s not a couples beach, it’s not even a romantic, can walk on the sand beach. It’s an area to get drunk and have fun, and that’s what you can do on Vagator.
I liked it, but I liked the South of Goa WAY better. Vagator also includes little Ozran beach which also has bars and is easy to travel between.
Secondly, Colva beach. This is located in South Goa and it’s a really cool beach that’s popular with locals. It’s not picturesque or “pretty”, but it’s got lots of cool beach restaurants and bars which offer an amazing sunset view.
It’s also got a lot of happy hours and water sports activities for cheap. You can parasail, jet ski, banana boat, and much more, for very little money.
If you love to swim in the sea (which Bradley really does), then there are lots of swimming opportunities both north and south of Goa. Actually, all of the beaches I’ve mentioned so far can be swam in, but our favourite is Palolem beach, which made the top five best beaches in Goa for foreigners list.
Mobor beach is a good choice for couples travelling together. It’s located in South Goa, next to the Cavelossim beach and it offers something for every couple. There are many restaurants and bars to enjoy romantic beach meals, there are beautiful sunsets, there are cruises on the Sal, dolphin and bird tours.
It’s even got the two most expensive hotels in Goa, and the best casino (if you’re into gambling).
It’s a very picturesque beach which adds to the element of romance it exudes. The sand is very light in color, fine and softly squeaks under your feet. I think it’s a great choice for couples, and again, Palolem beach is also great for couples too.
Gosh, Goa has so many beaches that it would impossible to visit them all unless you stayed for weeks upon weeks. So, if you want to know the most popular and most famous beaches in Goa, I’ve made a little list.
So there you have it, my guide to the best beaches in Goa for foreigners...and then some! Let me know if you’ve visited any of these beaches in Goa, or if you can recommend any other great beaches in Goa for me to add to the list.
As I say, there is nothing wrong with locals being at the beach, but sometimes it’s nice to escape the crowds and simply feel like you’re in a whole different world, and these beaches will help get you there.
I you're concerned about how to dress at beach in Goa, then check out our in-depth guide on what to wear in India.
Goa is actually quite a big state (even though it's the smallest state in India). What I mean is, it's not just a case of hopping on a metro or train to each beach. Choose a main location to stay such as Panaji and you can use taxis (no Uber or Ola in Goa- the state doesn't allow it), buses or even rent your own moped to visit all the beaches of Goa.
Driving your own moped in Goa is quite safe and it's actually very serene and pretty. (And cheap!)
For more help, check out this useful guide on getting to different parts of Goa.
So what is the best beach for foreigners in Goa? Well it depends on what you want and your personality, but hopefully it's a little clearer where you should go after reading this post.
If you’re planning on touring India after relaxing at the beach for a couple of weeks (I don’t blame you, we spent almost 10 days), then why not check out our other guides on India, including Mumbai, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur and Delhi. India is a wonderful country and each area offers something unique and new.