Baga has, for a long time, been a tourist favorite and for good reason. If you like action, company, and fun, then this will be a haven for you. The beautiful coastline features a long stretch of sandy beach filled with the color of the local culture. Whether you are looking to fine dine, flex your muscles with water sports, or party all night long, Baga has everything you need.
UNESCO sites, such as churches and convents, dot throughout Goa. The houses and villas even in the tiniest of villages are an architectural marvel with a mix of Portuguese and Hindu Goan influences. Baga is also home to the Museum of Goa, a contemporary art space.
As a city by the sea, Baga, and by extension, all of Goa has delicious and fresh seafood at every corner. From fish steaks to lobsters and tiger prawns, your palate will be in a trance. The traditional cuisine of the Goan people includes sol kadi (a coconut milk drink), xacuti curry, sorpotel (a pork curry dish), and vindaloo, all of which will leave you craving a second serving.
Baga is home to one of the best beaches of all 36 that Goa has to offer. If you revel in company and crowds, then Baga Beach in North Goa is the place to be.
The sun-kissed beaches of Goa, including Baga Beach, will quench your longing for a tan. Whether you choose to unwind on the beach with a drink in hand or float in the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea, Baga is a holiday haven for utmost relaxation. Just remember to pack the sunblock.
At Baga Beach, you will find fellow travelers competing in banana boats and water scooters. For the more daring, you have the option of parasailing or windsurfing. Both adrenaline junkies and the low-key traveler are catered for in this tourist destination.
Are you a diving enthusiast? Head over to the lagoon near Baga River, which is popular with divers. If you have not learned how to dive yet, Barracuda Diving also doubles as a diving school. Close to this diver's sanctuary is the Blue Whale Water Park. The water park has five huge water slides and a kid-friendly playground, making it ideal for the traveling family.
Baga offers a medley of charming spots to while away the night. A night out in Baga is filled with glitzy decor, modern music, and international DJs. Club Tito's is a favorite for partygoers. Delicious snacks can be had at Brittos on Baga Beach, while pub lovers will find a home at Zanzibar Shack.
Days in Baga are full of fun, color, pomp, and activities, and so are the nights, which are great for shopping, and Baga knows how to keep you busy. Just close to the Blue Whale Water Park is Mackie's Saturday Nite Bazaar. Set against a backdrop of twinkling lights, you have the option of sampling food and hunting for jewelry, clothes, and handicrafts.
If Acid House, Front 242, and Front Line Assembly sound familiar, then Baga is a place you will not want to miss out on. Generally, the trance festivals - first instituted by visiting hippies decades ago - are held over Christmas and New Year with techno music echoing on all beaches. During this time, hypnotic beats and melodies are the order of the nights.
While lazing on Baga's sun lounges with beach shacks behind you and snacking on food and cocktails can be contenting, you can also venture out and try spotting dolphins while also taking the time to visit other beaches around Baga.
Summer is the less touristy period, which means prices also come down significantly. The temperatures in summer range between 99 degrees through the day and under 65 degrees at night. June through September is monsoon season, with the city being mostly wet and tepid. At this time, beach huts are closed, but most nightspots remain operational. Tourists start flocking here in late October, and it slows down around March.
The main airport and closest to Baga Beach is Dabolim Airport, which welcomes planes from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and other major Indian cities. Additionally, there are regular flights flying in from the UK and Germany as well as from the US. It's about 30 miles from the airport to Baga Beach, and taxis generally do the trip for between Rs. 900 and 1200.
Baga is also a beneficiary of the vast and popular Indian rail system. To get to Baga by train, you have to board one of the trains passing through Thivim train station, the closest to Baga. From here, you will pay around Rs. 600 to Baga via taxi.
From Bangalore, you can take the NH4 route and it will lead you to Goa, then Baga. Another popular route is from Pune-Satara-Kolhapur-Amboli-Baga. This is via NH48, with the journey commencing at the Mumbai-Pune Expressway; on average, the journey should take you around 7 hours non-stop.
Numerous roads lead to Baga and a number of national and private bus companies such as KSRTC, MSRTC, and KTC traverse Goa. Depending on where you are coming from, you can easily board a bus to Baga. One of the best bus services is run by Kadamba Travels bus services with a ticket costing from a minimum of Rs. 10 for a short ride. Another bus service is Paulo Travels, operating out of Bangalore.
There is no shortage of hotels in Baga, from high-end luxury resorts to traditional beach huts with the basic amenities and backpacker hostels with sociable and fun crowds. One of the best for backpackers is Hotel Bonanza with two restaurants and a bar. Mid-range hotels include the Fatima Guest House and Eros Boutique Hotel, while luxury hotels include Fiesta Beach Resort and Acron Waterfront Resort. Finding accommodation along the waterfront is your best bet - you'll be a stone's throw from the beach and be well connected to shops and restaurants.
The most popular form of transportation here is auto rickshaws. The open three wheelers are also a great way of traveling as you take in the scenes and sounds. These charge around Rs. 500 rupees.
Taxis are plentiful and the drivers are knowledgeable about the main attractions and the best places to visit. Fares will need to be negotiated with the driver before you set off; expect to pay around Rs. 200 for a three-mile trip.
Additionally, you can hire a chauffeured car for between Rs. 800 and Rs. 1200 daily. This last option is the best way given that local traffic can be sometimes hard to navigate on your own if it is your first time visiting. In the resort area, you can opt for a more personalized and fun way of getting around by hiring a bike for around Rs. 400 a week.
Baga Beach Market located on Baga Beach is popular as a souvenir market, with stalls selling seashell trinkets, leather, and clay items. Additionally, on Baga Road is the Tibetan Market where you will find items like carpets and textiles. For clothes shopping, the liveliest market is the Anjuna Flea Market, north of Baga, which also offers spices and handicrafts made by locals. A pair of jeans from labels such as Levi's costs above Rs. 2,000 rupees and a summer dress from a chain store like Zara will set you back around Rs. 1,600. Another popular market is located in the Calangute Market Square.
The cost of living varies depending on the season, as prices are usually higher when there are more tourists. A quart of milk costs around Rs. 43 rupees and a bag of rice costs Rs. 48. The best place for grocery shopping is Mackie's Nite Bazaar, with multiple stalls stocking different items.
For breakfast, head over to either Cherry Olive, one of the most popular eateries, or Nick's Place. Meals for two cost around Rs. 600 to Rs. 800. Lunch at beach shacks such as Shining Star and Cliff's will set you back around Rs. 700 rupees for two people. For supper, Relish is popular for Chinese, Indian, and seafood.