Traveling to Goa is considered a rite of passage for all the teenagers and adults in Goa. The long coastal line, a plethora of beaches to explore, and the happening nightlife promises a fun and memorable weekend trip to Goa. In the past 4 years, I have been to Goa multiple times, and each time, it has been a completely new experience. And during these years, people often have asked me how to reach Goa, what is the cheapest way to get there, and a lot more.
So, I have decided to pen down everything that I know and have experienced here in this guide. In this article, I share with you detailed information on how to reach Goa, how much it costs, best route to choose, and so on.
If you are planning a trip to Goa to explore some offbeat destinations around here, then this is everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) you need to know to reach Goa.
Goa Travel Guide: How to Reach Goa
Before you can start chilling on the beaches of Goa, you need to figure out how to reach Goa from your origin destination. And one of the best things about Goa is that it is well-connected to the rest of India. So, you can take a train, fly or plan a road trip to Goa.
In this section, I will tell you in detail about all the ways you can reach Goa so that you don’t have any problem getting here on all kinds of budgets.
Goa is a small state in India that was previously a part of the amazing Hippie trail that started from Europe and went all the way through Nepal to Goa. This trail made Goa a popular hippie spot, a place where you can just relax, chill, and experience a life without societal norms and bounds.
A part of the Portuguese empire in the 20th century, Goa has become a revered party destination in India and can be visited as a weekend trip from nearby destinations Mumbai and Bangalore. Apart from the gorgeous palm trees covered beaches and countless bars and clubs, Goa is also popular for the fishing villages. And since it was a part of the Portuguese empire, you will find that the Old Goa is filled with Portuguese-styled buildings and streets.
Goa is primarily divided into two major parts – North Goa and South Goa and Panjim, the capital of Goa is the connector for both the sides. And in this Goa travel guide, I am going to tell you how to make the most of your time in Goa and explore the plethora of amazing places that this state has to offer to you.
Here are a few quick important facts about Goa to know for your Goa trip:
- Konkani and Marathi are widely spoken here and English and Hindi can be used here too.
- It is the smallest state in India with a high literacy rate and is one of the top tourist spots in Goa.
- It is relatively safe for solo women to travel as well.
- There are more than 7000 bars in Goa to choose from.
- Goa is home to two-wheeler taxis which are a great option for solo travelers.
- Portuguese ruled Goa for almost 450 years and is dotted with their churches, old quarters, colorful houses, etc.
- Goa celebrates two Independence – one on 15th August 1947 from Britishers and one on 19th December 1961 from Portuguese.
How to Reach Goa by Train
There are two major railway stations in Goa – Vasco Da Gama and Margaon (Madgaon), both of which are located in the southern part of the state. Vasco Da Gama is a South Central Railway terminus while Margaon is a Konkan Railway terminus. You will ideally find these two major railway stations are connected to most major cities in India.
Apart from these two major stations, there are several other smaller railway stations as well such as Pernem, Thivim, Karmali, Majorda, Cancona, etc. as well but not all trains stop on these stations. So, make sure that your chosen railway station is mentioned on the route to Goa.
If you are travelling from Delhi (like me), I am sure you will be wondering how to reach Goa by train and if it is a feasible option or not. Delhi is around 2000 km from Goa but you can cover this distance in a train. You have 1-2 train options from Delhi to Vasco Da Gama that take 40-45 hours to complete the journey. It will cost you around 850 – 3000 INR depending on the train class that you choose.
From Delhi, you also have 5-6 trains to Madgaon that take anywhere between 24 – 38 hours. The price of these trains is usually between 800 – 3000 INR, depending on the train type and class that you choose.
Note: If you are planning to spend 3000 – 4000 INR on A.C. classes, then you might as well book a flight to Goa from Delhi. It will take barely 2.5 – 3 hours to reach and you won’t be tired after the journey too.
Note: When I traveled to Goa in train this year, I took the train to Madgaon station but got down at Thivim railway station as it was closer to my accommodation. From Thivim, it took me around 45 minutes to reach Baga village in a bus which would have been around 3 hours from Madgaon station.
So, how to reach Goa by train from Mumbai? Since Mumbai is situated just around 590 km from Goa, you have several train options available from here. You have approximately 17 train options from Mumbai Central Railway Station to Madgaon and one train for Vasco Da Gama.
These trains can take you anywhere between 8 – 12 hours to reach and can cost you around 400 – 2000 INR. The price will depend on the train you choose and the train class that you choose. So, if you want cheaper options, you can even go for Sleeper or Second Sitting classes that won’t cost you more than 400 – 500 INR (Second Sitting class costs you half of that).
From Other Cities
As mentioned before, Goa is well-connected by railway networks so you will be able to find train options from other cities as well. In case you live in a destination with no direct trains, then you can always opt for a flight. If you are on a budget, then take a train to other nearby destinations such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, etc. and then reach Goa.
Railway Station to Other Parts of Goa
Once you reach Vasco Da Gama or Madgaon, you have a couple of options for reaching your desired location.
Madgaon – If you want to save money and don’t mind extra travelling time, then you will find local buses from both the railway stations. There is a bus system to follow here about which I would talk in detail in the bus section so you can read up there on a detailed bus route. A bus will take around 45 minutes – 3 hours from Madgaon to reach Panjim and then more time to head to North Goa destinations such as Baga, Anjuna, etc.
For luxury trippers, getting a cab is a great idea but it will cost you around 600 – 1000 INR (more, if you choose offline taxi service) to reach Panjim from Madgaon and more to go to other parts of North Goa.
Vasco Da Gama – If you are getting down at Vasco Da Gama railway station, then you will get local buses to Panjim and can reach Panjim in 1.5 hours max. Similarly, you will get several cab options as well that will charge you around 400 – 700 INR to Panjim in online taxi service and more in an offline one.
How to Reach Goa by Flight
There is one international airport in Goa – Dabolim Airport which receives flights from all over India and the world. The airport is located around 30 km from Vasco Da Gama and flying is the perfect way to reach Goa if you don’t have a lot of time or wish to save time on the journey.
In India, Dabolim Airport flies several Indian carriers that connect Goa to most major cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, etc. If you were wondering how to reach Goa from Delhi, then a flight is a good option to save time but it will cost you around 6000 – 10000 INR or more for a return flight ticket. The price can increase depending on the month you are traveling in and in how advance you are booking your flight ticket.
Apart from that, you also have international flights from cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, and so on to Goa too. These flights will obviously be a little expensive but is a great way to reach India if your starting destination is South India, especially Goa.
Airport to Other Parts of Goa
After reaching the airport, you can either book a cab or take a shuttle bus to Panjim. Online cab service will cost you around 400 – 700 INR for this journey while a shuttle bus will cost you around 50 – 100 INR only.
How to Reach Goa by Road
Finally, as mentioned before, Goa is well-connected to the rest of the country by road. So, you can reach here by road too.
If you are from Mumbai and wondering how to reach Goa from Mumbai, then you can easily reach Goa by road since it is just 590 km away. You will get overnight buses to Goa that will take around 10-12 hours and will cost you around 800 – 1500 INR, depending on the type of bus you choose. Apart from that, you can also take your own vehicle to reach Goa and plan a road trip to this tiny state. This way, you won’t need to rent any car or bike in Goa too and will end up saving a lot of money if you are travelling with a group of friends.
From Other Cities
For users travelling from other nearby cities, you have option of taking overnight buses too which can take anywhere between 10 – 18 hours. There are both public and private buses available and you have options ranging from Non-Sleeper to A.C Sleeper bus types. You can book these buses from the online portals and reach Goa comfortable in a city too.
You can also do a road trip to Goa from other nearby locations such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and so on. All you need is a decent car to drive and you are all set for an epic adventure.
Reaching Goa on a Small Budget (1000 – 3000 INR)
Now that you know about the different modes of transportation available to reach Goa, let’s take a look at your budget and how can you reach Goa within its limit. If you are a shoestring budget backpacker, then this section is for you.
From nearby cities (Bangalore, Mumbai, Mangalore, etc.)
One of the best things about living in a city near Goa is that you have lots of options for reaching Goa in a minimal budget. From these cities, you can get local buses for 700 – 900 INR and even Volvo Buses don’t cost more than 1500 INR for one-way journeys.
Apart from the buses, you can also get several trains in a day from nearby cities to Goa. From Mumbai, there are 10+ trains for Goa so you can choose one according to your convenience. If the journey is between 4 – 10 hours, then you can also opt to travel in General coaches that will cost around 100 INR. However, these coaches tend to be jam-packed and I wouldn’t suggest you to travel in them right now (due to Covid19 spread).
If you cannot travel or don’t wish to travel in General coaches, you can book a ticket in Second Sitting class. It would cost you around 250 – 400 INR but you will have to sit for the entire duration of the journey as there are no sleeping berths to lie down on.
For travelers who are looking for a little more convenience, Sleeper classes are best as you can sleep comfortably on your berth. They tend to be cheap as well and will cost you around 500 – 1400 INR from the nearby cities.
Finally, if you are looking for more comfort, then you can opt for a 2AC or 3AC coach. These will be a little expensive but won’t cost you more than 3000 INR from the nearby cities.
From other cities
If you are traveling from far-off cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, or Kolkata, then it might be a little hard to reach Goa on a shoestring budget but it is still not impossible. Since the journey from these cities can stretch to more than 24 hours, you won’t find any buses for these routes.
Moreover, the General Coach is out of question as you will find it hard to get a seat and stay in the same position for next 30 hours. So, the cheapest way to reach from these cities is by taking a Sleeper class train that will cost around 800 – 1000 INR and will take more than 24 hours to reach.
If you are looking for convenience, you can opt for 3AC coach as well but that will easily cost you around 2000 – 3000 INR.
Reaching Goa on a Luxury Trip (5000 – 10000 INR)
On the other hand, if you aren’t looking for a cheap trip and are more about convenience, then this mode of transportation would be best with you. Sure, it will cost you more but you will save a lot of time and won’t be as tired as well.
From nearby cities (Bangalore, Mumbai, Mangalore, etc.)
If money is not an issue, then the fastest and most convenient way to reach Goa would be in a flight. From cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc., you will easily get return flight tickets for 3000 – 6000 INR. Plus, it will take only 4 – 6 hours in total for you to reach Goa from your home (including the time to reach the airport and then your hotel in Goa).
Another good option is to drive your own vehicle as this way, you will have the luxury to stop on the road and will have to worry mostly about the fuel expenses. Generally, you can reach Goa in a fuel of 3000 – 4000 INR from most nearby cities.
If you don’t know how to drive and still wish to enjoy a road trip to Goa, then you can hire a cab for this journey. A cab will cost you somewhere around 10000 INR or less to Goa, depending on where you are starting from.
From other cities
If you are traveling to Goa from cities that are located far away such as Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, etc., then the only convenient and quickest way to reach Goa is by taking a flight. A flight from these cities will usually cost you around 8000 – 10,000 INR. The flight duration is usually 2.5 – 3 hours from these cities so it will take you around 6 – 8 hours to reach your hotel in Goa.
How Much it Cost Me to Reach Goa
As I mentioned before, I have traveled to Goa multiple times till now and every time, I have chosen a budget-friendly way to travel. Here is a breakdown of how much it cost me to travel to Goa on each trip:
Hyderabad to Goa – When I was living in Hyderabad for my job and traveled to Goa, it was my first trip after getting a job. So, I didn’t have much idea about transportation and booked a Volvo bus for 1200 INR to reach Goa from Hyderabad. The bus dropped me at Panjim Bus Stand and from there, I took a cab to reach my hotel.
For the return journey as well, I took a Volvo Bus from the Panjim Bus Stand and it took me around 12 – 14 hours to reach back.
So, if you are traveling from nearby cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and all, then you have an option for a Volvo Bus. This is great for comfort and safe for solo travelers but will cost around 800 – 1500 INR (depending on your origin-destination). If you are not on a shoestring budget trip, then this is a good option to consider.
Ooty to Goa – In 2018, I traveled to Goa from Ooty and had to change a lot of trains and buses but it cost me the least as well. From Ooty, I took a train to Mettupalyam station and then a train to Coimbatore, this cost me somewhere around 200 INR as I traveled in the general coach then.
From Coimbatore, I got a train to Madgaon Railway Station that cost around 100 – 200 INR too since it was General coach too. I reached my hostel the next day in the evening (3 hours of bus ride from Madgaon to Baga) and was pretty tired by the end of this journey. So, if you are on a shoestring budget, then you can choose trains to travel (especially the General coaches). It will cost you barely nothing but you will be pretty tired by the end of it.
Delhi to Goa – Finally, this year, in 2020, I took a direct train from Delhi to Goa. Since I booked a sleeper coach, the ticket cost me around 800 INR and took 36-38 hours to reach Goa from Delhi. It was a long, arduous journey but I made it on a small budget.
In Goa, I got down at Thivim Railway Station and took a motorcycle taxi to reach the bus stop. That cost me 50 INR and then I took a bus to Panjim and then Baga which cost me around 50 INR.
Well, now you know every way to reach Goa and how much it is going to cost. So, you can choose your desired transportation mode by considering your starting location and the budget. If you wish to travel cheap, then trains are the best option for reaching Goa.
However, if you are on a short vacation to Goa, then you should either consider a flight from far away cities such as Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi, etc., or buses from nearby cities. Overall, reaching Goa is pretty easy and you won’t face any trouble in finding a mode of transportation. There are a lot of options available, you just have to choose the best way to travel here.
Have you ever been to Goa? Let us know in the comments! And if you liked our guide, then do like and share it.