20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Who doesn’t need a little inspiration from time to time? I know I do.

I have been traveling for many years but it wasn’t until last year that I quit my job to travel the world. While traveling, many people were surprised when I told them I was from India because they said they had hardly ever met women from India who travel so much. It did annoy me at first but later I realized that even I hardly ever met women travelers from India. Yes, there are some but not enough if you compare the size of our country’s population to many other countries, haha!

Anyway, today being International Women’s day, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate Indian female travelers. Last year I published an article about some amazing Indian women who travel solo and this year I was to  share some of my favorite Instagram accounts that I love following for my daily dose of wanderlust. If you love to travel and like seeing interesting pictures, then be sure to follow these accounts that have been handpicked by me, purely based on the content and not the number of followers.

Why Instagram and why not Facebook? Well, firstly sharing a link of someone’s personal FB profile is a little intrusive to sharing someone’s “public” Instagram profile where they share travel photos. And secondly, Instagram is way more awesome than Facebook. We all know how big Facebook is, but c’mon, it stopped being cool when literally everyone on earth joined the social network. Yes, from your primary school teacher to your neighborhood dukaan waala created their FB accounts and started sending you friend requests.

Ok fellas, enough of random chat and below is the reason why you opened this post in the first place. Let me share a list of my favorite Indian female travelers on Instagram.

List of 20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Click on each image to follow on Instagram

01 | Shivya (@Shivya)

Shivya Nath on Instagram

Click to follow Shivya Nath on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Shivya Nath is a vegan nomad without a home, who has been traveling non-stop since a few years. She also runs a successful travel blog called The Shooting Star and has been featured on BBC travel and NDTV. I love her night photography and those are some of my favorite shots on her Instagram.

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02 | Overrated Outcast (@overrated_outcast)

Overrated Outcast (Trishita) on Instagram

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Trishita Bhattacharya a.k.a., Overrated Outcast is a 20-year-old girl from Mumbai, who is a pharmacy student and a very talented photographer. Almost all of her shots are captured differently and have a story to tell. She’s also a brand ambassador for GoPro from India (yes, I’m jealous) and she definitely knows how to get the best out of it. You will find pictures of Indonesia, Goa, Mumbai, Nasik, etc on her profile.

03 | Drifter Planet (@DrifterPlanet)

Sonal of Drifter Planet on Instagram

Click to follow Sonal DrifterPlanet on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Wait, the name sounds familiar! Of course it does because it’s my account. Just because I’m writing this post doesn’t mean I’ll skip my own account. I love experimenting with my camera and have been told that I create good phtos. My account has been featured on the several global platforms such as HuffPost Lifestyle, Girls Love Travel, Femme Travel, etc. In fact, I even received a 360-degree camera from Insta360 as a gift because they love our photos. In 2016, I instagrammed 10 countries and 5 music festivals. Why don’t you take a look?

Read: 11 Indian Girls That Are Totally Rocking Solo Travel

04 | Jeny Goes Places (@jenygoesplaces)

Jeny Goes Places on Instagram

Click to follow Jeny Goes Places on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Jeny Rajkumari, also known as Juju is usually on the move and posts really cute pictures from all over India and a few neighboring countries. She’s a nature lover and it’s evident because most of her pictures are green! I love all her photos so much that I have even featured her twice on my account.

05 | Mridula (@mridulablog)

Mridula on Instagram

Click to follow Mridula on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Mridula is an IIT-ian and ex professor but is now a travel blogger. Don’t get me wrong, she is not a new blogger but has been travel blogging since a while. Her blog – Travel Tales from India is very popular and one of the most respected travel blogs from India. She is an excellent photographer and all her pictures are stunning. She rarely ever posts her own pictures but I wish she’d change that because I love seeing the person behind the camera, don’t you?

A post shared by Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) on

06 | Gerbz the Nomad (@gerbz_the_nomad)

Gerbz the nomad on Instagram

Click to follow Gerbz the nomad on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Gauri Adettiwar or “Gerbz” says she’s “Just another Boulder babe flitting her way around the world”. If you see her instagram account, you will instantly know that she loves adventure and you can go on a joyride by just watching her pictures.

Read: 10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

07 | Wander With Jo (@wanderwithjo)

Wander with Jo on Instagram

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Jyotsana of Wander with Jo is a girl from Delhi who is a globetrotter and a thrill seeker. She also runs a travel blog called WanderWithJo. She loves posting pictures of waterfalls, viewpoints and street art.

08 | Lavina (@continent.hop)

Continent Hop on Instagram

Click to follow Continent Hop on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Lavina is a girl from Goa who loves clicking colorful destination. Her newsfeed has a lot of pictures from Europe and some of them look like they are right out of a storybook.

09 | Sam Wanderlust (@sam_wanderlust)

Sam Wanderlust on Instagram

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Samita is an engineer from India who lives in the UK. You will find pictures of many European destinations such as Switzerland, Iceland, Austria, etc, on her profile. Her pictures are simply stunning!

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10 | Soumya Travel Books Food (@soumna_travelbooksfood)

Travel books food on Instagram

Click to follow Travel books food on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Another engineer on this list, Soumna’s pictures will take you on a trip with her to Europe as she explores Spain, Portugal and France.

11 | Wandering Dreamcatcher (@wandering_dreamcatcher)

Wandering Dreamcatcher on Instagram

Click to follow Wandering Dreamcatcher on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Whether it’s dancing in the middle of a trek or pictures of her furry friends from the road, Ann Mathias of Wandering Dreamcatcher’s pictures are sure to make you smile.

12 | Travel See Write (@travelseewrite)

Travel, See, Write on Instagram

Click to follow Travel, See, Write on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Archana loves traveling, seeing and writing about offbeat places and experiences. The fact that she’s living in the beautiful Philippines definitely helps. You will find pictures of Japan, North East India, many places South East Asian countries on her Instagram profile.

A post shared by Archana (@travelseewrite) on

13 | Lakshmi Sharath (@LakshmiSharath)

Lakshmi Sharath on Instagram

Click to follow Lakshmi Sharath on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Lakshmi is a traveler who has been blogging about her journey since the last 12 years. She is a good photographer and clicks pictures of faces, architecture and nature. On her profile, you will find pictures of literally every place in India.

Read: 7 Colorful Flea Markets of Goa

14 | Medhavi (@ravenouslegs)

Medhavi, Ravenous Legs on Instagram

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Medhavi is a girl from India who is a solo traveler and loves adventure. She is an ex techie who is living in the Himalayas at the moment. She loves scuba diving and high altitude trekking amongst other things.

A post shared by Medhavi Davda (@ravenouslegs) on

15 | Rutavi (@rutaagayire)

Rutavi on Instagram

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Rutavi Mehta is a travel blogger from India who has traveled to many destinations all over the world. At the moment she is in New Zealand and is instagramming some amazing pictures from her journey.

16 | Monkey Inc (@monkey.inc)

Monkey Inc on Instagram

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Ankita Kumar calls herself a “hyper travel monkey” and has a blog called Monkey Inc. She is in love with bright colors and strange food, which you will figure out from her Instagram profile.

A post shared by Ankita Kumar (@monkey.inc) on

17 | Raksha – the Roving Heart (@therovingheart)

The Roving Heart on Instagram

Click to follow The Roving Heart on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

From mountains to beaches and everything in between, Raksha is on a mission to explore the world. You will find pictures of many destinations within India on her Instagram page.

Read: 11 Hippie Destinations in the Himalayas

18 | Avii – apocalypstickk (@apocalypstickk)

Apocalypstickk on Instagram

Click to follow Apocalypstickk on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Avii from Delhi loves mountains, campfires, sky gazing, long winding roads and golden trees. Her pictures will take you on a journey to the Himalayas and around.

A post shared by Avii (@apocalypstickk) on

19 | Tanishka – Tani Travel Tales (@TaniTravelTales)

Tani Travel Tales on Instagram

Click to follow Tani Travel Tales on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

The girl in red jacket, Tanishka is an adventurer, traveler, crafter and storyteller. Her pictures will take you to some offbeat locations in North East India.

20 | S Divya (@s.divya22)

Divya on Instagram

Click to follow Divya on Instagram – Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram

Divya is a founder of the famous girl travel group of India called Globetrotting Girls India. She’s a globetrotter herself and her pictures will take you on a journey to many places in America and Asia.

Read: 25 Instagram Accounts to Spark your Wanderlust

So, what do you think of this list? Do you know of in the comments if you know more Indian female travelers to follow on Instagram that I may have missed in this post? Oh and if you like this list, do share it. We definitely need to see more female travelers from India in this world, so let’s do everything to encourage and celebrate the International woman’s day!

20 Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
20 Amazing Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
20 Awesome Indian Female Travelers to Follow on Instagram
A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sonal Kwatra Paladini

10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy

Bali, the island of Gods needs no introduction. After all, it is the most visited island in South East. In fact, I had almost written Bali off my travel bucket list assuming that every corner here will be touristy, but I couldn’t help being excited when I received an invitation by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia. So late one night in November 2016, I landed here after changing two airplanes from Raja Ampat – tired but ready to fall in love with Bali.

You know what’s the best part about Bali? It is gorgeous! My excitement started right from the airport where I saw an elaborate Hindu temple. It continued as soon as I reached my hotel – Golden Tulip in Seminyak and saw a roof top pool and yet another temple! Next morning, as we travelled around the island, I was happy to notice that the typical Balinese temple like architecture is everywhere, even at gas stations.

I visited Bali as a social media influencer, so of course Instagram was very high on my list. I did a little bit of research about a few spots to visit and want to share them with you. No doubt there are more than ten beautiful spots in Bali (obviously), but here are ten of our favorites.

Bali’s most beautiful spots –

01 | “Doors of Heaven” at Pura Lempuyang

Not just in Bali, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful temples of South East Asia. There are total seven temples in this complex, out of which the first one is the biggest and the most beautiful one. They all offer good views but the first one is the most photographed one, for obvious reasons. All the shots below are pretty similar, but the lighting is different, which causes a dramatic effect.

02 | Penglipuran Village

Penglipuran in North of Bali is a beautifully preserved village which appeared to be unaffected by modernization. For me, this was the most beautiful spot in Bali and I did not want to leave. I Later when I saw the pictures, I realized that it’s a perfect place for photos because of the backdrop of little houses that are lined up next to the main street. What makes it even better is that the street is sloped and provides a view till the end! Here’s my picture which was clicked by the talented Japanese photographer, Genta. If you ever wonder where to stay in Bali, i’d recommend you pick the North or Ubud area, just so that you’re close to this spot.

A post shared by Sonal ✈️ Hippie Travel Blogger (@drifterplanet) on

Every corner in this village is pretty! Look how cute this picture is –

This village is so pretty, that every corner is instagram-worthy! Look how cute this picture is:

A post shared by Riyanni Djangkaru (@r_djangkaru) on

The same background as the first picture, but it’s a portrait.

This is the same spot as the first picture, but a portrait.

A post shared by Pratik Talreja (@sadak_chap) on

 

03 | Bamboo Forest in Bangli

Don’t you just love the roads that are surrounded by perfectly arched trees resulting in a “tunnel” effect? Well, you can find a few of these streets in the village of Kubu Bangli regency. This forest area is very close to Penglipuran village, so you can do #2 and #3 together on the same day!

The below picture is by one of my favorite photographers, Larissa Dening:

Here’s another one by Hikari – a talented Japanese photographer, who is as beautiful as the pictures she clicks.

A post shared by hikari☆。* (@_hikari_____) on

The next one was clicked by Trishita (Overrated Outcast), who’s just 20 but does some serious magic with her GoPro. She’s also a GoPro brand ambassador.

Here’s one by Daniel Tran. I love how all of his pictures have a lot of magic, that they look surreal.

 

04 | Ubud’s Rice Paddies and Cafes with views

You can’t leave out Ubud’s pretty rice paddies when you visit Bali. Some people rent bicycles to explore the paddy fields, while others just find a chic café with a view to enjoy Ubud’s beauty. I recommend Desa Tegalalang or Kampung Café for your dose of Ubud. In fact, to make the most of it, you can also book yourself a room at Kampung Resort.

Here’s a picture from Kampung Cafe by Jongbeom Lee:

🌿 초록초록 가득해서 눈이 정화되는 기분😳 #TripOfWonders #WonderfulIndonesia . #A7ii #sel24240

A post shared by 🇰🇷jongbeom lee (@picn2k) on

I love this bird’s eye view of the rice paddies by Will Cho.

Or this green overdose by Michael Turtle:

This shot by Emily makes me want to want to get lost in these rice paddies!

 

 

05 | Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is perhaps the most iconic landmark of Bali. It has been used for years as a cover image for Bali related things such as in flyers, travel articles, picture postcards, etc. This temple is located at the edge of Beratan Lake and you can often catch the reflection of it in the water.

Everything is perfect about this shot, specially the reflection.

Here’s the same temple but from a different angle. Don’t you just love the sky?

And this! Wow

A post shared by Maged Guirguis (@guirguismaged) on

 

06 | Pura Tirta Empul

Yes, you must have guessed it by now that everything that starts with “Pura” is a temple. This temple is famous for its bathing area and a dip in its waters is supposed to cleanse you spiritually. The words “Tirta Empul” stand for holy spring in Balinese language.

Here’s a shot of Tirta Empul Temple’s stunning door.

🍂 #tirtaempul

A post shared by megan landskron (@meganlandskron) on

This is inside the temple, where people bathe inside the water for ritual purification.

 

07 | Banyumala Twin Waterfalls

What’s better than a waterfall? Two waterfalls together. These waterfalls are in North Central part of Bali and getting there is definitely not easy. Many people say that these are the best waterfalls in Bali, but why don’t you see the pictures and decide for yourself?

Look how green everything around this waterfall is!

A post shared by Agusm Photography (@agusm123) on

How blue is that water!

A post shared by TEGREK (@tgk.1997) on

 

08 | Tanah lot temple

Yes, another temple on the list, but I promise it’s the last one. Visit this place a little before the sunset and find a nearby café that overlooks the temple for some stunning photos! Doesn’t the ocean backdrop look stunning?

🌅 #Bali

A post shared by Hειεɴ (@ellchintya) on

Low tide at #Tanahlot #Bali. Hello Guys !

A post shared by Agusm Photography (@agusm123) on

09 | Tibumana Waterfall

This waterfall is in Bangli area and not so far from the Bamboo forest in point 3. Getting here is not as difficult as Banyumala Waterfalls. The trail that leads to the waterfall is small and is a delight in itself. Everywhere around is jungle and you will hear the sounds of birds. The waterfall itself is small but it is the green area around that makes it very special.

A post shared by TEGREK (@tgk.1997) on

A post shared by Lukman Yogatama (@lulukman) on

10 | Ku-De-Ta Lounge and Around

Ku-De-Ta is one of the most famous bars in Bali. The view of the ocean from here is breathtaking, especially around the sunset time. There is a swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta, which looks very beautiful when the sky turns orange before it gets dark. Not just the bar, but even the beach right outside this place gave us many photo opportunities.
Here’s a picture of the bar and swimming pool inside Ku-De-Ta:

The below three pictures were shot right outside Ku-De-Ta. Look how beautiful this spot looks when sun goes down.

A post shared by Genta (@gnta) on

And this!

A post shared by Najii (@najii66) on

A post shared by Prasad Np (@desitraveler) on

Have you ever been to Bali? If so, I would love to know about your favorite photo spots, so please do let me know in the comments.

 

10 Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy
Beautiful Spots in Bali that are Instagram Worthy
Beautiful Spots in Bali

Disclaimer: I was invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to their beautiful country but as always, all thoughts in this article are mine.

11 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lisbon

11 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lisbon

Ola Lisbon, I am hopelessly in love with you! Can I be yours forever?

There are two kinds of people in this world – those who have never been to Lisbon and those who are in love with Lisbon. I belong to the latter group.

My love affair with Lisbon started in August 2016, when I spent a few days being swept off my feet in this charming city. I am not a big fan of metropolitans but Lisbon will always hold a special place in my heart, and that’s why Expedia.com asked me to share my favorite things about the city

If you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know about Lisbon, then let me introduce this place to you. Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. As per Condé Nast Traveler, Lisbon is the most underrated city in Europe because it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Anyway, here is why I fell in love with Lisbon, and you will too:

Here’s why you will fall in love with Lisbon, Portugal

01 | Everything is Beautiful, even the dustbins

View of old town Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal

Just a random corner in Lisbon with an amazing view – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Believe it or not, every spot in Lisbon is worth a picture. From metro stations to cobbled streets, everything is a delight to the eye. The city has a lot of history, which is evident in pretty much every corner here. Most of the buildings look very old, well kept and loved. Not just walls, but also ceilings are adorned with patterns of beautifully painted ceramic tiles called azulejos. Of course the city has many museums but in my opinion, the entire city of Lisbon is like one big museum in itself.

02 | Weather

Me enjoying Lisbon's warm weather - Falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Me enjoying Lisbon’s warm weather – Falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

No matter how beautiful a place is, but a visit when the weather is bad can limit your options. I have traveled to many places in Europe and there have been days when I couldn’t explore as much as I wanted because of too much rain. Lisbon is one of the very few destinations in Europe and the world where the weather is pleasant throughout the year. In fact, Visit Lisboa introduces this city as “where the sun shines 290 days a year”, which was an important factor for me to enjoy its beauty. After traveling around for a few months in Europe, I finally got a chance to comfortably wear flip-flops and shorts without a worry in Lisbon’s warm weather.

03 | Happiness is everywhere

Just some happy people in Lisbon - in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Just some happy people in Lisbon – in love with Lisbon, Portugal

There are many reasons why I love Lisbon but one of the first ones that hit me was how happy everyone around me was. It started at the airport where I met world’s most cheerful immigration officer who made us smile. As soon as we got out, a smiling local helped us with Metropolitano de Lisboa, the internal rail. Perhaps it’s the weather but Lisbon is where I met the happiest people in Europe, if not the world! Their smiles were contagious and I felt happier than I had felt in the last few months of traveling while I was here.

04 | Public Transport, especially Tram 28

Tram 28 in Lisbon, Portugal - falling in love with Lisbon

Tram 28 in Lisbon, Portugal – falling in love with Lisbon

It is very easy to get around in Lisbon because of its network of metro trains and trams. Yes, these metro trains and trams are beautiful but are very convenient too! My favorite is the iconic bright yellow Tram 28, which goes through Lisbon’s old towns of Alfama, Graça, and Baixa. You can use this tram as a cheap hop on, hop off alternative because it moves through the city’s famous and interesting sites. Even though this tram is usually very crowded with tourists, a ride on it is worth it.

05 | Pretty Streets and Street Art

One of the many pretty streets in Lisbon - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

One of the many pretty streets in Lisbon – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Of course, I have mentioned how beautiful Lisbon is in the first point, but I feel the streets deserve an extra mention. Even if you don’t go to the famous landmarks in Lisbon, walking down its pretty streets is sure to win your heart. For me, the most enjoyable part of being in Lisbon was exploring these streets that were lined with pretty buildings and roadside cafes with chairs on the pavements.

Lisbon Street Art - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Street Art – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

A lot of streets in Lisbon are hilly because of which you can see the view of many other streets that are further up ahead. Also, Lisbon’s streets have a cobbled floor, which gives the city a very weathered down and old look. If things couldn’t get better, there’s street art everywhere! Some of the artwork and murals were so big that they stretched to the entire lengths of buildings.

06 | Old Town Alfama

A beautiful street Old town Alfama in Lisbon - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

A beautiful street Old town Alfama in Lisbon – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

No travel article about Lisbon is complete without mentioning Lisbon’s oldest district, Alfama. With Tejo River on one side and São Jorge Castle on the other, Alfama is the icing on the cake of Lisbon’s beauty. You don’t really need a city guide for Lisbon or research about where to go, just visit Alfama. Here you will some of Lisbon’s most beautiful streets, museums and cathedrals. In earlier times, mostly the fishermen and Lisbon’s poorest families lived here, which is evident in the small houses here. Oh and also, Lisbon Cathedral, which is the city’s oldest church, is in Alfama.

07 | Many Viewpoints

View of Lisbon from Christo Rei - Falling in love with Lison, Portugal

View of Lisbon from Christo Rei – Falling in love with Lison, Portugal

Did you know that Lisbon is built on seven hills? The fact that Lisbon is a hilly city, adds another dimension to the beauty and charm of the city because these hills provide extraordinary viewpoints. I found many viewpoints here but my favorite one was on top of Cristo Rei, which overlooks Lisbon’s red-roofed houses, sea, and the famous Vasco de Gama Bridge. Another interesting viewpoint was from Castle of São Jorge, which overlooks the old town of Alfama.

08 | So much color!

Colors of Old Town Alfama - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Colors of Old Town Alfama – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal – photo by skitterphoto

I will be honest; Lisbon appeared to be mostly red and white at first glance because of the houses. However, as I explored the city further, it turned out to be one of the most vibrant European cities because of the brightly colored tiles, street art, and trams. Many houses and buildings are painted in pastel shades of yellow or blue and a few of them in pink. These pastel tones are soothing to the eye in Lisbon’s warm weather and accentuate the happy vibe of this city.

09 | Egg tarts or Pastel de nata

Pastel de nata or Egg tart in Lisbon - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

Pastel de nata or Egg tart in Lisbon – falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

“If you go to Lisbon, do eat the egg tarts”.

As soon as we announced our Lisbon trip on social media, not one, but at least 10 different people suggested we try the famous egg tarts here. I’m glad they did because these little mildly sweet pastries are heavenly! These tarts are sold literally everywhere for usually €1 or €2 and are perfect for a light breakfast with coffee.

Little did I know that these egg tarts that are locally called Pastel de nata, have a little history of their own! Catholic Monks created them before the 18th century using the leftover egg yolks. While a lot of monasteries closed down after the Liberal Revolution in 1820, the monks for a little income sold these. A few years later, the secret recipe was sold to a sugar refinery, that in turn opened the famous Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém which still exists in Lisbon today.

10 | Amazing Nightlife

If things couldn’t get better, Lisbon has an amazing nightlife. During my visit here, I visited Bairro Alto district, where there was a nightclub after every few steps. It’s amazing meeting locals as well as other travelers in these clubs where there is a party every day. I may not have a picture of this, but it was enough to make me fall in love with Lisbon even more.

11 | Affordable

Traveling in Europe is expensive but Lisbon is an exception. In my experience, the accommodation was the most affordable in Europe, which is a big deal because that’s a huge chunk of traveling cost. We found a few bakeries and cafes where snacks were as low as 1 or 2 Euros.

This kebab burger was only for a euro and a half - Lisbon, Portugal

This kebab burger was only for a euro and a half – Lisbon, Portugal

This little burger styled chicken kebab sandwich was for 1.5 Euro. Moreover, we often found shops that were owned by Indian, Nepalese and Chinese families that were selling everyday things for as cheap as 1 Euro. I bought a pair of flip-flops, headlight and hand fan in one of these one Euro shops.

 

Colorful Alfama in Lisbon - Falling in Love with Lisbon, Portugal
One of the many viewpoints in Lisbon - in love with Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon's legendary yellow tram - tram 28 - falling in love with Lisbon, Portugal

History, culture, food, art, beaches and nightlife – Lisbon has it all. The city has so much beauty, love, and happiness that I just did not want to leave.

Want to know more?

I will also share a guide with things to do in Lisbon, which will come in handy if you’re visiting my favorite European destination anytime soon.

So, are you ready to fall in love with Lisbon?

17 Psytrance Festivals You Should Attend in 2017

17 Psytrance Festivals You Should Attend in 2017

PsyTrance Festivals 2017 – a list of all the music festivals that we want to attend this year. 

Full power, 24 hours, no shower?

Well, sometimes we shower but we’re usually full power.

The year 2016 was our craziest year because we traveled around the world and attended many PsyTrance festivals. A lot of things happened during our summer that was full of music festivals that made us realize which festivals we should skip and which ones we should definitely attend again. Some of the smallest festivals (like Dance of Shiva in Manali) surprised us with their awesomeness while some really big festivals disappointed us.

Based on our experience, we have shortlisted a few festivals that we definitely want to attend this year. The idea is to start the year with a bang and relax a little to get ready for a very wild and full power summer. After this we want to relax and rebuild our energy for our favorite New Year celebration.

So here’s a list of 17 Psytrance Festivals that we want to attend in 2017:

January

01 | Atman Festival

Location: Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Schedule: 28 January – 2 February 2017

Website

Atman Festival - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Atman Festival – Psytrance Festivals 2017

If you think PsyTrance is too much, then Dark Trance will kill you. Or you may just fall in love with it. San and I love taking things up a notch and absolutely love high BPM forest and dark music. This is exactly the reason why we have decided to start our year on an active tandava mode in Sri Lanka because Atman is going to be one hell of a party! A year back, we met Pooriya Nik who made us watch the video of this festival and we decided to do everything we can to be a part of it. The main stage had a massive demon like décor that matched the dark vibes of the music. We can’t wait to fly to Sri Lanka and head to the beautiful Arugam Bay to stomp to the music of some of our favorite artists like Arjuna, Zik, Kindzadza, Giuseppe, Orestis, and more!

February

02 | Hilltop Festival

Location: Vagator, Goa, India

Schedule: 10 – 13 February 2017

Website

Hilltop Goa by Katrina Luka - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Hilltop Goa by Katrina Luka – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Did you know that Goa is the birthplace of psychedelic trance music? A few decades back, the hippies arrived here and fell in love with this glorious land. Many of them did not leave Goa and started calling it home. This is when the era of trance parties with super psychedelic UV décor started and spread all over the world. No matter how many festivals I attend all over the world, nothing compares to the magic of a good old PsyTrance party in Goa.

With its UV painted palm tree trunks and old school rainbow décor, Hilltop in Vagator is one of my favorite party venues in Goa. It is a big party venue and is well maintained with really clean toilets. Many local women set up chai stalls inside this venue and sell affordable snacks. This year, artists like Hilight Tribe, Govinda, Burn In Noise will be playing here. Moreover, Goa is one of my favorite places in the world and you can read my travel articles here before visiting.

03 | Envision Festival

Location: Rancho La Merced, Uvita, Costa Rica

Schedule: 23 – 26 February 2017

Website

Envision Festival - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Envision Festival – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Imagine dancing in the middle of Costa Rica’s rainforest and then heading for a dip inside the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Sounds good? That’s Envision festival! Just like a lot of festivals in this list, Envision is also a “leave no trace” event where every step is taken to ensure that the venue is in in as good if not better condition as before the party. The organizers go to great lengths to ensure that it’s a family friendly event and also provide a silent campground that’s away from the music.

February & March

04 | Tribal Gathering

Location: Near Cuango, Panama

Schedule: 24 February – 13 March 2017

Website

Tribal Gathering 2017 - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Tribal Gathering 2017 – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Tribal Gathering is a yearly ritual around the full moon in February, where indigenous communities, and global psychedelic tribes come together to meet and celebrate life. This festival is different because it is an 18-day event on a beautiful Caribbean beach in Panama. Throughout this event, there are hundreds of workshops that are organized about community management, sustainability, environment, permaculture, health, philosophies, tantric sex and alternative financial systems. Moreover, during the first few days of the festival, the attendees can attend various ceremonies with shamans from multiple indigenous tribes.

March & April

05 | Shakti Peak

Location: Secret Location, Nepal

Schedule: 31 March – 3 April 2017

Website

Shakti Peak Festival, Nepal - psytrance Festivals 2017

Shakti Peak Festival, Nepal – psytrance Festivals 2017

Shakti Peak is a festival where some of our favorite artists will be playing music in the middle of Nepal’s mountains. We love small festivals because where the entire festival feels like a family. The line up for this festival is amazing which promises to bring an amazing psychedelic experience to all the attendees.

April & May

06 | Hai in den Mai

Location: Stemwed-Wehdem, Germany

Schedule: 28 April – 01 May 2017

Website

Hai in den Mai Festival, Germany - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Hai in den Mai Festival, Germany – Psytrance Festivals 2017

San has attended Hai in den Mai twice and he only has good things to say about this small festival. This festival is organized by Wald Frieden Events, which means “Forest Peace”. This festival officially marks the beginning of festival season in Europe. I have attended Wonderland festival by them on the same venue, which was a magical experience. The location is in the middle of the forest with slanted mini dance floors around the main floor. There is a little pond and a hill next to it, from where you can get a good view. If you’re lucky, you can spot a few cherry blossom trees around.

May

07 | Re:birth Festival

Location: Nokogiri-yama, Japan

Schedule: 12 – 14 May 2017

Website

Re:birth Festival, Japan - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Re:birth Festival, Japan – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Japan is a very small country but we were surprised to see a very high percentage of psychedelic festivalgoers are Japanese. Some of our closest festival buddies are from Japan and trust me – they are super psychedelic and really know how to party! After meeting them and learning about their beautiful culture, we have decided to visit Japan one day. We want to travel and explore Japan and experience a Japanese music festival. For this purpose, Re:birth seems to be the perfect choice. After the 2011 Japanese earthquake, the party scene in Japan experienced its all time low and in 2013 Re:birth festival started with a purpose of reigniting the Japanese party scene. Oh and it is more than a PsyTrance festival because it features techno and live bands.

June

08 | Tree of Life Festival

Location: Asprovalta, Greece

Schedule: 23 -27 June, 2017

Website

Tree of Life Festival, Greece - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Tree of Life Festival, Greece – Psytrance Festivals 2017

The original location of Tree of Life festival is Turkey, but for 2017 is Greece. Actually, we were looking forward to this festival last year as well but we did not find any schedule online. I wrote to the festival team and I got to know that the schedule was not published because the festival was not happening in 2016. I’m not sure of the reason, but could be because of disturbances in Turkey. Turkey is an amazing country and we would have loved to attend a festival there. If you remember, I traveled solo to Turkey last year and was stranded in Istanbul during the attempted military coup back in July 2016. So maybe it’s a good thing that the festival didn’t happen last year. Anyway, we’re very happy to know that Tree of Life festival is back and will be in Greece. We support this festival 100% and would love to be a part of it because we have always heard amazing things about it.

June & July

09 | Dakini Festival

Location: Tuzla Beach, Constanta, Romania

Schedule: 29 June – 2 July 2017

Website

Dakini Festival, Romania - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Dakini Festival, Romania – Psytrance Festivals 2017

We’re really excited to attend Dakini Festival. Wanna know why? Well, it is the first inaugural edition, which means it is going to be very special experience. It’s like watching a baby being born and feeling connected to it in an extraordinary way. Secondly, the line up is very interesting with psychedelic trance artists like Astrix and Avalon, this is going to be a hell of an old school PsyTrance party. Secondly, the location is mind-blowing! Have you heard of Tuzla beach? Chances are that you haven’t because it is apparently a “secret beach” that not many have heard of and yes that’s the festival location. Moreover, the cost of traveling and eating in Romania is much lower than many other countries so it is suited for most of the festival nomads. While you’re there, you should definitely travel around the country because it has a lot of forests and mountains. It is one of the least visited countries in Europe. If you’re in Europe during this festival season, I urge you to travel to Romania and be a part of Dakini Festival’s inaugural edition.

10 | Master of Puppets

Location: Near Brno, Czech Rep

Schedule: 26 June – 02 July 2017

Website

Master of Puppets festival, Czech Republic - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Master of Puppets festival, Czech Republic – Psytrance Festivals 2017

With a focus on Hi-Tech, Dark and Forest PsyTrance, Master of Puppets in Czech definitely is a festival to watch out for. Obviously things can get a little hard with more than 190 BPMs of music, so they have an amazing chill stage as well with soothing music. This is a fairly new festival and the 2017 edition is going to be the third one with a ticket sale limit of 1500. They also offer 20 free tickets each for people Greece, Portugal and Japan – out of which the only ones remaining are the Japanese ones. Yes, we’re sure you would have heard that Czech party scene is phenomenal and so have we. We want to experience it in the best way possible and Master of Puppets festival is calling out to us.

July

11 | Freqs of Nature

Location: Niedergörsdorf (Near Berlin), Germany

Schedule: 5 – 11 July 2017

Website

Freqs of Nature, Germany - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Freqs of Nature, Germany – Psytrance Festivals 2017

I did not end up attending Freqs of Naute festival last year because I was in Turkey but San did. He fell in love with this festival’s trippy high tech décor and said he spent hours looking at giant machine like alien artwork installations that displayed extraordinary mechanical engineering work. This festival has different stages ranging from progressive to very crazy hi tech. Believe it or not, but things get trippier than this because the festival location is an old military airport that was functional till 1945. This is also a fairly new festival compared to the likes of Boom, Ozora and Wonderland – it started in 2012 and has already built a good name for itself because of excellent management.

 

12 | काली मेला Kali Mela

Location: Near Barcelona, Spain

Schedule: 13 – 19 July 2017

Website

Kali Mela Festival, Spain - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Kali Mela Festival, Spain – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Kali is the name of a fierce Hindu goddess who is associated with strength, empowerment and dark side of spirituality. True to its name, the lineup is dark and powerful. To be honest, I had no idea about this festival last year because the festival organizers do everything they can to keep it low key but it is very high on my list now. If you see the line up, it has some of the best dark PsyTrance artists that are set out to perform to ensure a truly wild psychedelic party. It has the biggest line up for Parvati records, which is our favorite record label. In fact, they have the biggest forest and groovy lineup that we have seen for 2017! Don’t believe it? Check the event page! Moreover, the organizers are taking every step possible to ensure an amazing camping experience for everyone and have put together a professional team to take care of it. We will be visiting this festival for sure this summer. We urge you to join us here because this year it’s going to be fantastic!

 

13 | MoDem Festival

Location: Near Primislje, Croatia

Schedule: 24 – 30 July 2017

Website

MoDem Festival Main Stage - Psytrance Festivals 2017

MoDem Festival Main Stage – Psytrance Festivals 2017

MoDem, a.k.a Memento Demento Festival was the best festival that we attended in 2016. This has got to be the most beautiful festival location that I have ever seen and is around river Mreznica. This river has very clear water and we could see the bottom of it. A dip in this river was very refreshing because the water is very cold. The alternative dance floor was right next to this river. A little walk away from the alternative floor were a few small springs and waterfalls. A little further we even found a cave. Everything around the river is very green and fresh.

MoDem Festival's Killer Location - Psytrance Festivals 2017

MoDem Festival’s Killer Location – Psytrance Festivals 2017

MoDem’s main floor is on top of a hill with higher hills around. The geography is such that it causes a swooshing effect with the music. The décor was very “hi-tech” and definitely the best that we have ever seen in our life. The lineup was excellent and kept us on the dance floor for hours. Overall, it was a very well organized festival with everything a person could need, such as currency exchange, charging stations, clean bio toilets amongst other things. We don’t want to miss this festival and we recommend even you shouldn’t.

 

August

14 | Oregon Eclipse

Location: Antelope, Oregon, USA

Schedule: 17 – 23 August 2017

Website

Oregon Eclipse Photo by Adam Taylor - PsyTrance Festivals 2017

Oregon Eclipse Photo by Adam Taylor – PsyTrance Festivals 2017

Oregon Eclipse festival is the one that a lot of festival nomads are talking about this year and it is for a good reason. Strictly speaking, this is not a psytrance music festival but is a psychedelic music festival. This is a 6-day total solar eclipse gathering, which is definitely going to be a crazy party. Obviously solar glasses will be provided to all the attendees at the event for their safety. We don’t like big festivals but this is one of the very few ones that we’re eyeing this year that will have between 20k – 40k attendees.

 

September & October

15 | Connection Festival

Location: Sevilla, Spain

Schedule: 26 September – 2 October, 2017

Website

CONNECTION FESTIVAL 2016 Photographer - Rodolpho Morais - Psytrance Festivals 2017

CONNECTION FESTIVAL 2016 Photographer – Rodolpho Morais – Psytrance Festivals 2017

After a summer full of dark and hi-tech music, we want to relax in Connection festival’s easy old school psychedelic music show. Some of the most famous psychedelic artists like Transwave, Astral Projection and Shidapu, will be performing here. Yes, this is also one of the smaller festivals with only 1500 tickets. The location is Sierra Norte Park that has strange rock formations and a small river called Hueznar. This festival officially marks the end of summer festival season in Europe and should not be missed.

October

16 | Samsara Himalaya Edition

Location: Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India

Schedule: 22 – 31 October, 2017

Website

Samsara Himalaya Edition - Psytrance Festivals 2017

Samsara Himalaya Edition – Psytrance Festivals 2017

Samsara is a psyambient music festival which is organizing a Himalayan edition in India in October in collaboration with AryaMarga Yoga. Festival attendees can expect sound and vision healing through music and art. Many experienced Yoga, Qigong and Tai chi teachers will conduct several workshops here. If you have visited the Himalayas in India, you would have definitely felt the magic and the spirituality in the air. For a festival like Samsara that focuses on healing music, a location like this makes perfect sense.

 

December & January

17 | The Experience Festival

Location: Koh Tao, Thailand

Schedule: 30 December 2017 – 2 January 2018

Website

The Experience Festival, Koh Tao - Photo by VJ Baba - Psytrance Festivals 2017

The Experience Festival, Koh Tao – Photo by VJ Baba – Psytrance Festivals 2017

The Experience Festival is the best way to celebrate the New Year because it’s an epic 4 day celebration. What I love about this festival is that the music changes depending on the time of the day (or night). You can expect progressive and full on during the day and darker psychedelic beats at night. The best time is when the sun rises because the view is spectacular.

So much positive energy at the Experience Festival by Digital Thangka - Psytrance Festivals 2017

So much positive energy at the Experience Festival by Digital Thangka – Psytrance Festivals 2017

After traveling from festival to festival for a few months in Europe I realized how convenient and special the Experience festival is. The location is Koh Tao, which is a beautiful island with many beaches. In many festivals we had no choice but cook our own food to save money. In order to do so, we had to get on to an expensive shuttle to go to a supermarket to buy groceries. On the other hand, things are really cheap in Koh Tao so naturally spending things like food, grocery, scooter and the basic necessities was stress-free. Moreover, this is a small festival with not more than three thousand people and a close knit family vibe. The décor is super psychedelic and is sure to turn any dark trip into a positive one. The toilets and showers are very clean and airy. Thankfully, they are not the portable dixie toilets that I hate but they are the fixed ones and regularly get cleaned. Maybe someone casted a magical spell on this island because the vibes are really amazing here. This is where I met San a few years back and we fell in love. We have attended this festival thrice and can’t wait to go back.

Special mention – our favorite festival Solar United Natives, a.k.a., S.U.N. Festival may not be happening this year but we want to encourage all festivalgoers to donate some money to keep it alive by donating. Even a small contribution can make a difference.

So which PsyTrance festivals are you attending this year? Let us know in the comments – who knows, maybe we’ll end up meeting!

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her partner in crime (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Goa Flea Markets – 7 Colorful Bazaars That You Shouldn’t Miss

Goa Flea Markets – 7 Colorful Bazaars That You Shouldn’t Miss

This guide is about Goa Flea Markets. To read more travel articles about Goa, visit this page.

Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, Goa flea markets are sure to win your heart. With their vivid colors, spicy aromas, interesting sights, and funny sounds, visiting them is an experience in itself! Some of these markets started years back and have an interesting history of how they came into existence. Many of them start only during the high season, which is November to March, while some are open throughout the year.

As many of you know, I love Goa and am now living here since the last few months. While I am volunteering in Goa, I am visiting some of these markets every week and still I’m not bored of them. Whether you’re visiting Goa for a few days or are living here, a visit to these markets is a must. So, here’s a list of Goa Flea Markets that you should visit while you’re here:

Flea Markets in Goa:

01 | Anjuna Flea Market

Goa Flea Markets - International artisans at Anjuna Flea Market

Goa Flea Markets – International artisans at Anjuna Flea Market

Back in the 1960s and 70s, when the hippies first arrived in Goa, they chose Anjuna as their home. Many of them sold the last of their material possessions from their home countries here to make money. The 70s are over but this market still remains. Every Wednesday, many artisans from not just all over India, but also from all over the world set up stalls here. Anjuna Flea market stretches from the beach shacks area of Anjuna to the other side of main road where there are paddy fields. Here you can check out a massive collection of clothes, jewelry, bed sheets, wall hangings, hammocks, etc. The best time to visit is from 5 pm onwards when the sun is not very strong and some bars and shacks play live music.

Anjuna Flea Market Timings:

This market starts at 9 am and ends at sunset time, i.e., 6 pm on every Wednesday. This market exists only during the main season – November to March.

You may also like: A Detailed Guide to the Beaches of North Goa

02 | Saturday Night Market, Arpora

Considering Goa’s tropical temperature, a night market obviously makes more sense. As the name suggests, this market is set up only on Saturday night during Goa’s main season (November to February). This market is a little “high end” if you compare it to Anjuna flea market. With live music, international food stalls, fire dancers and colorful stops, a trip to Saturday night market is an experience to remember. This market usually goes on till 2 am, after which it continues like an open party while the shop owners pack up their stuff and gradually leave. From Christmas to New Year, which is Goa’s peak season, it is recommended that you arrive here early to avoid the crowds. Alternatively, reach by midnight and stay till 1 or 2 am. While here, eat some food, drink a few beers and watch a few live performances to make the most of it.

Saturday Night Market Timings:

This market starts on every Saturday during the main season at 6 pm and ends at 2 am. Again, the main season is from November to March.

 

03 | Mackie’s Night Bazaar, Baga River

Goa Flea Markets - My sister Priyanka Bajad at Mackies Saturday Night Market

Goa Flea Markets – My sister Priyanka Bajad at Mackies Saturday Night Market

Mackie’s Night Bazaar is not to be confused with Arpora Night Market, which is also on Saturdays. Although Arpora’s night market is the more famous one, Mackie’s is the original night market of this area and is closer to the river Baga. This market features many food stalls, live bands and shops. This market ends starts at 6 pm on Saturday nights during the high season and ends at 1 in the morning.

Mackie’s Night Bazaar Timings:

This market starts at 6 pm on Saturdays and ends at 1 am. Mackie’s Night market only exists during the main season, which is from November to March.

You may also like: Goa Travel Tips – 12 Things you need to know before visiting

04 | Arambol Street Market

Arambol's Shopping Street - North Goa

Arambol’s Shopping Street – North Goa

Unlike most of the listings here, this market exists everyday. This market starts a little before Arambol Beach main parking and extends for more than 3 kilometers till the end of Arambol. Arambol is near the North most tip of Goa and has developed into a little hippie village over the decades. The prices here are a bit lower as compared to Anjuna flea market and Saturday night market. This market is as colorful as Anjuna flea market and has a range of things such as spices, hand made soaps, glass pipes, hammocks, bags, clothes, tea, jewelry, bongs and chillums, etc. A lot of people that set up shops in India’s Parvati valley area in the summers set up shops here during the winters, which is Goa’s high season.

Arambol Street Market Timings:

Arambol Street Market is open everyday from 10 am to 9 pm.

05 | Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Out of all the flea markets in Goa, Arambol drum circle market is my favorite because it is on the beach. This market starts a few hours before before the sunset where travelers from all over the world sell their hand made creations. More than just a market, it is a party on the beach where people bring their drums, handpans, Didgeridoo (didjeridu) and meet here everyday to make music as the sun sets. It is common to see performers at this time with their juggling balls, hula hoops, poi and many other props. With things like handmade clothes, food, jewelry, glass pipes – this market looks like it is right out of a music festival.

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market Timings:

Arambol Drum Circle flea market starts everyday a little before the sunset. Like many other markets in this list, this market also exists only during high season.

BONUS: Watch this fun video about Arambol Drum Circle

06 | Chapora Fish Market

Goa Flea Markets - Chapora Jetty

Goa Flea Markets – Chapora Jetty

What better place to buy fish than a fishing village? Chapora fishing village near Chapora River is an affordable answer for your seafood craving. Although you can buy fish here pretty much throughout the day, but the best time to visit this market is from 4 am to 6 am. This is the time when many fishermen return from their quest and their wives sell freshly caught fish. You can find things like tiger prawns, king prawns, lobsters, mussels, crabs, kingfish and Pomfrets at a very good price.

Chapora Fish Market Timings:

Chapora Fish Market starts everyday in the morning from 4 am to 6 am and then again in the evening from 4 pm to 6 pm. This market is closed during the rainy season.

You may also like: Hampi Travel Guide

07 | Mapusa Friday Market

If you’re looking to buy local Goan produce and goods, Mapusa Friday Market is the place for you. Just like Chapora fish market, Mapusa market is also a place that locals love to visit. In fact, the main Mapusa market is open everyday, but the special flea market opens on Friday morning. You can find everyday things that you need to run your house as well as a lot of food. This market is famous for things like Goan sausages, organic food, spices, cashews, earthen pots, meat and even clothes. This is a day market and closes as the sun goes down.

Mapusa Friday Market Timings:

Mapusa Friday Market opens early morning on Fridays and ends at around 6 pm.

Have you visited these flea markets of Goa already and have a few tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Goa Travel Tips: 12 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

Goa Travel Tips: 12 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

Travel Tips to get the most out of your Goa visit

I’m sure by know you know that I absolutely LOVE Goa. I love it so much that I spent many hours a few days back in my attempt to create the most detailed guide on the internet to North Goa! Here are some essential Goa travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit to this glorious destination.

In the past few years, I have seen many Goa travel tips on different websites that say things like “carry a sunscreen” or “carry comfortable flat sandals or flip flops”. Yes, these tips are correct but don’t you think they are pretty darn obvious?  Of course if you’re visiting a beach destination, you’re going to have to carry sunscreen and flip flips. Anyway, I want to help the first time Goa visitors and have decided to share a little more insight about things you need to keep in mind before visiting Goa.

Here are Goa travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit to my favorites destination:

01 | When Not to Visit Goa

Goa doesn’t just have high and low seasons, but it also has a peak and moderate seasons. Here are some more details:

Mid January to February High Season Good to visit but rooms are expensive because of high demand
March to May Moderate Season Good time to visit. Shacks and beach bars begin shutting down for the season. Look out for season closing parties.
May to August Low Season Most of the shacks, beach bars are shut but it’s a good time to enjoy Goa’s rainy season
September to October Moderate Season Good time to visit. Shacks and beach bars begin opening up for the season. Look out for season opening parties.
November to Mid December High Season Good to visit but rooms are expensive because of high demand
Mid December to Mid January Peak Season Do not visit around this time. Room rates skyrocket. Lots of traffic jams and Goa loses its amazing vibe.

 

Low season is from May to mid-September, High is from November to the middle of December and the peak is from the middle of December to middle of January. Avoid visiting Goa during the peak season because you will waste a lot of time in traffic jams. If you must visit during this time, try to find the most secluded beaches. Chances are, even those beaches will not be secluded during the peak season.

02 | Where Not to Stay in Goa

I have mentioned this before and I want to mention this again – Goa offers way more than Calangute – Baga – Candolim or Anjuna beaches. Trust me, these above mentioned beaches are definitely some of the most crowded ones and no longer have a “Goa vibe”. For more details about where to stay, check out THIS post.

03 | You DON’T need to book a place to stay in advance, unless…

Unless you’re visiting very late at night and don’t have time to hunt for a bed, or you’re visiting at peak season, which is December 20 to January 5, I’d recommend you not to pre book your place. Most of the travel websites will brainwash you into booking a room, because they sell rooms on their websites or on a commission basis. If you book in advance, you miss out on places that don’t advertise on the internet but only through word of mouth.

04 | Save money from Goa Airport to your hostel / hotel

If you’re visiting Goa, most likely you’re going to arrive here by a flight. Unlike most of the India, tuk tuks are not so easily available in Goa. The cost of traveling in Goa is usually low except the taxis are expensive and unfortunately that’s the only mode of communication you will find at the airports. However, there is a way you can save money on your taxi fare. At the prepaid taxi counter queue just at the exit gate of the airport, just ask around and try to find fellow travelers that are heading to your direction. Most likely, you will easily find people to share a taxi with for your destination. This has always worked with me!

05 | Reaching Airport by bus

It is possible to get to the airport by bus. From North Goa (let’s say Morjim), take a tuk tuk (or taxi) to Silom or Mapusa bus stand and from there catch an express bus to Panjim (Panaji). From Panjim, you need to catch a bus to Vasco and it will drop you 2 KMs away from the airport. Make sure you let the bus driver know that you have to reach the airport because there’s no proper bus stop where they will drop you. Do this only if you’re ready to walk with your luggage. Keep in mind that the last bus from Panjim to Vasco departs at 7 and queue behind the ticket counter is usually massive, so take out extra 30 minutes or more for this. Similarly, if you’re in South Goa (let’s say Agonda), you need to take a tuk tuk to the nearest bus stand and then take a bus to Margao Bus Terminal. From Margao, board a bus (or Kadamba shuttle) to Vasco. Try finding a bus that goes from Maragao to Vasco via Majorda. Again, make sure you inform your driver that you need to get to the airport so that he can drop you to the nearest point.

Do this only if you have a lot of time before your flight. It took us 4 hours to travel from Vagator to the airport by bus.

06| Best way to Explore Goa

Goan Roads by Drifter Planet

The best way to explore Goa is by renting a scooter

If you like walking, you will only be able to explore your beach area and around. If you want to explore further, I’d recommend you rent a scooter. Exploring Goa on a rented scooter is the best and the most affordable option. These scooters are usually available for INR 200 – 300 per day. Please make sure you carry your driver’s license because there are many check points. It is possible to rent cars too but many spots can only be accessed by scooters or on foot.

07 | Where Not to Swim in Goa

In Goa, certain areas are marked by red flags which means it’s dangerous to swim there. The sea will appear to be calm but the undercurrents are powerful and dangerous. If you go inside, you will be transported to the open sea much faster than you can swim. These are the situations when people drown because they try to fight to current in their panic. Most likely, you will see a lot of people in the water already but please follow the rules and don’t be an idiot. Oh and on a side note, don’t swim in the stretch of ocean in front of Curlees and Shiva Valley of Anjuna because I have personally seen people puking in that water after Anjuna’s crazy parties.

08 | A tip about Goan Food

Goan Food - Crab Curry

Delicious Goan Food

You love Indian food? You’re going to LOVE Goan food. However, keep in mind that the Goan curries are spicier than most of the Indian curries. If you can’t handle spice, make sure you inform your restaurant staff to go easy on the chilies. I love spicy Goan food but San can’t handle the chili overdose.

09 | How not to get ripped off

Shopping in Goa is fun because of the variety of things that you can buy. Lamps, incense sticks, swim suits, clothes, jewelry, tea, spices, fruits – almost everything that you will possibly need will be available on the streets. While grocery stores have fixed prices, street shop vendors will hike the price up when they see that you’re not a local. To avoid getting ripped off, you need to learn how to haggle like a pro. As a rule of thumb, cut the quoted price in half and then negotiate your way to a middle figure. Do not forget to smile when you do this. If you find something unique at a high price, most likely its handmade and maybe it’s worth the price, so just buy it.

10 | Find the best parties

A PsyTrance party in Goa, psychedelic trance Goa

A PsyTrance party in Goa

Ok, so you have heard that Goa is the birthplace of psychedelic trance and you want to experience a typical old school Goa trance party. But how to find the best PsyTrance parties? Well, stay in Anjuna / Vagator area and just follow the music. There is usually a party every night. Ask around and you will find out. When you reach the party and if you every get hungry, you will definitely find affordable snacks right outside the parties. Outside every party are rows of Ammas (older mother-like women) with stoves selling cheese omelet buns, burgers, cigarette, water and tea. These Ammas usually know where is the next party so just ask them.

11 | Be Safe

While Goa is safer than most of India and perhaps many parts of the world, it doesn’t hurt to take typical safety precautions. Trust your instincts and don’t accept drinks from strangers. When in doubt, head to the nearest shop and contact a local to seek help.

12 | Respect the culture, nature and Goa way of life

Yes, Goa is perhaps the most open minded destination of India and the locals are liberal. But please don’t treat their home as your “nonstop party on the road” destination. I don’t know why I’m even typing this but I feel it’s my responsibility to inform you that you should cover yourself a little more than what you do at the beach if you end up visiting any of the churches. Please don’t leave your trash on the beach. If you find any, just pick it up and put it in the nearest dustbin. Oh and don’t forget that most of the shacks (beach bar and restaurants) are run by families and you should not expect a five-star service. Appreciate what you get and don’t forget to smile.

Enjoyed these Goa travel tips? Why not share with a friend! If you live in Goa or have visited it a few times, why don’t you add your own tip in the comments?

 

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Goa Travel Tips - things you need to know before visiting

Goa Travel Tips – things you need to know before visiting

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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