|Culture and Arts||Goa was first colonised by the Portuguese before India wrested it back in 1961 in a two-day war. As such, Catholic churches mingle with mosques and Hindu temples in this smallest, yet richest Indian state on the south west coast.
Goa has more than its fair share of museums, art galleries and libraries. You will find many government run museums in Panaji, including the Goa State museum, the Kala Academy, the Central Library and the Goa Science Centre. In Vasco da Gama, you can find the Naval Aviation Museum, a great place to see vintage aircraft.
Old Goa is a great place to see examples of Christian religious art, and sometimes, secular art.
|Customs & Regulations||It is illegal to bring agricultural products, or weapons and ammunition into Goa.|
|Electricity||2 prong plugs. It’s also worth noting for India there are three associated plug types, types C, D and M. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type M is the plug which also has three round pins. India operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.|
|Environment & Environmental Hazards||The tap water is not safe to drink, always stick to bottled water. With what in mind, always check if your salad has been washed in tap water. Keep diarrhea medicine (just in case) and mosquito repellent.|
|Ethnic groups||Ethnic Goans are predominantly Hindus followed by a large Catholic minority and a small Muslim community|
|Etiquette||Tipping at least 10% in a restaurant is recommended but not obligatory.|
|Health insurance||Foreign travellers are strongly advised to arrange health/travel insurance before travelling.|
|History||The history of Goa dates back to prehistoric times, though the present-day state of Goa was only established as recently as 1987. The Portuguese invaded Goa in 1510, persecuted Hindus, Muslims, and other religious minorities. The Portuguese rule lasted for about 450 years, and heavily influenced Goan culture, cuisine, and architecture.
In 1961, the Indian Army invaded and annexed Goa after a 36 hour battle. The region was incorporated as a union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. In 1987, Goa was granted statehood. Goa has one of the highest GDP per capita and Human Development Index among Indian states.
|Holidays (Public & National)||
|Insurance||If you wish to rent a car, consider insurance locally from the rental company unless you are certain that your existing policy will cover you.|
|Media||A wide variety of local channels in native language with international stations|
|Medical checklist||Suggested vaccinations include: Hepatitis A and Typhoid Vaccination. Make sure that you are up-to-date with your routine vaccinations including Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Most travellers will need a course or booster of|
|Official language||Konkani followed by English|
|Photography||There are no cultural taboos against photography although it’s always nice to ask people’s permission first if photographing them. There are no restrictions on the beaches and churches.|
|Post and couriers||We suggest traWellers use international couriers (DHL, FedEx or UPS) for their important parcels.|
|Religions||Hinduism & Christianity accounts for 95%. Goa is famous for its religious harmony and one can see a harmonious blend of all major religions of India in Goa.|
|Best times to visits||October to February if you want a cooler holiday and no monsoons in sight
March to September is peak tourist/backpacker season and also monsoon season lashing the plains bringing amazing lush greenery and swelling rivers.
|Smoking||As of publication, smoking is banned in restaurants and most public spaces/beaches.|
|Taxes||Value-Added Tax is 5%.|
|Telephone Calling code||+01382.|
|Time zones||India Standard Time (GMT + 5:30)|
|Tourist information||Goa Tourism (www.goa-tourism.com) Goa’s state tourism body.|
|Travellers with disabilities||Not all tourist attractions are disability-friendly, but locals will be quick to help you if asked.|
|Visa||Please check visa checker.|
|Women travellers||It is considered safe to travel solo with or without a local guide. Normal advice applies: do not allow yourself to become distracted.|