Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (2023)

It may seem like an unlikely combination, but our specialists recommend combining Mumbai and Goa for an Indian trip of contrasts. After exploring the lively financial hub of Mumbai, you can breathe in the salty sea air and welcome Goa’s slower pace of life.

In-between Mumbai’s frantic traffic, street-stalls and sugarcane juice vendors, you can discover the enterprising Dharavi slum, or the dabbawalas’ lunchbox service. Our specialist Nick proposes spending time amid Mumbai’s chaotic streets so you can unearth the city’s different aspects, such as waking up before dawn to glimpse Mumbai behind the scenes or setting sail to Elephanta Island.

Nearby is the mellow beach filled state of Goa. By contrast, residents here enjoy a daily siesta. As our specialist Louisa explains, in Goa you can relax, indulge in fresh seafood, or explore the vestiges of a former Portuguese town.

Why visit Mumbai?

Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (1)

By India specialist Nick

Mumbai paints vivid juxtapositions — on the doorstep of India’s most expensive house is the city’s largest slum. A worker pushes a handcart down a road fringed with skyscrapers and grand hotels. Everything, and everyone is crammed right on top of each other.

Mumbaikar’s are proud of their cosmopolitan city. Wherever you stray, I find that people will try to speak to you, normally starting with ‘What is your good name?’ and ‘Where are you from?’.

I never quite know what to expect in Mumbai. However, every time, I can be sure I’ll be greeted with chaos, a sea breeze and a cup of chai.

What can you do in Mumbai?

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

I always recommend people to visit the CST, even if you’re not catching a train, as it’s such an integral part of life in the city. I find it fascinating to think many people begin their journey in Mumbai here. Once called Victoria Terminus (VT), it showcases British influence with its amalgamation of Victorian gothic and Indian architecture.

Hordes of commuters hastily pass through the CST each day, bumping into bleary-eyed passengers from the sleeper trains — some of them setting foot in ‘the City of Dreams’ for the first time.


One of the most visited places in Mumbai, the southern peninsula comprises a jumble of decade-old cafés, contemporary restaurants and cheap hotels.

(Video) Mumbai India Travel Guide 2023 4K

Colaba Causeway nicknamed fashion street, runs through the heart of the district. It’s notorious for selling imitation clothing of well-known brands. As you walk along the street you can practice your bartering skills with the persuasive shop owners.

Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (2)

The Gateway of India

Historically, the Gateway of India was the first taste of Mumbai for those arriving by boat. The grand symbolic entrance is set on the waterfront opposite the Taj Mahal Palace. From the Taj, you can escape the pandemonium below while enjoying century-old hospitality. Visit for afternoon tea and fresh chai is served to you at a table laden with scones, tarts and pakoras (crispy battered vegetables).

From the gateway, hop on a boat across to Elephanta Island, a place fueled by mystery — the purpose of its elephant carvings and temples are long forgotten.

Dhobi Ghats

Images of dhobis (washer men) stood knee-deep in murky water, individually rinsing each item of clothing are synonymous with Mumbai. Despite technological advances, Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat’s concrete troughs are filled with suds each day, and you can watch as the workers manually tackle the city’s laundry.

Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach

Every time I return to Mumbai, I walk down Marine Drive at night. It’s nicknamed the queen’s necklace as the lights curving along the drive resemble pearls from above. Here, you can easily blend in with people walking along the street and feel slightly anonymous.

At the top is Chowpatty Beach where families sit together and enjoy a samosa or lassi, a yogurt drink, in the evening.

Away from the crowds in Mumbai

Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (3)

Mumbai at dawn

I always recommend exploring Mumbai at dawn. Trust me, it’s worth the 5am start. You’ll be surrounded by the city as it rumbles into life and the magic is, the flurry of activity is completely swept away before many have had breakfast.

You’ll look on as fresh produce is distributed around the city’s markets, join the bustling crowds at the docks as fish is loudly auctioned off and wander through the flower markets as garlands are hand sewn. I’m always amazed at how the different papers are sorted — the workers often don’t speak all of Mumbai’s languages so separate them based on the text’s appearance.

Dharavi Slum

As you fly into Mumbai, you’ll notice the sprawling Dharavi Slum, as featured in Slumdog Millionaire. Ex-residents have set up a charity which operates slum tours circling the profits back into the community. The place is abundant with micro-enterprises: people recycling, embroidering and huddled around vats where leftover hotel soaps are recycled into laundry detergent.

Experience Mumbai's local trains, yellow taxis and traditional red buses

You can experience the way locals move around the city by catching Mumbai’s traditional red buses with a local resident, and riding in a commuter carriage to Dadar flower market. A local taxi ride takes you to meet the brains behind Mumbai’s lunch network, the Dabbawalas, who run a system where thousands of lunches are collected from homes across the city and transported to work sites across the city.

Where to stay in Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is my preferred place to stay. It’s central, lavish and decorated with silk carpets and chandeliers.

For a more modest option, the Abode is a boutique hotel. Despite its central location, it’s hidden in backstreets lined with air conditioning units. It has the façade of a stylish coffee shop and it’s notoriously difficult to get a room, so book well in advance.

(Video) Mumbai Travel Guide

Why visit Goa?

Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (4)

By India specialist Louisa

After a few days in the chaos and sticky heat of Mumbai city I’m always itching for Goa’s peaceful shores and laid-back lifestyle.

Goa is often overlooked by visitors as it’s hard to reach from other cities across India. From Mumbai, however, it’s just a short 80-minute flight down India’s coastline.

Goa is known for its uninterrupted succession of sun-gilded beaches encasing its shores and humming restaurants serving local seafood. I like to come here at the end of a busy trip to soak up the fresh sea-air and lounge on the warming sand. With the Goan relaxed attitude toward life, I always find it hard not to slow down for a few days.

Best things to do in Goa

Goa’s Beaches

The state is made up of two halves, in north Goa the golden beaches are brimming with working fishermen, sunshades and vendors. By contrast, south Goa comprises secluded coves and stretches of sugary sand boarded by swinging palm trees.

Take a guided tour of Goa with a local resident

Accompanied by a local resident, you can gain a good insight into the nuances of Goan life. Your guide will show you Goa’s highlights and teach you about the state’s history.

Goa stands out from other Indian states with its heavy Portuguese influence. Catholic churches are peppered throughout, and the architecture is European in style, with intricate blue and white detailing.

You’ll venture through Old Goa’s cobbled streets to the red-bricked Basilica of Bom Jesus, which houses the remains of St Francis. And at Goa’s oldest spice plantation, you’ll be served a typical buffet laced with home-grown cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and herbs.

Mumbai and Goa | Travel guide | Audley Travel (5)

Anjuna Market

Aside from sun and sand, Goa is awash with flea markets, yoga classes, small villages and temples. Anjuna is well-known for its Wednesday market, set just behind the beach. Traders flock from across India, hanging their rugs and lanterns over the trees and lampposts.

The stalls are packed with large Goan lamps, boho bags and embroidered rugs of reds, greens and oranges, and a thick smell of incense in the air.

Where to stay in Goa

I prefer staying in south Goa, as it has a calmer atmosphere compared to its northern counterpart. Here, there are small hotels dispersed between opulent ones. They’re well spaced out, which gives the illusion of a private beach.

The Leela sits on Mobor Beach and is a very luxurious resort. Or there’s Alila Diwa which is set further back from the coast and provides a backdrop of rice plantations.

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Read more about trips to India

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

View All Tours in India

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Further reading

    • What to do in India: our highlights guide
    • Choosing the right Indian experience for you
    • Food highlights of India: 6 of the best culinary experiences
    • An expert guide to experiencing festivals in India


Can one travel from Mumbai to Goa? ›

The cheapest way to reach from Mumbai to Goa is bus to Goa and takes 12h 55m. The fastest way to reach from Mumbai to Goa is flight to Goa International Airport and takes 1h 20m. The recommended way to reach from Mumbai to Goa is flight to Goa International Airport and takes 1h 20m.

How many days do you need in Goa? ›

Even a span of two days is enough to experience Goa at its best. When you're in Goa you can't miss visiting the azure beaches that are truly mesmeric. You can plan for half a day beach hopping where you can sunbathe, relax, chill out and try the thrilling water sports activities over here.

Is 2 days enough to visit Mumbai? ›

You can plan out a 2 days itinerary for Mumbai to cover all the important places of worship like Haji Ali Dargah where you can pay your respects, Elephanta Caves where you can explore the age old caves, Bandstand to watch the scenic and serene sunset.

Is 1 week enough for Goa? ›

However, consider 7 good days to explore the state's breathtaking beauty and indulge in fine coastal sea food that shall compel any gourmet to fall in love with Goa! Please note, this week-long Goa itinerary is helpful for a first time visitor in Goa. It is packed with activities and day trips.

Can UK citizens travel to Goa India? ›

As well as a valid passport, UK passport holders should apply for a 'Regular Paper' visa online at and need to make an appointment to visit an 'Indian Mission/Office' in the UK as part of the application process.

Do you need a PCR test to enter Goa? ›

(| ) All Arriving passengers seeking entry in State of Goa shall carry Covid negative test report for a test done a maximum of 72 hours prior to entering in Goa.

How many days are enough in Mumbai? ›

However, you don't need to plan a long vacation to see everything Mumbai has to offer. This 3 day Mumbai itinerary will allow you to explore all facets of the city, from the modern, thriving nightlife to historical attractions and architecture and more.

Which month is not good for Goa trip? ›

March to May: This is the season when the temperature rises, the sea becomes rougher and the weather turns hot and humid. Not many people visit Goa between the months of March and May since there are not many activities to indulge in.

In which month Goa is best? ›

Winter Season in Goa

Best time to visit Goa as stated above is during the winter season from mid-November till mid-February. The temperature during this time stays around 20-22 degrees Celsius and this is the perfect weather to relax on the beach shacks and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Goa in winter.

What is the best month to go to Mumbai? ›

The best time to visit Mumbai is from October to February when the city has its winter. This is the perfect time for traveling and sightseeing as the weather is moderate and you can comfortably walk about the city as you explore its glory and mysteries.

Is 40000 enough for Mumbai? ›

What salary is needed to live comfortably in Mumbai? Depending upon the standard of living, your average salary should be Rs 40,000 - Rs 60,000 per month.

Which place is best for stay in Goa? ›

The best locations here are - Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim, Mandrem and Ashvem. South Goa: This area is the more relaxed and luxurious with cleaner and quieter beaches. The best locations here are - Agonda, Palolem, Patem, Benalim, Colva, Cavelossim and Arrosim.

Which time Goa is cheapest? ›

Summer is a lean season in Goa, so expect cheaper prices – accommodation, flight tickets, bike/car rentals, and water sports. But remember, the sea can be choppy on some days. Many of the beach shacks will be closed, as there are few tourists.

How much should I budget for Goa trip? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Goa? You should plan to spend around ₨2,130 ($26) per day on your vacation in Goa, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ₨653 ($7.97) on meals for one day and ₨354 ($4.32) on local transportation.

How much is India visa for UK citizens? ›

High Commission of India London, United Kingdom
Sr No.Visa CategoryVisa Duration From One Year Up to Five Years (Multiple entries)
1Tourist VisaGBP 330
2Business VisaGBP 495
3Entry VisaGBP 330
4Conference Visa (up to 6 months)GBP 61
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Why are Tui Cancelling flights to Goa? ›

Leisure travel company TUI UK has cancelled their package programmes to Goa as a result of the continued travel restrictions to India due to the pandemic.

Why is UK not eligible for Indian eVisa? ›

UK nationals still unable to apply for e-visa IndiaIn response to the British government implementing strict rules for travellers from India wanting to travel to the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic, India barred UK nationals from applying for e-visas for India.

What are the rules for entering Goa? ›

If your end destination is Goa, you must have a valid residential address in Goa and carry a documentary proof of the same. After being tested negative for COVID-19, you will be required to undergo mandatory Home Quarantine for 14 days. Marking/stamping with indelible ink will done on your arm for the same.

What vaccinations do I need for Goa? ›

Most doctors will recommend that you get the following injections for Goa or Kerala: Diphtheria, polio and tetanus (one combined booster – phew!) Remember to get booked in to see your GP as soon as you know you're going – there can often be big waiting lists, so the sooner the better.

Is RT PCR required for Mumbai? ›

All passengers prior to boarding flights for Mumbai shall be advised to pre-register for their RT-PCR test on arriving at Mumbai. Passengers can pre-book their RTPCR / Rapid PCR test at the following weblinks : Northstar. Metropolis.

Is Mumbai worth seeing? ›

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is one of India's most intriguing destinations. As the most populous city in the country, Mumbai is situated about halfway up the country's west coast and has a skyline to rival many Western cities.

What is the most interesting part of Mumbai? ›

Top Places in Mumbai
  • Elephanta Caves.
  • Marine Drive, Mumbai.
  • Juhu Beach.
  • Colaba Causeway.
  • Gateway of India.
  • Film City Mumbai.

What are the disadvantages of tourism in Goa? ›

Safety issues, poor roads and garbage management, as well as exorbitant prices and theft are some of the key reasons for the decline in tourist growth in Goa, a big data study conducted by the Goa Institute of Management has revealed.

In which month it rains in Goa? ›

The period of June to September is South West Monsoon Season. This is most rainy season for Goa state.

Which part of Goa is best for first time? ›

Where is best to stay for your first time in Goa? This of course can vary, depending on whether you want a budget holiday or a luxury-laden escape; however we highly recommend that first-time visitors base themselves in Candolim, in the north of the state.

Are 4 days enough for Goa trip? ›

If you can afford to take a long leaves from your job and responsibility, avid travelers recommend you to spend 5 Days in Goa. With these five days, you can enjoy every element of beauty in this land.

Is Goa worth visiting? ›

Known for its long coastline, sun-kissed beaches, heritage sites and amazing nightlife, Goa is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India.

Which is the rainiest month in Mumbai? ›

The month with the most rain in Mumbai is July, with an average rainfall of 23.4 inches. The rainless period of the year lasts for 5.9 months, from November 11 to May 7.

Which month is coldest in Mumbai? ›

The hottest month in Mumbai is May which has an average temperature of 30°C (86°F). The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 24°C (75°F).

What is the monsoon season in Mumbai? ›

The city experiences an annual monsoon season that typically lasts from June to September. However, this year the rains have been especially heavy, causing severe flooding in many parts of the city. Mumbai rains are a monsoon phenomenon that hits the city every year between June and September.

Which is the No 1 beautiful place in India? ›

1. Kashmir Valley. Kashmir valley is no doubt the most beautiful tourist places in India.

Which is the No 1 tourist destination in India? ›

As it homes the world's most beautiful monument, Taj Mahal, it reigns supreme in the list of famous tourist places in India. This white falls in the list of Seven Wonders of the World. Agra city also includes places such as Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Akbar's tomb, Ram Bagh and Sikandra Fort.

Which is the No 1 place to visit in India? ›

New Delhi, the national capital of India, is one of the most cliched yet popular tourist destinations in the country. The state has so much to offer that visiting it once or twice is not enough.

What salary is considered rich in India? ›

As per the PLFS survey of 2019-20, the annual cumulative wages came to be around Rs 1,869 crore, out of which the top 1% earned nearly Rs 127 crore, and the bottom 10% accounted for a measly Rs 32.10 crore.

How much money should I have saved by 50 in India? ›

By the time you reach 50

Additionally, you would also most likely be in a senior position in your organization, with a significant increase in your salary. And so, by the time you touch 50 years of age, your savings should have increased to around 500% to 700% of your current salary.

How much is a meal in Mumbai? ›

Cost of Living in Mumbai
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant300.00₹
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course1,500.00₹
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)300.00₹
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)200.00₹
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Which is the most beautiful part of Goa? ›

For those who prize seclusion and scenic beauty over everything else, South Goa is perfect. Palolem, Majorda, Butterfly, Colva and Benaulim are among the top beaches dotting the southern part of India's smallest state. They have that pristine ambience which helps you unwind, breathe and let go off all anxieties.

Can a boy and girl stay in hotel in Goa? ›

Also, there is no law in India that prohibits young unmarried couple to book a stay. But, you can break the conventional restraints by booking hourly hotels for unmarried couples in Goa. You can take great advantage of the additional perks included in your hotel booking via Bag2Bag Rooms.

Which part of Goa is worth visiting? ›

Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, Grand Island, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Fort Aguada, Candolim Beach, Tito's Street, Arambol Beach, Bom Jesus Basilica, Palolem Beach, Curlies, Club Cubana, Anjuna Flea Market, Chapora Fort, Mapusa Friday Market, Divar Island, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and many more.

Is Goa cheaper than Maldives? ›

For us Goa is better because you get the best of both worlds lovely beaches to laze on when you want to but loads of things to see and do when you have had enough of the sun, sea and sand. Also Maldives is very expensive and Goa is sooooo much cheaper. Whatever you decide to do have a great time. Hi sxi!

How much will a Goa trip cost for 4 days? ›

Goa Packages for 4 Nights 5 Days
Goa Packages for 4 Nights 5 DaysDay/NightPrice
Amazing Goa Flight Inclusive Deal 4N Package5 Days/4 Nights₹25,859
All-Inclusive 4N Holiday - Flights, Sightseeing & Transfers Package5 Days/4 Nights₹30,287
Stay at Novotel Group of Hotels 4N Package5 Days/4 Nights₹45,151
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How much is a 5 day trip to Goa? ›

FAQs for Goa

An ideal 5 day trip to Goa will cost you around 13,000-14,000 per person, this includes your stay, sightseeing, transfers and the food. But the costing totally depends on various factors, what all places are you planning to cover in your plan.

How many days in Goa is enough? ›

Even a span of two days is enough to experience Goa at its best. When you're in Goa you can't miss visiting the azure beaches that are truly mesmeric. You can plan for half a day beach hopping where you can sunbathe, relax, chill out and try the thrilling water sports activities over here.

Is alcohol cheaper in Goa? ›

Goa has always been known for its cheap liquor rates compared to the other states of India, especially Maharashtra and Karnataka. Tourism in Goa will also be affected due to this hike in liquor prices. Counters across the state have registered a drop of 30-40% in the sale of foreign liquor as a result.

Is 5 days enough for Goa? ›

The state may have a lot of attractions, but if you plan it well – you can cover a lot of Goa in just 5 days!

Is Travelling to Goa allowed now? ›

If your end destination is Goa, you must have a valid residential address in Goa and carry a documentary proof of the same. After being tested negative for COVID-19, you will be required to undergo mandatory Home Quarantine for 14 days. Marking/stamping with indelible ink will done on your arm for the same.

Can you travel to Goa at the moment? ›

Goa recently reopened for tourism after a two-month lockdown. The beautiful, small beach state of India has always been a top destination in the country.

Is Goa open for international flights? ›

Goa is well connected by airline services to most major cities in India. All flights, national and international, to and from Goa, operate from the Goa Airport at Dabolim near the port town of Vasco-da-Gama.

Can I fly to Goa from UK? ›

Thomas Cook Airlines and Tui both provide direct flights from London to Goa. Both airlines depart from London Gatwick Airport. London Gatwick is split between North and South terminals. Tui flights to Goa depart from the North Terminal and Thomas Cook Airlines flights depart from the South Terminal.

What is the best time to visit Goa? ›

Mid-November to Mid-February: These are the best months to visit the party capital since the weather is pleasantly cool and comfortable. It's the perfect time to relax on the beaches amidst other tourists who make the most of these three months in Goa.

Do I need to wear a mask in Goa? ›

Synopsis. The Goa state government has issued an advisory asking people to follow the mask mandate when in public places. As a precautionary measure to prevent another COVID-19 wave in the state, the Goa state government has issued an advisory asking people to follow the mask mandate when in public places.

Does British citizen need visa for India? ›

You'll need to get a visa before travelling to India. The High Commission of India in London uses a Three Step Regular Visa Application Process. You should secure an appointment date in good time, to ensure you have time to complete the visa process ahead of your planned visit.

Do I need a visa for Goa from UK? ›

As well as a full British passport valid for at least 6 months after the planned date of return from your holiday, all British citizens are required to have a visa when travelling to India.

Do I need PCR test for India? ›

Is RT-PCR test mandatory? No, the RT-PCR test is not mandatory. For passengers with no test report, have to undergo mandatory 7 days of institutional quarantine, at their own cost and another 7 days of home quarantine on arrival in India.

Is Covid test required for Goa by flight? ›

COVID Test is not required. Thermal screening will be done for all passengers upon arrival.

Is RT-PCR test mandatory for international travel to India? ›

Submit details of negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report* (The test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey) or Submit details of full primary vaccination schedule of COVID-19 vaccination**.


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