Needless to say, there is a lot Goa can offer– starting from the beautiful beaches, memorable beach walks, hosting friends and families, to meeting new people. The nightlife and the serenity can also add a little bit more flavour to your life. The reason I consider Goa to be one of the ideal destinations for retirement is that it offers a minimal yet luxurious lifestyle. The basic necessities were weaved with a flavour of refinement.
- Clean Air
- Abundantly Green
- Good Sunshine and Topical Conditions
- Beautiful Beaches
- Breath-taking Sunsets
- Lovely Seafood
- A Party Paradise
- Luxury Bungalows at an Affordable Price
- Minimal Cost of Living
- Low Traffic
- Friendly Culture
Do check out my article on ten reasons to retire and stay in Goa for a more detailed understanding of why you should be retiring in Goa and if it is the right choice for you.
10 Best Places to Live in Goa: 2023
Here is our list of places where you can consider living in Goa; if you are relocating for work or planning to start your own business.
1. Panaji: You’ll Love The Beautiful Coastline
Panaji, also known as Panjim, is the state capital of Goa in southwest India. Located on the banks of the Mandovi River, the city has cobblestone streets lined with colourful villas and buildings from the Portuguese colonial era. Palm-fringed Miramar Beach sits at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea. Set on a hill overlooking the city is the baroque Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, built-in 1619.
- Explore: Cruise and Poker, Miramar beach, Take a walk, Visit Churches
- Eat Out: The Blackship Bistro, The Fisherman’s Wharf,
2. Candolim: The Foodie’s Paradise
Candolim is a sweet town in North Goa and is located in the Bardez taluka in the state of Goa, India. It is situated just south of Calangute Beach and is a tourist destination. It is less congested and has better plans than the other beaches of Goa. This place is one of my favorites because the beach is very beautiful and there are a number of restaurants and cafes around this area. The sub lanes will take you to some of the most exquisite villas and this place has good residencies around. A vibrant place overall!
- Explore Beach, shacks, party places,
- Eat Out: Calamari, Fisherman’s Wharf
3. Porvorim: Aww! Decent and Well Connected
Porvorim is a well-developed township in the north of Goa. The area boast of Mall De Goa and selected shopping outlets. It’s a fully residential area with close proximity to Panaji. You can get good flats for rent or purchase here. Mostly, Goa doesn’t have many high rises. It is situated on the right bank (north bank) of the Mandovi River, as Panaji is located on the opposite bank. Porvorim is considered an upmarket residential hub as it lies on the Mumbai–Goa highway NH66.
4. Vagator/Anjuna: Serene Greens and Beautiful Villas
Vagator Beach is the northernmost beach of Bardez Taluka, Goa. It is located on the opposite bank of the Chapora River from Morjim in Pernem. To the south of Vagator is Anjuna, one of the first hippie haunts of Goa. Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two freshwater springs within a stone’s throw of the sea. But Vagator has little by way of seaside accommodation. Vagator Beach Goa 180 Panorama Vagator Beach is split into two main beaches by a coastal headland that holds the car park and lots of stalls selling trinkets, clothes, soft drinks and snacks. As you face the sea, on your right is North Vagator Beach (Big Vagator) and on your left is Ozran Beach, more commonly known as Little Vagator Beach.
- Explore Beach shacks, party places,
- Eat Out: Thalassa, W, Artjuna Garden Cafe, Eva Cafe
5. Vasco da Gama: Old Vibe Charm
In close proximity to the Goa International Airport, this is one of the upbeat residential areas in Goa. Bogmallo beach is in close proximity to this residential hub. Vasco has a prominent market and is a good option to live in if you prefer areas around the airport. The city lies on the western tip of the Mormugao peninsula, at the mouth of the Zuari River, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Panaji, Goa’s capital, 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Margao, the district headquarters and about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Dabolim Airport.
6. Margao: The Hub of South Goa
Margao is of the prominent residential areas of South Goa. It is 50 mins drive from Goa International Airport. Margao is prominent market areas, an inter-city bus terminal and easy commute facilities. Some of the laidback beaches like Benaulim, Colva, and Varca, are close by. It is a posh locality, connected with other parts of the city, and is a safe locality too. It is a peaceful residential area that is pretty close to beaches and other attractions in Goa.
7. Dabolim: Emerging Residential Area
Dabolim is a village in South Goa that is well-connected with all parts of Goa. It is very close to Vasco Da Gama, which is the only airport in Goa and close to all access points to visit all destinations in Goa. It is one of the most popular international traveller hubs in India. It is surrounded by beautiful beaches. However, it is extremely crowded, especially during New Year. You can visit some of the best beach shacks and restaurants here too.
8. Benaulim/Colva: Explore Beachside Living
Colva is an incredibly beautiful beach. It is quite crowded with Indian tourists and fishermen. The place has plenty of amusing wildlife. Other than the beach, you will find picture-perfect villages, rice fields and more. It has some very amazing shacks and shops that you can explore. It is a great place to live with your family. It is quite safe, clean, and has great food joints. There are also several water sports available here.
Explore Beach shacks, party places,
Eat Out: Tesouro, Johncy’s,
Property Cost in Goa: Land, Villas, and Apartments
The current cost of a good bungalow or villa in Goa would be $300,000, whereas a luxury bungalow would cost you more than $500,000 (with a private pool). The per square feet cost varies depending upon the area and the contractor; however, makes sure you bargain to reduce the prices by at least 5-10% of the total property rate quoted. Buying land and making your own house can also be a feasible option, or you can check out the numerous independent contractors who build and sell villas in Goa. The typical property price in North Goa is approximately 30% more than most places in South Goa but offers more lifelong memories.
Average Cost of Living in Goa
Your Ola/Uber expenses would be coming to nil. A bike works perfectly, and you’ll be saving on the commutation costs. Beer, wine, and food are cheap in Goa. If you’re not looking to buy a property, you can easily rent a villa for 30k to 50k and spend around 20k more for a perfect life. A maid will take not more than 3k-4k for a family, so you’re all settled for 50k to 75k per month, depending upon your choice of stay. Dinner or lunch with a beer will cost you INR 1000 for two persons and around INR 2500 if you’re going to a posh and upscale restaurant.
Planning to Live in Goa: Explore the Party Places
Most of the party places and shacks operate for 6-8 months of the year, from September to March and get closed during the rainy season. Here is a list of some of the most popular and happening party places in Goa. Some of them do provide good quality shisha to make the night more enjoyable.
- Club LPK
- Hill Top
- Larive Beach Resort
- Club Cabana
- Cafe Lilliput
- Shiva Valley
Best Places to Live in Goa for Ex-pats and NRIs
If you’re an NRI or Expat who is looking to retire in Goa for its topical summer, nightlife, and the mesmerizing new year eves, do make sure to check out these beautiful places in North Goa. If I had to choose between the two, I would prefer North Goa because of the party scenes, hookah, and all the fantastic people you’d eventually end up meeting. Also, if your friends are visiting Goa, you can host them and have a lot to offer if you’re staying in North Goa instead of South Goa. As an Expat or an NRI, your choice of locations can vary based on your taste and preferences, but make sure you check out these places.
- Reis Magos
Is Goa a Good Living Option for LGBT?
Goa can sound fancy with its global presence, but sadly, it is still not an LGBT vibrant city. There aren’t many LGBT parties happening around the year, mainly due to the low density of LGBT people in the city. However, there are some parties in the month of December and special Saturdays. Also, LGBT dating is not prevalent in Goa as most of the people are tourists and visit Goa with their friends and family. So, if you’re looking for regular dating scenes while staying in Goa, you should definitely consider a place that is close to beaches in North Goa.
Is Goa a Good Living Option for Singles and Bachelors?
I won’t recommend Goa as an option if you’re single and looking to stay or retire in Goa. The reason is, that Goa is still not a cosmopolitan city. The people in Goa bring in diverse flavours but are limited to specific months of the year. Life is secluded otherwise, and being single, you need your friends to be around you, but the majority of them will be in the cities they work, and you’ll be left alone. But you can feel free to explore a few months in Goa and see how it works for you.
Goa can be an ideal place to live for those who are comfortable with the tropical climate. It can get a little humid during the monsoon season. Goa as a city to live in can have mixed feelings especially if you are coming from a metro city. The city doesn’t have an evolved diversity. Most of Goa is about shacks, beaches, food, and nightclubs. Personally, I get pretty bored because I can’t withstand a humid climate and partying all the time. So, I personally won’t prefer living in Goa.