With two days in Goa, you’ll be able to get a good feel for the northern part of the state’s rich Portuguese history and still have plenty of time for outdoor activities, beach lounging, and partying. Here’s how to plan 48 hours in Goa.
Day 1: Old Goa, Panaji, and Goan Nightlife
**Morning:**Start your stay in Old Goa, the historic Portuguese capital of the area and home to some of Goa’s finest churches: art-filled St. Catherine’s Cathedral (aka Sé Cathedral) and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the remains of Goa’s patron saint, Francis Xavier, are interred.
**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, head to the Goan capital of Panaji (Panjim) and grab lunch before continuing your exploration of Portuguese architecture. Two neighborhoods are particularly worth visiting: Fontainhas, with its 19th-century homes and the Chapel of Saint Sebastian, and Sao Tome, full of colorful old public buildings.
**Night:**In the evening, check out some of Goa’s famous nightlife. Electronic-music fans are best off heading north to Anjuna and Vagator, where the state’s homegrown Goa trance music dominates the scene. For commercial and Bollywood sounds, the famous Tito’s on Baga Beach is your best bet.
Day 2: Beaches and Waterways
**Morning:**Devote your second day in Goa to the outdoors. Start with a morning kayaking tour out to the rivers and backwaters of North Goa, where you'll get to paddle through mangroves among river otters and birds.
**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, give yourself a little beach time. Choices range from busy Baga Beach to quieter, more Bohemian options in the northern parts of North Goa, such as Morjim and Arambol. Candolim and Sinquerim are also good options—at their southern end stands 17th-century Fort Aguada, with great ocean views.
**Night:**Top off your Goa stay with a sunset or evening cruise on the Mandovi River, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Consider booking a tour package that combines dinner with an evening cruise, many of which provide extras such as live music or DJs, for a hassle-free end to your trip.