Goa has been done as a travelling venture like a billion times since the beginning. People have been travelling to the place every year in at least thousands in number. No foreign traveler’s trip could be complete without them visiting the tourist paradise.
With so many serene beaches, a colorful culture, lots of history, entertaining party vibes and a sense of “calm amidst chaos”, some people might think to themselves and say – “I guess, Goa is really hyped up, yo!” But is it, really?
Is Goa overrated? This article looks at the pros and cons of Goa and tries to answer this question. After reading this article, you will be able to make up your own mind about whether Goa is worth visiting. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Also mentioned towards the end are 5 alternative destinations with kind of the same vibes that Goa has.
What does overhyped or overrated mean?
When something is overrated, it means that people have given it too much credit. It could be because the thing is not as great as people think it is, or because the thing has been hyped up so much that it can never meet people’s expectations.
For example, some people might say that a certain celebrity is overrated because they have been praised for their work more than they deserve. Or, a restaurant might be overrated if the food is not as good as people say it is.
Something could be considered overhyped for a couple of reasons – like when it’s been the talk of the town for almost a decade or something which might not be as good as the world showcases it too be.
Sometimes it could also be an opinion – a personal opinion for something, someone or some place.
What makes a destination seem overrated?
People are constantly looking for new and exciting places to travel to, but what makes a destination seem overrated? There are a few things that can contribute to this.
Being too popular (Overcrowded)
This is especially true if the crowds make it difficult to enjoy the experience. When places become really popular, they tend to attract people from all corners of the world. Which results in the place getting overcrowded and maybe even polluted with wrappers, water bottles and stuff.
When a place you travel to for peace or fun with family seems to be covered with people and smaller humans you might wish you’d skip it.
Over tourism or over popularity of a destination has in the past also led to take a disastrous turn (eg – Kedarnath).
The prices are too high
When a destination starts to gain popularity among the masses, it tends to become overpriced at various levels as well.
The local vendors and shopkeepers take it as an opportunity to grow and push their prices to a higher range which not only creates an issue for the travellers but also for the locals.
Sometimes that could result in the locals being a little unhappy with the travel flow their homeland is experiencing and hence, towards the travellers as well.
Another thing is that the travellers would face during this phase is they would be irritated by it but can’t do anything about it. Which results in their overall experience of the trip.
When a place is stated as overhyped or over rated, it means it is or will eventually become a too touristy place. Which means it would be covered with shops, markets, vendors, big infrastructures, constructions and renovations and a lot more.
Also, we humans have a tendency to find and travel to newer and offbeat places to find peace and get away from the crowds. So when a place become over-touristy, one would rather want to skip it and go to a place with much less infrastructure and more of the authentic vibes.
When you see hordes of tourists, local shop owners, hoteliers and locals spread all over the place – be it a natural or a man-made sight to experience, it will automatically result in a bad experience.
Doesn’t live up to the hype
You know those stories your friends might have told you about a place – almost exaggerating about it and it’s ambiance and vibes and everything, which makes you set really high standards about the place in your mind and you imagine it to be something beyond reality.
And years later, when you really get to visit it, due to your own imaginary scenario of the place, you think it isn’t that great. Which makes you think the place does not live up to it’s hype.
This element of analyzing any destination’s hype is basically depending on our very own thought process and stories and expectations that come with it.
As Spider-Man’s girlfriend recently said, “expect disappointment, and you’ll never be disappointed.“
Is being overrated bad for a destination?
There is no definitive answer, but in general, being overrated can have a negative impact on a destination.
When a destination is overrated, it often means that the prices are too high and the quality of experience is not worth the cost. Additionally, overrated destinations can be overcrowded and touristy. This can lead to long lines, unpleasant crowds, and a lack of authentic experiences.
When people think of travel they think about calmness, peace, outskirts, fun and being away from a crowded place – both in their surroundings as well as in their minds. So when you visit a place which is really popular and populous, you might not get to experience what you wanted that trip to be first hand.
That would result in you questioning your decision of travelling to such a place for calmness.
But being overrated shall not just be a bad thing – it might be good – at least for the destination. When you say something or some place is over-rated, you know that it must be a great place, right. I mean why else would it be considered rated – over the necessary mark.
Being Overrated means the place is very popular amongst the people from different corners of the world – and is one of the most visited places. And when something is visited by thousands of people all the time – it could not be a really bad place, could it? So maybe being over hyped or rated is not bad for a destination.
Why people consider Goa over done? Is Goa Overrated?
There are several reasons why people consider Goa over done and question is Goa overrated.
- One of the main reasons for that is because it is a very popular tourist destination. People from all over the world come to Goa to enjoy its beaches, nightlife, and food. As a result, the areas that are popular with tourists are often crowded and noisy.
- Another reason why people consider Goa over done is because it is often portrayed in the media as a party destination. This can give people the impression that there is nothing else to do in Goa other than party.
- Another reason to consider when asking is Goa overrated, could be that when you plan a trip – we might just look at the places that are spread out everywhere from instagram to youtube videos to word of mouth.
But Goa is much beyond the known beaches and artistic churches. When you spend time in Goa, you realize that the crowd is majorly spread at certain points while the other areas around those points are simply much calmer, peaceful and just right for a relaxing vacation vibe.
For example, the most popular Goa beaches advertised and heard about are Baga and Calangute. These are the ones where a major crowd can be seen – at least thousands of people spread all over the place – be it day or night. The party scenes on these two beaches is what reached out to the world first and foremost and that is what attracted most people.
But since then, with evolution relating to travel, people tended to shift their focus from hyperactive and party beaches to the calmer and more towards the nature kind of beaches – like Mandrem, Ozran, Palolem, Butterfly etc.
Goa has so many beaches that even if many of the known beaches get over crowded, there would be plenty left for you to relax on.
With so many different and artistic Portuguese architectures, churches and cathedrals, natural hikes, trekking opportunities, hidden waterfalls and rides through the scenic roads, Goa has so much more to it.
Pros & Cons of Visiting Goa
- Beach Vibes
The number 1 thing that makes Goa wonderfully famous, is it’s beaches. The tropical land is covered with almost 35+ beaches and each beach is different in some way or other to another.
Baga & Calangute are the most popular ones and the party destination of Northern Goa. Anjuna, Ozran, Sinquerim, Colva, Palolem etc. are more towards the fun element with water sports opportunities, boat rides, scenic beauties and so much more. Butterfly beach gives you a fantastic trekking opportunity and a hike through the jungle.
Mandrem is like a peaceful, calming beach where you could relax, take a break and chill with friends or family.
- Experience freedom, peace and energy
Do you know why people love Goa as much as they do? Because it gives them a sense of freedom, a sense of calm in the chaos and a really energetic vibe!
Many places might feel like that, but Goa is different. It makes you feel different, a lot more energized and a lot more wanting to try new things!
When you hike in the middle of a dense forest to reach the beautiful Butterfly beach, or when you feel every little breath flowing through your body during a scuba diving experience near the Grand Island, Goa makes you feel really different – something which cannot be explained, just experienced!
I know this article mentions this term more than it should but overcrowding is a genuine concern when it comes to the Pearl of the Orient (Goa).
Goa once used to be a land where only foreign travellers used to come and settle in or a majority of bloggers, digital nomads and hippies called their own. But with advancements and construction updates, the domestic travellers also started to come visit the place – in hundreds and then thousands.
As per a 2020 report, Goa saw a total footfall of over 876 thousand people! (and that is just the domestic travellers count). Also, an important thing to mention is 2020 was mostly under lockdown – so the data is not just about the entire year – but just about 4 to 5 months approx.
Just imagine the footfalls and out of that majority of people travelling to the popular beaches and doing the popular stuff. Which means people are correct to consider it being overcrowded.
- Over Priced
Goa runs totally on tourism. Since the beginning, tourism has been the major focus of the government, the locals and the higher authorities for the state as well.
And when people tend to come to the place in such a large quantity, the locals would definitely be thinking it to be the best time to make some extra bucks, right?
So they increased their prices – the charges, the parking fee, the cabs, accommodations, food and what not.
But the major pricing situation started to hurt people Post Covid.
After reopening after the pandemic, many small shop owners, hoteliers, and cab providers increased their prices to another level. Let’s just talk about the normal stuff – a bottle of water is available all over India in the MRP of INR 20. But in Goa, be it North Goa, South Goa or Central Goa – we got a water bottle in INR 30. And we can’t do anything about it, because we need those bottles to survive in Goa, specially during summers. And that is what their pricing is.
For us, it might not be a major issue, but for some it could be. And it is that’s why Goa is slowly being considered to be an overpriced destination.
Is Goa Overrated?
Goa is the tourist paradise – it has something for travelers of all age groups, all genders, all kinds. Some might say it is the land of beaches – but what makes that part of Goa unique is that each beach you visit in the North or South region of the state, will definitely give you a different and interesting feeling.
Mentioned above are a few reasons why people would consider Goa to be overrated but to tell you the truth, no other place has still made its way to people’s heart as much as this little tropical state in the entirety of India – especially when it comes to the beach scenes in the country.
So in my opinion, it is unbelievable how much the smallest state in India has to offer when it comes to travel – from hidden waterfalls, beaches, turtle nesting centers, hikes, scenic roads, food, drinks, shacks, music and so much more!
Goa still has a long way to go but what we need to keep in mind so that the future gen could experience it in all it’s glory – is to keep the travel sustainable.
Goa might be over-done, overrated or even overhyped, but that does not mean that it is a place to ignore for your travel plans. Whatever the crowd, the masses the noises – you need to visit this place at least once in your life. Goa is something really different from all of India, which makes it unique in itself.
5 Alternatives to Goa
Gokarna is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea in Karnataka, India. The town has a population of about 15,000.
It is believed that Gokarna is named after Lord Shiva’s bowstring (Goda). The literal meaning of the name “Gokarna” is “the place where God’s bow was unstrung”.
Other than that, Gokarna is a trending destination due to its serene beaches. Gokarna has gained popularity recently as being one of the alternatives to Goa due to the change of pace people experience here.
While, Goa is a fast-paced, sometimes overly populated and loud place, Gokarna is a place of Godly peace and even it’s beaches showcase that quality.
With a high influence of the French culture, Pondicherry stands in line with the alternatives to Goa big time. With the overall ambience of the city, its wonderful beaches and fantastically designed French architecture and food, Pondicherry has become most of the beach lovers’ favorite destination to experience.
Pondicherry (now Puducherry) is best known for its Hindu temples, beaches and French Colonial Architectures.
Auroville, where thousands go while seeking peace, is situated very near to the place and thus attracts many people from all over India.
Also, the beaches are much quieter and calmer when compared to Goa and you may even camp near the shore, try out kayaking, backwater sailing and canoeing.
Another wonderful place when discussing alternatives to Goa is Daman.
Daman stands in line with Goa as it also has somewhat of the Portuguese influence along with serene long beaches, colonial architecture, churches and cathedrals and just a lot of natural beauty.
Daman has a lot to offer from the fun beach lifestyle to an immersive history dating back to the Mauryan empire.
Slowly getting popular as a competition to Goa, Daman is a huge attraction to tourists, beach lovers and history enthusiasts. Daman has almost all the sights that Goa is famous for – beaches, forts and light houses.
Also, you will get delicious and authentic sea food, get to experience a unique art and culture and calming vibe.
When we talk about Daman, how can we separate Diu from it, right? Daman & Diu both are a worthy alternative when it comes to Goa and its culture.
Majorly famous for its white sand beaches and Portuguese architecture, Diu also stands along as a really amazing place for beach lovers.
Once you get a bit off track from the more touristy sights, you will get to experience the clean, quieter and colorful streets of the little island which makes you feel as if you’ve shifted to another world altogether.
Daman & Diu both form one of India’s most precious gems when considering the places of culture, color and calmness.
Primeval jungle, dark blue ocean waters, fascinating diving experiences, quality sunsets and pristine beaches are all what makes the Andaman Islands one of the most popular places to be at for tropical paradise seekers, couples, friends, family and solo wanderers alike.
Havelock (Swaraj Deep), Neil Island, Long Island, etc. are really popular places to explore in the Andaman and all of those places have different vibes and unique things to find when you visit.
Also, the scuba diving experience in Andaman is one of the most fantastic when compared to other places – due to the fact that it’s the Indian Ocean – with shining dark blue waters that look almost unreal and the coral life which you can experience over there.
This article discussed the question – is Goa overrated. While some people feel that the beaches and party atmosphere are overrated, others feel that the natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere are worth the trip. Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us know whether you think Goa is worth the hype.