Why do so many Russians visit Goa

Goa - more than the beach and hippies

Esoteric women wearing sandals, drunk Russians, sun-tanned old hippies and drunk techno freaks. Once again I realized that it doesn't always make sense to read as much as possible about a destination in advance of a trip. And that there is nothing better than going on vacation where no one goes on vacation. A few tips and impressions from North Goa, where I lived with friends in the country and would go back immediately.

The market in Mapusa, North Goa

Mapusa - pronounced Mapsa - is the trading center of North Goa. The city is best known for its market. This takes place every day (except on Sunday) - it is particularly big on Friday. The Mapsa market is a paradise for fans of Goan cuisine - as well as for all (hobby) photographers and iPhone clippers. Anyone looking for clothes, shoes and housewares of all kinds will also find it here. Negotiating is a duty.

Music festivals in Goa

Two festivals in one week - the cultural offerings in Goa are huge. Every February, the Sufi Sutra Music Festival takes place in the Kala Academy in Panaji, the capital of the state of Goa - for the sixth time this year.

National and international musicians were presented (e.g. CherryGrove from Scotland or Mavambo from Brazil). Sufi music belongs to the "soul" of Muslim mysticism. This festival offers workshops during the day and free concerts and exhibitions in the evening.

The Ketevan World Festival, which took place for the first time this year, is also an experience. The opening concert was in the ancient walls of the Santa Monica Church in Old Goa.

The festival is a wonderful symbiosis of western and eastern music in front of a backdrop. As with Sufi Sutra, accompanying workshops and information events are also offered here.

A good overview of cultural events can be found here:

www.habenaktuell.de

www.indiafestivalguide.com/

www.kalaacademy.org

Goa Carnival

Carnival in India - I definitely didn't think about that. Well, Goa doesn't stand for the “real” India either - “India light” is a common description. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the importance of the Goa carnival. An integral part of the Portuguese influence and definitely worth a visit.

Tip: Have lunch at the Hotel The Mandovi in ​​Panaji and then enjoy the move through the main street on the balcony. Be sure to reserve a table.

Goa Carnival

Carnival in India - I definitely didn't think about that. Well, Goa doesn't stand for the “real” India either - “India light” is a common description. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the importance of the Goa carnival. An integral part of the Portuguese influence and definitely worth a visit.

Paperworks

One letterhead is more beautiful than the other. Wrapping paper in all colors and shades. Decorated cardboard boxes. Envelopes with gold decorations. Bags made from newspapers. At Paperworks in Panaji, everyone who loves paper becomes weak. Card set for the equivalent of just 50 centimes - you'd like to buy the whole shop. Even more so when you know that disabled people are responsible for this art.

Old Goa

Old Goa is about 10 kilometers outside of Panaji. It is worth planning in at least half a day for the visit. “Anyone who has seen Goa no longer needs to see Lisbon”. The quote from the 16th century has something: the capital of the Portuguese colony had more churches than Rome at that time.

Fontainhas

Not only the street names, the signs on the houses and shops point to the Portuguese past. The faded walls, crumbling facades and the colors - from ocher yellow to pink to sky blue - also contribute to the fact that Portugal is omnipresent. The quarter has developed into the cultural center of the city and is more than just a destination.


Fabindia

If you've visited one, you want to go to at least five more. We're talking about Fabindia, an Indian retail chain that sells clothing, fabrics, furniture and jewelry in around 200 stores across India.

All products are handcrafted by simple artisans. These are in "Community-owned companies" organized, hold shares in these companies and not only participate in economic success, but also actively promote sustainable business practices. Top quality at very fair prices.

Mandrem and Arambol

As mentioned at the beginning, you shouldn't read too much about Goa in advance of your trip. It's true, Arambol is teeming with sun-tanned old hippies and drunk Russians. But it would be a shame to refrain from watching the circus artists rehearse their tricks under the Indian sun during the European winter while the sun slowly sinks into the sea. Even if psychedelic rock or electro sound comes flying in from every direction of the wind.

I really liked the combination of Mandrem Beach during the day and Arambol in the evening - but only until shortly after sunset. At Mandrem Beach, for example, eat in the Lazy Dog and read in a Beach Lounge and stroll towards Arambol at 5 p.m.


Restaurants in Goa

It's been a long time since I ate so healthy on my vacation with no healthy intentions. Here are a few good addresses:

Koi in Candolim: Fusion of all Asian cuisines, excellent service, stylishly furnished.

Venite in Old Goa, Panaji: Fine Goan food in a beautiful old building. Small balcony for a 2-seater table for a romantic tête-à-tête.

Ritz Classic in Panaji: Best fish I've eaten on my entire Goa vacation. In an inconspicuous location in a side street on the first floor.

Bean Me Up in Anjuna: beautiful surroundings, organic soy specialties, popular with vegans.

The Fisherman’s Wharf in Panaji: A good address to enjoy delicious fish specialties, Goan and Western food and drinks of all kinds in a harmonious environment until late.

Short trip to Hampi

If you want to take a short trip from Goa, you should go to Hampi. I wasn't there myself, but I heard so many beautiful things that this tip shouldn't be missing here. Hampi is the former capital of the Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Cave temples await the guests tourists in Karnataka, the neighboring state of Goa. A journey into the past with historical highlights and impressive ruins in a unique and mystical setting. More about this in Sonja Hüsler's travel blog.