When it comes to deciding on a holiday destination in South India, the question of whether to visit Kerala or Goa often pops up in the traveler’s mind. And why not? Both the states boast of pristine beaches, unmatched wildlife, delectable cuisines and a topography that is very similar to each other. We truly wish that we could visit both these states, but considering the limited number of off days we all have, this may not be possible. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what you really want to experience on a holiday. In this article, we have scored Kerala and Goa on various travel experiences that will help you decide, where you should Travel.
Score Card: Kerala – 0 Goa – 0
#1 Party Hub: Kerala or Goa?
If you are looking to attend parties and have some crazy fun with your friends, Goa is the place to be! From Beach parties to EDM festivals, Goa’s party scene is considered one of the best in the country. However, we advise you to research well and book your spot in advance to avoid last minute rush.
During festivals like Sao Joao, Carnival, Christmas and New Year; traditional parties are organized all around Goa which are suitable for families. An array of Goan food accompanied by traditional dance and music is guaranteed.TRAVEL TIP
It’s hard to find night clubs in Kerala and only a few star hotels offer them. People are very traditional and most outdoor events wind-up by 10 pm.
Kerala – 0 Goa – 1
#2 Family Time: Kerala or Goa?
This is a close one, as both Kerala and Goa offer a plethora of attractions and activities for families. Serene tea estates of Munnar to the wildlife resorts of Thekkady, timeless backwater houseboats to cozy homestays. Kerala is definitely the place for much-needed bonding time with family.
Goa on the other has its spice gardens and Portuguese styled homes which are charming places to stay with family. Beyond this, Goa tourism focuses mainly on Surf, Sand, and Sun. Moreover, travel cost in Goa for small groups is higher (Transport and accommodation) as compared to Kerala. Which makes us choose Kerala as the destination of choice for a family vacation.
Kerala – 1 Goa – 1
#3 Ease of Access: Kerala or Goa?
Air travel to Goa is currently serviced by 1 international airport only, this added to the fact that Goa being a small state with seasonal tourist inflow causes the fares to soar high during this period. Train travel to major stations in Goa such as Margao and Vasco are well connected and luxury trains such as Rajdhani Express provide good connectivity. The major cause of concern is that although Goa is a tourist hot spot, the state does not allow taxi aggregators such as Uber / Grab / Ola. This has led to taxi rides in Goa to be the most expensive in the country.
Kerala, on the other hand, has 4 international airports along the length of the state, ensuring that the prices are mostly stable throughout the year (School holiday season and festivals are an exception to this). Railways connect the state from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, although its location to the southernmost point of the country makes train travel from North India a long journey. Most of the major cities have affordable taxi services such as Uber and Ola.
We give this one to Kerala.
Kerala – 2 Goa – 1
#4 Travel Budget : Kerala or Goa?
Fortunately, both Kerala and Goa cater to most travel budgets right from backpacker hostels to the luxury seeking sun lust traveler. Let’s breakdown the components of the holiday budget and see how each state fares.
Both the states provide budget accommodations ranging from hostels to luxury resorts. Homestays in Kerala are well regulated by the government and often chosen by avid travelers. The seasonal variations in room tariffs are much higher in Goa as compared to Kerala. What this means is that if you don’t mind the rain, you could get a rock bottom room rate in Goa during monsoons!
As mentioned earlier, the taxis in Goa are the most expensive you would come across in the country. However, its a small state and most tourists prefer renting a bike for as low as 200rs per day!
In Kerala, you need to opt for tourist taxis to get around, especially when visiting hill stations and wildlife sanctuaries. Both states, provide a decent bus network which is also the cheapest form of transport here. Do note that most buses in Kerala have the stops written in Malayalam, so be prepared to seek help from co-passengers.
Both states have reasonably priced tickets to visit monuments and other tourist attractions. It is advisable to buy tickets from government authorized vendors only. Movie tickets in Kerala are comparatively cheaper than in Goa.
When it comes to food, it really depends on where you would like to eat. The street food scene in Kerala is truly remarkable and you can expect to eat much more per rupee spent here. Wine and dine at fancy restaurants in Goa could burn a hole in your pocket, while menus in air-conditioned restaurants in Kerala are found to be cheaper. The downside in Kerala is that alcohol is not easily available and social drinking is looked down upon by locals.
We advise you to eat away from the touristy spots in Kerala or Goa. Go where the locals eat! The taste will be authentic and easy on the pocket.TRAVEL TIP
We therefore score Kerala and Goa equally when it comes to travel budget.
Kerala – 3 Goa – 2
#5 Beach Life : Kerala or Goa?
Both the states share the same coastline, but the quality of beaches in both states have a stark difference. The beaches in Goa are calmer and suitable for a swim, whereas most beaches in Kerala have strong waves and currents.
Goa has hidden beaches that are not as crowded as the popular ones, while in Kerala the locals will advise you to not venture into the waters. Also, people are conservative here and women wearing swimwear may get a lot of stares.
Goa is undoubtedly the king of Sea, Sand and Surf!
Kerala – 3 Goa – 3
#6 Shopping: Kerala or Goa?
Both states have a lot of options for shopping locally made artifacts, hand-loom, and souvenirs. Traditional Kerala handloom such as Sarees are much-appreciated souvenirs. Banana chips fried in coconut oil is another specialty and it’s a sin to return back home without buying some! Spices and condiments are another must buy from Kerala.
Goa matches up with the cheap prices of alcohol which is always on the shopping list of travelers visiting here. Cashew nuts are cheaper in Goa as they are locally produced and Portuguese inspired sweets are another thing to add to your shopping list.
We score both Kerala and Goa equally for shopping.
Kerala – 4 Goa – 4
#7 Wellness Travel – Kerala or Goa?
If you want a break from the stresses of life and want to rejuvenate your body & spirit – Kerala is the place to be. With the many Yoga and Ayurveda retreats and wellness centers, you can kiss your worries goodbye in Kerala. Travelers make it a point to get a massage while in Kerala as they are often cheaper compared to other countries.
Goa lags behind in wellness tourism when compared to Kerala. Ayurvedic centers here don’t often match up to the authentic experience you would receive in Kerala.
Kerala 5 – Goa 4
#8 Climate – Kerala or Goa?
The monsoon rains dictate the tourist season in Kerala and Goa, with both experiencing tropical weather throughout the year. Summers are hot & humid, winters cool & sunny and heavy downpour during the rainy season.
The disadvantage faced by Kerala is that it receives two monsoons in a year. While this may be the reason the state has greenery all year round, the tourist season is effectively shortened. Showers can be experienced even during the winter months and may spoil your travel plans if you are looking for sunny weather.
Kerala 5 – Goa 5
When you add the scores, both Kerala and Goa are equals in their own rights. It all boils down to what YOU the TRAVELER wants to experience on your holiday. Do you want to have fun or just relax? Do you plan on traveling with family or with friends? How flexible are your travel needs?
South India is indeed a mesmerizing place to travel, and with proper planning, you could end up with memories that delight you and touch your heart. For travel experiences and advise on South India travel, do visit our Website or email us at email@example.com.