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GoaCentral > Travel to Goa > FAQ for International Visitors

FAQ for International Visitors

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff.

Note: If after reading this page you still have questions please be free to ask via email.

  1. How do I obtain a visa to India... ?
  2. Where can I find the Indian Consulate... ?
  3. What are the fees for obtaining an Indian Visa ... ?
  4. What are the health precautions for travel to India ... ?
  5. Are there good hospitals in Goa ...?
  6. What is the best time to visit Goa ... ?
  7. Where can I get more information on Goa  ... ?
  8. What are the ways of getting to Goa ...?
  9. Where can I get maps of Goa ...?
  10. What should I wear ...?
  11. What should I carry...?
  12. Is it wise to get travel insurance for my travel to Goa ...?
  13. What about driving in Goa ...?
  14. What are customs regulations for visitors to India?
  15. How should I carry money ...?
  16. Is credit cards safe and useful to carry ...?
  17. What currency is used in India ...?
  18. How reliable is the postal system in Goa ...?
  19. How reliable is the telephone system in Goa ...?
  20. How is transportation in Goa ...?
  21. Where is the International airport in Goa ...?
  22. Is there easy access to internet in Goa ...?
  23. What about photography and photo processing in Goa ...?
  24. Does India and Goa have different time zones ...?
  25. Will my electric shaver work in Goa and India ...?
  26. Are women  travelers safe in Goa ...?
  27. What about gay & lesbian; travelers while in Goa ...?
  28. How safe is Goa ...?
  29. Is there a "Drug problem" in Goa ...?
  30. Is nudity allowed on Goan beaches ...?
  31. Is alcohol freely available in Goa ...?
  32. What is the Language of Goa, is English easily understood ...?
  33. Where can I find a list of foreign Missions in Goa and India...?

 

1. How do I obtain a visa to India... ?

A visa to India is needed of most foreign nationals visiting India. They are obtainable at the Indian Missions, Consulates, High Commissions  Overseas. The visas are valid for the period issued. They range from a 15 day period to up to a six month for tourists. They are valid from the date issued and it is wise to start travel as soon as the visa is obtained to take advantage of the entire period of visa validity. Once obtained, visas can be extended  in India, ( depending on the application ) at the local "Foreigners Registration Office" located in every major city in India. In Goa it is located at the Police Headquarters in Panaji.

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2. Where can I find the Indian Consulate... ?

Here is a list of  websites of Indian Missions Overseas. Check them out for the latest information regarding applications, fees and addresses.

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3. What are the fees for obtaining an Indian Visa ... ?

The fees vary with the country concerned and is many a time reciprocal. You have to check with your local Indian Missions Overseas.

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4. What are the health precautions for travel to India ... ?

India is a tropical country and many tropical diseases are endemic. The important ones include Cholera, Dengue fever, Amoebic and Shigella dysentery, Hepatitis, Malaria, Meningitis, Typhoid, Tuberculosis and Leprosy. Some of these pose a major health hazard to the passing tourist.

It is worthwhile to get vaccinations and   immunizations against the following prior to travel to India. Tetanus and  Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, TB, Rabies and Japanese B encephalitis. Record all vaccinations in the International Health Certificate available at your local Physician or Health department. 

International  tourists should carry their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulations, if they originate or are transiting through countries where Yellow Fever  is endemic. International travelers / tourists  originating from the USA, UK and Canada do not require any  mandatory vaccinations. 

The International Health Certificate is not normally asked for by immigration officials, however it is  better to carry one. It may be of  immense help  in case  of a medical emergency.

To avoid Malaria and  Dengue fever, carrying mosquito repellents, nets, and using sprays against insects in rooms is usually sufficient. A first aid kit carrying adhesive bandages, thermometer, water-purification tablets, antibiotics, antiseptic creams and mosquito repellents is recommended of every tourist. 

It is recommended that sticking to a vegetarian diet is an excellent way of preventing gastrointestinal diseases, should you eat meat,  please make sure that it is properly and completely cooked. Avoid eating food from roadside stalls, pork products, fried food and food that is very oily. Food in  reputable restaurants is usually safe, they are required to maintain health standards.

Drinking only mineral / bottled or boiled water  is highly recommended to prevent gastrointestinal diseases.

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5. Are there good hospitals in Goa ...?

 

Goa has better health facilities for its size as compared to the rest of India. As far as specialized treatment is concerned, there is a difference and most locals travel to Bombay for it. The apex medical institution in Goa is the Goa Medical College Hospitals and their campus is located at Bambolim. The other towns of Mapusa  and Margao are served by district hospitals, namely  the Asilo Hospital in Mapusa and the Hospicio Hospital in Margao. Vasco da Gama has a good private hospital , the Salgaocar Medical Research Center. There are a lot of cottage hospitals and primary health centers in every small town and village.

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6. What is the best time to visit Goa ... ?

The best time to visit Goa is between October and December

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7. Where can I get more information on Goa

Right here. Check out the various pages  and the whole site to get information on the various aspects of Goa.

History of Goa

Goa Sightseeing

Culture of Goa

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8. What are the ways of getting to Goa ...?

Goa is approachable by all means of transportation. Check out these pages for more details.

Air travel to Goa. The international gateway for this part of India is Mumbai. Goa's only airport is Dabolim Airport.

Road travel to Goa. Goa is well connected by roads to major neighboring cities  like Bombay, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad with good  regular bus services.

Boat travel to Goa. Goa has an excellent Catamaran service from Mumbai  except during the monsoon season.

Train travel to Goa. Goa has the most modern railway line in India, the Konkan Railway recently completed that connects it to major Indian cities via links and express trains.

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9. Where can I get maps of Goa ...?

Right here. Check out the various pages for up to date maps for all of Goa's tourist attractions.

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10. What should I wear ...?

Clean and decent clothes, preferably cotton as Goa has a tropical climate. Use your discretion.  The preferred Indian clothes are pants and shirts, and most women wear saris, Indian dresses, pants and skirts and blouses. Please avoid wearing beachwear in the city as it will invite curious unwanted attention. Nudity is banned in Goa. 

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11. What should I carry...?

The usual personal effects along with clothes. Make sure you have the appropriate voltage personal accessories. It is 220V in India. Carry prescriptions of medications and glasses. Make sure you have the International drivers license if you wish to drive. Carry enough local currency $200 worth at all times to pay for local services. Make sure your documents including cash, passport and credit cards and tickets are secure with you at all times.

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12. Is it wise to get travel insurance for my travel to Goa ...?

Yes. One can never predict when one might need specialized services not available in Goa.

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13. What about driving in Goa ...?

Like the rest of India and the UK, vehicles travel on the left side of the road. An International Drivers License is required.

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14. What are customs regulations for visitors to India?

Like every other country, India too has certain Customs Formalities and Baggage rules for International Visitors. Please check out the page on Customs Formalities for International Visitors to India for more.

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15. How should I carry money ...?

Preferably Travelers  cheques and cash in Indian currency up to $200 at all times to pay for local services. Credit cards are also widely accepted in Goa and India today.  

Check out the pages on  Currency Exchange Centers in Goa and Banks in Goa for more information.

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16. Is credit cards safe and useful to carry ...?

Yes. Using credit cards to withdraw cash may be available at only a few places in Goa, so keep enough local cash to get along.

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17. What currency is used in India ...?

The Indian currency is called Rupees. One rupee is made of 100 naya paisa. A rough estimate is 1$ =40 Indian rupees.

 

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18. How reliable is the postal system in Goa ...?

The Indian postal service is very reliable provided all transactions are done at the post office. There is a post office in every village, town and city. The General Post Office or GPO is in Panaji.

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19. How reliable is the telephone system in Goa ...?

Very reliable. The Intra state calls are called STD calls. The international calling facility is available at many calling booths and the rates are displayed outside the booths. They can also be done at most post offices and hotels. A list of important  numbers is in the Goa Emergency Telephone directory

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20. How is transportation in Goa ...?

Very Good. There is a problem of overcrowding which is accepted as a way of life in India. The local transportation is a mix of Private and Public enterprise. The public enterprise is called the KTC or the Kadamba Transport Corporation. The private buses all have names and locals usually refer to them as such. Most local cities and towns have a designated Bus stand from where most services arrive and depart. Check out the page on Road Travel to Goa for more information.

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21. Where is the International airport in Goa ...?

Goa has only one airport and it is located at Dabolim, near the city of Vasco da Gama. It is classified as a domestic airport with connections to all all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Pune and Madras. Check out the Air Travel to Goa for more information.

If you should use Mumbai as your gateway to India, you will find this list of  Bombay  Telephone Numbers useful.

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22. Is there easy access to internet in Goa ...?

Yes and no. There are Internet cafes scattered all over Goa. The charges are variable. Expect to pay about 1 Indian rupee for every minute of use.  A listing of some is in Cyber Cafes of Goa

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23. What about photography and photo processing in Goa ...?

It is all available in Goa at reasonable rates.

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24. Does India and Goa have different time zones ...?

The whole of India has one time zone including Goa. It is commonly referred to as IST or the Indian Standard Time. The IST is GMT+ 5 and 1/2 hours.

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25. Will my electric shaver work in Goa and India ...?

Only if it  runs on  220V. If you come from a country with 110V standard, please get a conversion kit. Since there is wide fluctuation in voltage in India, you are advised to use a voltage stabilizer to prevent damage to sensitive electronic equipment.

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26. Are women  travelers safe in Goa ...?

Relatively speaking, Yes. for more on the Law and Goa Police please check the Goa Police and the Law Page. Goa has a special Women's Police Station to handle women related crimes.

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27. What about gay & lesbian travelers while in Goa ...?

Homosexuality is taboo  and technically Illegal in India under an archiac British 1800 law. However so long as open displays of affection are avoided, there will be no problems in Goa and India.

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28. How safe is Goa ...?

It is relatively safe as compared to the rest of India. Please check out the page on Goa Police and the Law in Goa. Please follow some common Do's and Don'ts while in India in general. This includes locking your suitcases, keeping an eye on them during travel, locking hotel rooms and placing items of importance in hotel safes for safekeeping. Please always keep a sufficient amount of money in small bills in Indian Rupees for sundry use. Keep passport in person at all times.

Check out or print out the page of  Telephone numbers for emergencies in Goa.

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29. Is there a "Drug problem" in Goa ...?

No. Drugs are Illegal in Goa and in India with severe penalties if caught in possession of even minute quantities. Please check out the page on Goa Police and the Law in Goa for more on this subject.

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30. Is nudity allowed on Goan beaches ...?

Nudity is banned on all Goan beaches.

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31. Is alcohol freely available in Goa ...?

Yes. Goa is famous for its own brand of brewing. It is called "Feni ". It is distilled from two sources, Cashew fruits and Coconuts.

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32. What is the Language of Goa, is English easily understood ...?

Goans proudly speak Konkani, it is Goa's official language and Goans had to go through a lot to obtain this status. There is a lot of variation in the way it is spoken among different communities and locations in Goa, this is partly due to history. It now has a script and is called "Devanagiri"  script as it is common with Hindi. English is widely spoken and understood with an accent variation depending on the educational background of the speaker and the area of origin.

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33. Where can I find a list of foreign Missions in India...?

Almost all countries have missions in India. Not many of them have or maintain an office in India. Some of them have their own websites in India are listed in Foreign Missions in India.

Foreign missions with an office in Goa are as follows.

 
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Austria

Austrian Consulate in Goa
2nd Floor, Kamat Centre, D. B  Marg.
Panaji, Goa .
Tel:     0832 420436-39
Fax:    0832 232013

 

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United Kingdom  

British Deputy High Commission,
H. no 189, Joao de Castro Road, near GPO
Panaji, Goa 403 001
Tel:     0832 437 350
Fax:    0832 232 828

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Federal Republic of Germany

Mrs. Celia Menezes, Honorary Consul,
C/o Cosme Matias Menezes  group,
Rua de Ourem, Panaji, Goa.
Tel:     0832 226 281
Fax:    0832 225 098 / 228 588

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Portugal

Consulate General of Portugal in Goa
2nd floor LIC building,  Jeevan Vishwas, EDC Complex,
Patto, Panaji, Goa 403 001
Tel:     0832 229 266 / 224 004
Fax:    0832 224 007

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Italy

Honorary Vice Consul of Italy
D - 1, Sesa Ghar, Patto, Panaji, Goa 403 001
Tel: 0832 230 697
Fax : 0832 229 907

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