From My Beach Hut…A Quick Guide to Palolem Beach, Goa

Derek India, Videos 141 Comments

Beach Huts on Palolem Beach, Goa

It’s high season here in the laid-back, popular tourist destination that is Goa, India. And despite the fact that most locals I’ve met have told me that this is the slowest high season they’ve seen in a while, there is still no shortage of tourists, both foreign and Indian, roaming around the beaches.

I have chosen to spend my time in South Goa, on a two kilometer stretch of sand known as Palolem Beach, with its thousands upon thousands of leaning palm trees (just as there is supposed to be on a tropical beach) and about fifty or so restaurants and beach hut operations scattered in between.

Palolem is touristy for sure and it looks more like an island in Thailand than it does a part of India. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with spending some time in a touristy location, especially when we need some rest and relaxation, which is exactly what I was in need of after two months of traveling around North India.

And so far, I love Palolem Beach. It’s friendly, super-relaxed and enjoys a diverse mix of tourists – independent travelers, couples and families – that helps create a most pleasant atmosphere. It’s certainly not a wild party place but it’s certainly not a boring, nothing-to-do destination either.

Cow on Beach (Goa)

Palolem is also relatively inexpensive, something that definitely surprised me, especially considering the time of year and the large number of vacationers who fly straight to Goa for a 7- or 10-day holiday and then fly straight back home.

Accommodation Options

My friend and I are staying in a basic hut right on the beach. It has an attached bathroom, comfortable mattresses and plenty of room to move around. And when we walk out the door and down a few steps, we are on the sand. From our balcony, and pretty much anywhere inside the hut, there is a clear view of the Arabian Sea, and the soothing sound of the waves is the only sound we hear.

This hut costs 1500 rupees per night, about $30 USD. That’s $15 per person which is a bargain for such a setup during high season here.

However, you could stay in Palolem for much cheaper as well, even during this time of year. I met two female travelers who are staying in a standard hut with shared bathroom for 500 rupees per night ($10 USD) and they are still only a one minute walk to the beach. And then I met another traveler who is staying in a simple, clean room in a small house, with his own bathroom, for only 300 rupees per night ($6 USD) and again, he is about a two minute walk to the beach and one minute walk from the main strip in town.

That’s cheap.

View from Balcony (Goa)

Restaurant & Huts on Palolem Beach (Goa)

(My hut is the one on stilts to the right of the restaurant!)

Food Options

As for food, I must admit that it took me a few days to find the inexpensive options and at first, I thought that I was going to spend a lot of money on meals. I even checked an online guide to Palolem or two and still couldn’t find any good recommendations. The dozens of restaurants that line the beach are not so cheap by India standards, with meals in the 200 – 750 rupees range ($4 – $15 USD). But it turns out that there are a couple of cheaper places mixed in, such as Royal Touch, Chinatown and Rockit restaurants, all of which offer great food on the beach for about 100 – 300 rupees per main dish.

And then, if you leave the beach and walk one minute into the village itself, while there are still plenty of expensive eateries in this area as well, there are a few standout cheapies too.

My daily routine now involves waking up at 8:00am and walking down the beach in order to grab a double omelet sandwich with vegetables and a chai from a street stall on the main road, a hearty breakfast that costs me 25 rupees (50 US cents). For lunch, I’ll often head to a fruit stall in town, buy a pineapple, a large watermelon and ten bananas for about 125 rupees total, then return to my hut and eat it all on my balcony. And for dinner, I usually alternate between the Calcutta Restaurant, which serves very tasty fish thalis for 100 rupees and the Sai Shiv Restaurant that offers excellent punjabi thalis for 100 rupees, fish thalis for 60 rupees and many other delicious items at very cheap prices. There are also food stands hidden in the main parking lot near the beach that serve up fried rice and chow mein noodles for 50 – 70 rupees a plate.

In the evenings, usually around sunset time, and after my third daily swim in the ocean, I’ll enjoy a drink or two with some other travelers from one of the beach bars near my hut, something that costs me 80 Rps for a large Kingfisher Beer or 70 Rupees for a whiskey with lime soda.

Sunset on Palolem Beach (Goa)

And since I’m in more of a relaxation mood than a party mood right now, I’m typically back at my hut by around 10pm, more than ready to fall asleep to the sound of the waves outside my door.

This is how I’m spending my time in Goa, while getting some work done in between of course, and I couldn’t ask for anything more right now, especially for the price I’m paying. It feels like some kind of end-of-the-year therapy every time I look at the ocean or step foot on the sand, a therapy for both my body and my mind, and the result is an inner excitement and eagerness to discover where life shall lead me once the new year begins.

Video Tour of My Beach Hut

Ready to step inside my beach hut?

(For those reading this post via email, click here to watch the video over on my site.)

Other tips for Palolem Beach:

  • many of the restaurants put beach mats and umbrellas in the sand early in the morning and anyone is free to use them…they don’t cost anything
  • there is a small island at one end of the beach that is full of monkeys and you can walk here during low tide, otherwise, you can hire a kayak and paddle over
  • beware of the coconuts (seriously, beware, something I learned first hand)
  • bargain hard for accommodation here as there is an abundance of beach huts and rooms available

Have you been to Palolem or anywhere else in Goa? Are you interested in visiting Goa at all?

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Comments 141

  1. Pingback: INDIA – The Paradise Chaser

  2. Smritilekha C

    Hey Earl,

    I’m from Calcutta (Kolkata), the capital city of West Bengal. Fish & Rice is the staple diet of Bengali people. Have you visited West Bengal yet?
    Also, what is the name of that Calcutta restaurant in Goa & where is it exactly?

  3. Russ

    Hey Earl, sweet site!

    I have a couple of questions. Regarding staying on/around Palolem:
    You say it should be cool to just roll up in Jan/feb/2016 and find a beach hut place?
    And food – good quality and cheap prices – would be off the beach back in town area couple blocks off the beach? Suggested restaurants for good cheap meals?

    Is it a huge issue that I’m a single guy travelling alone when it comes to hut rates because I’ve seen references here to ‘based on two people’?

    Can you suggest a good cheaper place to stay ?

    Hey brother, I know I’m asking a lot here but I really appreciate your lowdown on the scene 🙂

    Thanks man and keep travellin’ !


    Russ the damn Canadian

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Russ – Yes, you can just show up there as there is no shortage of beach huts. Just walk along the beach, check out the different options and choose the one that’s best for you. As for food, there are plenty. The town is tiny so it will take you about 2 hours to figure it all out. Start off at the German Bakery (great restaurant) and when you walk the main strip in town, you’ll find plenty of food options.

      Hut rates are usually per hut, not per person.

      As for cheaper, you just need to look around. There are literally 500+ huts on the beach probably and it depends on how busy they are, your negotiating skills, how long you plan to stay, etc. You should be able to find something for 500 rupees per night, not on the beach but a bit back from the beach.

  4. Rona

    Hi Earl,

    Nice review! makes my upcoming trip to Goa even more anticipated! we are a bit tight for time in Goa, only 4 nights. My boyfriend likes the nightlife it promises etc but i’m more into the relaxing, beaching it kind of stay. Can you suggest which beach we could stay on to find a happy compromise? Or maybe split 2 nights in a busy / party beach and 2 in a quieter one maybe?

    I’d love to be able to book a sea facing hut – somewhere i can literally open my eyes and walk onto the beach in the morning!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Rona – With only 4 nights, I would just choose one place and stay there. Moving around and spending your time in two different places won’t allow you to really enjoy either of the locations. But it’s best that you do the research to figure out which beach is right for you…there are many!

      1. Rona

        So any one you’de really recommend that’s not overly crowded but not dead either? I’ve read up a lot and they all seem to offer a bit of everything so trying to make up my mind is kinda driving me crazy!

        thanks for your reply 🙂

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Rona – My favorite is Palolem which has a little bit of everything but is not a huge party place at all. It’s relaxing and has plenty of huts right on the beach. Some of the beaches in Goa do not have any accommodation right on the beach itself so that’s something you want to take into consideration. But Palolem is not for everyone, it’s just the beach that I am particularly drawn to based on what I like (laid-back atmosphere, nice stretch of sand, huts on the beach, tiny town, some nightlife).

          1. Rona

            thanks so much for your replies! So one last question – you recommend we just turn up to Palolem and choose/negotiate a beach hut there and then? We will be there end of february, not sure if this is still high season there or not. Thanks once again =))

          2. Wandering Earl

            Hey Rona – You’ll be perfectly okay just showing up, walking around and finding the hut that suits you best!

  5. Mihai Lesiacu

    Very nice Review about the palolem beach. We are 4 people, going to stay for 6 nights at the seashore in March. We just want a hut on the beach and a good price.
    My question is: what’s better, to book in advance on the internet or just go there and ask for available huts?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Mihai – Definitely just show up and ask for available huts. You want to see the hut first before booking anything as they are usually not what they seem online.

  6. Vijay Anand

    Hey Earl,

    Nice Info. Just got back from a three day holiday at Palolem beach, we were three in total. Stayed at Cupid`s castle for 3 nights for 800 rs/per day. Quite close to the beach actually. Would love to visit again in March but this time we are 5 ppl visiting and would like to stay in beach huts, any recommnedations ??

  7. Prince

    Hi Earl,

    Amazing to read your review and i happen to be planning to go to palolem this october after the 20th so what are your recommendations since i am looking for accommodation for 2 or 3 haven’t yet finalized on that. So i need a place cheap below 400rs for 2 nights.

    And your tips on cheap Food and liquor around Palolem 😉

    Also would like to know if it is a good time to be heading there at around late October …

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Prince – In October you just need to show up and see what kind of accommodation is available. Since it’s still monsoon season in October, very few accommodations are open. Most don’t open up until early November and even then, some don’t open up until the end of November. Once you get there, just walk along the beach and negotiate for a hut with the places that are already open.

      As for food, just walk down the one street in town and you’ll find a couple of cheap, local Indian places to eat. Anything on the beach is naturally going to be much more expensive.

  8. Elin

    Hi Earl!
    I’m going to Palolem with a friend in the beginning of November this year, will stay at The Nest.
    I have found a company online called Goa Tours planner who have a day trip tour to grand island for 1500rs per person. I have tried to find any info about them online but couldn’t find even 1 review! is this a company you have heard about or do you know any other companies who has snorkeling trip? We are looking for something quite cheap (so not viator… no turist traps…) Something local 🙂
    Also we are interested in elephant riding.. Goa tours planner have that tour as well for 2000rs per person but sound a little too expensive. I was in goa 2005 and then I remember there were elepants by the roadside you could pay a small amount and then ride on, is it like this still?
    Great website btw!! 🙂
    // Elin

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Elin – I’ve never heard of them but I’ve never really taken an organized excursion during my visit to Goa. Many operators are just booking agencies that take a commission and send you to the main company that actually runs the trip. My advice is to wait until you get there as there’s no reason to book in absence and this way you can shop around and talk to other travelers. As for elephant riding, I’m not a huge fan of that so I’ve never looked but in Palolem I’ve never seen any elephants at all. Hope that helps.

  9. Elin

    I’m going to Palolem with a friend in the beginning of November this year, will stay at The Nest.
    I have found a company online called Goa Tours planner who have a day trip tour to grand island for 1500rs per person. I have tried to find any info about them online but couldn’t find even 1 review! is this a company you have heard about or do you know any other companies who has snorkeling trip? We are looking for something quite cheap (so not viator… no turist traps…) Something local 🙂
    Also we are interested in elephant riding.. Goa tours planner have that tour as well for 2000rs per person but sound a little too expensive. I was in goa 2005 and then I remember there were elepants by the roadside you could pay a small amount and then ride on, is it like this still?
    Great website btw!! 🙂
    // Elin

  10. Hardik

    Hi Earl,
    We 3 friends are planing to visit palolem for 3 nights 20 nov onward. one of our friend suggested Chattai beach huts for accommodation. Can you recommend something better ? our budget for accommodation is 1500-3000/night for 3 people. also please suggest me good Bar and Restaurants and any particular dish you liked there?

    Thank you very much for blog, snaps and especially video

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Hardik – I recommend the one I mention in my posts – Havana Huts and Resort de Palolem, those two seemed like the best to me that I saw. As for bars/restaurants, you’ll see when you get there…there are many and they are generally the same, at least the ones right on the beach. If it’s crowded, it’s probably good!

      1. Aftab Khalil

        Hi Earl,
        Am staying in middle east, so I have no option other then booking on phone atleast. can u please share Havana Huts & Resort de palolem please. so I can jump directly with reservation.

  11. Do'Katchi

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your article! My friend and I are planning on visiting Palolem around the same time you went and I was wondering if you booked the huts ahead or did you just get it when you reached
    Goa. Also any idea what the names of the cheaper huts are?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Do’Katchi – I’m not too sure the names of them specifically but you generally just show up, walk along the beach, check out all the huts and decide which one is best for you!

  12. William Orwell

    Hi Amarjeet, I am going to Palolim the same time as you. You can see my picture on my youtube account williamorwell. If you see me say hello.


    Dear Mate

    Your article is really helpful , I am going to Goa betwenn 12 to 15 of April and staying at Holiday Inn ( South Goa) , I really apperciate your article and will taste it fish from Calcutta Rest.
    As I prefer to stay in South Goa rather in North Goa because of clean beaches and sound environmet , I would also want to know hows Night Life at South Goa ??

    Will you guide me about per day Jeep Hiring cost ??

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Amarjeet – There is plenty of nightlife in South Goa as well. But I don’t know the rates for hiring a jeep unfortunately as I never did that during my visits.

  14. sunil kunnoth

    You have neatly written an article on Palolem with good photos. I had visited the place and still wish to go and enjoy there. Thank you for sharing your experience through this beautiful blog dear.

  15. Tarang

    hye, very nicely written blog i must say. I visit goa atleast thrice a year. At times real life incidents there inspire me to write short stories.
    hope you can check out. bye

  16. Elin

    Hi again!

    Thanks for the reply. Ok so I guess you have´nt seen the places I´ve mentioned above although they are both on Palolem beach. If you happen to see them it would be nice to know what they are like. Green Park is in the south end of the beach and Bhakti Kutir between Palolem and Patnem beaches.


  17. Kat

    Hi Earl – I’ll be in Goa from January 12th – is there a beach hut that you recommend that I can also book online before I go? I’m travelling solo and as Palolem is going to be my down-time before I head up to explore Northern India, I’d rather have this part planned before I get there 🙂


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kat – The ones that I prefer can’t be booked online I don’t think. You could email them through their websites though and you might be able to make a reservation that way. My two favorites are “Resort de Palolem” and “Havana Palolem”. Enjoy your time there!

  18. Tan

    Hi Earl

    Heading down to Palolem this 28 to 02 – any idea which of the shacks offer free/or paid wifi? Also do you have any reco for the liveliest shacks based on your visit?


  19. Animesh

    Over 5000 days on the road!!?? Insane! (Y)

    A friend and I are visiting Palolem from December 25 to December 28. Would we find a beach hut easily if we just show up without booking in advance (because it’s really expensive to book online)?

    Secondly, is Palolem one of the quietest around this time of the year? I’ve been to Arambol around New Year’s, and it was fairly quiet. How is Palolem compared to Arambol?

    Thank you for publishing all the useful info!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Animesh – Palolem will be crowded during that period as it is the busiest week down there. However, it will still be quite quiet overall and nothing too crazy. But usually, most of the huts are taken during that time…you might still be able to find something but you can expect to pay around 1500 INR per night for a basic hut.

  20. Elin


    Me, my husband and two year old son are planning to go to Goa in march. Because we´re travelling with small child we thought it would be a good idéa to book accommodation ahead. We´ve looked at a few places on the web Bakhti Kutir and Green Park Resort, any idéas on what those are like? Any tips on a good beach hut place to stay with small child, what is the most quite end of the beach?

    Hoping for helpful reply, thanks 🙂 /Elin

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Elin – Goa consists of dozens of beaches and the distance between the most southern and most northern beaches is several hours. So I would research each beach first until you find the one that seems most suitable for your family. I’ve never heard of the places you mentioned, they are probably on a beach I’ve never been to.

  21. akshata

    Hey Earl!
    Im in Palolem right now. I was searching for good eating options here & I came across your blog. It is very well written and you have got all the info just right!! Will definitely look around ur posts!!

  22. Sebastian

    Hey Earl!

    My friend and I are going to Palolem in the beginning of january and would like to stay in a beach hut. Do you have any recommendations? What are some good places? What do you think is appropriate to pay per night? And do you think we’d manage to find something good and clean by just turning up?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Sebastian – I can recommend “Resort de Palolem” and “Havana Palolem”. And for the beginning of January, you could get a very simple hut about 2 minutes walk to the beach (without a view of the ocean) for around 800 rupees per night or a bigger hut closer to the beach for around 1000 rupees per night. There are cheaper rooms available as well if you wander around. You could definitely find something if you just showed up but it might not be ideal since early January can be a busy time there.

  23. Janis

    Hey Earl,
    Im going to palolem in a week or two and would like to know of you have the Name of the Hotel the Guy stayed in for 300rs.

    Thanks for the post,


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Janis – It actually doesn’t have a name. Palolem is very laid back so you can just wander behind the beach and you’ll find people renting out huts, rooms in houses, detached rooms among the trees and all sorts of stuff. But the place my friend stayed at was located on the ‘path’ between “Resort de Palolem” and the German Bakery. No name, just a house with several detached rooms scattered around.

  24. Saul

    Hey Earl,

    I’m going to in Palolem this Christmas. From your experience do you think turning up and getting accommodation is easy or is everywhere booked?

    Thanks mate

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Saul – You should be able to find something but XMas and New Years is the busiest week of the year down there. But at the same time, it’s not very easy to reserve anything ahead of time as most places don’t have websites or they don’t answer emails. You could try though as they are quite good at responding to booking inquiries and they have great simple huts right on the beach.

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