Morjim Travel Guide (2023): Things To Do, Eat, & Avoid

Morjim, Goa in India – the very mention of this charming seaside village brings images of sun-kissed beaches, swaying palm trees, and a laid-back lifestyle that is quintessentially Goan. 

What is Morjim Goa famous for? Morjim, Goa is famous for its beautiful beach, nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles, and Russian community. There are many Olive Ridley turtle nests in the area. It’s also a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. With many Russian tourists and expats, it’s often called “Little Russia.” 

You will want to read to the end to avoid booking an overpriced hotel or wasting money on costly bad food.

As an India travel specialist who’s visited Morjim for 90 days and spent more than 4 years in India, let me share some travel gems that will make your journey to this little slice of paradise unforgettable.

Whether you’re a budget backpacker, mid-range explorer, luxury seeker, or digital nomad, you’ll find recommendations and tips to help you get the most from your experience.

In this Morjim Travel Guide, you’ll learn:

I. Getting to Morjim

Getting to Morjim from major cities like Delhi or Mumbai is a breeze, with frequent flights to Goa’s international Dabolim Airport. From there, you can take a prepaid taxi for around INR 2000 ($25) to reach Morjim

You can also take a train from Mumbai or Bangalore. I’ve taken them both ways and a first-class ticket to Mumbai is $25. Not a bad deal to get your own berth with a few other travelers.

Pro Tip: For a budget-friendly and scenic journey, try the train from Mumbai or Bangalore to Goa and then hop on a local bus or taxi.

II. Weather and Best Time to Visit Morjim

morjim beach panoramic shot at sunset

Goa experiences a tropical monsoon climate. The best time to visit Morjim is from November to February when the weather is dry, cool, and the skies are clear. If you’re interested in witnessing the Olive Ridley turtles, plan your visit between November and March. 

Costs increase substantially in December, especially around the New Year. Costs drop as you get further from this prime time. 

Pro Tip: While in Morjim, try to learn a few Konkani phrases. It’s the local language, and a few words can bring a big smile to the locals. 

  • Hello/good morning  — Deu boro dis dium — (Deo Boro dees dhee-oo)
  • My name is (your name) — Mojem naum (your name) — (Mu-jay now)
  • I come from (your place) — Mau zo gao (your place) — (Mo zo gaa-oh)
  • What is your name? —  Tujem naum kitay? — (Tu-jay naa-oh kidh -ay)
  • How are you?  (male) — Tum Ko so asa? — (Thoo ko so asa)

Read more: Best Times To Visit India’s Most Popular Destinations

III. Things to See in Morjim and Nearby

Goa has an abundance of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and cultural delights. Here are the top six attractions within an hour of Morjim that cater to all types of travelers:

1. Morjim Beach

morjim travel guide ben jenks I heart goa sign

Known as ‘Turtle Beach’, this is one of the quieter beaches in North Goa. It’s a nesting ground for the endangered Olive Ridley turtles and offers a serene, uncrowded place to relax.

You can take kitesurfing lessons, do a morning yoga or evening dance class. There are also kayaks and paddleboards to rent. 

Or chill out at one of the beachside eateries. 

Pro Tip: Plan your visit between November and March to see the turtle hatchlings.

2. Chapora Fort

Just 30 minutes away from Morjim, this historical fort offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Remember the Bollywood movie “Dil Chahta Hai”? This is where those iconic scenes were shot!

3. Saturday Night Market in Arpora

This vibrant market (about 40 minutes from Morjim) is a shopper’s paradise with an eclectic mix of stalls selling clothes, accessories, spices, and more. The market also offers various food stalls and live music, creating a festive atmosphere.

4. Basilica of Bom Jesus

Around an hour’s drive from Morjim, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Old Goa is one of the most important Christian sites in Asia, housing the remains of St. Francis Xavier. The baroque architecture is a marvel to behold.

5. Dudhsagar Waterfalls

3 hours away, this four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River is one of the tallest in India. It’s a bit of a journey but worth every minute, especially during the monsoons when the waterfall is at its most spectacular. If you can make the trip go for it! 

Pro Tip: Irrespective of your budget, make sure to start your day early. Most attractions get crowded as the day progresses, and Goa’s tropical weather is more forgiving in the mornings.

6. Live Music in Arambol

If you are craving nightlife, head 10 minutes north to Arambol. You can find plenty of bars and beachside cafes with live music or DJs. 

Pro Tip: Download the app Party Hunt to find all the local events and parties. 

7. Sunset Cruise on Chapora River

ben jenks chapora river cruise morjim sunset

A sunset cruise on the Chapora River is a great way to end a day in Morjim Beach. The cruise takes you through the calm waters of the river, past mangroves and palm trees, and offers stunning views of the sunset over the Arabian Sea.

I took a sunset cruise on the Chapora River recently, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my trip to Goa. I booked the cruise all to myself for 30 minutes but you can go with friends to save money. There are many seats on the boat.  

As we cruised up the river, I saw all sorts of interesting things. There were mangroves, palm trees, and even a few mansions! We also saw some birds, including kingfishers and herons.

The highlight of the cruise was the sunset. The sunset over the calm waters is peaceful and it was absolutely beautiful. The sky was ablaze with color, and the water was calm and reflective. It was a truly magical experience.

A sunset cruise on the Chapora River is a great way to end a day in Morjim Beach. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and you’re sure to have some great memories.

Tips by Traveler Category

  • Budget Travelers: Use local buses to get to these attractions. They are the cheapest mode of transport and a great way to experience local life. Just head out to the main street in Morjim and you can find bus stops going north or south. Ask the ticket man or driver if you have questions, they’re usually very helpful. 
  • Mid-Range Travelers: Consider renting a scooter. They offer the flexibility to explore at your own pace. Remember, in Goa, the journey is as beautiful as the destination. You will pay 500-800 INR per day. The longer you rent it the cheaper price per day. Do negotiate! 
  • Luxury Travelers: Hire a private car with a driver for the day. It’s the most comfortable and hassle-free way to visit these sites. Many luxury resorts in Morjim offer this service.
  • Digital Nomads: Mix work and pleasure. Visit coworking spaces in Anjuna or Calangute, then explore the nearby attractions. 

Read more: Common Travel Mistakes in India

IV. Local Cuisine & Cheap Good Food

Morjim Seafood Thali with fish roti chutneys
Seafood thali is great for lunch

Goan cuisine is a delicious and diverse blend of Portuguese, Indian, and East Indian influences. It is characterized by its use of fresh seafood, coconut, and spices. Some of the most popular Goan dishes include:

  • Fish curry
  • Vindaloo
  • Xacuti
  • Sambar
  • Dosa
  • Bebinca
  • Poi

Goan cuisine is also known for its use of vinegar, which is used to add a sour flavor to many dishes. This is a legacy of the Portuguese influence, as vinegar is a common ingredient in Portuguese cuisine.

On my three-month stay in Morjim, I had plenty of seafood thalis. This is a local lunch with fried fish and a few veg dishes. I had eaten this every day on my last visit to Arambol and it didn’t disappoint this time as well. The flavors were so complex and delicious, and I loved the use of fresh seafood. I especially enjoyed the vindaloo, which is a spicy curry made with pork or beef.

If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic dining experience in Goa, I highly recommend trying the local cuisine. You won’t be disappointed!

Here are some other facts about Goan cuisine:

  • The most popular fish in Goan cuisine is kingfish.
  • Coconut is a staple ingredient in Goan cuisine, and it is used in a variety of dishes, including curries, chutneys, and desserts.
  • Spices are an essential part of Goan cuisine, and the most common spices used include peppercorns, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili peppers.
  • Vindaloo is the most famous Goan dish, and it is a spicy curry made with pork or beef.
  • Bebinca is a traditional Goan dessert that is made with layers of rice flour, coconut, and jaggery.

Read more: What is Real Indian Food?

Best Places For Good Food

poi morjim carnival food
Try stuff poi sandwiches with veg or non-veg (this one had fries in it too!)

Best Cheap Good Food

Feast on authentic Goan fish curry rice at the street food stalls for under INR 200 ($3). 

  • Mid Guard Sea View: Walk away from the beach a few minutes to save some rupees. Mid Guard Sea View is in a quiet part of town and you can find completely decent food in a chill vibe. At night it’s lively with Russian tourists and music. I ate here most days on my most recent Morjim trip. 
  • Urban Nomads: Nice spot along the river with drinks and decently priced food. They are into crypto and have murals of Cyberpunks. 
  • Jenny’s Kitchen: Near the river and you can find local foods for decent prices. 

Best Mid-Range Good Food

  • Burger Factory: Must-try place for burgers and drinks along the beach. Cool vibes with fairy lights and music: 
  • Rainbow Bar and Restaurant: Comfortable place on the beach with decent food. 
  • Cafe Morjelo: Good pizzas in the main square in town. 

Best Luxury Good Food

  • Jardin D’Ulysse: Must-try place near the river. Go for the sea bass if you like seafood. It has a pea puree sauce which is weird but the taste is on point. Very chill vibes in the upper seating and you could have coffee here and work. 
  • Felix Beach: Top-tier cocktails on the beach with a solid burger. 

Pro Tip: Go in February or March to check out the Carnivale celebration. They have live music and plenty of street food stalls. I had delicious poi bread stuffed with chicken and sauces. So good! 

Read more: Why Does Indian Food Make You So Gassy?

V. Accommodation in Morjim

tea on morjim accommodation hotel balcony
Tea from my porch at Morjim Sunset Guesthouse

Relic Guesthouse: Best for Budget-Friendly Apartment

My favorite place in Morjim to stay. I spent a couple of months here and had everything I needed to work full-time yet walk to the beach for dips and fun. I booked on Airbnb and got the monthly discounts. I had a small kitchen, desk, porch, and hot water. A cleaning lady came every few days which is necessary with the amount of sand here. Total price ranged from $350 – $400 per month (28000 – 33000 INR). 

Zostel Goa (Morjim): Best Hostel in Morjim

Zostel has everything you need to have a great time. They have a pool with a few floors of accommodations, right near plenty of restaurants and bars. They have a restaurant onsite with areas you can work. It’s more lively with loud music playing most of the day which some may like. You’re also about a 15-20 minute walk from the beach which isn’t as advantageous. But if you want to meet other social travelers it’s a great spot. 

Prices range from 700 INR ($8) for a bed in a mixed room to 3500 ($45) for a single room.

Morjim Sunset Guesthouse: Best for Mid-Range Hotel

Good clean hotel near the river with modern amenities like a smart TV and recently purchased bedding. I stayed with them a few weeks and was able to work while watching the latest Netflix shows. The beach is a 10-minute walk but you’re close to the river and nice restaurants like Jardin D’Ulysses.  

You can expect to pay around 2000 ($25) per night.

Marbela Beach Resort: Best Mid-Range Resort

Marbela Beach Resort Morjim is a beautiful resort located on the beach in Morjim, Goa. The resort has a variety of rooms and suites, all of which are spacious and comfortable. The resort also has a number of amenities, including a swimming pool, a spa, and a restaurant.

The resort is located right on the beach, so you can easily walk to the water. There are also a number of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the resort.

The price range for the Marbela Beach Resort Morjim varies depending on the time of year and the type of room you choose. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from ₹3,000 to ₹5,000 ($36 to $61) per night.

Foxoso La Alphonso Beach Resort: Best Luxury Resort

The Foxoso La Alphonso Beach Resort is a located on Morjim Beach in Goa. The resort is known for its relaxed atmosphere, stunning views, and delicious food.

The resort has a variety of rooms and suites, all of which are spacious and comfortable. The rooms are decorated in a traditional Goan style, and they all have private balconies or terraces with views of the beach or the pool.

The resort also has a number of amenities, including a swimming pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a number of restaurants and bars. The Foxoso La Alphonso Beach Resort is also home to the A2B Bar, which is a popular spot for sunset cocktails.

The resort is located right on the beach, so you can be in the ocean in a couple of minutes. There are also a number of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the resort.

The price range for the Foxoso La Alphonso Beach Resort varies depending on the time of year and the type of room you choose. However, you can expect to pay around ₹5,000 ($61) per night.

Read more: 2 Week Travel Budget for India + Free Tool

VI. Morjim Shopping Guide

Anjuna’s Wednesday Market: Best for Budget Shoppers

30 minutes south of Morjim is the bustling beach and town of Anjuna. You’ll find a market near the beach every day but Anjuna’s Wednesday Market is the best place to find unique souvenirs. If you stick around this is a better place for drinks and nightlife with plenty of backpackers in the area. 

Mapusa’s Market: Best for Artisan Crafts

Mapusa Market is 30 minutes from Morjim and a great place to find artisan crafts from all over Goa. You’ll find everything from traditional Goan pottery and textiles to souvenirs and trinkets.

The market is open every day, but it’s busiest on Fridays, when locals come to buy and sell fresh produce. If you’re looking for a bargain, be sure to haggle with the shopkeepers.

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping in Mapusa Market. First, be sure to bargain with the shopkeepers. This is a normal part of the shopping experience in India, and you’ll likely get a better price if you’re willing to haggle.

Second, be sure to inspect the goods carefully before you buy them. Some of the goods in the market are made from low-quality materials, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Finally, be sure to bargain in good faith. Don’t lowball the shopkeepers, and don’t try to take advantage of them. Just be fair, and you’ll be sure to have a good experience shopping in Mapusa Market.

Here are some tips for finding artisan crafts in Mapusa Market:

  • Look for stalls that sell locally-made goods.
  • Ask the shopkeepers where their goods are made.
  • Be sure to inspect the goods carefully before you buy them.
  • Don’t be afraid to bargain.

Calangute’s Boutiques: Best for High-End Gifts

Calangute is a great place to find high-end boutiques selling everything from designer clothes and jewelry to home decor and souvenirs. You’ll find a wide variety of shops to choose from, so you’re sure to find something you love.

Here are some of the most popular high-end boutiques in Calangute:

  • Auroville: This boutique sells a wide variety of designer clothes, jewelry, and accessories from India and around the world.
  • Bliss: This boutique sells a variety of home decor items, including furniture, rugs, and accessories.
  • Shiva’s Treasures: This boutique sells a variety of souvenirs and gifts, including jewelry, clothing, and handicrafts.
  • The Goan Connection: This boutique sells a variety of Goan-inspired clothing, jewelry, and accessories.

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish souvenir to take home from your trip to Goa, be sure to check out the high-end boutiques in Calangute.

Here are some tips for shopping in Calangute’s high end boutiques:

  • Be prepared to spend some money. The goods in these boutiques are on the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • Be sure to bargain. Even in high-end boutiques, it’s still customary to bargain with the shopkeepers.
  • Do your research. Before you go shopping, be sure to do some research on the boutiques you want to visit. This will help you narrow down your choices and make the most of your time.

Read more: Gifts To Take From USA To India

VII. Tips & Travel Hacks for Morjim

morjim ben jenks sunset selfie with ocean

Visit During Monsoon For Budget Deals

Monsoon season in Morjim offers deals on hotels at 50% off or more. But it isn’t for the faint of heart. There will be meters of rain, flooding, and most restaurants are closed for the season. But if you want deals and don’t mind spending most of your time indoors, it would be a memorable experience. All the rains make the forests super lush as well! 

Book Hotels & Tours In Advance

Hotels and festivals will get booked up during the prime season around the new year. Book early to ensure your spot and look for deals. 

Accommodation Near Ashwem Beach Has The Best Internet

If you’re working from the area, consider accommodation near Ashwem Beach. I was able to find workable internet at the Relic Guesthouse and Morjim Sunset Guesthouse but it took some looking. You can find more options on the next beach north which is Ashwem Beach. 

VIII. Safety & Health Tips

Goa is relatively safe, but like anywhere else, be cautious about your belongings on the beach or in crowded places. Mosquito repellent is a must to prevent any vector-borne diseases.

Be careful in the ocean as the tide can be strong during storms. 

IX. Cost of Living in Morjim

morjim russian menu

While the cost of living in Morjim varies from some more popular destinations like Baga, here are some average prices to help you budget:

1. Accommodation

  • Budget Travelers: A hostel bed in Morjim can start from INR 500 ($7) per night.
  • Mid-Range Travelers: A room in a comfortable hotel like the Marbela Beach Resort might cost INR 5,000 ($70) per night.
  • Luxury Travelers: For a high-end resort like W Goa, expect to spend INR 20,000 ($280) or more per night.

2. Food

  • Budget Travelers: A simple Goan fish curry rice at a local eatery may cost around INR 200 ($3).
  • Mid-Range Travelers: A seafood thali at a mid-range restaurant like Vinayak Family Restaurant can cost around INR 500 ($7).
  • Luxury Travelers: Dining at a high-end restaurant like Jardin d’Ulysse may set you back INR 2,000 ($28) per person or more.

3. Drinks

  • Budget Travelers: A pint of local beer like Kingfisher at a beach shack might cost around INR 80 ($1).
  • Mid-Range Travelers: Cocktails at a mid-range bar can range from INR 300-500 ($4-$7).
  • Luxury Travelers: At high-end establishments, expect to pay INR 1,000 ($14) or more for a cocktail.

4. Transportation

  • Local bus fare to nearby attractions can cost around INR 30-50 ($0.4-$0.7).
  • Renting a scooter for a day can cost around INR 500-800 ($6-$10).
  • For a private taxi, expect to pay INR 1,500 ($18) or more for a round trip to nearby attractions.

Read more: What Can $100 Buy in India?

VI. The Downsides of Visiting Morjim

While Morjim has much to offer, it has a few downsides. It can get crowded during peak season (December to February), which may detract from the tranquility. 

Also, as it’s a turtle nesting site, beach parties are restricted, making the nightlife quieter than in other Goan towns. 

Finally, Morjim can feel quite isolated during the monsoon season (June to September) with fewer open restaurants and activities.

VII. Example Morjim 1-Day Itinerary

morjim rainbow restaurant and bar on the beach
Rainbow Restaurant & Bar on the beach is super chill

Here’s a sample one-day itinerary to give you an idea of how you could spend a day in Morjim:

  • Morning: Start your day early with a visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. After exploring the church, enjoy a breakfast at Gunpowder, known for its South Indian cuisine.
  • Late Morning: Head back to Morjim and spend some time on Morjim Beach. Try to spot the Olive Ridley turtles if you’re there in season.
  • Lunch: Head to Jardin D’Ulysses or beachside Rainbow Bar and Restaurant for delicious seafood.
  • Afternoon: Take a trip to the Chapora Fort and enjoy the panoramic views. On the way back, stop by the Saturday Night Market in Arpora for some shopping and snacks.
  • Evening: Return to Morjim Beach to watch the sunset. 
  • Dinner: Enjoy a beachfront dinner at Jardin d’Ulysse, ending the day with some fine dining.

Remember, this is just a sample itinerary. There are many ways to experience Morjim, so feel free to mix and match to suit your travel style!

Final Thoughts

After reading this comprehensive Morjim Travel Guide, you should be ready to pack your bags and set off on a memorable journey. Morjim, known for its sublime beauty, offers the best of Goa’s serenity mixed with a pinch of vibrant Russian influence.

From basking on the Turtle Beach and watching Olive Ridley turtles, visiting the historic Chapora Fort, strolling through the nearby Mapusa and Anjuna markets, Morjim, Goa has something for everyone.

Tantalize your taste buds with the local Goan cuisine, blending the best of Portuguese, Indian, and East Indian influences. Whether you’re a budget traveler looking for authentic street food or a luxury traveler seeking refined Goan fusion cuisine, Morjim won’t disappoint.

When it comes to accommodation, Morjim caters to all budget types. From the budget-friendly Relic Guesthouse to the luxurious Morjim Sunset Guesthouse, there are ample options to choose from.

However, it’s important to remember that Morjim can feel quite isolated during the monsoon season, so the timing of your visit is key.

Morjim, Goa is a place full of surprises and delightful experiences. This Morjim Travel Guide is your one-stop solution to explore Morjim like a local, and we hope it helps you create unforgettable memories on your next trip.

Now, let’s start planning your Morjim trip today!

Further Reading:

Benjamin Jenks

Traveler, Filmmaker, and Lover of India. I've been living, writing and sharing what I've learned about traveling in India since 2018. Learn more about me here or Youtube.

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