Anjuna was once the ultimate hippie destination, with people travelling from all over the world to enjoy its sleepy, spiritual way of life. Now, there’s nothing sleepy about Anjuna, with its lively bars, nightclubs and market, this is the place to go if you want to dance, drink, shop, socialise and sunbathe. The atmosphere in Anjuna is quite unlike anywhere else in the world, its ability to throw a great party and yet hold on to the hippy charms of the 1970s create the perfect mix between raving and relaxing for you to enjoy during your stay.
There are so many wonderful ways to spend your time in Anjuna that it’s hard to pick the highlights, but here are a few…
Let’s start with Anjuna’s main draw, it’s nightlife. Anjuna is home to some of Goa’s most popular bars and clubs, all of which are easily reachable from Prison Hostel. One of Anjuna’s best known establishments is Curlie’s, a beachfront bar and club which is a great place to spend your evenings. The front bar and restaurant serves up refreshing cocktails and a wide range of cuisines all for a perfectly reasonable price. As you head upstairs you’ll find a huge dance floor which will be pumping out tunes until the early hours of the morning. Next to Curlie’s you’ll find Shiva Valley which has transformed itself from a simple beach shack to one of Goa’s liveliest nightclubs which plays host to international DJs and some incredible trance raves. Both clubs are on Anjuna’s main stretch of beach which is also home to plenty of other lively beach shacks and bars. Cafe Lilliput is another popular party venue, and will keep you dancing all night long, it’s also great for a chilled out cocktail at sunset, with beautiful views across the beach. Another funky venue to check out is Guru Bar which hosts live music and packed DJ nights in a slightly more chilled out fashion than some of Goa’s other nighttime venues.
If you head away from the beach then you’ll find some of Anjuna’s other well known clubs such as Club Cubana and Waters. Club Cubana is by far one of Goa’s most impressive nightclubs, set on the top of a hill just outside of Anjuna it has amazing views, great music and its very own swimming pool. The cover charge is reasonable considering once you’re inside you can enjoy unlimited booze and a great night out. One of the most popular nights is Ladies Night, when girls can enter and drink for free, which attracts a fun loving crowd and a friendly environment.
You may have heard of Anjuna’s Flea Market which attracts people from all over Goa each Wednesday. Originally started by hippies selling their crafts in the 70s to raise money for their never ending stay in Goa it now attracts vendors from all over India and the rest of the world, you’ll be surrounded by glittering goodies from Rajasthan, Tibet, Kerala, Kashmir and plenty of other places, you’ll soon find yourself tempted by one of the persuasive stall holders and will inevitably leave with much more than you planned to buy. After an hour or two wandering amongst all the treasures which make up the flea market you’ll no doubt be in need of a good drink or two, head to Cafe Looda and enjoy the sunset, some live music and a delicious cocktail. As the market runs throughout the day and into the early hours of the evening there’s no rush to see it all, so take your time soaking in the atmosphere, practise your bartering skills and stock up on colourful outfits and accessories to show off on one of Anjuna’s many dance floors.
Perhaps Goa’s most popular market and some of its liveliest nightclubs doesn’t sound like the perfect combination for a relaxing stay, but fear not, Anjuna certainly knows how to chill out too. The beach, firstly, is the perfect place to enjoy a little peace and quiet, especially if you set yourself on a sunlounger in front of one of the restaurants. You can relax here for free just as long as you buy lunch or a few drinks, which is the perfect excuse to stay on the beach all day and have a few beers or refreshing lime sodas. Anjuna has somehow managed to cling on to its more spiritual side, so there are also plenty of places to get in touch with your inner self through the form of yoga and meditation. The Brahmani Centre opens its doors to the public during high season (Nov-Apr) and offers a variety of yoga classes including ‘Superhero Acro-flow Yoga’ and pranayama meditation. No need to book, just check out the class timings on their website.
If you’re looking to be a bit more active during your stay in Anjuna, then sort yourself out with a scooter (our lovely cook, Richard will help you out) and head off to explore some of the North’s other beaches. Arambol is just a 40 minute drive away and has plenty of things to check out, such as it’s gorgeous sweet lake and intriguing holy baba who lives under a banyan tree in the heart of the jungle, you will find him by asking around the village (he’s pretty notorious!). Anjuna beach serves up its fair share of activity too, in the form of paragliding which can be found on the southern part of the beach, and, although I’m too much of a wimp to try it out for myself, it does look like a lot of fun.
When it comes down to eating in Anjuna, you’re quite honestly spoilt for choice, there are so many tasty restaurants and shacks that you’re unlikely to come across a bad meal throughout your stay. There are two great options near to the hostel if you’re feeling a little lazy, La Franza is directly opposite and offers a range of cuisines, all for very reasonable prices. Then you have the ever popular Artjuna which has an incredible menu of healthy salads, sandwiches and snacks and a delicious bakery selling fresh, tasty treats. If you fancy some home comforts then head to Burger Factory, where you can enjoy (yup, you guessed it) juicy burgers in a welcoming, comfortable environment. Om Made Cafe is another popular spot where you can grab a delicious salad or sandwich whilst enjoying the gorgeous view from one of its comfy deckchairs. Another great option is the veggie restaurant, Bean Me Up, who’s extensive menu will impress both veggies and meat eaters alike.
As you can see, Anjuna isn’t only about a good night out as there are lots of other things to do too, but if you are looking for a great party then you’ll be sure to find one here. So, don your party gear, leave your reservations at home and join Anjuna in doing what it does best.