I know that title says 'Must do Things in Goa' and we are talking about Calangute. I kind of don't agree with this if you explore the list of things to do and prioritize it well. Here I will try to share that why I chose of this title and why do I feel that Calangute may not be in your list of 'Must do Things in Goa'.
When I started planning for my first Goa trip and started looking at the information shared on various websites. I found that most of the websites only talk about North Goa, it's beaches and hotels/resorts at relatively cheaper prices as compared to South Goa. Many of the websites emphasize a lot that North Goa is best place to stay. My theory says that since there is so much influence, people start exploring options to stay in North Goa. When you are staying in North, you end up visiting the Northern beaches more as compared to beaches in South part of Goa. Which essentially many of these tourists would put stuff on internet and internet has lot of stuff about Baga & Calangute beaches. These two beaches are not doubt most crowded beaches in Goa. But unfortunately these two are most dirty beaches as well and not well maintained. Advantage of Baga is that you can sit in some to of the good restaurants and enjoy good ambiance while being on beach. There are few on Calangute as well, but there is significant distance from beach.
On reaching Calangute, we immediately decided to leave it in next 10 minutes. We had a quick walks around the beach and it was so full of people that we couldn't even get near to the sea. And here I was talking about off-season time. Imagine it's state during full swing season. Calangute is just next to Candolim but there was high contrast between the crowd you find on Candolim & Calangute. Here I don't want to be very vocal, but hope that you can sense out few implicit things I am avoiding to mention.
Various websites have mentioned Calangute as 'Queen of Beaches' , so there may be a possibility that we visited the beach at wrong time and have very bad impression of the place. Calangute is considered as flagship beach.
And for obvious reasons, Calangute is very commercialized among all the beaches in Goa. As mentioned earlier, because of lot of publicity of Calangute beach, lot of tourists and backpackers from different parts of the world come here. During monsoons, there were hardly any shaks and had handful of clubs open. It may be possible that Goa Tourism keep best care of the beach during main season.
Supposedly various shows take place on Calangute beach which include rock, pop shows, open air dances etc. Calangute has a huge market with almost every type of shop & institutions. Foreigners visit this market to find most of the relevant stuff including options for currency exchange etc.
While walking on Calangute Beach, we walked upto a distant place from where Candolim was also visible. We thought of coming back, buy some basic stuff & move towards Panjim. With so much disappointment, we left Calangute region without even visiting Church of St. Alex, which is another recommended place to visit by one of the reputed Travel portal.
If you have checked this blog post and have different views about Calangute Beach, please share your thoughts. It should be a fair assessment, so looking forward to some genuine replies from folks who visited this beach and liked for some reason. Please do share !