Daman is one of those places, which was on my radar for quite some time and finally I managed to visit it during one of my Mumbai trips. Diu and Daman are one union territory despite the distance. Daman is one of the popular watering holes for people from Surat and other nearby places in Gujarat. The resorts come alive in this sleepy town over the weekends with the tourists from Gujarat. If you are visiting here than there are a few places to visit in Daman, which can be easily seen in 2 days.
Where is Daman
Daman is 175 Km from Mumbai and 125 Km from Surat in Gujarat. Daman is surrounded by Gujarat on 3 sides and has Gulf of Khambat on its western side.
Though Diu and Daman are one Union territory though they are separated by Gulf of Khambat. The aerial distance between two is 200 Km but as there is no boat service so one has to travel 660 Km by road in Gujarat to reach from Diu to Daman and vice versa. So, practically it’s not advisable to visit Diu and Daman in one trip. Diu can be combined with a trip to Dwarka, Somnath and Gir national park.
How to travel from Mumbai to Daman
Daman is a place where you can spend a few days away from hustle and bustle of the city life of Mumbai. Or if you are in Mumbai then it is worth visiting because it’s a 3-hour driving distance away.
Mumbai to Daman by road
By road in a car or taxi is the most convenient way to travel from Mumbai to Daman. You don’t need to book and plan a lot of things for the trip. Drive on NH 48 from Mumbai to Vapi and from Vapi take a left turn for Daman.
Road conditions are very good and it will take 3 Hrs 30 minutes. On the way, you can stop at Vithal Kamath or may be Mcdonald. I avoid food chains if there are other options.
Mumbai to Daman by bus
There are several private buses from different parts of Mumbai to Daman, even Gujarat state transport operates some buses.
Most of these buses go to Surat or Ahmedabad or other parts of Gujarat and drops you on the highway most likely at Fortune Galaxy square. The buses options from Mumbai are more in the evening as compared to the morning. Check the Makemytrip’s website for bus schedule as they have several options in comparison to Redbus. Auto-rickshaws are available at the dropping point in Vapi for Daman.
Mumbai to Daman by train
There is no railway station in Daman and the nearest station of Vapi is 13 Km. Traveling by train is the most economical and convenient way to travel from Mumbai to Daman.
There are several trains from Mumbai to Vapi and take between 2 to 3 hours. It is very convenient to travel to Daman from Vapi as taxis and auto-rickshaws available outside the railway station.
I traveled by train from Mumbai and taken an autorickshaw from Vapi railway station, it cost me 150 INR till Daman town. If you go to Devka beach than auto-rickshaw will charge 200 INR.
A taxi will cost 250 to 300 INR. You have to bargain for these prices.
Shared taxis are also available at Vapi railway station and they charge 30 INR per person.
What to expect in Daman and practical tips
* If you want to swim in the sea or expected the sandy beaches of Goa then don’t go to Daman. There are rocks on the beach hidden in water and sand is blackish.
* Daman is a laid back town where fresh seafood is available aplenty at a reasonable price.
* There are several bars in Daman city infect every hotel has a bar. The price of is alcohol is cheaper in Daman.
* Other than non-vegetarian food, Gujarati food items, and thali is easily available in Daman.
* You can take a taxi for sightseeing in Daman but most of the places are within a few Km. An autorickshaw is a cheap and convenient option.
* If you are not staying at Jampore or Devka beach than leave the place early if you don’t have a vehicle. It is difficult to get auto rickshaw after sunset.
* The vehicles entering Vapi from Daman are checked thoroughly at check-post for alcohol. Make sure you don’t have any alcohol in your bag because Gujarat is a dry state and this can land you in trouble. Even some of the auto-rickshaws make you change into another auto-rickshaw with the number plate of Gujarat at the border to avoid the checking hassle. While going from Vapi to Daman there is no such issue.
* If you prefer peace and non-crowded places then visit Daman during weekdays because weekends attracts tourist from the neighboring state of Gujarat. This is a popular watering hole and party place for Gujarati people.
Map of Daman’s tourist places
Popular tourist places in Daman
Daman is divided into two parts, Nani Daman and Moti Daman. The meaning of Nani is small and Moti is big. Interestingly now the Nani Daman is bigger in comparison to Moti Daman. Most of the old buildings and other heritage places are in Moti Daman, which was developed by Portuguese rulers.
This is one of the most popular and cleanest beaches of Daman. It is slightly outside the main city and market area of Daman.
There are several shacks in line along the beach, where fresh seafood of all types is available at a decent price. The shack owners will show you the fresh catch and after price confirmation, you can get it cooked as per your choice of spices.
These shacks have liquor license also, so you will get a beer and other alcoholic drinks here. Though the price of alcohol is higher in shacks as compared to what you will get in the market area.
Jampore beach in Daman is popular for water sports activities like parasailing, banana boat, jet ski, etc. The horse riding and horse cart riding are also popular activities on this beach. On weekends beach comes alive from the morning though on weekdays crowds are lesser.
There are no resorts around this beach.
This is another popular beach in Daman. The water sports activities are also available on Devka beach though lesser in comparison to Jampore beach. There are several shacks on the beach serving seafood, non-vegetarian food, and alcohol.
There are many resorts near the Devka beach.
One thing which I didn’t like about Devka beach is that the water retreats inside the sea during low tide. The seawater goes 500 to 800 meters inside the sea and the area looks don’t look like a beach. It becomes muddy and rocky. Due to this Devka beach is not suitable for swimming.
At the time of high tide water level increases quickly and if someone is careless sitting on a dry rock, he or she will get stuck in seawater. During my visit, we saw a couple got stuck on a rock and some local people rescued them.
Nani Daman Fort / St Jerome Fort
This is a small fort near the jetty. The gate of the fort is still impressive but there is nothing much to see inside the fort. The fort is nothing in comparison to the other Portuguese forts in Diu or Goa.
Still, it is an interesting place to visit when in Daman. The view from the top of the fort is nice.
There is an interesting place in the fort where they have kept the remains of people. This is something very unique in this fort.
Moti Daman Fort
This fort is bigger as compared to the Nani Daman fort and situated across the Daman Ganga river. The two forts are 4 km apart and Moti Daman fort can be reached by crossing the Rajiv Gandi Setu.
The fort mostly remains in form of its high walls, which can be climbed and are a good viewpoint.
This recreational garden is next to the Moti Daman fort and a nice place for picnics. The Jetty garden remains busy in the evening with local crowds, who come here to spend some leisure time. The swings and other activities playing activities are available for kids.
Light House of Daman
The lighthouse is next to the fort and can be seen from Nani Daman beach area also. It is better to visit it around sunset time because during the day it is hot and humid.
When in Moti Daman visit it and feel the old world charm.
Bom Jesus Church
This church is smaller in comparison to the churches of Goa. This church is not grand in size but the alter of the church is beautiful with intricate wood carvings and golden work.
It is a functional church and masses are held regularly. The church is worth visiting to understand the Portuguese history of Daman. A nice place to spend some time. There are houses around it and the area is quite peaceful.
It is one of the most colorful places with a lot of character. Daman jetty is situated next to St Jerome Fort. There are lots of fishing boats on the jetty. There is a lot of activity at the jetty in the morning and evening when fisherman arrives with a fresh catch from the sea.
Mirasole Lake garden
This lake garden has lots of plants and trees. There are food stalls and restaurants are inside the lake garden. A small toy train inside the park is very popular among children for joy rides. The garden has a water park, which is very popular among locals and tourists.
During my trip, I saw a big group of school children. They were brought here for picnics and playing. It is a good place to spend some time in nature if you are traveling with kids to Daman.
Places to stay in Daman
There are hotels for every budget in Daman. Most of the hotels are near the market area in Nani Daman, whereas resorts are away from the city. The places which are away from Daman city are within 8 to 10 Km of Nani Daman market.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Daman depending on what kind of accommodation you are looking for. Just keep in mind that room tariff increases on weekend and the same room is available at a much cheaper price on weekdays.
Hotel Gurukirpa is situated in the main market area of Nani Daman and 5 minutes walking distance from the beach. The main advantage of staying here is that it is in the market area and there are plenty of eating joints around it. The restaurant in the hotel serves good food. It is a medium budget hotel.
The Deltin is another good 4-star resort near NH 185 though it is away from the beaches of Daman and market area. If you want to spend time in the resort relaxing than it is a nice place to stay.
Places to eat in Daman
There are several big and small eating joints in Daman. Most of the smaller ones are in the market of Daman or are unnamed shacks on the beaches.
The bigger restaurants with proper sitting arrangements are mostly in hotels and resorts.
The most popular restaurants are Gurukripa restaurant in hotel of the same name, Spice Galleon in The gold beach resort, and Hotel Miramar. Veera da Dhaba is another popular place to eat, they serve Punjabi food and also installed mannequins showing village culture of Punjab.
After my trip to Daman, I can say that is not one of those places, which can offer you anything special or spectacular. Still, it is a nice place to relax if you don’t want to do anything. If you are from Gujarat and looking for some drinks then this is the place for you. If you are in Mumbai and already visited Alibaug than head to Daman for a relaxing weekend.
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