The Ultimate Travel Guide Goa – Top Things To Do, Places to Stay & Eat

Goa – the name itself conjures up images of long stretched beaches, party scene, beach shacks, sumptuous seafood and happy lucky locals. People pour into Goa from all parts of the world in numbers and leave a piece of their soul as they leave. It is one such destination that you can never get enough of and it never fails to bore you no matter how many times you visit.

From splendid beaches to mouthwatering food, from luxury resorts to fancy shacks, Goa has everything to charm a traveller.

If you are planning a trip to Goa, we have collated a  list of top things to do in Goa 

Places To Visit & Top Things To Do in Goa 

Places To Visit Top Things To Do in Goa

Explore the Old Town

Immerse yourself in the culture and walk into the history at Old Goa — a UNESCO heritage site. The old Goa is dotted with magnificent churches, government buildings, old Portuguese houses, and remnants of yesteryear ruins.

Places To Visit Top Things To Do in Goa

Some of the must visit places are :-

  • Fort Aguada – Seventeenth-century Portuguese fort overlooking Sinquerium Beach offers breathtaking views.
  • Chapora Fort – Built by the Portuguese in 1717 the fort is situated on a hillock and near the Chapora river, it provides an excellent bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. The fort was also shown in the movie Dil Chahta Hai.
  • Basilica of Bom Jesus – This is a UNESCO world heritage site and it holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is one of the oldest churches in Goa and was completed in the year 1605.
  • Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – The church was first built as a chapel in 1541 and later replaced by a larger church in 1609. This was the site of for landing of ships sailing from Lisbon.
  • Church of the Rosary – Another beautiful church built in the 1500s and is located 8 Kms from Panjim. The church is an excellent example of Manueline style architecture of the early Portuguese.

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Be Adventurous 

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Beaches of Goa and the islands dotted all around are famous for adventurous activities like parasailing, scuba diving, kayaking and much more. We’ve compiled a list of everything you can do in Goa.

  • Parasailing at Baga Beach and Calangute Beach
  • Sea Walking
  • Snorkelling at Bogmalo Beach or Grand Island
  • Scuba Diving at Grande Island Goa
  • Zip lining at NV Eco Farm
  • Surfing at Ashwem Beach
  • Canyoning at Netravali wildlife sanctuary
  • Banana Boat Ride at the beaches of Goa
  • Wind Surfing at Dona Paula Bay
  • White water rafting at Mandovi River at Valpoi ( Timings are 10:00 am and 2:30 pm )
  • Backwaters Kayaking at The Zuari River, The Mandovi River, The Sal Backwaters and Nerul River.
  • Catamaran Sailing in Goa

Beach Out 

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Goa is known for its amazing beaches and no trip is complete without heading to one of them. Just laze around with a sundowner at one of the shacks and watch the world pass by. Some of the must visit beaches of Goa are :-

  • Baga Beach – The most famous and most popular of all beaches in Goa, Baga Beach is located to the northwest of Panjim. Enjoy the different water sports activities like parasailing, speed boat, jet ski etc to having your favorite drink in the most famous nightclub of Club of Goa, Tito’s.
  • Palolem beach – Located in the southern part of Goa, Palolem Beach is a calm and peaceful beach. There are ample of shacks where one can sit and enjoy a hearty meal taking in the surreal views of the sea.
  • Anjuna beach – Anjuna beach is located next to Vagator and Baga beaches. This is a rocky beach and is a great place for photography. There are numerous pubs in this beach where you can unwind.
  • Calangute Beach – Amongst the most popular beaches of Goa, Calangute beach is located in North Goa. There are numerous shops near the beach, which sell clothes, artificial jewelry. There are numerous water sports activities and they are cheap as compared to other beaches. All this makes the beach a lot more crowded than some of the other beaches.
  • Vagator Beach – Amongst the most popular beaches of Goa, Calangute beach is located in North Goa. There are numerous shops near the beach, which sell clothes, artificial jewelry. There are numerous water sports activities and they are cheap as compared to other beaches. All this makes the beach a lot more crowded than some of the other beaches.
  • Other Popular Beaches – Morjim Beach, Agonda Beach, Arambol Beach, Colva Beach, Candolim and Sinquerim Beach

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For Shopaholics

Goa has been known for both flea markets and high-end designer boutique peppered all around the state.

  • Arjuna Flea Market also known as the Wednesday Flea market is known for shops under the sun selling all kind of stuff starting for junk jewellery, sarongs, hammocks, hats, and handicrafts.
  • Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar, this market in Arpora is open every Saturday during winter month’s from 6 pm to  11 pm.
  • Tibetan markets  for home decor items, clothes, shoes and much more.
  • Mapusa Friday market is farmer’s market where you can find all the fresh produce from all over Goa.
  • At Margao Market, you can buy Goan specialities like feni, cashew, and spices
  • Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar

For Party Goers

If you are party goers, Goa is a haven for all those party hoppers . Take our list of some of the happening clubs in Goa.

  • Club LPK – Love Passion and Karma on Candolim
  • Curlies 
  • Tito’s – Oldest and the most happening nightclub in Goa.
  • Club Cabana
  • Kamaki
  • Silent Party -Every Saturday night, near Palolem Beach,  Silent Noise is organised. Dance your heart out while listening music on your own headphones.
  • Mambo’s
  • Aqua at the Leela – If you are looking for classy mass
  • Tamrind Tree near Sinquerim
  • The Alcove at Vagator
  • Lido’s at Dona Paula Beach
  • The World Famous Decades Bar at Calangute Beach

And if you are interested in secret parties, befriend a local and they know the address of the best secret parties.

Try your Luck 

Goa is one of the states where gambling is legal in Goa. So, don’t miss out your chance to try your luck at

  • Casino Royale playing games likes Roulette, Black Jack, and more
  • Las Vegas near Candolim Beach
  • Deltin Royale – Goa’s largest luxury floating casino.
  • Casino Pride in Panjim

Get a Spa Done 

Pick from the beach masseurs or book yourself a fancy spa at one of the luxurious spa resort in Goa which offers full body massage or foot massage to calm your senses.

Go Offbeat

If you are done with beaches, beer and party. Goa also offers a plethora of activities to keep you entertained. We’ve compiled some interesting things to try out and visit whilst your stay

  • Take a tour of the Sahakari Spice Farm or Savoi plantations – the two famous plantations of Goa. Learn about different types of spices or play with elephants.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Go for a romantic Mandovi River Cruise 
  • Go caving at The Arvalem Caves, The Lamgau Caves, and The Rivona Caves. They are fascinating.
  • Visit Goa State Museum
  • Crocodile Watching at Zuari River
  • The Devil’s Canyon situated near Molem at the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary is also quite famous for its eerie stories.
  • The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park are also quite famous among wildlife enthusiasts and bird lovers.
  • Enjoy a Dolphin Cruise at Grande Island. The cruises start from Fort Aguada, Sinquerim or Panaji Jetty
  • Visit a Butterfly Conservatory in Ponda ( Website )
  • Trek to Todo Waterfall Goa
  • Overnight Houseboat Cruise at Chapora River or romantic candlelight cruise.
  • Enroll yourself for a yoga session at Oceanic Yoga School in Anjuna

Whizz around the countryside

Hire a scooty, ditch the maps and soak in the beauty of Goa driving around the narrow alleys and admire the lush vegetation and palm trees laced on either side of the road.

Places to Eat In Goa 

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Take your tongue for a ride from shacks, quirky cafes, uber cool hideouts and luxe restaurants. Goa does not disappoint you with the food scene and flowing drinks all around the year.

  • La Plage in Morjim – Sand in your toes and delicious food on your plate. This place is quite famous for seafood, wine, delicious dessert and a new addition chocolate thali to their menu.
  • Martin’s Corner  – Quite popular as Sachin Tendulkar’s favourite restaurant is known for  their scrumptious food. Seafood lover, don’t give a miss.
  • Anthony’s Beach Shack are quite famous for their flavoured hookah, karaoke music, and candlelight dinners.
  • Britto’s on Baga Beach is one of our favourites when it comes to food and drink.
  • Greek restaurant called Thalassa, in Vagator is quite famous for Greek spread and the Sirtaki dance that is performed every evening.
  • Curlies at Anjuna Beach is one of the coolest place to hang out and our favorite too.
  • Souza Lobo at Calangute is famous for seafood. Makes sure to wait for a seat as it is crowded all the time. It is one of the old establishment which is flocked by both locals and tourists alike.
  • Dream Catcher at Baga Beach is quite famous for super cheap food and delicious food.
  • Betalbatim is famed for the authentic Goan Cuisine and seafood platters.
  • Café Chocolate in Candolim is a chocolate lovers paradise. If you’re one among them, you are gonna regret missing out this place.
  • Bean Me Up is well-known for the healthiest menu in Goa. Ultimate place for vegan lovers.

Festivals Not To Miss in Goa 

  • Goa Carnival in January.
  • Shigmo Festival in the month of March.
  • Sao Joao Festival in the month of Jun/ July.
  • Bonderam Festival on 4th Saturday of August.
  • Sunburn Festival in December.

Places To Stay in Goa

  • Goa Villas for Rent : Goa offers affordable Villas for rent, so why not rent a villa on your next visit to Goa?
  • Luxury Resorts : There is no dearth of luxury resorts in Goa. Do check HERE for amazing deals.

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Do let us know your favorite things to do in the below comment box. 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Dipika Desai
    September 26, 2016 at 5:38 am

    A perfect guide for goa according to individual choice. Nice compilation.

  • Reply
    Pankaj Gosain
    September 26, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Beautiful pictures.

  • Reply
    leena walawalkar
    September 27, 2016 at 8:31 am

    That’s a very helpful post for all Goa lovers!

  • Reply
    Pooja Bhatt
    October 1, 2016 at 11:13 am

    There is So much to do in Goa !! I will keep this post safe till I travel next 🙂 Lovely Pics !

  • Reply
    Indrani
    October 1, 2016 at 11:31 am

    A good comprehensive list!
    I liked the list of places to eat, all are new to me.

  • Reply
    Prasad Np
    October 1, 2016 at 11:56 am

    A very comprehensive guide for anybody planning a visit to Goa

  • Reply
    Renuka
    October 1, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    A great guide indeed! You covered almost everything about Goa. But my heart beats for the biggest Goa – the lush countryside and the local living.

  • Reply
    Renuka
    October 1, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Sorry for the typo – it’s “offbeat” that I wanted to write and not “biggest”.

  • Reply
    Editor
    November 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I would like to publish this article at http://wwww.intelligentindia.in, you can reach me at businesseditor@intelligentindia.in

  • Reply
    Manali tour packages
    December 26, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Goa is such a places where you can go anytime in the whole year. Fabulous must visit places in Goa are Dudh Sagar Waterfalls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, and Devil’s Canyon.

  • Reply
    sherianne
    March 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    What a great guide, most definitely everything I would need to know to have a fabulous time without having to do too much planning — WooHoo!

  • Reply
    Jenn and Ed Coleman
    March 26, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Goa sounds like a fun place to go and hang out. Between beaches and nightlife, you can get goa-ing. This was a very comprehensive list of activities and outlets.

  • Reply
    Chrysoula
    March 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

    That is a very comprehensive guide. I have Goa on my mind only as a beach and party destination. It seems there are many things you can do there and the old town looks lovely. I would love to explore it.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ TastingPage
    March 26, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I love all of the options in Goa – great sites, activities and of course good food and drinks. What more could you ask for in a perfect travel destination?

  • Reply
    RaW | Ramble and Wander
    March 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Hmm… interesting! When I was in Dubai, all my Indian colleagues told me that Goa is just good for some beach holidays – which didn’t really appeal to me – but now I know that there’s much more to do in Goa than just beaches. While I know about the connection with the Portuguese, I’ve never really heard about the old town being talked about as one of attractions there in Goa. So thanks for this, guys!

  • Reply
    Vicki Louise
    March 28, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Goa looks like such a beautiful part of the world with lots to see and do. I always just thought as Goa as a beachy destination, so it’s nice to hear about the other things available in the area!

  • Reply
    Anita Hendrieka
    March 28, 2017 at 11:17 am

    A really great guide to Goa! I spent a week relaxing in a beach hut on Arambol Beach, was so relaxing after 5 weeks in the north! Hopefully one day I can go back and explore the places you mentioned.

  • Reply
    Viajar pela história - Catarina Leonardo
    March 28, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    I´ve been in India just once, but in the north. I would love to came back and visit other places, like Goa. I love history and i´m portuguese 🙂 Nice article!

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    March 29, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Goa is in India but not quite other places in India! I knew there was a lot of beaches but a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lots of Catholic history!

  • Reply
    Vicky and Buddy
    March 30, 2017 at 1:15 am

    This is a really great guide! I only knew about Goa’s beaches, so now when I finally visit I’ll have a better idea of what I’d like to do. I’ve never been parasailing, so I think that would be a really cool experience to have there.

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