Goa – the name itself conjures up images of long-stretched beaches, party scenes, 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 souls 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 mouth-watering food, from luxury resorts to fancy shacks, Goa has everything to charm a traveler.
If you are planning a trip to Goa, we have collated a list of top places to visit & things to do in Goa
Places To Visit 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.
Some of the must-visit places are:-
- Fort Aguada – A 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 Km from Panjim. The church is an excellent example of the Manueline style architecture of the early Portuguese.
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The 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
- Snorkeling 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
- Whitewater 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 the Nerul River.
- Catamaran Sailing in Goa
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 skiing, etc to have your favorite drink in the most famous nightclub of the 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 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 on 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, and 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 – Vagator Beach, Morjim Beach, Agonda Beach, Arambol Beach, Colva Beach, Candolim and Sinquerim Beach
Goa has been known for both flea markets and high-end designer boutiques peppered all around the state.
- Arjuna Flea Market also known as the Wednesday Flea Market is known for shops under the sun selling all kinds of stuff starting with junk jewelry, sarongs, hammocks, hats, and handicrafts.
- Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar, this market in Arpora is open every Saturday during winter months from 6 pm to 11 pm.
- Tibetan markets for home decor items, clothes, shoes, and much more.
- Mapusa Friday market is a farmer’s market where you can find all the fresh produce from all over Goa.
- At Margao Market, you can buy Goan specialties like Feni, cashew, and spices
- Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar
For Party Goers
If you are a party goer, 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
- Tito’s – Oldest and the most happening nightclub in Goa.
- Club Cabana
- Silent Party – Every Saturday night, near Palolem Beach, Silent Noise is organized. Dance your heart out while listening to music on your headphones.
- Aqua at the Leela – If you are looking for a classy mass.
- Tamarind 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 on your chance to try your luck at
- Casino Royale playing games like 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 resorts in Goa which offers full body massage or foot massage to calm your senses.
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 during 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 the 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 bike, 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
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 desserts, and a new addition chocolate thali to their menu.
- Martin’s Corner – Quite popular as Sachin Tendulkar’s favorite restaurant is known for their scrumptious food. Seafood lovers, don’t give a miss.
- Anthony’s Beach Shack is quite famous for their flavored hookah, karaoke music, and candlelight dinners.
- Britto’s on Baga Beach is one of our favorites when it comes to food and drink.
- A Greek restaurant called Thalassa, in Vagator, is quite famous for its Greek spread and the Sirtaki dance that is performed every evening.
- Curlies at Anjuna Beach is one of the coolest places to hang out and our favorite too.
- Souza Lobo at Calangute is famous for seafood. Make sure to wait for a seat as it is crowded all the time. It is one of the old establishments 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 its 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 on this place.
- Bean Me Up is well-known for the healthiest menu in Goa. The ultimate place for vegan lovers.
Festivals Not To Miss in Goa
- Goa Carnival in January.
- Shigmo Festival in March.
- Sao Joao Festival in 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.
Do let us know your favorite things to do in the below comment box.
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