Goa is a state located on the west coast of India which is also a Portuguese Colony with the rich historical background. It has the perfect blend of Indian and Portuguese culture attracting millions of visitors across the world over the years. It is one of the most favorite tourist destinations with so many popular places to visit in Goa such as luxurious beaches, resorts, historical forts, delicious seafood and the famous flea market.
The best time to visit Goa is during the months of November to February with the comfortable, pleasant climate. So let’s have look at the most popular tourist attractions in Goa to plan for our trip.
Best Places To Visit in Goa For An Exotic Vacation
Popular Places To Visit in Goa (Beaches)
Popularly known as the “Queen of beaches” it is situated at distance of 15km from Panjim in Goa. It is the most crowded and popular tourist destination. The beach offers an awesome ambiance to the visitors with its golden sand shores along the beautiful Arabian Sea and a number of food stalls and small beach restaurants serving the most delicious seafood and drinks.
It is one of the most famous places to visit in Goa. The beach is also famous for its adventurous water sports activities for the visitors and excellent accommodation facility with the numerous cottages and resorts located nearby. The best time to visit the beach is between November to February.
This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa and the best place to escape the crowd. The beach offers a serene atmosphere with the beautiful sea waves crashing in the white sand sweeping away the feet. It offers a picturesque view to the tourists with the beautiful palm trees surrounding the beach.
Recommended Read Baga Beach – Complete Guide, Things To Do & Tourist Attractions
The beach lies between Adhuna and Calangute beach. It is a small beach compared to the other beaches but an ideal destination to enjoy some sea bath and go fishing. This is one of the favorite tourist destinations located in the Bardez side of Goa.
It is another popular tourist destination in Goa with an amazing scenic beauty. It is located to the north of Anjuna beach. The beach is best known for its nearly 500 years old Chapora Fort and midnight parties. The beach has two parts- The big Vagator and The small Vagator.
The main beach is known as the Big Vagator which is surrounded by lots of palm trees with the white sand on the shores making the place vibrant and mesmerizing. The Little Vagator, however, lies to the southern part and can be reached by a walk from the main Vagator.
You may also like 5 Best Beaches in Goa for People with Kids
The beach is located on the southern coastline of Goa at a distance of 6kms from the Margao city. If you are only looking for some relaxation and spend some leisure time with friends and family this is the best place to enjoy. The beach has an extremely calm sea with its water waves slowly splashing the sand shores which make it an ideal destination for sea bath and swimming.
Recommended Read 14 Inimitable Beaches in South Goa That You Must Visit
The beach is broad and beautiful with palm trees in the backdrop. It has a number of restaurants with delicious cuisine and some best accommodation facilities located nearby for the visitors.
This beach is known for its famous full-moon parties. The parties are mostly organized by the young group of tourists popularly known as “Trance Party” which includes dance with western music throughout the entire night beside a fireplace on the beach. The sea waves are calm which makes the parties more happening with an amazing backdrop.
You may also like Anjuna Beach Complete Guide – Things To Do And Tourist Attractions
Another famous attraction of the beach is the “Flea market” organized every Wednesday from 11 a.m. in morning. It houses the exotic collection of European, Tibetian and Kashmiri handicrafts, snacks from Europe, Gujarati Trinkets, T-shirts, Artificial ornaments and many more. It is no less than heaven for the shopaholics.
It is popularly known as the “Paradise beach” of Goa. It lies in south Goa with a stunning scenic beauty. This beach is not much crowded by the tourists unlike the other ones and hence it has the calm and quiet atmosphere with a soothing aura. The beach has the perfect white sands and the calm waves swirling around the feet to relax.
It also accommodates a number of small shacks which become less in number as we move towards the south. The beach is best known for attractions like Dolphin Cruises, Fishing trips and many more. It also offers a number of accommodations in its nearby areas.
Goa is one of the most desirable tourist destinations in India. It is not just a party paradise, but there are also some of the most architecturally beautiful temples in Goa
If you are looking for some excitement this is the perfect place. The beach is definitely a stress reliever with its cool breeze and pleasing warm sunny weather. The beach stretches long and lonely dominated by palms and other plant species.
You can enjoy privately here as it has no tourists, stalls or restaurants leaving you strolling here and there freely as you please and have some candid photoshoots with the soothing waves and the palm trees. The beach is special for adventures like a camp night where you just hire a tent, camp whole night and enjoy the crashing sea waves.
Recommended Read 6 Beautiful and Cleanest Beaches in Goa
The Candolim beach is one of the popular beaches in North Goa located close to the Aguada beach. The serene and tranquil environment of the beach makes it the most visited tourist spot. The beach is famous for its beach shacks and restaurants serving delicious seafood like pomfrets, shrimps, lobster, tasty cocktails and drinks.
You may also like Candolim Beach Guide – Things To Do And Tourist Attractions
The beach is an attraction to the tourists and the local people due to its numerous water sports adventures like Water skiing, water scooty, and paragliding. The evenings at the beach are best known for sunset and relaxation. It is located at a distance of 14km from Panjim.
Dona Paula Beach
The beach is also known as “Lovers Paradise” named after a girl Dona Paula De Menzes who due to the disapproval of her love affair with a fisherman jumped off the cliff. It is located at a distance of 7kms from Panjim. This is the perfect destination for sunbathing and relaxing. T
he tranquil and blue waters of Dona Paula Bach house various water sports activities. Some of them are Jet skiing, Motor Boats rides, Water scooty etc. It is also known for the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary housing number of local and migratory birds. The beach with its interesting background is a popular tourist spot.
Recommended Read 16 Most Stunning Beaches in North Goa
Historical Places To Visit in Goa (Forts)
This is an excellent and most visited tourist destination with its wonderful surrounding area and stands as a glorifying example of Portuguese Empire. The place can be reached with a 45 km drive from Panaji. The main attraction of the fort is the lighthouse which gives an amazing view of the surroundings from the top.
You may also like Aguada Fort timings, entry fee, history and more
The place is also perfect for the couples to enjoy the most beautiful sunset in their life. The fort is a four-storeyed structure with Aguada jail inside where the criminals for drug dealing crimes were used to be arrested. The location is perfect for photography.
Reis Magos Fort
It is another famous Fort in Portuguese era built across the narrow stretch of Mondovi. It was first built in 1551 surrounded by walls with Portuguese turrets for the protection of the narrowest points of Mondovi. Then in 1707 it was re-erected and enlarged on different occasions.
The fort used to be the residence of the dignified personalities and viceroys from Lisbon. The fort though smaller in size but well preserved and offers a splendid view of the surroundings. The east of the fort has a stream blooming with water whose base holds the structure of Reis Magos Church leading by a number of stairs.
Recommended Read 10 Best Beaches in Goa for International Travellers
The Fort was built in 1717 by the Portuguese to give shelter to their own people after the horrific recovery from the Marathas in the battlefield. The Fort today is an awesome tourist destination. The fort is surrounded by steep slopes all around and has an irregular pattern. The main gate lies on the top of the steep slope with a narrow gate built as per the defense requirements of that time.
The Bastions are irregularly placed with cylindrical turrets and enormous canon embrasures. The open space which was once filled with barracks and housing now consists of stones, bushes, and herds of goats. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa for people who have interest in history.
Related read 10 best beaches in Goa to exprience its nightlife
Cabo De Rama Fort
It is one of the largest forts in Goa covering an area of 1, 80, 000 sq.meters. It is located at a distance of 16m from Agonda beach. The fort consists of 21 canons, military barracks, commanders’ room and a chapel. The fort served as a prison from 1935 to 1955 and got abandoned after that.
The fort has a ruined structure except for the entrance and one of its walls which could be preserved. It is an attractive tourist spot giving an amazing view of the Arabian Sea and Goan Coastline from the top of the Fort with the small church of St.Antonio on its territory.
The fort is situated to the north side of Vasco da Gama town and is located at a distance of 32km from Panaji. The place has a large historical significance as it has been ruled by different Mughal and Portuguese rulers and has seen and survived massive attacks. The fort has a well-built structure consisting of thick walls which were built for protection against the foreign invaders.
A Must Read 11 Alluring Forts in Goa – A Complete Guide
It is an attractive tourist spot and can be accessed easily from Panaji or Margao by bus to Kadamba Bus terminus followed by any regular bus to Sada bus stop which is 5 minutes walking distance from the fort.
Religious Places To Visit in Goa
Basilica of Bom Jesus
It is an ancient church in Old Goa which was constructed in 1594. The Church holds its significance with the remains of St.Francis Xavier who founded the Society of Jesus with his friend St.Ignatius Loyola. The Church is 400 years old and is declared by UNESCO as the World Heritage site.
The Church is famous for its Baroque architecture. The facade is built of black granite and a perfect blend of Doric, Composite and Corinthian style architecture. The interior is decorated in the Mosaico Corinthian style. It also has an art gallery with Famous Italian paintings made during 1973 to 1976.
The cathedral is popularly known as Se Catedral De Santa Catarina. It was built in 1510 to celebrate the victory of Portuguese over Muslim army. The cathedral follows the Portuguese-Manueline architecture. The exterior parts are built in the Tuscan style and the interior parts are built in Corinthian style.
It covers a length of 76 meters and a breadth of 55meters. It has a height of 115 ft. The interior has the largest bell inside which is also known as “The Golden Bell”. The altar of the church is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria with number of paintings on both sides.
Shri Mangueshi Temple / Mangeshi Temple
It is located at a distance of 22kms from Goa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mangueshi who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple is built in typical Goan architecture and offers a beautiful sight to the visitors. It consists of a White Octagonal lamp tower which is 7 storeyed in structure and has golden arches.
The lamp tower is known as the “Deepstambha” of the temple. The temple also has the shrine of Nandi Bull which is another attraction. The best time to visit the temple is during the festivals of Maha Purnima and Ratha Yatra. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa for people with religious bend of mind.
Shri Shantadurga Temple – Kavlem
The Temple is located at a distance of 33km from Panaji. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Shanta Durga and was developed between the years 1730 to 1738. Shanta Durga is believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Durga who intervened once in between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu to stop their fierce battle.
The temple consists of a Pyramid shape Shikharas rising from the rooftop and the main Sabhamandap has the roman style arched windows with some of them stained in red, green, blue, and yellow color. The temple has a beautiful look with maroon peach-white color, flat dome, gate posts and a beautiful chandelier in the interior.
St. Augustine Tower / Church Of St. Augustin
St.Augustine Tower is one of the spectacular attraction in Old Goa and a major tourist spot. The tower is 46m in height and a four-storeyed structure. The building is 400 years old built during the period of 1597 to 1602. Research says that the Church consisted of eight chapels, a convent, and four altars.
The roof of the church eventually collapsed along with its three towers leaving the fourth one which is known as the St.Augustine Tower today. The Tower is constructed in laterite and one of the largest monuments in the church complex which is now conserved by archeological survey of India.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple – Bandora
The temple is located at a distance of 4 km from Ponda and lies in Bandora. The Temple is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. The main entrance of the temple has the Octagonal shaped temple tower with a dome. The main dome is built at a height having a huge lantern.
The doors of the temple are made of wood with Lord Ganesha on them and all the other side of the main entrance is decorated with arts of Lord Hanuman and Garuda. The temple displays the 18 images from the set of 24 images of Bhagavata Sect which is a rare gallery in India containing wooden images of Vishnu.
Other Exciting Places To Visit in Goa
It is the most amazing tourist destination located at a distance of 2 km and 8km from Sanquelim and Bicholim respectively in North Goa. The waterfall has an awesome scenic beauty with the famous Rudreshwar Temple. The waterfall cascades down from a height of 50 ft. forming a lake for the swimmers from 24th ft.
The best time to visit the waterfall is after the monsoon when the water flow is more with the beautiful greenery in the surroundings containing fruit trees like coconut, banana, breadfruits etc. The waterfall also includes the ancient caves which make it the best place for film shootings.
Naval Aviation Museum
The museum is located at Bogmalo in Goa. The museum displays the history of Indian Naval air army over the years and decades. It is divided into two parts- the outdoor exhibit and the indoor gallery which has a two-storeyed structure. It comes after the Indian Air Force museum in Delhi.
The indoor gallery helps the visitors to know about the participation of Indian Air and Naval Force in different battles. It has different rooms dedicated to specific topics like “armament” displaying military weapons,”attire” displaying different uniforms and many more. It also showcases vintage photographs and documents from the period 1959 onwards.
The famous Dudhsagar Waterfall is a major tourist attraction over the years. It is located at a distance of 60kms from Panaji with a railroad connected between Panjim and Margao. The Waterfall is breathtakingly beautiful arising from the Western Ghats with an appearance of the milky stream from distance.
The waterfall has its flow from a height of 603 meters along the mountains which is in full bloom after the monsoon and offers an amazing scenic beauty of its surroundings to the visitors. This is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Goa and an ideal picnic spot too.
It is an old Latin Quarter which is located at Panjim in Goa. It is the perfect example of Portuguese architecture with its narrow winding streets similar to the Europeans cities including the old Villas and the Portuguese style building with balconies painted in traditional colors like green, blue, pale yellow projecting outwards.
The roofs of the buildings are all made of red tiles. Located on the ranges of Altinho Hills it has hills surrounding in the west with springs and in the east with Ourem Creek which is an ancient creek. It is an interesting tourist spot to feel the 18th-century era in the recent times.
Mollem National Park
It is the largest wildlife area in Goa. It covers an area of 240 sq.km. It is situated at a distance of 58ms from Panaji. This is another major tourist attraction in Goa with its variety of wildlife species and the dense rainforest in the surroundings makes it a perfect place for the nature lovers. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Goa for all wildlife lovers.
It houses species like Barking deer, leopard, langur, gaur, mouse deer, flying squirrel, wild dog and many more. It also includes avifauna with birds like Shrikes, Greater Indian Hornbill, Grey-headed Mayna, Drongo etc. The park is also a home to the butterflies like Lime Butterfly, Common Mime, Common Jezebel and many more.
Tito’s: Dance Away the Blues
It is one of the famous nightclubs in Goa located at a distance of 18kms from Panaji. It is famous for its variety of cuisines like tandoori, Thai, Mexican, Italian and the local Goan dishes. The place occupies a large sitting area with a beautiful garden. The ambiance is perfect for the night people with tables decorated with candle holding jars adding more charisma to the place.
Along with the delicious cuisines, the place is also famous for its long list of beverages which includes wines, delicious cocktails, and all other alcoholic drinks. It is the perfect place to booze with your gang before hitting the dancefloors. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa for party lovers.
Hope you liked this article on best places to visit in Goa. Do share your views with me in the comments section below. If this article was helpful, do share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. It would mean a lot to me.