Popular Places to Visit in Goa
The Dudhsagar trek inside the park is closed to the public but you can still reach the waterfalls by trekking from Kulem and following the jeep trail. Another possible route is the trek from Castle Rock in Karnataka. Reaching the waterfalls will not be an easy task but it is one that is worth every ounce of effort put into it. They are best experienced during the monsoons as they lose their force during the dry season.
Many tours are organized over this time so you can choose to go as a part of a group. Some tours even have overnight camping options. But remember to go well-prepared to ensure a good experience, especially if you are going on a self-organized trek. The lush green jungle and the beautiful waterfall sending up their forceful sprays are a sight to remember long after you have left Dudhsagar behind.
Location: Sanguem Taluka
How to reach from Panaji: Take a train up to Kulem railway station. However, don’t expect a proper platform here. It is a rough stop.
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- North Goa
Baga Beach is the most famous of all Goa sightseeing places and as a tourist visiting Goa you really haven’t been to Goa if you haven’t been to Baga. Full to the brim with activities you can indulge in, Baga Beach and its surrounding areas will not give you time to get bored. There is always something exciting going on here. In the morning, the beach is a great place to lounge in, soak in the sun and interact with tourists from all over the world.
When you’re done with the sun, it is time to take in the salty sea winds with some adventurous water sports in Goa. Head over to lunch at one of the many restaurants that populate the beach and which offer various dining options. If it is fine dining you want, you can take your pick from some of the top restaurants of Goa. But even if you’re just in the mood for casual food, you can find some pretty good places near the beach which will delight your appetite.
Night is the time when the beach virtually comes alive. Lots of great party options make Baga Beach an amazing beach to party the night away. Tito’s, Café Mambo, Kandy Club and many more clubs make Baga beach a party haven every night.
Water Sports: Baga Beach is best-known for its jet skiing, parasailing, banana ride and boating water-sports.
Location: Baga, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: The beach is located about 16km from Panaji. You can hire a cab to reach here or rent a scooter which can serve you for the length of your trip.
Beach Side Restaurants: Go With The Flow, Jamie’s Restaurant, Fire and Ice, Chelsea Beach Shack, Britto’s Bar and Restaurant
- North Goa
- North Goa
Running from Calangute Beach on one side to Fort Aguada on the other is the Candolim Beach. The day activities offered on this beach are its best attraction. You can perform a whole host of activities on the beach including a vast array of water sports, all at very reasonable prices. You can choose to spend some time at Candolim Beach and then head over to Calangute next door or just spend all your day on this beach and explore the sights nearby.
Renting a scooter in order to get around freely is the best option and will only cost around Rs.300/- for the day. Many churches and chapels dot its neighbourhood and there is also an old lighthouse which stands inside Fort Aguada. The Fort Aguada Jail is also a tourist attraction. The best part about Candolim Beach is that it has significantly lesser footfall. You can enjoy the beauty of Goan beaches along with the activities they, have to offer without the crowds of Baga or Calangute. This also allows other activities to flourish on Candolim. Yoga is one such example.
The beach is an ideal place for couples on their honeymoon or on a romantic getaway because it offers much-desired solitude but not at the cost of leaving you absolutely bored. There are some great resort in Goa which are Candolim like Hyatt, Radisson Hotel, Taj and there are also several villas out for hire. Also, make sure to drop by the Stone House for some great blues live music in the evening when in Candolim.
Water Sports: You can try parasailing, diving, jet-skiing, snorkeling, banana-boating or get on a boat and go bird and dolphin watching. Sea excursions are also available here.
How to reach from Panaji: The beach is located approximately 14km from Panaji, so depending upon your luggage needs, a cab or scooter will serve you well.
Beach Side Restaurants: Soi, House of Lloyds, Café Jazz, Bomra’s, The Mermaid Restaurant, After 7
- North Goa
There is no dearth of water related activities in Goa, of course. But while the different beaches up and down Goa offer tourists many options, these options are not to be found all in one place. Not so in grand island. Grand Island is the nirvana of Goan water-sports. There is a lot to be experienced here from diving to snorkelling to fishing. Scuba diving in Goa is the most popular activity because it offers so much in terms of underwater exploration.
There are ship wrecks to be found here as well as some reefs. The “Suzy” wreck and the “Davy Jones Locker” are especially popular with divers as are Serge City, Bounty Rock, and Turbo Tunnel. Experienced and beginner divers both find something to satisfy in Grand Island. You can also go snorkelling. Professional instructors will provide the equipment and the instructions. Bumper boats and banana boats are also popular around the island.
End the day with a fishing trip and a barbeque of the produce you caught. A day trip usually lasts from 8.30am to 4 pm but it can be negotiated beforehand. If you want an in-depth underwater experience, Grand Island is one of the places to visit in Goa. You will come back from your trip exhausted but well-satisfied with your day. Make sure to carry all your swimming and beach essentials as well as spare clothes for the day.
Timings: Varies with the ferry service provider
Location: Grand Island, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: The island is only connected via water ways so you will have to arrange a ferry ride. This can be arranged at the major jetties in South Goa.
Mandovi River Cruise
If you prefer calming experiences over adventure sports and clubbing, Mandovi River Cruise is among the best activities you can try in Goa. Just board one of the luxury cruises and set out on a journey to embrace peace and enjoy on-board entertainment.
Partaking in this laidback experience is an excellent opportunity to unwind while capturing the essence of Goa. According to your preferences, you can opt to take the cruise either during daytime, sunset hour, or at night.
Although evening time is preferred by most due to the grand sunset vistas one gets to witness. Furthermore, various exciting cruising packages like Dolphin Fantasy Cruise and Backwater Thrills are also available to entertain visitors with.
Timings: Various cruises throughout the day
Location: Mandovi River, Panaji, Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Paradise Cruise is located at a distance of 2.8 km from Panjim city centre and is accessible by both public and private transportations
This beautiful river runs along the Northern part of Goa and eventually joins the Arabian Sea. Goa is full of beaches and is surrounded by water on almost all sides but the northern part is a bit more famous for this particular river. The Chapora River has the perfect water current and rapids that are required for White River rafting and other water sports like Kayaking. Tourists can even go for cruise rides and enjoy the sea breeze with some appetizers.
Sunset boat rides are
particularly famous in this area as during the sunset the river is more
beautiful than ever. The calm and serene environment around the river helps one
connect with their inner self and feel peaceful. One can easily drive up to the
shores of this peaceful river and escape the busy city life.
How to reach there from Panaji: Chapora River is 24 km away from Panaji and one can take a bus to reach there.
- South Goa
Goa is India’s favourite party place. Therefore, you simply have to visit one of the many clubs scattered around Goa on your visit there. Tito’s Street is one of the best clubs you can visit. Tito’s Street, named after the street it is located on, is a club that attracts a lot of crowd especially because of its prime location and its top-notch service. Baga beach, where the club is located, is a party hub so it is no wonder that loads of tourists find their way to Tito’s Street after sundown.
The club is known for its excellent services and this compensates amply for the slightly overpriced tags on drinks and food. The place is made up of two levels: the lower level is a dance floor with a separate dance space for couples; the upper level allows people to sit and watch the activity below while enjoying their food and drinks. The DJ is reckoned to be very good and you’re sure to get in some soul-pumping dancing on your visit.
There are various entry vouchers which have complimentary services included. The vouchers begin from Rs. 1000/-. Their security is also among the best which is very important in a party-climate like Goa’s. It does not matter whether you go during in or off-season. Tito’s Street is an exciting place to party in Goa all year round. Their cocktails are the talk of the town, so make sure you try them out. Nonetheless, even if you aren’t looking to drink, Tito’s Street is one of the places to visit in Goa for youngsters.
Head over to Tito’s Street if you want a great experience which is worth your time and your money.
Timings: 6 pm to 3 am
Location: Tito’s Street, Baga Beach, North Goa
Entry Fee (Couples and Stag):
-Rs. 1000/- for two.
-Free entry for ladies.
-Rs. 2000/- stag entry
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Goa is one of the most toured places in India. Anjuna, a small village on the North coast of Goa, is amongst those few Goa sightseeing places which receives a lot of tourists. The Anjuna Beach is arguably amongst the best beaches in India. The beach has the perfect picturesque background with hills.
The beach is blessed with beautiful red
laterite rock. Hundreds of people visit
the Anjuna Beach every day and enjoy themselves by relaxing on the beach. A
flea market is held on every Wednesday in the Anjuna beach. People from all
around the state come to this flea market as one can get amazing products at
really cheap prices here.
Location: Anjuna, Goa 403509
How to reach from Panaji: Anjuna Beach is 29 km away from Panaji and one can take buses or cab to reach there.
The largest beach in Goa, Calangute Beach is also affectionately known as the “Queen of Beaches”. It is among the top ten beaches in the world, which means it is one of the tourist places in Goa that you should not miss. It is a big, serene beach with activities enough to fill your mind for the entirety of your trip. The beach alone is a great attraction for tourists. The beach is ideal for both the options, lying down in the sand without the fear of being run over or trying your hand at some water sports.
There are a lot of options to choose from. The distance of Calangute from Baga Beach is not great; the two beaches are only separated from each other by some rocks. You can choose to have breakfast or lunch at Baga or Calangute. There are also many great sight-seeing opportunities near Calangute such as Morjim Beach, St. Alex Church, the Water Pond of Arambol, Ashvem Beach, the Aguada Lighthouse & Aguada Fort, Nerul River, the Friday Local Mapusa Market, River Betul & Betul Estuary.
You will find Calangute transformed into a beach for the party in Goa in the night as good as the one at Baga Beach. Since Calangute Beach is connected to most other important tourist spots in North Goa, it is a good place to reside in during your Goa visit.
Water Sports: Calangute offers the best in water sports- enjoy kayaking, sailing, wind-surfing, water snorkeling, water-skiing, and fishing here. Parasailing is also a sport you can indulge in.
Location: Calangute, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Taking a taxi or cab is the easiest option to reach here
Beach Side Restaurants: Pousada by the Beach, Zuperb, Sousa Lobo, A Reverie, The Chocolate Room
Another heritage from the Portuguese, Fort Aguada has been standing stern on the beach facing the Arabian Sea from 1612 when it was built in order to provide defence against the invading Dutch and the Marathas. It was a grand old fort in its time with the capacity to hold 79 cannons among other weapons of defense. It was one of the prized possessions of the Portuguese. Today, it stands as famous Goa sightseeing places dividing the Sinquerium Beach and Candolim Beach.
There is an old lighthouse standing within the fort which was built in 1864, the oldest lighthouse of its shape and size in India. Fort Aguada is a great place to explore when you are out visiting the Candolim or Sinquerium Beaches. The architecture gives a good insight into the building techniques of old Portuguese architects and it has some amazing views you should really see. The old fort provides a good view of the sea and the sunset is reckoned to be lovely.
The fort is a great way to spend an afternoon. Afternoons are usually too hot to spend on the beach. But you don’t want to be cooped up in your hotel room when in Goa. So, head over to Fort Aguada and spend your time exploring it. Once you’re done, you can simply sit down and enjoy the sea breezes as you let the afternoon pass by. And then you can head over to either of the two beaches that strike your fancy in the evening. It makes the perfect resting point during your tour of the beaches in North Goa
Location: Candolim, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Buses and taxis are your best options.
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Club Cubana calls itself the “Nightclub in the Sky”. It is an appropriate name for a club located in a remote location on top of the Arpora hill in North Goa and it is also top places to visit in Goa. But though remote, Club Cubana is a great attraction for partygoers. It has revolving flash lights which throw their colourful lights all over the neighbourhood all night long, thereby attracting customers. There is a spacious dance floor where you can groove to the beats and there is also a swimming pool with a lounge which adds to the feeling of luxuriousness that characterises Club Cubana.
The club operates within strict parameters. It is open only from October to April and caters especially to couples and ladies. Stag entries are not encouraged though some are allowed in on rare occasions, for example, if they form part of a larger group of couples. Their attempt is geared towards maintaining an environment where people can let their hair down without worrying about security concerns.
If you are heading over to Goa with your girl gang, Wednesday is Ladies Night at Club Cubana. This means free entry and complimentary drinks for women. If a guy intends to accompany you, he will have to pay for entry. The dance floor, the lounge, and the bar are all located on different floors so you can easily pick and choose which activity to undertake first. But don’t expect great food here, you’ll only find the most basic food items to go with your drinks.
However you will definitely find an amazing ambience here.
Timings: 9.30pm to 4 am
Location: Arpora, North Goa
Entry Fee (Couples and Stag):
-For the LOW SEASON: Couples: Rs.1000 to 1700/-; Stag: 1400/-; Women Only: 700/-
-For the HIGH SEASON: Couples: Rs.1800 to 2200/-; Stag: 1500/-; Women Only: 700/-
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The Church Of Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception
This is one of the most frequented places for sightseeing in Goa. The lovely church which stands tall in the capital city of Goa has had a long tryst with the past. It was first built as a chapel in 1541. Over this chapel, the larger building of the church was then constructed in 1619. It has since undergone many revisions, but the original building has remained. It draws devotees from all over the globe and has been a spiritual and geographical landmark for centuries.
Old Portuguese sailors who crossed the perilous seas safely and landed at Goa would pay their first thanks at this church. Today, this church is a gorgeous white landmark in Panaji with a lovely multicoloured interior that at once imparts peace and delight. It is at its best in December as the feast of Our lady of immaculate conception is celebrated on 8th of December followed by the Christmas and New year celebrations.
If you’re in Panaji even for a couple of hours at any time of the year, drop by this church and simply revel in the silence within its walls.
Timings: 10am-12.30pm & 3-5.30pm Mon-Sat, 11am-12.30pm & 3.30-5pm Sun, English Mass at 8am daily
Location: Emilio Gracia & Jose Falcao Road, PanajiHow to reach from Panaji: By bus or cab
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This beach is connected to the Candolim Beach and Fort Aguada guards one end of its shore. As a result, the tourist attractions here are pretty much the same as those in Candolim. You can explore the Old Fort and the lighthouse that stands within the fort, enjoy the sunset from the fort or simply watch the waves crash on the seashore during high tide. One difference between the two beaches is that Sinquerium Beach can easily take home the prize for being the quieter and the cleaner between the two beaches.
Since Candolim Beach is just next door, it takes most of the crowds, leaving Sinquerium mostly empty. The beach is a good place to relax in but be mindful of the sand as there are occasional reports of broken glass lying around in the sand. Be cautious when you take off your slippers or sit down. However, other than this minor hurdle, the beach is a good one and there are shacks which can provide you with cheap but good food options.
At night, you can party at one of the clubs in Sinquerium like Sinq Night Club or head over to the clubs in Candolim or Anjuna which are only a short distance away.
Water Sports: Boat rides, banana boat rides, parasailing, water scooters are among the water sporting options at Sinquerium Beach
How to reach from Panaji: This stretch of beach is well-connected from Panjai and not far from it. Both cabs and buses frequent the route.Beach Side Restaurants: Bon Appetit, Palmshade, Shivers, Tuscany, Calamari Bathe and Binge
This is a little out of the way thing you can indulge in when in Goa. A Casino Cruise is essential, at the basic level, a restaurant, but with the additional casino features for those who want to try a hand at Vegas style entertainment. The ship is docked on one of the many rivers in Goa and is fitted with posh furnishings. The view outside and the rooms inside both make for a great set-up. The casinos are open all round the clock but they really come to life in the night from 9 pm to 3 pm. They are like clubs but instead of the DJ and the party music, you have casino games and low music. They are well-fitted spaces with fine dining options in place including a good selection of drinks.
The visitors can stay on board for up to 12 hours and enjoy the ambiance of the cruise. If you are lucky, you might even end up slightly richer when you come out of the Casino Cruise. Some places even have playrooms for children in case you want to take them along. The tickets are slightly expensive but seeing that they come inclusive of the provision of food and drinks as well as the various other entertainments apart from the casino rooms.
There are dance shows and ball rooms and lovely decks where you can hear the river waters dapple against the ship. If you are visiting Goa as a honeymooning couple, this is a very romantic place to be. There are many Casino Cruises in Goa like Deltin Royale Casino, Casino Pride, Casino Royale, Casino Carnival etc. Most are located close to Panaji.
Timings: 24 hours
Location: Varies by the Cruise you go to
How to reach from Panaji: Cabs are a good source of transportation in Goa
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Anjuna Flea Market
Many tourists associate the name of Anjuna with its wild nightlife and trance scene. But that is just one aspect of Anjuna. The weekly Wednesday Flea Market is another. Flea markets are a quintessential Goan experience and the Anjuna Flea market is one of the best in Goa. It is an interesting off set to the beach scene and is only in operation from mid-November to April. The market first came into existence alongside the party scene at Anjuna beach in the eighties.
Hippies from all over the West congregated here to sell off their personal items, like Levis jeans and other trinkets, in order to fund their stay. Partying does cost a lot after all. But now, the place has evolved into a good-sized market with goods from all over India being sold here. Both Westerners and Indians mill around the place buying and selling and generally enjoying themselves. You can snag some great cloth pieces for really good rates at the market.
Tea stalls and snack stalls line the streets too, allowing the visitors to have a good time without worrying about food. Other breakfast places are close at hand. Visit the Anjuna Flea Market in order to get a taste of the other side of Anjuna and some interesting trinkets.
Timings: 8 am, Wednesday
Location: Anjuna, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Anjuna is not at a great distance from Panaji. Taking a cab will be the most convenient option besides buses and scooters for hire.
Curlies is one of the necessary places to visit in Goa for youngsters. This club also provides a variety of accommodation options so you can, in fact, choose to stay here for a day or two. It will be well worth the stayover. Curlies is an all-in-one beach “shack”. Not only is it known for its good quality of service and its equally good food, it is also very famous for its sea view. Curlies is located almost at the edge of Anjuna beach which means that, figuratively, the sea waves knock right at its doorsteps.
This is a great set-up if you’re lodging at Curlies because you just have to put on your beach slippers and step out into the sand and the sea in the morning. You can spend the entire day on the beach soaking up the sun, knowing that everything you need is right next to you in the hotel. If you’re here to party at the spacious beach dance floor that can hold as many as 500 people, you will find yourself in a perfect party setting.
Loud, cheerful music, a whole host of foods and drinks to choose from, and a breath-taking view. If you’ve never seen how beautiful the sea looks at night, your night at Curlies will surely reveal it to you. The rooftop lounge area is great to relax in after dancing as is the pool area.
Timings: 8.30 am to 3 am
Location: Anjuna Beach Strip,
Entry Fee (Couples and Stag):
-Free for ladies
-Couples: 1200/- approx.
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You really have to see Divar Island in order to believe it. It is amongst the most beautiful places to see in Goa. The fact that such a small, pristine, and simple place can exist in Goa alongside the crazy party scene If you’ll visit it, only then you will be able to experience it. Absolutely unlike any experience in Goa, Divar Island will leave you feeling happy and satisfied. This is because the entire place gives off a rich, wholesome, almost home-like vibe which is particularly attractive to those who prefer quiet and natural beauty.
The small island is covered with dense forests and there is only one village on it with a small set of residents. This creates that intimate homelike environment which is soothing, to say the least. The hilltop views are pretty too. It does not have any commercial tourist attractions but the local sites like the whitewashed Church are worth a visit. These are simple and yet intricately designed structures which are elegant in their own way.
Reaching Divar Island is easy and convenient. Ferries operate round the clock after every 15 minutes from morning to evening. If you happen to fall in love with the island and want to stay there, you can stop at Divar Island Retreat, situated in an old Portuguese mansion.
Timings: (Ferry) 7 am to 8 pm
How to reach from Panaji: The island is approximately 8km from Panaji. Many ferries operate from various points in Goa.
Palolem is one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches, or at least used to be till it got overrun by commercialization in the form of huts and hawkers. Nonetheless, its peaceful waters bordered by headlands are still very attractive. It is a popular tourist attraction of South Goa. The location makes its sea calmer than others and you can walk almost 100m into the sea with ease. Not only are there many things to do on the Palolem Beach, there are many things you do in the nearby locality.
You can participate in an early morning yoga class for one thing. You can also dance at the offbeat Silent Noise Disco. You put on headphones provided by the club and party into the early hours of the morning without any worry about the police interrupting you because of the noise. There are also many sightseeing options like the Monkey Island and the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Both places make a good day trip around Palolem.
If you wish to simply kick back and relax, Palolem is a good place wherein to do so. Also get an Ayurveda massage while you are at it.
Water Sports: Scuba diving, canyoning, self-paddle kayaking, dolphin watching are some activities you can undertake here
Location: Canaconna, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: You can either hop on a bus or take a taxi
Beach Side Restaurants: The Olive Room, Café Inn, Canacona, Café Del Mar, Havana Cuba
Sinq Night Club
Gift yourself joyful times in Goa – hit Sinq Night Club to make your trip worthwhile. Featuring a laid-back lounge, a chic nightclub, a contemporary tavern, and poolside deck, this nightclub complex caters to people with different definitions of fun.
Once you are done checking out all the tourist places in Goa, make room for this nightclub in your itinerary. A night with your buddies at Sinq Night Club will refresh your senses and revive your energy with its cheerful aura that teems with the enthusiasm of hardcore partygoers from across the world. To enhance your overall experience, you can order from a wide selection of European, Indian, and Goan food delicacies.
Timings: 9 pm to 3 am
Location: Opposite Taj Holiday Village, Aguada Road, Candolim, Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Since there is no direct connectivity through public transportation, hiring a private cab to reach here is the best option.
Once a huge, commanding structure which was the site of many battles, and which was passed from the hands of the Portuguese to the Indians and back several times in its long history, the Chapora Fort is a goodplaces for sighseeing in Goa. The present building was constructed in 1717. The Fort rises on the banks of River Chapora and commands a great view of its surroundings. This feature of the fort is what led to the many battles for its possession in the past.
It stands on the head of a natural valley which leads directly to the sea. As you can imagine, the view from the fort is breathtaking. You can spend a couple of hours in this fort exploring it and taking in the natural landscape around it. Winds blowing in from the sea make it a good place to sit and relax. You can even take a walk from the fort to the sea if you feel energetic enough. Carry your food along as there aren’t any food providers here and the sea breezes are real appetite generators.
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days of the week
Location: Chapora Fort Road, Bardez, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: The fort is not far from Panaji. Cabs will drop you directly at the fort. Buses also connect to the route.
In the neighbourhood of the hippy, Anjuna Beach lies its quieter cousin, the Vagator Beach. This beach, which has been on the watchlist of predominantly Western backpackers for several years is now beginning to grow in popularity with Indian tourists as well. It is a large beach surrounded by stunning red cliffs which make for a lovely sunset viewing point. Popularly divided into two parts, Vagator consists of Little Vagator Beach and Big Vagator, palm-lined beaches with soft sand you can sink your feet in. It is a lovely and clean beach.
In comparison to Anjuna Beach, it is a quiet haven and a tourists’ delight. You can enjoy a picnic on the sand and go swimming later, but make sure the water is safe. In the night, Vagator Beach also transforms into a party place but on a lesser scale than Anjuna or Baga. Disco Valley, which is located on one end of Vagator Beach provides a good ‘trance’ dance floor for those enthusiastic about psychedelic music.
There are plenty of other clubs which boast of good dance scenes like Hill Top (known for its rave parties), Nine Bar, and Primrose. Apart from the night clubs and the sands and seas, you can also indulge in a bit of bargain shopping at the Wednesday Flea Market. If you are looking for accommodation in the area and are going with friends, you can check out the hostels which have come up from the beach. Since they were made keeping Western tourists in mind, they have high standards of cleanliness so you will get a decent bang for your buck.
Location: Bardez, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Vagator Beach is at a distance of 19 km from Panaji, making a cab the most convenient option for travellers
Beach Side Restaurants: Go With The Flow, Thalassa, Antares, Salt and Pepper, Bean Me Up
This is one of the best places to see in Goa. If you go during the right season when trees are in bloom and spring fills the air, you will find yourself in a paradise on earth; such is the beauty of Butterfly Beach when in-season. It is one of the secret beaches in Goa which is hidden from the eyes of many. Butterflies come here in hordes when trees are full bloom. Undoubtedly, this makes for a breathtakingly beautiful scene. Hundreds upon thousands of multicoloured bright-winged fairy creatures on a beach with golden sand and topaz blue waters surrounded by high cliffs and green trees; all make for a very romantic, almost paradisiacal location.
Butterfly Beach is actually one end of the Palolem Beach but it can only be reached by water as the connecting land is inaccessible owing to dense jungles. You can take a boat from Palolem Beach which will drop you off at Butterfly Beach in a short time. This beach is not as commercially dense as some other popular Goan beaches which are a happy fact that allows nature to flourish in peace and provides visitors with some great photo opportunities.
The low tide also reveals an active marine life made up of crabs and jellyfish on the shore. Dolphin sighting is also possible here and the sunsets from the beach are among the best which Goa has to offer. Just imagine yourself w- very beautiful! All this makes Butterfly Beach take a top spot on the ‘must-see place lists for Goa’. Don’t miss it if you’re in South Goa. But make sure you go during the best months otherwise you will end up being disappointed.
How to reach from Panaji: Grab a bus or a taxi for a smooth ride
Beach Side Restaurants: Little World, Fatima’s Corner, Zest, Rockit Restaurant, Ourem 88
Bom Jesus Basilica
One of the most important of all tourist places in Goa as well as a central landmark for Catholics, the Bom Jesus Basilica is the place in which the incorrupt body of St Francis Xavier is kept. The Church was built in 1605 and the body of the Saint was brought to it in 1622 where it has laid since in its glass mausoleum. The body is perhaps the greatest attraction of the Basilica. A gallery of Modern Art is also a part of the Basilica.
The building is constructed in baroque style and is considered one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India. You can visit the Bom Jesus Basillica in December for the best experience of the tradition as the feast and novena take place at that time along with Christmas celebrations.
-Weekdays – 9.00am to 6.30pm
-Mass: Sunday – 8.00am and 9.15am
-Weekdays – 7.00am and 8.00am
Location: Old Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Take a cab or hire a scooter from Panaji
Goa is the ideal place to visit for a group of people who want to party and enjoy themselves on their vacation. There are many party places in Goa where one can actually have a gala time. But if one wants to have an outstanding night, then Mambos is the place they should go to. Thi club is amongst the best places to visit in Goa for youngsters especially. Mambos is considered to be among the best nightclubs of Goa.
The place is always is always filled with foreigners and Indians and the food available here is simply awesome. Not many places in Goa serve such lip-smacking dishes at one place. One is sure to have an amazing time if they are in Mambos.
Location- Baga Beach, Titos Lane, Goa 403516
How to reach there from Panaji- Mambos is 18 km away from Panaji and one can take a cab to reach there.
Entry timings- 6 pm
Check out: 10 Best Goa Beaches for Foreigners
Arambol Beach is located in North Goa and first became popular when people came to it in order to escape Baga and Calangute beach crowd. Today it is famous in its own right and draws several tourists, though not in the quantity that Baga and Calangute do. This is a good beach to visit if you are searching for a place that combines adventure sports in Goa with relaxation. The strong winds on the headlands around the beach make it an ideal spot for paragliding and kitesurfing.
These sports are more well-known on the Arambol scene than the water sports which characterize the other beaches of Goa. The village of Arambol is a little distance away so you can get a feel of authentic local life if you step by the house sometime. Accommodation is available in the many huts that have come up around the beach and the food options around the place are many and varied owing to the numerous shacks that line the beach. If you want to step away from the crowd for a bit, you can walk onwards to Mandrem to the south. Kalacha Beach, north of Arambol, is where the best paragliding in Goa takes place.
A verdant jungle near the beach makes for a good trekking option in Goa. Depending upon the time of the year, you can go swimming in the sea too. The Arambol “Sweetwater lake” and the banyan tree on the hilltop can be counted upon as its best sights. You might even catch the Tribal Dance Convention or the Annual Juggling Convention taking place here if you are lucky. A variety of musicians from India and abroad also tend to gather here, making it a good music destination too.
Water Sports: Paragliding, Kitesurfing
Location: Arambol, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: The beach is roughly 40km from Panaji. Take a bus or a cab for maximum convenience.
Beach Side Restaurants: Shimon, Fellini, Double Dutch, Rice Bowl, German Bakery
Sunburn Goa is an annual electronic dance music festival held in Goa, claimed to be the largest gathering of its kind in the entirety of Asia. The festival spans over a period of 3 days, and is packed with mind-blowing performances by some of the most renowned DJs in the world.
Sunburn Festival 2019 is expected to feature some big names such as Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers. Musical beats that will inspire you to let your hair down, fun-loving people from different parts of the world to mingle with, and an immersive aura to lose yourself into – Sunburn is the purest form of ecstasy. Owing to this dynamic extravaganza it hosts, Vagator Beach has come to be known as one of the best places to visit in Goa.
Timings: 2 pm to 10 pm
Location: Vagator Beach, Goa
How to reach from Panaji: The venue is located 20 km from Panaji and can be reached by hiring a private cab and travelling via NH 66.
Beaches in Goa
Dona Paula Beach
A small beach with a tragic history involving love and suicide, the Dona Paula Beach is top places to visit in Goa. It offers plenty of to do in terms of water sports and sightseeing. The jetty right next to the beach is frequented by tourists who come there for the lovely view it offers of the Arabian Sea. The beach is home to the tragic myth that the ghost of Dona Paula emerges at night from the sea wearing only a necklace of pearls and searching for her love. She is believed to have committed suicide on the beach and her tomb, Cabo Raj Niwas, is another tourist attraction.
The myth is a powerful one and draws many tourists to the beach. Among sight-seeing options can be included the National Oceanography Institute, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and Reis Magos Church. The party scene of Dona Paula is not that high profile as it is eclipsed by the Baga Beach scene a few kilometers away. You can head over to Dona Paula on the day you have some time to kill at Panaji.
Water Sports: For a small beach, Dona Paula offers much to do. Windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, ski-bob, kayaking, yachting, swimming, sports fishing, toboggan ski-biscuit, and harpoon fishing can be undertaken here.
Location: Dona Paula
How to reach from Panaji: The beach is only 7km from Panaji making a cab the best option out there
Beach Side Restaurants: The Black Sheep Bistro, Peep Kitchen, Café Azul, Laranja, Soft Rock Café
Located at the end of the North Goa beach stretch, Ashvem Beach is relatively unfrequented by visitors and as a result is exceptionally quiet and serene. This is the beach you want to visit when on a trip with the family or when on your honeymoon. The beach is a good place to go for swimming and visitors are always welcome to relax on the sands. The charm of Ashvem Beach is in its laid-back setting which can be very attractive after the milling crowds on the other beaches of North Goa.
Most people come here for the swimming on a day trip so accommodations are not high in number. But there are comfortable beach cottages in Palm Groove- an area on the beach abundant in palms- that you can live in. Since this is a no-construction zone, these huts have been set up for tourists. It is a good getaway and one of the places to visit in Goa that doesn't feature high on most travellers’ lists.
Those who miss this beach, miss out an essential part of the beach going experience. After all, beaches and waters are not just made for water-sports and parties. Sometimes a break from them and a retreat to beaches such as Ashvem prove therapeutic. Give it a go next time when you are in Goa.
Water Sports: Swimming
Location: Pernem, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Cabs are your friends but you can also take a quick bus trip to reach this beach.
Beach Side Restaurants: La Plage, Café Nu, Sunset Mandrem, Café Junas 9, L’Amore Café
Galgibaga Beach is one of the many places to visit in Goa with family. It is located in the south Goa and is not known to many people. So, one can be sure to have an amazing time here. The Galgibaga Beach is the cleanest beach in Goa. One will surely have a gala time here as they will be able to enjoy the clean beach, the yellow sand, and the turquoise blue water.
This is the ideal place for one to visit as they can just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of the beach. The Galgibaga Beach will help one get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city life and have a quiet vacation which helps them to return to their normal life rejuvenated.
Location- Galgibaga Beach, Goa
How to reach there from Panaji- Galgibaga beach is 85 km away from Panaji and one can reach there by taking a train and then a bus or a cab.
Benaulim Beach is located just 2km from Colva beach, and it is a good place to kick back and relax. The beach is made up of the soft white sands that make Goa such a joy to travellers. But it also has plenty of options for things to do apart from lying in the sand and letting the sun soak you. You can indulge in the various water-sports available here. You can also participate in excursions around the town and also go up to Paradise Island, a little island accessible from the Benaulim and Majorda beaches.
It is a beautiful green spot that everybody will love walking through. If you wish to stay for a couple of days, you have some good resorts here to choose from including Taj Exotica, L’Amour Beach Resort, Palm Shades Spring.The nightlife here includes the usual party clubs like Fiplees Pub and Disco or Adega Camoens Nightclub. But there are also options for candle-lit beach dinners if you are looking for a romantic evening.
Sightseeing options range from Joe Ruby Desa Beach, Sernabatim Beach, Sernabatim Lake, Ramola Super Market, to Copelwaddo Chapel, St Anthonys Church, Holy Trinity Church, and Laxmi Temple. There are many things to do in and around Benaulim Beach so there is no fear of boredom.
Water Sports: There are plenty of water sporting options like parasailing, jet skiing, boat ride and wind surfing
Location: Benaulim, Salcete, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Bus or cab
Beach Side Restaurants: The Farmhouse Restaurant, The Pavilion, Li Bai, Dinha’s Restaurant, Cavatina Cuchina
The Mobor Beach is actually the southernmost tip of the Cavelossim Beach. It is also the more active end of the beach. It stands at the delta of River Sal, hence making for a wonderful spot where the river empties out into the ocean. The beach is a pretty place with coconut palms lining its border and sand dunes overlaying the landscape. Natural bays dot the beach and give tourists lovely places to sunbathe in safety and privacy.
Mobor Beach is an active beach, that means that there are several events hosted there and many tourist activities take place on the beach. But if you are in search of some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, you can always walk down to Cavelossim Beach which is empty of crowds and commercialization. It is counted in the least crowded beaches in Goa. It is a good place to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones.
There is a host of bars and clubs around Mobor Beach so the nightlife is pretty exhilarating. Club Tito’s is one of the clubs you can visit when in the area.
Water Sports: Parasailing
Location: Salcette, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: It is approximately 50km from Panaji and a bus ride is the most convenient option. The bus takes approximately two hours.
Beach Side Restaurants: Sam’s Beach Shack, Betty’s Place, Southend Ocean Club and Grill, Temple Tree, Masha
The most popular beach in South Goa, Colva Beach is a must-visit Goa tourist place. The beach has a really lovely stretch of white sand which extends for nearly 25km. The sand and the beautiful glimmering sea are Colva Beach’s most famous attractions. Soft winds that blow salt sprays into your face are an added bonus. The ambience of the beach is perfect, being just the right balance between commercial and quiet.
There are dozens of shacks that cater to the needs of visitors so food and drinks are easy to lay hands on. There are a lot of pubs and clubs here which contribute to the nightlife of the beach like The Gatsby Club, Club Margarita etc. Admittedly, the night scene here is not as high or wild as at the clubs of North Goa but if you want just a taste of partying when at Colva, these clubs are not bad options to pick from.
Sight-seeing opportunities include the white-washed Our Lady of Mercy Church built in 1630, and the markets at Margoas.
Water Sports: Paragliding, parasailing, jet ski's banana rides, dolphin sighting are activities you can take part in on Colva Beach.
Location: Salcete, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: A bus or a taxi is a convenient option to in order to reach this beach. You can also take a train up to Madgaon railway station.
Beach Side Restaurants: Mish Mar, The Garden restaurant, Martins, Leda, Sandpat Beach Shack
A short 7km away from Panaji, this beach is a little gem hidden from popular touristic eyes. This is of great help in maintaining the serene and pristine nature of the beach. Those who stumble upon this beach stay to stare at the amazing view of the sea that the beach offers. The beautiful white and golden sands are lined by lush green forests that add a delightful splash of warm colour to the scenery. It is a great place to simply sit back, rest your eyes and take in some deep, calming breath.
Of course, if adventure is what you want, adventure is what you will get with the many water-sports offered here. It is one of the few places you can go scuba-diving in Goa and the barring some rocks around the beach and in the sea, the beach is a good place to swim. There aren’t many accommodation options as resorts have not been built around here. But the Grand Hyatt Resort is located on this beach so you can check-in there if you want a luxury vacation.
There isn’t much in terms of shacks and night-clubs on Bambolim Beach. But since the other popular beaches are not far off, this is not a problem even if you are staying at Hyatt. You can easily make a day trip to Bambolim either on your way from or to Panaji. It is one of those places in Goa that you must visit if only to see a different aspect of the tiny beach state. And if you want to indulge in some Goan cuisine, this is the beach you want to visit.
Water Sports: Scuba-diving, parasailing, jet-skiing are some options.
Location: North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Take a cab as buses don’t frequent this route. Alternatively, you can hire a scooter.
Beach Side Restaurants: Bambolim Beach Resort, Chulha, The Dining Room
Party Places in Goa
This is one of the places in Goa that you must visit if you are looking to party long and party hard. Located on Anjuna beach, this is a one of the kind club. It has a strong psychedelic vibe to it so if you count yourself as one of the hipster crowd and enjoy psychedelic music, or even simply want to experience it, Shiva Valley is the place to head to. It is modelled around the Natraj figure, that is, the dancing avatar of Shiva, and thus the name.
The theme also inspires the ambience- Shiva Valley is best known for its Trance nights, some even call it “the temple of Trance”. Trance is a global phenomenon and you will find many people here who have been returning to the trance floor of Shiva Valley for years upon years. The trance is an intense dancing set-up. It is a great way to unwind and if you are in need of an emotional purge, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Simply dancing till sunrise is an experience enough, but dancing to psychedelic trance music is an experience to really remember. The ambience of Shiva valley is not just fun, it is also very powerful. All in all, it should definitely be on your party to-do list for Goa. Visit on a Tuesday night for the best experience. And do not forget to have some piping hot tea and cheese omelettes with the Chai Mamas outside.
Timings: 6 pm to 6 am
Location: Anjuna Beach
Entry Fee (Couples and Stag): Free for all
Love Passion Karma
Touted to be the best party club in town, Love Passion Karma hits its customers with an amazing vibe made up of great music, trippy lighting, and a dance floor and a DJ that can compete with the best. If you’re aching for that “dancing all night” experience, you should give LPK a definite try. Dancing all night is not just a distant possibility here, most people actually end up doing so. It is that special combination of lights and music that generates such high-powered energy.
LPK will give you a party experience to remember. You can visit it on any of their variously themed nights. Ladies going in a group can visit on Ladies Night to enjoy some good company and a complimentary drink. The LPK water-front is one its famous features. The glittering water is lit up at night by the huge LPK logo shining upon it making for a very surrealistic scene. Their venue has some lovely structures built to serve expressly as photography backdrops.
The entire location is very attractive and you will find yourselves wanting to return to it day after day to dance the night away. LPK is not a place which offers dinner options, and the few food options they do have are quite expensive. You would be better off dining outside before visiting the club. They are situated in a beautiful location but a remote one at that, as a result reaching there might get a little tricky unless you solidly research the route.
Timings: 9.30pm to 3.30am
Entry Fee (Couples and Stag):
-Couple: Rs.1500/- to 2000/-
-Stag: 3000/- approx.
-Women only: Free
Located close to the pleasant stretch of Baga Beach, this place features an impressive lineup of Indian as well as international DJs, playing a great selection of tracks. In addition to energetic beats and tunes, the state of the art audio and lighting arrangements at the club create a lively atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for enjoyment.
Timings: 6 pm to 3 am
Location: Near Baga Beach, Saunta Vaddo, Calangute, Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Located at a distance of 17 km from Panaji, Club Tito’s can be reached by a private cab.
Making Morjim a perfect spot for happening nights, Club Fresh is an upmarket nightclub that remains open round the clock. Set on the shoreline of the Arabian Sea, the club is widely acclaimed by music aficionados as you get to drink in a buzz created by a mix of electronic-rock, funk, punk rock, and EDM.
You can also pamper your taste buds here with an extensive range of food delights from multiple cuisines including Indian, Chinese, and Japanese. The club boasts top-notch dance floor, elegant chill-outs, and VIP areas in addition to an ultramodern sound technology for a refined musical experience.
If you are planning to become a part of some swanky event during your Goa trip, Club Fresh might be the best option you have.
Timings: Open 24 hours
Location: Gawde wadda, Ashvem Morjim, Goa, India
How to reach from Panaji: Though bus service is available between Panaji and Morjim, hiring a cab is a more convenient option.
If you are visiting Goa to break the monotony of your routine, Hill Top is ranked among the top tourist places in Goa for partying. A famous nightclub frequented by both Indian and international party lovers, Hill Top offers the best of everything till late at night.
This iconic party venue has a wide range of exotic drinks to give you a sweet ecstasy, which will be further elated as the trance music tracks are introduced to your system. The large open-air dance floor has plenty of space and a stunning décor to host and amuse throngs of visitors. For the most astonishing artist lineups and a hypnotic aura, be here to catch special events towards the year end.
Timings: 4 pm to 10 pm
Location: Michael's School, Ozran Beach Road, Near St. Vagator, Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Located at a distance of 20 km from Panaji, Club Tito’s can be reached by a private cab.
Chronicles Goa encompasses a cocktail bar, a high end spirit bar, and a restaurant at different levels. Being here in the evening and soaking up the pretty view while delighting in a happening party will make your time in Goa an unforgettable memory. So if living the time of your life is on your checklist, Chronicle Goa is definitely one of the best places to visit in Goa and can be full of surprises.
Timings: 4 pm to midnight
Location: Small Vagartor, Ozran Beach, Bardez, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Private cabs for Vagartor can be easily found in Panaji which is 20 km away. This is the fastest and the most convenient means of transport.
Offbeat Places to Visit in Goa
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
There are hundreds of places to visit in Goa, but the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is very different from the other Goa tourist places. It is the smallest wildlife sanctuary in Goa and is very famous amongst the children and the environmentalists. The sanctuary has a number of species of flora and fauna.
The species of animals and plants which one gets to see here are some of the rarest one in India. Many Photography enthusiasts from all over the country come to the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary just to capture a beautiful moment, of the animals or the plants, in their camera. The area of the sanctuary is just 8 square km, making it the aptest wildlife sanctuary as one can tour the entire place in one day itself.
Location- Usgao-Ganjem VP, Goa 403105
How to reach there from Panaji- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is 47 km away from Panaji and one can take a bus to reach there.
Entry time- 9 am
Entry fees- INR 5 for adults and INR 2 for children
For many people, Goa is all about the beaches and the nightclubs. This has influenced its popular public image to the extent that we forget that there is more to Goa than the beaches. In truth, Goa is also the hub of many types of spice Plantations. A huge variety of the common spices that we use at home, as well as the more exotic and expensive varieties reserved for special occasions, are grown here. By making a visit to these plantations, you get right into the natural habitat of the ingredients so beloved in Indian kitchens. In your Goa trip you must take a day time to visit this plantation.
You can take a tour of the plantation and understand how the spices are grown, what goes into making them strong and appealing, and why certain spices cost as much as they do. You can also get some useful usage tips that might just transform your cooking experiences. Apart from the actual spice farming, you will also find yourself having a good time drinking the special teas offered on the plantations, eating the delicious home-made food delicately tinged with homegrown spices, and enjoying the general ambiance of the space.
If you can manage it, go during the monsoon season. Any farm is worth a visit when the falling rains fill the air with a lovely scent but imagine how compounded this effect will be on a spice plantation. Spice Plantations are one of most delightful the places to visit in Goa, so don’t miss out on them. Savoi Spice Plantation, Sahakari Spice Farms, Tropical Spice Plantation are some plantations to look into. Most are located roughly 30km from Panaji and easily accessible via cabs.
Location: Approx. 30km from Panaji
How to reach from Panaji: Cabs are the most convenient option unless you have a scooter on rent.
- North Goa
Verna Springs, popularly known as Kesarval Springs, are located near the Verna Cliffs, hence the name. ‘Kesarval’, on the other hand, is a reference to the days of old when eagles(kesar-val) had a nesting ground near the springs. The eagles are gone but the springs gush out from between the huge rocks and green trees just as chirpily as ever. This is a good spot to visit for some nature sighting. The surroundings are quiet and only the hum of the forest fauna is to be heard and one of the best places to visit in Goa with family.
The Verna Springs, however, might be a little noisier on account of the many people who frequent the Springs. The Verna Springs are popular not only for their natural beauty but also for their rumored healing properties. The water from the Springs is said to hold curative properties. The skin, eyes, internal ailments can all purportedly be cured by a dip in the water of Verna Springs. As a result, you will come across all manner of people here who are enjoying a taste of the waters in the hope of curing some physical ailment or the other.
The Springs are big enough to take this influx of people and they are active enough to sweep away the resultant dirt in their strong currents. The best time to visit is during the monsoon season when the water is flowing at full force even though they continue to exist in the dry season albeit to a much less forceful extent. Take a spare set of clothes or your swimming costume along if you too wish to take a dip in them.
Timings: 9 am to 7 pm
Location: Near the village of Cortalim, South Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Take a bus or train to Cortalim and then local transportation up to the springs. Alternatively, you can go by your (rented) car or scooter or by cab. The Springs are only 22km from Panaji.
Mapusa Friday Market
This is a great market to visit if you are planning on staying in Goa for a longer period of time. The Mapusa Friday Market is essentially a local farmer’s market. Every Friday, traders, and farmers gather together in Mapusa, a small town in the Bardez district of Goa, and sell a wide variety of fresh food items here. Local varieties of fish, farm vegetables, and fruits, even tamarind are sold here. Pickles and preserves, spices, earthen pots, glass bangles, channa baskets coir mats, and the famous Goan 'chouricos' (ready spiced Goan pork sausages), dried fish and prawns are also sold here, as is the local Goan liquor.
Even if you aren’t staying for long, you can visit this market to get a taste of the local flavours and buy some non-perishable items you can carry back home. Goan tamarind is noted for its delicious taste so do grab some of it. Though the shops are in place all day on Friday, you should visit early in the morning to get the best pick of the lot.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm
Location: Mapusa VillageHow to reach from Panaji: Buses connect Mapusa to all important cities and villages in Goa. Alternatively, you can hire a cab.
There are many tourist attractions in Goa and one of that attraction is the Todo Falls. The Todo Falls is arguably the prettiest waterfall present in Goa. The most exciting thing about the Todo Falls is the journey to the falls. One has to trek and reach the falls. Trekking is a very thrilling and tiring activity but when one finishes the trek, they get to see the Todo Falls. This makes it one of the best things to do in Goa.
The breathtaking view of the waters cascading down from the top of the cliff is mesmerizing, to say the least. Todo Falls in a must for everyone visiting any part of Goa as this is amongst prettiest sight in Goa. One feels closer to nature and wants to delve deeper into its beauty when they go to the Todo Falls.
Location: Todo Falls, Goa
How to reach there from Panaji: One can reach the Todo Falls from Panaji by trekking.
The Lamgau Caves are close by as is a location fit for white-water rafting which is 13km from the site of the waterfall. The Arvalem Waterfalls in themselves are a pretty sight, and especially imposing during the monsoon months when the fall into the lake below with a fearful force. Among all the places to see in Goa, this is one of the most beautiful ones. They dry to a trickle in the summer leaving the lake to become a swimming pool for avid swimmers. There is a well-maintained government park close to the waterfalls, which is a great spot for a picnic.
You can make a fulfilling day trip to this location and also take part in the other activities close by. The children will have an especially good day.
Location: Mapusa, North GoaHow to reach from Panaji: There is a lot of transportation available from Panaji as well as from Mapusa.
Other Places to Visit in Goa
Museum Of Christian Art
The Museum of Christian Art was built in 1994 and is a major tourist attraction of Goa. The residents of Goa are very artistic people and they love their art. This love of theirs can be witnessed by visiting any of the museums in the state. The Museum of Christian Art is a very famous and unique Museum. The museum is one of a kind and no other museum in Asia is like the Museum of Christian Art. The museum contains artworks of only Christians.
There are some outstanding sculptures, paintings, furniture, precious metals, etc. present in the museum. One should definitely visit the Museum of Christian Art if they are going to Goa as one gets to learn a lot about the culture about the people living there.
Location: Velha Goa, Convent of Santa Monica, Goa 403402
How to reach there from Panaji: Museum of Christian Arts is 13 km away from Panaji and one can hire a scooter or cab to reach there.
Entry time: 9:30 am
Church Of St. Cejatan
Goa is not a very diverse state. Almost all of the people residing in Goa follow the same religion, Christianity. Since Christianity is the most widely followed religion here, there are many churches in the state. Churches in Goa take a very important part in the life of the residents. The Church of St. Cajetan is one of the most famous churches in Goa. The church possesses a very strong resemblance with the popular St. Peters Basilica church located in Rome.
The Church of St. Cajetan is nearly 2 decades old, but the church has been very well preserved and one will not be able to guess the age of the church just by looking at it. One should definitely visit this church as they will get to know about the religion here.
Location: Velha Goa, Goa 403402
How to reach there from Panaji: Church of St. Cajetan is very close to Panaji and one can take a cab, bus or auto to reach there.
Going to North Goa to hit one of the beaches? Make sure to take some time out and visit Lamgua caves. One of the ‘hidden’ Goa tourist places, Lamgau Caves are made up of two man-made caves which were meant to be a residence for monks. They are of great importance to the Hindu community in Goa and they reflect the transition from Buddhism to Hinduism. The caves are designed in a Buddhist fashion but the idols of Nandi and the Shivaling outside the main entrance of the smaller of the two caves reveal another aspect.
The other cave is much larger and is basically a place where one can sit and meditate or take shelter from the rains. The scenic route up to the caves is another reason to visit them. The caves are located inside a dense areca nut plantation and trekking up to them can get tough because of the rugged nature of the paths. You pass several small Goan villages on your way, these are good and hospitable resting spots during the trek.
The many interesting local temples on the way are an added attraction of the trek up to Lamgau Caves. You can visit the caves on some early morning. This will allow you to go over the entire location peacefully and enjoy the small details that you might otherwise miss out.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
Location: Bicholim, North Goa
How to reach from Panaji: Many buses ply on the route connecting the villages. Cabs are also a good option.
One of the two inland forts still intact in Goa, the Corjuem Fort is a popular spot with tourists and makes for a nice break from the beaches. The Fort was built in 1550 and has since seen many parties take control of it- from the Indian rulers to the colonists. This fort made an especially attractive possession because of its strategic position. The fort is so situated as to be a great defensive location for Panaji. Hence the numerous battles that took place here for control.
The Fort was rebuilt by the British in 1705. Though it has fallen into disuse now, it is still an attractive spot and you might come across history buffs and architecture enthusiasts going over the fort for its structure and its past. The view attracts tourists since it reveals a breath-taking landscape. The Fort is built across the Mapusa river which can be seen cutting through the green Goan countryside. It is a view that is capable of instilling peace.
Photographers are also attracted to this location in hordes. All in all, the Fort is a good passing tourist attraction that you can visit for some hours on one of the afternoons of your visit to North Goa. This is one of the interesting historical places to visit in Goa.
Timings: 6 am to 7 pm
Location: Corjuem, North GoaHow to reach from Panaji: Buses connect to the route but you can also take a cab or hire a scooter.
This is a temple dedicated to Lord Mangueshi, a form of Shiva which is recognized only in Goa. A major tourist attraction in the state, the Mangueshi Temple is a great place for those of you who want a taste of authentic Goan life away from the Westernised beaches. This temple was built in 1560 when the site of the Mangesh Linga was shifted from the original spot in Kushasthali to Mangeshi following the Portuguese invasion. The current structure was built 150 years later under the Maratha rule, when it was upscaled from a simple construction to the imposing structure it is today.
Many domes, balustrades, and pilasters are a part of the architecture. An imposing Nandi statue near the entrance and a magnificent 7 storeyed lamp-tower add to the charm of the elegant temple. Pujas are performed throughout the day. A set of pujas in the morning is followed by a maha-aarti at noon and a grand Panchopchar puja at night. Devotees flock to the temple in droves which makes the spot an active one.
The location is especially alluring as the Mangueshi Temple is set among lush green forests and resplendent paddy fields with mango and jackfruit grooves nearby hand in hand with tall palm trees. This makes a perfect place for a meditative retreat. There are sellers outside who sell trinkets, goods to use in the temple and saat, a local specialty made from jackfruit. The Temple can be visited throughout the day but it really shines out at night as candles by the dozen illuminate it. This is a good place to visit in Goa.
Timings: 6 am to 10 pm
Location: Mangeshi VillageHow to reach from Panaji: The temple is 21km from Panaji and 1km from Mardol village. You can take a bus or train to the village and then reach the temple via local transportation or on foot.
Pequeno Island or Bat Island is one of those little islands of the beaches of Goa that don’t attract too much tourist attention despite the fact that they are gems in their own way The island is home to some great water-sporting action and you can take part in snorkeling here. There are professional facilities available for snorkeling and they also provide one with the equipment and the instructions. It is also a lovely place to experience some marine life around Goa.
Varieties of fishes like the parrot fish or the butterfly fish, lobsters, turtles and sea cucumbers live near Bat Island and can be spotted with ease. Reaching the island is not an issue. There are numerous boats moored along the Vasco De Gama Beach and the fishermen will gladly drop you off if you ask them to. There are other speed boat and yacht options too. You would be wise to carry your food along with you as the food scene here isn’t the best.
Location: Bats Island, Off Vaco De Gama Beach
How to reach from Panaji: Vasco De Gama is well-connected to Panaji via buses and trains. You can take one of those transport means to reach here and then take a boat to Bats Island.
Fort Tiracol is one of the greatest tourist attractions of Goa. This particular Fort has played a huge role in the earlier years when everyone was struggling for freedom. Since it has witnessed so many wars, victories and defeats it is considered as a symbol of the bravery of all freedom fighters of Goa. This Fort was destroyed in the wartime but was again rebuilt after a few years and has stood tall and proud ever since.
The Fort is full of intricate carvings and some great architecture that can be awe-inspiring for all history lovers out there. This fort also has a view of the Arabian Sea from the terrace which is breathtaking. Located on the northern tip of Goa one needs to set aside a whole day to explore this place and take a ferry to reach the Fort.
Location- Tiracol, Pernem Taluka, Goa 403524
How to reach there from Panaji- Fort Tiracol is 49 km away from Panaji and one can take a train, a bus or a cab to reach there.
Naval Aviation Museum
The Naval Aviation Museum in Goa is one of the two military museums in India and overall one of the best museums you can visit in India. If you are on a trip with the kids, do not give this museum a miss. Both parents and children will love a visit to the Naval Aviation Museum. It has two sections- the indoor area and the court outside. You can roam around the park outside and look at the various out-of-commission aircrafts that served in the navy. Some of the aircrafts there are Breguet Alizé (IN 202), Hawker Sea Hawk FGA Mk 100 (IN 234), Westland Sea King Mk 42 (IN 505) among numerous others.
These are all very important aircrafts and have played crucial roles in the Indian Defence Strategies. The interior of the museum is designed to look like INS Viraat, an important Indian Naval base, and hosts several interesting galleries where you can read about the many battles the Indian Naval Forces have been a part of. There is also a room dedicated to naval equipment like warheads, bombs, torpedoes, rockets etc and another room has the collection of underwater radars used to detect underwater enemy targets.
The children will love the simulation room inside the museum where visitors can experience being inside the cockpit. The Naval Aviation Museum is a great educational experience combined with fun. Everything about the museum makes it a perfect sight-seeing place in Goa, including the magnificent ocean view. Pay the museum a visit one afternoon and spend the evening on the beach nearby for a good end to your day.
Timings: 10am to 5pm
Location: 6km from Vasco De GamaHow to reach from Panaji: Take the train or bus to Vasco De Gama and then take a cab up to the museum.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is so named after India’s top ornithologist. It is a hidden gem that not many people visit but it makes for a top sight-seeing place in Goa. The Sanctuary is located on Chorao Island on River Mandovi which necessitates a ferry ride across to the island. The island is covered in mangrove swamps and frequented by birds of all kinds. Both local as well as out of state birds make a home in the sanctuary. You can spot many species of birds here like Pintails, Blue-winged teals, Maddar ducks, Purple herons as also storks, flying foxes, jackals, and crocodiles.
The mangrove swamps are a good breeding habitat for many birds, fishes, and insects. There is a watch tower in the sanctuary from where you can watch the various kinds of birds that frequent the island. Visitors would be well advised to lather themselves up in insect repellents when visiting the sanctuary. The island is easy to visit but it needs some planning in advance as you require a permit from the Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji.
This is a relatively small sanctuary but it is rich in nature’s attractions and makes it to the lists of numerous travellers. Its short distance from Panaji makes the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary especially convenient to visit.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
Location: Island of Chorao, River Mandovi
How to reach from Panaji: Take a bus or a cab up to Rabandar ferry and then take a ferry to the sanctuary. It is only at a distance of 4km from Panaji.
Mollem National park
The Mollem National Park is a part of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and is situated 60km away from Panaji along the border with Karnataka. This is a great place for places to visit in goa with family. Both the kids and the parents will come out with an amazing experience. The things you can do in Mollem National Park range from trekking to animal spotting. It is also a nice picnic spot if you are looking to do something offbeat.
Mollem National Park is populated with lush green trees that make up a dense forest which is home to several unique species of birds and animals. For example, you can spot several species of snakes including the King Cobra, Hump-nosed pit viper, Indian rock python and Malabar pit viper as well as many birds like fairy bluebirds, wagtails, great Indian Hornbill among others. Butterflies also populate the forest.
There are also many good treks you can undertake including one to the Devils Canyon, Sunset Point, and Tambdi Water Falls. Ancient temples dedicated to various gods are also a part of this national park. The Tambdi Surla Devi Temple is one such temple and was built in the 12th century. Dudhsagar Falls, which also fall within the perimeters of the national park, is a popular tourist attraction. Overall, there are a lot of things that you can do in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, so your day will be well worth it.
Location: Sanguem taluk, Eastern Border of GoaHow to reach from Panaji: The Park lies 60km from Panaji. You can opt for a tourist bus or a train to transport you there.