There are many tourist places in Goa worth visiting. From the beaches in Goa, to the national parks and hills, churches, forts, markets, and the backwaters, you will find virtually everything in this small Indian state. In fact, there are so many choices that it may be difficult to see them all in one visit if you don’t have a list to guide you. So here’s a list of the must-see places in Goa that you should definitely include in your tour planning.
Many of the tourist places in Goa are famous landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful churches, interesting local markets, and old Portuguese structures. Then there are the top beaches, water sports, and many natural attractions that you do not want to miss.
Make sure you don’t miss these best places to visit in Goa:
#1 – AGONDA BEACH
Agonda beach in South Goa is a must visit. 39.2 kilometers from Margao, this is an isolated stretch of sand lined by palm groves. It is a very quiet, peaceful, and picturesque beach with few tourists. There is a turtle center in the north, and rocky outcrops in the south. Developed tourist infrastructure! You will find many shops, cafes, beach shacks, bars, restaurants, yoga centers and massage parlors. But you will still get a less “touristic feel” here.
Agonda has been ranked as “Asia’s #1 beach for 2018” according to the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards. It was ranked Asia’s 4th best beach in 2016 as well.
#2 – CHAPORA FORT
The Chapora fort is in North Goa, close to Vagator beach. The Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea here. Chapora fort is a must-visit for those who love Bollywood Hindi movies. The famous Bollywood movie “Dil Chahta Hai” was filmed here. The fort is almost in ruins now, but it still offers incredible views of the river and the coastline. Take a picture – there are many photo opportunities here!
#3 – DUDHSAGAR FALLS
Witness the fury of nature, in what is one of India’s tallest and most powerful waterfalls. Dudhsagar Falls is 47 kilometers from Margao by the MDR52. It is located on the Goa-Karnataka border. Dudhsagar Falls looks most impressive in the monsoon when there is a lot of water.
It cascades down for 1017 feet from a steep mountain face. You can view the falls from a train journey to and from Margao, or you can trek to the base of the falls. You have to trek through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. There are many viewpoints along the way.
#4 – ANJUNA WEDNESDAY MARKET
Started by hippies in the 1960s, the Anjuna flea market is a landmark in Goa. It is at the southern end of the Anjuna beach. The Anjuna flea market is open on Wednesdays between 9 AM and 6 PM. There are more than 500 stalls selling handicrafts, handmade jewelry, Kashmiri and Tibetan goods, bags, clothing, tribal artifacts, and more. There are food stalls, bands playing jazz and rock music.
#5 – BASILICA OF BOM JESUS
The body of St. Francis Xavier is kept preserved at the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Goa, and a landmark for Catholics from around the world. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Church was constructed in baroque style in 1605. The Saint’s body was brought here in 1622, and it has since then been laid in a glass mausoleum. There is also a gallery of Modern Art in the Basilica.
- Timings: 9.00 am — 6.30 pm
- Distance from Panaji – 12 kilometers by the NH748.
#6 – CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Also called the “Immaculate Conception Church”, this beautiful church is in Goa’s capital Panaji, close to the Mandovi Bridge. It used to be a chapel in 1541. The larger church building came up only in 1619. Since then, many revisions and improvements have been carried out, but the original building remains.
Devotees have been coming here for a long time. Old Portuguese sailors offered their prayers, asking for a good voyage. They returned after the trip to say thank you. There is a feast every year on December 8th, which many locals and tourists attend.
#7 – LATIN QUARTER
The Fontainhas neighborhood in Panjim is Goa’s Old Latin Quarter, a UNESCO Heritage Zone. Explore the narrow winding lanes and streets, see the old buildings, quaint shops, bakeries, restaurants, and art galleries.
Don’t miss the Portuguese mansions here. Watch out for the red tiled roofs and the projecting balconies. They have a distinct Mediterranean feel. You can also take the heritage walk of the Fontainhas area.
#8 – SCUBA DIVING AT GRANDE ISLAND
Grande Island or Ilha Grande is in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Vasco da Gama. There are ferry services from the mainland. You can do scuba diving, reef diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and dolphin watching. There are many water sports activities to enjoy. It’s a great place for both beginner and advanced divers and snorkelers.
You can explore ship wrecks, including the Suzy wreck, the Davy Jones Locker, Turbo Tunnel, Bounty Rock, and the Serge City. Professional instructors are available. There are banana boat and bumper boat rides too. Just carry your swimming and beach essentials. You can also go on a daylong fishing trip from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, and finish off with a barbecue.
#09 – PARAGLIDING IN ARAMBOL
Arambol in North Goa is a good place for paragliding. Take off from a rocky headland and get an amazing view from the top. You have to trek to the top of the headland. Your pilot will then give you brief instructions and explain the safety precautions. Fly sky high over Arambol and see the shoreline from the top, the sea, and the interiors. It will be a memorable experience.
#10 – FORT CABO DE RAMA
The Cabo de Rama Fort is in South Goa, 17.2 kilometers from Agonda Beach. This old fort has been held by the Portuguese, Hindu, and Muslim monarchs at various times. There was a chapel and commandant quarters within the fort during the Portuguese days. There was also a military barrack here. It was turned into a prison for a short time after the Portuguese left. Now it is in ruins, but is still a popular tourist spot. You will get very good views of the sea and the surrounding landscape from the top. The Cabo de Rama Fort is a great place to see sunsets.