Places to Visit in Goa

Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, Grand Island, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Fort Aguada, Candolim Beach, Tito’s Street, Arambol Beach,  Bom Jesus Basilica, Palolem Beach, Curlies, Club Cubana, Anjuna Flea Market, Chapora Fort, Mapusa Friday Market, Divar Island, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and many more.

Deck up your itinerary list with the spectacular places in Goa and get ready to be awe-struck with its surprises. Serving as the hot spot for vacationists from both near and far, Goa is all in all a place for the party animals and solace seekers alike. From the ravishing nightlife pubs to the ever fantastic beaches there is something for everyone. Apart from this, one must not dare to miss out on the Goan churches which not only cater to ultimate tranquillity but also exhibit the architecture of the colonial period.

Tourist places in Goa never fail to stun the visitants, as each one of them highlights something unusual of its own. While the Baga beach is reckoned for the adrenaline-pumping adventures like Jet skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing, and waterboarding the Calangute Beach is famed as the “Queen of beaches” due to its picturesque landscapes.

Whether you are touring the place with your bunch of buddies or family, there is no dearth of options and you can explore the places that you like. You can also try hands-on scuba diving on the Grand Island and witness the scenic view from Aguada fort.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls

The Dudhsagar Waterfalls are situated on the Goa-Karnataka border and are one of India’s must-see sights. The four-tiered waterfall structure is one of the tallest in India and is located on the Mandovi River. The white water cascades down from a height of nearly 1017 feet off a nearly steep mountain face. They form a part of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, so the best way to reach them is by entering the national park and taking a van allocated by the park to the falls.

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 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 its forceful sprays are a sight to remember long after you have left Dudhsagar behind.

Location: Sanguem Taluka

How to reach 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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Baga Beach

Baga is a famous beach destination in North Goa that attracts thousands of tourists and watersports lovers to its heart. The beach shares its coastal line with the environs of Sinquerim, Candolim, and Baga, with the Baga shore being more lively and enticing. This bubbly beach is one of the best in Goa that stays awake the whole night. Called “The Hometown of Nightlife,” Baga Beach is reputed for its cranky music celebrations by late-night, mouth-watering food, designer shops, and adventure sports.

Tourism on Goa’s coasts got ignited in 1960 after the famous summer gathering of hippies from San Francisco. Baga Beach then became popular among foreigners and slowly more exciting ventures like fishing, paddleboarding, discos, and tattoo shops started in the mainland. Named after “Baga Creek in Baga”, the tidal residuary channel that drains into the Arabian Sea, Baga Beach in Goa is also well organized with parking facilities and is maintained tidy by the local governing authorities, besides experiencing hordes of travelers clubbing around. 

Baga town is surrounded by the Baga River, and spotting the place where the river and the “sea meet, is a beautiful view to bait your eyes. Dolphins can also be spotted deeper in the blue ocean and there are some spotting trips organized by local ship owners to spot the sea mammal.

Candolim Beach

The finesse of Goa lies in beaches flanked by shacks, pubs, and interspersed shopping places. Candolim Beach is one of the best places to explore if you want to have an immersive Goan experience. It is a part of the Goan trio of Baga, Calangute, and Candolim beaches where all the happening parties take place. 

Located in North Goa along the stretch of Aguada Fort, Candolim Beach is about 12.5 km from Panaji. Many foreigners visit the place because it is less crowded than its fellow beaches. The nightlife at Candolim attracts locals and tourists alike. It is one of the most sought-after beaches when it comes to experiencing water sports or other activities like parasailing, bumpy banana ride, snorkeling, boat riding, jet skiing, and even scuba diving!

If you are planning your next visit to Candolim, then here is a detailed guide to help you have the best times of your life. 

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Grand Island

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 snorkeling to fishing. Scuba diving in Goa is the most popular activity because it offers so much in terms of underwater exploration.

There are shipwrecks 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 snorkeling. 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 8.30 am 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.

Chapora River

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.

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Tito's Street

Goa is India’s favorite 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 separate dance spaces 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.

Various entry vouchers 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 that is worth your time and your money.

Anjuna Beach

India’s West Coast paradise, Goa, is home to some glorious beaches of India. One of them is known as Anjuna Beach. From a quiet family vacation to an adventure-filled weekend with your squad, the beach caters to people with different travel tastes and budgets. Famed for its Goan influences, trendy nightclubs, beachside hotels, and resorts, Anjuna Beach is a glamorous paradise within Goa.

Stretched over the golden coastline, the southern and northern end of Anjuna Beach offers a plethora of activities. While the southern end consists of a rocky headland, the northern end hosts water sports like bungee jumping, bumpy banana rides, and much more. Anjuna Beach is Goa’s local “multidimensional entertainment hub”. 

Anjuna Beach provides you with some stunning scenery and a photographic view during sunrise and sunset. The combination of the white sand and the scintillating blue sea creates an unbeatable view. Also, you might not want to miss the principal attraction of the beach, the flea market. It captivates a large number of tourists to crowd this place every Wednesday. You’ll get an excellent deal if you’re an expert in bargaining.

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Calangute Beach

Known as the “Queen of Beaches” in Goa, Calangute Beach caters to all types of travelers, from nature lovers to adventure junkies to party freaks. Acting as a haven for nature lovers, in particular, this beach is the biggest and the most popular one in North Goa, boasting scintillating charm as well as beauty. Furthermore, it reflects the uniqueness that the culture of Goa generally has, in addition to offering beautiful and scenic views of the surrounding landscapes, which act as the perfect getaway destination for anyone who wishes to seek respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy city limits.

Calangute Beach in Goa has a lot to offer to tourists visiting here. The vibrant markets here sell everything, from beer and food to junk jewelry, clothes, trinkets, and pawn items. Moreover, the beach is lined with dense palm and coconut trees with the grand Arabian Sea acting as the perfect backdrop. People often visit the beach to soak in the mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets which are a special feature of Calangute Beach. For a perfect tourist and holiday retreat, head over to this beach with your friends and family and enjoy the best of what North Goa has to offer. From Portuguese-style ancient buildings and structures to delicious food and drinks, Calangute Beach has it all. Moreover, it will offer you a one-of-a-kind beach experience, one that is tranquil and idyllic and cannot be found anywhere else in Goa. 

Fort Aguada

Another heritage from the Portuguese, Fort Aguada has been standing stern on the beach facing the Arabian Sea since 1612 when it was built to provide defense 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 a famous Goa sightseeing place dividing 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 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

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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 multicolored interior that at once imparts peace and delight. It is at its best in December as the feast of Our Lady of the immaculate conception is celebrated on the 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.

Divar Island

You have to see Divar Island 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 yet intricately designed structures that are elegant in their 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.

Chapora Fort

Once a huge, commanding structure that 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 good place for sightseeing 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.

Vagator Beach

Vagator Beach in Goa offers tourists and travel enthusiasts the opportunity to have an experience of a lifetime. It is situated on the absolute northern fringes of Bardez Taluka, on the opposite side of the river Chapora, which starts from Morjim in Pernem. Towards the south of Vagator Beach lies Anjuna, one of the oldest tourist destinations in Goa. 

Vagator Beach is adorned with picturesque red cliffs that look down to two freshwater springs that are a stone’s throw distance from the sea. The beach is mainly divided by a seaside headland which acts as a prime spot for car parking and several small stalls that sell clothes, food, and an assortment of trinkets and souvenirs. When facing the sea from the headland, on the right lies the North Vagator Beach or locally known as ‘Big Vagator’, while on the left lies the Ozran Beach or what is known as ‘Little Vagator Beach

Arambol Beach

Arambol Beach is located in North Goa and first became popular when people came to it to escape  Baga and Calangute and stop beaching the 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 on 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.

Dona Paula Beach

A small beach with a tragic history involving love and suicide, Dona Paula Beach is the top place to visit in Goa. It offers plenty 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.

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.

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Benaulim Beach

Benaulim Beach is a serene beach situated about 2 kilometers south of Colva. It is a fishing beach, which is known for its calm and relaxed nature. If you’re a tourist in search of a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday, Benaulim Beach might be the place for you.

This beach is almost hidden from the large crowds that surge through the North Goan beaches and despite having a considerable fishing industry, tourists aren’t aware of it. The weather here is much like other places in Goa with hot summers, pleasant winters, and torrential monsoons. One thing that makes Benaulim stand out from other Goan beaches is how clean and calm it is.

Benaulim Beach is so clean because it is away from the noisy crowds that we normally associate Goa with. There are several kilometers of just smooth white sand with a few fishing trawlers scattered here and there. Although most of the time, Benaulim is a quiet paradise, it does tend to get a little crowded in the evenings as tourists come to enjoy the west-coast Indian sunset. The beach also tends to get crowded during the weekends.

Being far away from the energy of the city, time works differently on Benaulim Beach, and this place gives tourists the perfect getaway

Bambolim Beach

If you are searching for a scenic beachside retreat, then Bambolim Beach will be the ideal destination for your vacation. Situated in North Goa, the beach lies nestled amidst tranquil settings and will surely serve as the perfect getaway from the city’s din. Flanked by coconut trees, the picturesque place is not known by many tourists and thus cherishes its intrinsic aura of serenity. Only 7 km away from Panaji, this beach greets you with its golden sand beaches, the cerulean waters of the calm Arabian Sea, and its pristine beauty. A visit to this place with family and friends can offer you some memorable moments of a perfect weekend.

You can relax and enjoy a family picnic on the beach, engage in some fun games with your friends, bask in the sun, or plunge in for a refreshing swim in the cool waters. The nearby guest houses will also render you a comfortable sojourn for the night and offer you an exquisite range of, sumptuous Goan dishes. Dotted with inviting shacks, the beach often lures young people who visit this peaceful place to unwind and soak themselves up in sheer bliss. So if you happen to be in Goa, then do embark upon a scenic drive to Bambolim Beach to embrace nature in its spectacular beauty.

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