The list of tourist places in Goa is a long one, varying right from the buzzing beaches like Baga to the beautifully-built churches and cathedrals of Old Goa. This fun capital of India boasts of sun-kissed beaches, palm trees, cashew plantations, centuries old monuments, the epic Goan fish curry rice, cashew fenny, festivals, flea markets, Santa Monica Cruise Ride, Spice Farms and what not!!! Dance the night away to the vibrant beats of Trance in the night life of Goa and wake up to the most serene sunrises on the calm beaches.
Here’s a list of 24 absolutely amazing tourist places in Goa which will keep calling you back for more.
Beaches in Goa
1. Aguada beach
While Fort Aguada is known to soothe your eyes with delightful views of Aguada beach, it allures the travellers with pristine landscape and the background of ancient citadels. The beach is famous amongst honeymooners.
What’s Special? Do plan a trip to the lighthouse near by. It offers some gorgeous views of the beach from a height.
2. Arambol beach – Hippies and backpackers getaway
With its Bohemian atmosphere, Arambol has long been a tourist attraction in Goa for many of the long-term hippies & youthful backpackers. The relaxed environment at the Arambol beach coupled with peace and tranquility attracts many vacationers from other beaches of Goa.
What’s Special? Over here, one can indulge in adventure sports such as paragliding and kitesurfing.
Best time to visit: November to March
3. Baga Beach – Majestic waves, beach parties & awesome food!
Baga Beach is the centre of tourist attraction in Goa. Majestic white waves rushing to wipe out the feet imprints left by you on the white sand while the wind continues to flirt with the palm trees. Amongst all the activities, parasailing, banana boat rides and sun-basking are highly enjoyed at this beach.
Best time to visit: November to March
What’s Special? Beach side shacks and cafes which serve you with delectable Goan delicacies and music to soothe your senses. One could indulge in artificial tattoos & braids too.
4. Anjuna Beach – Doper’s Paradise
One of the most popular tourist places in Goa – the world renowned freak capital of the world – Anjuna beach is known for its full-moon (acid house) parties, trance Parties and the hippies who tried to synthesize the spiritual traditions of the East and the art, ideas and the music of the West.
Every Wednesday, at around 11 a.m., Anjuna breaks into a riot of colors.
5. Butterfly beach – The secluded, stoned beach
This beautiful Butterfly beach situated towards the north of the Palolem beach. It is very suitable for those seeking peace and isolation and is one of the quietest and unexplored beaches in Goa. The Butterfly beach is surrounded by a lot of rocks. One can enjoy the thrilling ride by the paddle boat towards the beach and also see some dolphins on the way.
6. Calangute beach – Shop till you drop!
Calangute beach in Goa is also known as the Queen of beaches. Bringing hordes of European tourist calangute beach is the haven for hippies. You can also have you full of adventure with parasailing, water-skiing, wind-surfing and dolphin trips. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa in 2 days, especially if you’re travelling with friends, alone or with your partner.
What’s Special? With a mind-blowing nightlife, bustling flea markets and generous contributions of history, you can let your spirits scale high on the sky of experience.
Best time to visit: November to February
Historical Places in Goa
7. Bom Jesus Basilica – One of the oldest Churches in India
One of the world famous tourist places in Goa is the Bom Jesus Basilica. Characterized by Baroque architecture and fine detailing, carved from basalt embellishments, it is one of the richest facades in Goa.
What’s Special? The Basilica of Bom Jesus is most famous for holding the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The church is widely famous throughout the Roman Catholic world.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 09:00 am to 06:30 pm & Sunday 10:00 am to 06:30 pm
8. Archives Museum – A cultural glance into Goa
The Museum of Goa is housed at a new building at the Patto Plaza near the ourem creek, Panaji. There are about eight thousand interesting artefacts housed in this museum, which makes this place one of the top places to see in Goa.
Exhibits: Temple Sculptures, Hero Stones, Colonial Era Artifacts, Jain Bronzes, Photos Of Prehistoric Rock Carvings
Opening hours: 9.30 am To 1.00 pm And 2.00 pm To 5.30 pm.
Closed On : Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays.
9. Panaji – Cruise the night away
The capital, another popular tourist place in Goa, lies on the southern left bank of the Mandovi River that skirts the town and makes for a beautiful setting. Panaji is best discovered on foot, as you walk in the old-world lanes, past heritage houses by the market selling an amazing range of goodies.
What’s Special? A boat cruise through the River Mandovi at night is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have on the serene waters of Goa.
Forts in Goa
10. Aguada Fort – Lighthouse and a Jail
Sightseeing in Goa is incomplete without a visit to Fort Aguada, strategically situated at the estuary of the river Mandovi. On the north side of the fort, a rampart of red-brown laterite just into the bay to form a jetty between two small sandy coves. This picturesque spot is known as Sinquerim Beach.
Opening hours: 9:00 am – 6:30pm all days of the week
Built By: Portuguese
Built In: 1609-1612
Houses: The Central Jail and a 19th Century Lighthouse
11. Chapora Fort – A beautiful unison of the river and the sea
Popular for its history, the Chapora Fort is one of the prime tourist attractions of Goa. In the recent years, it shot to prominence after the Bollywood movie Dil Chahta Hai was shot here. Perched on a prominent position, one can get sweeping views of all directions from here.
What’s Special? Dil Chahta hai has been shot here! The fort offers picturesque views of Chapora river uniting with the waters of Arabian Sea.
Built By: Adil Shah of Bijapur
Nearby Attractions: Vagator Beach & Anjuna Beach
12. Terekhol Fort – Goa’s Heritage hotel
Fort Terekhol situated on the Terekhol River, lies on the northern tip of Goa, on a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea. In its courtyard is the century old church of St. Anthony. The remains of the fort have now been converted into a hotel. The fort overlooks Tiracol River and the sandy Keri beach offering captivating views.
Houses: The Chapel Of St. Anthony
Nearby Attractions: Arambol, Palolem Beach
Islands in Goa
13. Chorao Island
Chorao Island is true to its Sanskrit name meaning ‘Stunning Precious Stone’. From being a mere settlement of Portuguese noblemen, this Goan Island has grown into a quaint place nurturing few church and aged villas. Being the Largest Island in Goa, Chorao Island surpasses 16 other islands in attracting visitors.
Distance: 3km from Panaji
14. Divar Island – Untouched & unexplored
Divar Island is still untouched by commercialization and it has retained much of its originality. This small village reprises the feeling of visiting Goan countryside. Bonderam is a much talked about festival which sees a huge influx of tourists to Divar Island.
What’s Special? Situated across the ever-active Mandovi River, it is easily accessible via ferry from near Viceroy’s Arch in Old Goa.
15. Grand Island – Adventures in the water
Grand Island is true to its name. It is amongst the most offbeat yet adventurous tourist places in Goa. It offers a grand experience to the lovers of watersports as it is home to excellent Scuba Diving sites.
What’s Special? Suzy’s Wreck, Shelter Cove and Bounty Bay are some of the Scuba Diving sites around Grand Island. Take a day trip to this island in Goa for great snorkeling experience.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa
16. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary – Wilderness beyond animals
Noted as Goa’s Second Largest Wildlife Reserve, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary may not be the place to see wild animals prowling but you get to see something different. Sloth Bears, Laughing Hyenas and Indian Bisons are a part of the community along with Monkeys and the Malabar Crested Eagle. Find yourself walking in the woods and enjoying the silence that descends on this sanctuary.
Distance: 60 kms south of Panaji
17. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – An offbeat discovery
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on western extreme of The Chorao Island is where mangrove forests are worth exploring with the presence of species like mudskipper and black drongo. Named after an Indian ornithologist, the sanctuary is a nice escape into wilderness.
18. Mandovi-Zuari Wildlife Sanctuary
Mandovi-Zuari Wildlife Sanctuary is Goa’s most visited sanctuary and that is not without reason. Like other Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa, Mandovi-Zuari attends to a host of species. You can spot the from the rarest of species of Kandelia Candel to a wide range of Birds, Snakes, Jackals and Crocodiles.
Shopping places in Goa
19. Mapusa Market
Mapusa is one of the many famous shopping destinations in Goa. Just outside Mapusa Municipal Market, you will find an array of stalls enticing you with local goods got by farmers and small entrepreneurs across the state You can shop for several artifacts, clothes, accessories, souvenirs and much more at the market.
20. Saturday Night Market
This sprawling market is located in Arpora. One can find everything in this market – right from spices to jewellery, unique creations, international designers, vintage items and much more. Apart from that, it hosts live concerts. A lot of hippies frequent this market and sell goodies too. The Saturday night market has featured in Bollywood films too! It is one of the best liveliest getaways for sightseeing in Goa.
Must Read: Top 11 Shopping Destinations in India
21. Anjuna Flea Market
Apart from the famous Curlies, Anjuna flea market is amongst the most popular tourist places in Goa. The flea market is open only on Wednesdays and offers many things, right from fruits to clothes and accessories to electronic devices. It’s a favourite hangout among hippies and backpackers. While you can find really unique items at this market, give your best shot at bargaining, ‘coz you can avail some great deals!
Opening time: October to March: 08:00 am – 12:00 am & 12:00 am – 01:00 am
Famous Party Hubs in Goa
22. Tito’s Club
The biggest entertainment hub in Goa hosts a steady stream of high profile and celebrity DJ’s with a huge dance floor and is amongst the best tourist attractions in Goa. The club also features a variety of special acts, dance performances and has the most versatile bartenders with fire acts and crazy bar flaring acts of their own. The club within a few months of opening its doors has already received the Times Nightlife Award for the “Best Nightclub in Goa”.
It is one of the most happening tourist places in North Goa that has changed the clubbing scene in Goa. It club opens from 9pm onwards and is a chilled out zone to meet friends and catch up for a drink. With amazing in house DJs as well as renowned International DJ’s playing all sorts of music. Cafe Mambo also has special theme nights for retro music, trance night, and is sure to make you shake a leg.
24. Britto’s – Dine by the beach
De Baga Deck is a fine-dining Italian restaurant that serves some of the most scrumptious and tantalizing foods in Goa. Tasty cocktails, great music, pleasing ambience and magical cuisines are the highlights of De Baga Deck. The ambience is unique given the large French windows through which you can enjoy uninterrupted and spectacular views of the Arabian Sea. De Baga Deck open throughout the year. Specialize in seafood and multi-cuisines.
Have you ever imagine there is so much in Goa? Hurry up and pack yourself for such an amazing trip.
Further Read: Goa vs Gokarna: What’s your pick for the Long Weekend?