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Best Places To Visit In Goa

Top 10 Goa Must-see Attractions

There are plenty of amazing things to see and do in Goa. From the beaches, to the national parks and hills, to the churches, forts, markets, and the backwaters, there are so many tourist attractions in Goa 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 must definitely include in your tour planning. Check out these top 10 best attractions you don’t want to miss on a Goa visit –

Many of the tourist places included here are famous landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful churches, interesting local markets, old Portuguese structures that will give you insights into the Goa of before, and of course, there are the top beaches, water sports, and natural attractions, which you cannot miss.

So do take a look. Make sure you don’t miss these best places to visit in Goa:

#1 – The Beaches

Agonda Beach in South Goa

When in Goa, you have got to visit a few beaches. These are the main reasons why so many tourists come here. There are more than 50 beaches in Goa to choose from, big and small included. Here are the top beaches in North Goa and South Goa.

Beaches in North Goa:

  • Arambol
  • Chapora
  • Vagator
  • Anjuna
  • Baga
  • Calangute
  • Candolim

North Goa beaches are more happening places, with a lot of restaurants, cafes, beach shacks, parties, and many more tourists.

Beaches in South Goa:

  • Colva
  • Cavelossim
  • Mobor
  • Benaulim
  • Majorda
  • Agonda
  • Palolem

South Goa beaches are more serene, peaceful. There are still beach shacks and cafes, but fewer tourists here. These are not party hotspots.

#2 – Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada

This is an old Portuguese fort from the 17th century. Sitting at the confluence of the Mandovi River, the Portuguese constructed this fort as a defence against the Marathas and the Dutch. There is a deep dry moat here, and a 13 metre high lighthouse, which was constructed in 1864. Many buildings within the fort are still in very good condition.

From Aguada, you can get awesome views of the shoreline, the Arabian Sea, Mandovi River, and even the city of Panaji, which is on the other side of the river.

#3 – Chapora Fort

Chapora Gort

The Chapora fort is located in North Goa, close to Vagator beach, and next to where the Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea. This fort is a must visit for those in love with 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. Plenty of photo opportunities here!

  • Distance from Panaji – 21.7 kilometers by the NH66.

#4 – Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus Se Cathedral Goa

The body of St. Francis Xavier is kept preserved at the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa, making this one of the most important tourist attractions, and a landmark for Catholics from around the world. It also 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.

#5 – Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Also called the “Immaculate Conception Church”, this beautiful church is located in Goa’s capita 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 from all over for a long time. Old Portuguese sailors offered their thanks and prayers before or after sailing. There is a feast every year on December 8th, which many locals and tourists attend.

  • Timings: 10 am — 12.30 pm, 3 — 5.30 pm

#6 – The Markets

Goa Markets

There are some very interesting markets in Goa, mostly in the North, where you can learn about the life of the local Goanese people, see their culture, try their food, listen to the music, and find local handicrafts. And of course, there are many awesome deals to discover here as well.

The best markets include the Anjuna flea market, the Mapusa market, and the Arpora night market.

Anjuna Flea Market – Just off Anjuna beach in North Goa, the market is open every Wednesday here in peak season from morning till evening. There are more than 500 stalls that sell handmade items, beach accessories, gift items, and much more. Make sure to bargain hard.

Mapusa Market – Head to this market to shop for a wide variety of fish, meat, and vegetables. You will also find slippers, colourful clothing, and cheap wine here. The Siolim fish market near Morjim is another place to shop for fish.

Arpora Night Market – The Arpora Saturday Night Market is in North Goa near Anjuna from 6 in the evening till late into the night. This market was started by the hippies originally to earn money, but now, there are many locals too selling their stuff. There are many food stalls too and bands performing live shows.

Apart from this, there are many street markets in Goa as well, which you do not want to miss, particularly those in the Calangute and the Baga area.

#7 – Grande Island

Grande Island Goa

Grande Island Ilha Grande is located in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Vasco da Gama. There are ferry services from the mainland. This is where you go for scuba diving, reef diving, snorkelling, swimming, plenty of water sports activities, fishing, and even dolphin watching. It’s a great place for both beginner and advanced divers and snorkelers.

You can explore ship wrecks as well, 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.

#8 – Dudhsagar Falls

Dudhsagar Water 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 and is located on the Goa-Karnataka border. It looks most impressive in the monsoon, during the rains when there is maximum water.

The white water of the falls cascades down for 1017 feet from a steep mountain face. You can view it from a train journey to and from Margao, or you can trek to the base of the falls after you reach the starting point by road. You have to trek through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. There are many viewpoints along the way.

#9 – Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter Goa

The Fontainhas neighbourhood is Goa’s Old Latin Quarter, a UNESCO Heritage Zone. It is located in Panjim. This is a must visit, as you will be transported immediately to another age. The narrow winding lanes and streets, old buildings, quaint shops, bakeries, restaurants, and art galleries are extremely charming.

Don’t miss the Portuguese mansions here. Watch out for the red tiles roofs and the projecting balconies. They have a distinct Mediterranean feel. There is a heritage walk of the Fontainhas neighbourhood as well you may want to go on.

#10 – Naval Aviation Museum

Naval Aviation Museum Goa

Visiting the naval museum is going to be a unique experience you will remember for long. It’s the only Naval Aviation Museum in India and is in fact quite unique in Asia.

There is both an indoor and outdoor section with exhibits that include bombs, rockets, aircrafts, parachutes, protective gears, armaments, outfits of pilots and much more. This will surely be a must visit if you are interested in the defence forces.

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