15 Best Places to Visit in Goa

COVID-19 has taken the wind out of those who love to travel, explore, and experience everything that the world has to offer. It has also had an impact on those who value Goa’s beauty, heritage, beaches, nightlife, and everything else that makes it India’s top tourist destination. When you say Goa, images of beaches with colorful beach shacks, wild parties, bustling flea markets, and fresh seafood come to mind. From waterfalls to spice plantations, there are a variety of tourist attractions that are great for sightseeing. You can get a relaxing Ayurvedic massage or go on a heritage walk through the Latin quarters. In this article, we’ll show you the top 15 places to visit in Goa where you can enjoy the best of what the state has to offer.

1. Panaji, North Goa

Panaji should be on your list of places to visit in Goa, not only because it is the capital, but also because there are so many places to see that make for an amazing sightseeing tour. From a heritage walk in Fontainhas – the Latin Quarters to a day at Miramar Beach, this city will provide you with a memorable experience. Ornithologists and bird enthusiasts can also visit the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, which is only 7 kilometers away and is home to migratory birds as well as common and uncommon marsh-dwelling bird species.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Margao, South Goa

Margao is not the kind of place you’d want to skip if you’re planning a trip to Goa. The town claims to be Goa’s cultural capital, and after visiting it, you’ll agree that it’s a well-deserved title. The Municipal Garden, The Holy Spirit Church, House of Seven Gables, and Damodar Temple are all well-known tourist attractions in the town. You should also go to the specialty market to look at the different species and dried fish. Apart from the Margao curry, almost all of Goa’s signature dishes can be found in Margao. Margao Curry is exported to Portugal and other countries, which is interesting to know.

Source: Wikipedia

3. Vasco da Gama, South Goa

The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is commemorated in the city of Vasco da Gama. If you want to relax on the beaches, this is one of the best places to visit in Goa. There are several beaches to choose from, including Cansaulim, which is ideal for watching the sunset, and Hollant, which is ideal for a wild ride with your friends! There are also other attractions, such as the 400-year-old St. Andrews Church. In addition, there is a Naval Aviation Museum, one of three such museums in India. However, if you visit in March, you can participate in the Shigmo festival, which features street dances and colorful parades.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Mapusa, North Goa

There are many reasons to visit Mapusa during your Goa vacation, but the Mapusa Friday Market deserves special attention. Every Friday, you can visit stalls selling Goan spices, homemade sausages, ready-to-cook fish with marsala, vegetables, chilies, cashews, and sweets. It is located in the Bardez sub-district and is close to several beaches, including Vagator and Chapora.

Source: Amit Rawat (Flickr)

5. Calangute, North Goa

Calangute Beach is one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches, which is why any Goa travel guide will include this town in the Bardez district. On any given day at the beach, your gaze will be drawn to a large number of backpackers and tourists who are all having a great time! There are shacks, numerous clubs, shows, open-air dances, and people participating in adventure sports such as parasailing and water skiing.

Source: Pixahive

6. Candolim, North Goa

Candolim, like Calangute, draws visitors to Goa because of its main attraction, Candolim Beach. If you prefer your beaches to be crowded and noisy, with a party atmosphere, there isn’t much to do here! It is, however, for you if all you want to do is sunbathe, watch the sunset, take a dip, and enjoy parasailing. The “River Princess,” a bulk carrier that ran aground 100 meters ashore, is another reason Candolim is one of the best places to visit in Goa. Choose a sunbed and watch the waves kiss the shore as they turn red and yellow at sunrise and sunset.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. Anjuna, North Goa

In the 1960s, if you traveled to Goa and visited the village of Anjuna, you would find yourself in the midst of trance parties, hippies dressed in psychedelic colors, and free-spirited backpackers. Today, all types of tourists, both domestic and international, can be found with traces of the hippie era. The Flea Market, which is open on Wednesdays, is one way to get a sense of that. You can get your hands on everything from sarongs, sandalwood, and leather goods to crystals and stones. Another popular destination is Anjuna Beach, which is less crowded than the other beaches in Goa. To get a taste of the trance scene, go in the evening and dine at places like Curlies or Shiva Valley.

Source: Flickr

8. Bambolim, North Goa

For its beach, Bambolim is always listed among the top places to visit in Goa. It’s a long stretch of white sand with rocks and swaying coconut palms that serves both aesthetic and functional purposes (such as offering shade from the midday sun). On some days, you’ll see groups of young boys and girls hanging out, but more often than not, you’ll see fishermen getting ready to go fishing. It’s also a great family picnic spot in Goa because it’s secluded and free of vendors and shacks. However, there is a Bambolim Beach Resort where you can sample a wide range of cuisines, from Goan to Continental delicacies.

Source: Flickr

9. Agonda, South Goa

Agonda is a popular tourist destination in South Goa, known for both its “silent beach” and the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles that lay their eggs there every September. The beach village is surrounded by dense vegetation, and it’s a place where words like “time” and “hurry” are forgotten. Observe the Arabian Sea’s waves lapping the shore, cows strolling leisurely, and dogs having the time of their lives! It’s not hard to understand why people who have visited Goa describe it as a top beach destination!

Source: bakgwei1 (flickr) 

10. Old Goa

There was a time when Velha Goa, now known as Old Goa, was the capital of Goa, not Panaji. It was a time when the city radiated grandeur and unparalleled splendor, much of which could be seen in the city’s colossal churches, cathedrals, and majestic convents. Old Goa has secured a permanent place in any sightseeing tour thanks to those spectacular pieces of architecture. The “Churches and Convents of Goa,” which include monuments like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral, are the most popular tourist attractions in the state today (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites). This is one of the places to visit in Goa that needs to be seen by more people, a side that reflects the state’s rich history and heritage.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

11. Mandrem, North Goa

Consider going to a beach in Goa that also offers an Ayurvedic massage. Mandrem, a sleepy coastal village, makes this list of top tourist attractions in Goa because of its beach, which is one of the quietest in North Goa. It is bordered by a few beach shacks and hotels that serve delicious food, including local specialties. You can also rent sunbeds and spend the day getting a tan while spending quality time with your loved ones. There is a small massage center where you can get a massage if you want one!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

12. Morjim, North Goa

If seclusion, solitude, and tranquillity aren’t your thing, skip Morjim, which is sprawled along the banks of the River Chapora. If you want to spend a quiet day on the beach watching the sunset, sampling some local delicacies, and strolling through the village, this is the place to go. Families and friends looking for a great beach getaway away from the crowds should come here. The endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtle uses Morjim as a nesting site. On the beach, there is a post with a board indicating the location where the turtles lay their eggs. It’s a fantastic site to stumble upon!

Source: Pixahive

13. Sanquelim, North Goa

The Harvalem Caves, Harvalem Waterfalls, and Rudreshwar Temple in Sanquelim are among the most popular places to visit in Goa. All three tourist attractions can be visited in a single trip. The Harvalem Caves are a group of caves named after Mahabharata’s five Pandavas. The caves themselves are made up of two major caves and a residential chamber that were excavated into the Laterite Hill. The Harvalem Waterfalls, which are at their most beautiful during the monsoons, are only a kilometer away, as is the Rudreshwar Temple, which is close to the waterfall.

Source: gosahin

14. Ponda, North Goa

Ponda, with its temples, an ancient mosque, and beautiful spice farms, is another tourist destination in North Goa where you can learn about Goa’s rich heritage. One of these is the Sahakari Spice Farm, where you can learn about different types of spices. A tropical garden surrounds the farm. There are also a couple of stalls selling spices and oils. Another spice farm is Tropical Spice Plantation, which has trees such as Mexican Mirchi, Pepper Tree, and Lavender Tree. It’s fascinating to see and learn about the various trees and plants that give our food its distinct flavor and make it so delicious!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Canacona, South Goa

Canacona is close to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Patnem, Rajbaga, Colomb, and Talpona. Every one of these beaches has something unique to offer. You can go boating to Monkey, Honeymoon, and Butterfly Islands from Palolem Beach, for example. Talpona Beach, on the other hand, is unspoiled, pristine, and secluded, with a laid-back atmosphere.

Cola Beach
Image Source: Pavel Volkov (Flickr) 

These are the top 15 places to visit in Goa to see the best of the state’s attractions, which include beaches, churches, spice plantations, waterfalls, and temples, among others. Which aspect of Goa tourism appeals to you the most, and how many of these Goa tourist attractions have you seen? Please share your stories with us!

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