Beachside bliss, trance parties, sizzling nightlife and gourmet temptations – Goa is all these and so much more! A kaleidoscopic destination, Goa is a punch of flavours that packs in fun, frivolousness, culture, heritage and even a sublime dose of spirituality. The buzzing place celebrates the idea of a carefree life like no other destination in India. At the same time, it tantalises you to soak in the splendour of Portuguese colonial ancestry that is laced with a dip of Indian culture. Such is the exotic beauty of Goa!

This sand-based party destination is a spectacular package of numerous known and lesser-known attractions. How about treating yourself to a trail of some of the most enticing treasures of Goa that definitely deserve to be on your must-visit list? Interested, are you? Then fasten your seatbelts and here you go!

Learn about Goa’s history, geography and climate.

Beaches in Goa – Bountiful Nature

Baga Calangute Candolim
Sinquerim Vagator Anjuna
Palolem Arambol Agonda
Morjim Butterfly Colva
Places to Visit in Goa: Beaches – Bountiful Nature

Places to Visit in Goa: Beaches – Bountiful Nature

Everything else can take a backseat when you are in the vicinity of the gorgeous beaches of Goa. Here’s our list of the most stunning golden-sand jewels from the region’s treasury.

1. Baga

Undoubtedly, the most famous and happening beach in Goa, Baga is known for its pulsating beach parties, exciting nightlife and delicious seafood. It is the perfect place to indulge in water sports and enjoy a sunbath during the day and dance to foot-tapping music at night, all in the company of a lively crowd.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Parasailing and dolphin cruises

2. Calangute

Termed as the Queen of Beaches in Goa, Calangute’s drawcard is its shimmering golden sand and the whimsical rise and fall of waves. Peppered with sun lounges, cool restaurants, clubs and shacks, the beach is a traveller’s delight.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Water skiing and banana rides

Check out the hotels in goa in Calangute & Baga Road

3. Candolim

Picturesque beauty and a serene atmosphere make Candolim a great spot to relax and rejuvenate during your beach holidays. The scrub-covered sand dunes are among the major attractions of this beach.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities:Kite surfing and paragliding

4. Sinquerim

Dotted with swaying palm trees, the captivating Sinquerim beach is the best place to spend a few tranquil moments, alone or with your crazy pack. The beach offers mesmerising views of the historic Fort Aguada.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Crocodile spotting, skiing and paragliding

5. Vagator

Vagator exudes a laid-back feel while still being steeped in the rave culture. It is split into two beaches – Big Vagator and Small Vagator and is famous for its dramatic red cliffs.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Scuba diving, kayaking and jet ski ride 

6. Anjuna

Anjuna is a 30-km long beach that features unusual rock formations and towering palm trees. Happening nightclubs, pubs and Saturday night bazaar make it one of the most popular places to visit in Goa at night.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Bumping rides, water scooter, trance parties and flea market shopping

7. Palolem

Shaped like a beautiful crescent, the palm-fringed Palolem beach boasts of stunning views and white sand and is regarded as Goa’s finest beach. Apart from indulging in water sports and sampling authentic Goan dishes, you can engage in some retail therapy from the Tibetan market shops lining the beach.  

  • Location: South Goa
  • Top Activities: Swimming, attend a yoga class, dolphin spotting and party at a silent disco

8. Arambol

Arambol counts among the gorgeous beaches in Goa and for all the right reasons. A distinct Bohemian vibe and a string of budget accommodation options add to the popularity of the place.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Attend a night party, yoga and meditation session, paragliding, kite surfing and sunbathing

9. Agonda

A hidden gem, Agonda is an unspoiled scenic beach located in the southern region and certainly counts among the less-crowded beaches in Goa. The beach witnesses fewer crowds and is ideal for swimming, sunbathing or simply lazing around.

  • Location: South Goa
  • Top Activities: Swimming and beach walking 

10. Morjim

Its natural beauty notwithstanding, Morjim beach is mainly popular as a nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles that can be seen here in large numbers. It is also a great place to spot various species of birds.

  • Location: North Goa
  • Top Activities: Scuba diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, boating and swimming

11. Butterfly

A secluded wonder, Butterfly beach is among the most beautiful but less exploited beaches in Goa. You can find a variety of butterfly species on this beach. The beach is accessible only through boats as no roadways wind up to it.

  • Location: South Goa
  • Top Activities: Canoeing, boat riding, snorkelling and kayaking

12. Colva

Fringed with coconut trees, Colva is a serene beach that exhibits a unique charm of its own. The colourful fishing boats bobbing on the water adds to the quaint beauty of the beach.

  • Location: South Goa
  • Top Activities: Candle-light dinners, swimming, parasailing, banana boat ride and water scooter 

Also Read – North Goa or South Goa: How to make a choice?

Churches in Goa: – Magnificence Redefined

Basilica of Bom Jesus Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina Church of Saint Francis of Assisi
Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church of Saint Cajetan Chapel of Saint Catherine
Mae De Deus Church Santa Cruz Church Church of Our Lady of the Mount
Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca
Places to Visit in Goa: Churches – Magnificence Redefined

Places to Visit in Goa: Churches – Magnificence Redefined

Enchanting is the word that can appropriately define the beauty of Goa’s churches. Check out our list of exceptional churches in Goa.

13. Basilica of Bom Jesus

Built in the 16th century, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the oldest and most famous churches in the region. The edifice of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fabulous example of Baroque architecture. The church is famous for being home to the mummy of St. Francis Xavier.

  • Location: Old Goa

14. Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina

Se Cathedral exhibits magnificent architecture and is among the largest churches in Goa. This 250-feet tall church boasts of the largest bell in Goa, known as the Golden Bell.

  • Location: Velha Goa or Old Goa

15. Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

Featuring a unique blend of Baroque, Corinthian and Tuscan architectural styles, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi boasts of attractively gilded altars and ornate interiors. The carved woodwork of the church adds to its overall beauty.

  • Location: Velha Goa or Old Goa

16. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

An old gem among Goa’s churches, this church is known for its elegant architecture that features a double flight of symmetrical stairs. It has an ancient bell that is supposed to be the second largest bell of its kind in Goa.

  • Location: Panjim

17. Church of Saint Cajetan

This famous church is modelled after Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. It features exquisite Corinthian architectural style and is built in the shape of a Greek cross.

  • Location: Velha Goa or Old Goa

18. Chapel of Saint Catherine

Exhibiting a simple architecture, this UNESCO-listed church holds much historical significance. It was built to celebrate the victorious march of Portuguese general, Afonso de Albuquerque in Goa. Apparently, it is the first Christian ecclesiastical structure built in the region.  

  • Location: Taleigao

19. Mae De Deus Church

One of the splendid churches of North Goa, it is the only one in Goa to feature Neo-Gothic architectural style. Its lovely spires will surely remind you of medieval castles. The elaborately done interior boasts of a gilded altar.

  • Location: Saligao

20. Santa Cruz Church

Santa Cruz Church is a spectacular monument built in the Neo-Roman architectural style. The church dates back to the 16th century. It is also known as Holy Cross Church. 

  • Location: Santa Cruz, Panjim

21. Church of Our Lady of the Mount

Located atop the Monte hill, the Church of Our Lady of the Mount is an elegant structure. The church commands popularity due to its impressive architecture as well as its wonderful position from where you can get a panoramic view of the surrounding areas.

  • Location: Old Goa

22. Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca

Being located at the confluence of Mapusa and Mandovi rivers, the church of Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca is a visual treat in itself. High vaulted ceilings, glass stained windows, and brilliant architecture make this church a one-of-its-kind attraction in Goa.

  • Location: Panjim

Check out the places to stay in goa

Forts in Goa: – Saga of Glorious Past

Fort Aguada Chapora Fort Reis Magos Fort
Tiracol Fort Cabo de Rama Fort Corjuem Fort
Places to Visit in Goa: Forts – Saga of Glorious Past

Places to Visit in Goa: Forts – Saga of Glorious Past

Heritage and history continue to thrive in the forts of Goa, each of which has endless stories to reveal. Mentioned below are some of the most impressive forts of Goa you must visit during your next trip.

23. Fort Aguada

Boasting of a breath-taking location, Fort Aguada stands as one of the iconic forts in Goa. Built in 1612, this massive fort offers sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. An ancient four-story Portuguese lighthouse and prison cells situated within the complex are among the major attractions of the fort.

  • Location: Candolim 
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 6 pm

24. Chapora Fort

Since the time it featured in the movie, Dil Chahta Hai, this fort has become one of the best places to visit in Goa for youngsters. The USP of the fort is the panoramic view it offers of the expansive Vagator Beach.

  • Location: Bardez
  • Timings: 10 am to 5:30 pm

25. Reis Magos Fort

Standing guard since 1551, the robust Reis Magos is one of the oldest forts in Goa. The fort was once a residence for dignitaries and was later used as a prison. With its interesting history, it sure deserves a visit.

  • Location: Bardez
  • Timings: 9:30 am – 5 pm

26. Tiracol Fort

A 17th-century monument, Tiracol Fort is situated atop a hill and offers spectacular views of the areas downhill. There is also a church inside the fort, though is not always kept open for the general public.

  • Location: Tiracol
  • Timings: 9 am – 7 pm

27. Cabo de Rama Fort

Steeped in legends and folklore, Cabo de Rama takes pride in being one of the oldest forts in Goa. It is believed that the fort location is the place where Lord Rama had stayed with his wife Sita during their 14 years of exile from Ayodhya.

  • Location: Canacona
  • Timings: 9 am – 5:30 pm

28. Corjuem Fort

Corjuem Fort is one of the two surviving inland forts of Goa. It may be small in size, but it is quite popular among the tourists and locals alike who throng to the fort to enjoy the spellbinding vistas it offers of the Corjuem River and the areas beyond it.

  • Location: Corjuem
  • Timings: 6 am – 7 pm

Temples in Goa: – Blend of Beauty & Spirituality

Mangeshi Temple Shanta Durga Temple Maruti Temple
Saptakoteshwar Temple Mahalasa Narayani Temple Brahma Temple
Places to Visit in Goa: Temples – Blend of Beauty & Spirituality

Places to Visit in Goa: Temples – Blend of Beauty & Spirituality

The temples of Goa are not just about spirituality; they are also about heritage and beauty. Take a look at some of the famous temples that paint a picture of an altogether different Goa.

29. Mangeshi Temple

Dedicated to Lord Mangesh, an avatar of Lord Shiva, Mangeshi Temple is one of the largest, oldest, and most visited shrines in Goa. There is a seven-story octagonal lamp tower at the temple complex entrance that becomes a visual treat when lighted with oil lamps on festive nights.

  • Location: Mangeshi Village, Priol

30. Shanta Durga Temple

Shanta Durga Temple in Goa exhibits a unique construction, replete with Roman arched windows and a Pyramidical Shikara. Goddess Durga is the reigning deity of this temple, where she is worshipped as a mediator between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. 

  • Location: Kavalem Village, Ponda

31. Maruti Temple

When you are in Goa, do not let go of the opportunity to get blessed by Lord Hanuman at the Maruti Temple. If you happen to visit this temple on Tuesdays, you can witness the rush of devotees who throng the place in hordes.

  • Location: Altinho, Panjim

32. Saptakoteshwar Temple

One of the six major shrines of Lord Shiva that exists in the Konkan region, Saptakoteshwar Temple is a picture of architectural beauty.  The temple’s mandapa is constructed in the European style. You will need to embark on a ferry journey to reach the temple from the island of Divar.

  • Location: Narve, Bicholim

33. Mahalasa Narayani Temple

This temple is among the rare shrines in India where Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Mahalasa or Mohini, the deity’s female form. The temple possesses a 12.5-meter high brass lamp which is considered to be one of the highest lamps in the world.

  • Location: Mardol, Ponda

34. Brahma Temple

You don’t come across a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma every other day, do you? Because of this very reason, you must include the Brahma Temple in your list of Goa itineraries. The temple houses a finely chiseled sculpture of Lord Brahma that dates back to the Kadamba period.

  • Location: Valpoi, Satari

Museums in Goa: – Keepers of History

Archaeological Museum Museum of Christian Art Wax World Museum
Ancestral Goa Museum Indian Naval Aviation Museum Houses of Goa
Places to Visit in Goa: Museums – Keepers of History

Places to Visit in Goa: Museums – Keepers of History

The museums in Goa allow you to get a glimpse into the rich history, culture, and heritage of the land. Listed below are a few popular choices from among the plethora of museums in Goa.

35. Archaeological Museum

This museum takes you to the medieval past of Goa. At this museum, you can take a look at the ancient maps, Arabian and Persian inscriptions, bronze statues, wooden sculptures, age-old artefacts, and lots more that will keep you thoroughly engaged.

  • Location: Old Goa
  • Timings: 10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Friday)
  • Entry Fees: INR 10

36. Museum of Christian Art

It is the only museum in Asia that features items related to the emergence of Christianity in Goa. The museum has a wealth of impressive sculptures, paintings, furniture, textiles, and other curios.  

  • Location: Old Goa
  • Timings: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Entry Fees: INR 5

37. Wax World Museum

Goa’s own Madame Tussauds, that’s what the Wax World Museum is! You can expect to find more than 30 realistic wax figures of Indian celebrities and personalities from the pages of history. Do not miss this one.  

  • Location: Old Goa
  • Timings: 09:30 am – 06:30 pm
  • Entry Fees: INR 150

38. Ancestral Goa Museum

Fancy knowing about the ancient Goan way of life? Then the Ancestral Goa Museum or Big Foot Museum will enthral you to no end. This open-air museum has life-size sculptures that portray the culture and lifestyle of Goa from the bygone days. Miniature models of traditional Goan houses and a feni distillery are the highlights of this museum.

  • Location: Loutolim
  • Timings:9 am – 6 pm (Closed on Monday)
  • Entry Fees: INR 50

39. Indian Naval Aviation Museum

This museum showcases interesting exhibits that depict the Indian Navy’s evolution over the years. You can take a look at planes, helicopters, aircraft engines, military weapons, old photos, vintage navy uniforms, and several other things. The museum houses gigantic replicas of INS Vikram and INS Viraat.

  • Location: Bogmalo, Vasco da Gama
  • Timings:10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Monday)
  • Entry Fees: INR 20

40. Houses of Goa

Designed by renowned architect Gerald da Cunha, this museum boasts of a ship-like structure. It is a unique museum where you can take a peep into Goa’s rich architectural past through the various exhibits on display.

  • Location: Bardez
  • Timings:10 am – 7:30 pm (Closed on Monday)
  • Entry Fees: INR 25

Waterfalls in Goa: – Absolutely Spectacular

Dudhsagar Waterfalls Hivre Waterfalls Tambadi Surla Waterfalls
Arvalem Waterfalls Kuskem Waterfalls Charavne Waterfalls
Places to Visit in Goa: Waterfalls – Absolutely Spectacular

Places to Visit in Goa: Waterfalls – Absolutely Spectacular

When it comes to waterfalls, nature has blessed Goa in abundance. Here are a few waterfalls that deserve a place in your places to visit in Goa in 3 days itinerary.  

41. Dudhsagar Waterfalls

A four-tiered waterfall, it is among the most spectacular waterfalls in India. The gush of milky white water flowing amidst the engulfing greenery justifies the name and is truly a sight to behold.

  • Location: Goa-Karnataka Border 

42. Hivre Waterfalls

The stunning beauty of Hivre Waterfalls makes it one of the most popular waterfalls in the entire region. The location of the waterfall holds an attraction for not just the tourists but trekkers as well.

  • Location: Valpoi

43. Tambadi Surla Waterfalls

An offbeat destination, Tambdi Surla is a waterfall of breath-taking beauty. The waterfall stands surrounded by a dense jungle and needs a trek through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary to reach the place.

  • Location: Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

44. Arvalem Waterfalls

Call it Arvalem or Harvalem as it is popularly known, this gushing waterfall will definitely delight you. If you are looking for a spot for a picnic with your friends, the area around this waterfall is an ideal choice.

  • Location: Sanquelim

45. Kuskem Waterfalls

An amazing work of nature, Kuskem Waterfalls rushes down gleefully from a lofty mountain and presents a stunning sight to the onlookers. The best time to view this seasonal waterfall is during the monsoons or post-monsoons.

  • Location: Canacona District

46. Charavne Waterfalls

A trek of about 2 miles uphill from the Charavne village will take you to the waterfall. Once you reach the spot, the sight of the waterfall will make your trek worth the effort.

  • Location: Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary 

Also Read – Trekking Places in Goa

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa: – Exotic Nature

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary
Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Places to Visit in Goa: Wildlife Sanctuaries – Exotic Nature

Places to Visit in Goa: Wildlife Sanctuaries – Exotic Nature

The natural beauty of Goa lies not just in its bays and beaches. One way to experience nature in all its wild glory is to visit the wildlife sanctuaries and parks in the region. Check out some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries of Goa.

47. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

It may be the smallest wildlife sanctuary in Goa, but this natural reserve is home to a rich variety of wildlife. The sanctuary also has cottages where you can stay and discover the varied wildlife. 

  • Location: Ponda, North Goa
  • Timings: 9 am – 5 pm (open all days except Monday)
  • Entry Fee: INR 5

48. Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary

If you are up for an adventurous safari through deep jungle, Molem National Park must be on your list of to-do things. You can also trek through the forest and discover the rich wildlife population species of this sanctuary.

  • Location: Sanguem Taluk, South Goa
  • Timings: 8 am – 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: INR 20

49. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

A biodiversity hotspot, the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of a number of wildlife species. But its biggest attraction is the Royal Bengal Tigers. This sanctuary is also a great place for bird watching.

  • Location: Valpoi
  • Timings: 8 am – 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: NA

50. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

A visit to the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary will enable you to explore a variety of flora and fauna. The enchanting place is also a home for several species of butterflies and birds.

  • Location: Sanguem Taluk
  • Timings: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: INR 20

51. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

The main attraction of the Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary is its observation deck that remains concealed amidst the foliage. If you climb up on this deck, you can spot the wild animals from close quarters.

  • Location: Canacona Taluk 
  • Timings: 7 am – 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: INR 5

52. Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Along the River Mandovi, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is accessed via a ferry ride. One can spot a variety of birds here including western reef heron and striated heron besides flying foxes, crocodiles and jackals.

  • Location: Chorao Island
  • Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
  • Entry Fee: INR 10

With so many attractions to see and experience, Goa is truly a traveller’s paradise. It has an endless bounty of man-made and natural attractions to offer. The best way to discover the treasures of Goa is to book your ticket, check into one of the hotels in Goa, and start your exploration in earnest. So, here’s to the happy exploration of Goa’s wonders!

Frequently Asked Questions About Goa:

Q: When is the best time to visit Goa?

A: Although the 'Party Capital of India' is crowded with tourists all round the year, it is best to visit to Goa during the winter season (November-February). The state especially attracts people from world over during Christmas and New Year.

Q: Which Goa casinos can I visit to try my luck?

A: Deltin Royale, Casino Pride, Deltin Jaqk, Deltin Caravela and the land-based Casino Paradise are among the top casinos in Goa for gaming enthusiasts.

Q: What are the best places to visit in South Goa?

A: Beaches like Palolem, Colva and Benaulim, shrines like Se Cathedral and Shri Shantadurga Temple, Cabo de Rama Fort, Dudhsagar Waterfalls and other interesting attractions in towns like Vasco Da Gama, Chandor and Loutolim are among the top tourist places to visit in South Goa.

Q: Which adventure sports can I try in Goa?

A: There are many adventure activities in Goa for you to indulge in, the most popular of all being water skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing, banana boat rides, kite surfing, white water rafting, windsurfing, parasailing and snorkelling.

Q: Which are the best places to shop in Goa?

A: The most popular shopping places in Goa are Anjuna Flea Market (Wednesday) and Arpora Night Market (Saturday). Mapusa Friday Market, Mackie's Saturday Night Market and Calangute Market Square are a few other options for shoppers.

Q: How to reach Goa?

A: Goa's Dabolim Airport has direct flights to domestic and foreign destinations like Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai,Kuwait and UAE. Major trains stations in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim while bus travellers can get down at Mapusa, Panjim, Vasco da Gama, Margao or Canacona. Travelling to Goa by road from nearby cities is also ideal.

Q: Are there any UNESCO-listed heritage sites in Goa?

A: Yes; as a matter of fact, there is more than one. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Church of Saint Augustine and Church of Saint Cajetan are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Goa.

Q: Suggest some happening places for a night out in Goa?

A: Party lovers must not miss popular pubs and nightclubs in Goa like Tito's, SinQ, LPK Waterfront, Cafe Mambo, Curlies, Soro, Cafe Mojo, Cavala, Showbar Exchange, Cohiba and Chronicle. Silent-Noise in South Goa is also a must-visit.

Q: Which are the best places to eat in Goa?

A: Tamarind Cafe, La Plage, Bhatti Village, Thalassa, Spice Goa, Burger Factory, Brittos, Pousada by the Beach, Zeebop by the Sea, The Space, Martin's Corner, Dropadi, Magic Italy, The Fisherman's Wharf and Nostalgia are among the best restaurants in Goa.

Q: Suggest some good places for breakfast or brunch in Goa.

A: The Verandah Restaurant, AZ.U.R, Infantaria, Artjuna, Lila Cafe, Baba Au Rhum, La Brise, Bean Me Up, Cafe Cotinga and Villa Blanche Bistro are the most popular breakfast and brunch spots in Goa.