Goa, an amazing place for tourists

Best_goa

25 Best Places To Visit In Goa

25 Best Places to Visit in Goa

Image Credit: Cajetan Barretto – Flickr

An international tourist destination, Goa is fondly called the fun capital of India. A small state in Western India and lying in the Konkan region of the Western Ghats, this place is blessed with exotic biodiversity. From beaches to places of religious significance and to flea markets; Goa has it all. Every aspect of this party hub effuses the attributes of a perfect tourist destination.

Bestowed with moderate climate, the weather in Goa is another major attraction for being salubrious for most times of the year. Live entertainment on the beach, at shacks and on docked ships are perennial features. Music and merriment are a part and parcel of everyday existence.

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Some of the best beaches to visit in Goa:

1. Baga Beach

Image Credit: Shahnawaz Sid- flickr

One of the most sought after beaches in India, Baga Beach is the centre of tourist attraction in Goa. Situated in North Goa, pleasant ambience, scenic views of the shoreline and plenitude of things to do makes this fishing village one of the finest places to visit in Goa. On any visit to this sandy retreat, you can witness innumerable fishing boats docked by the shoreline.

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Unlike most of the Goan beaches, Baga is secluded from the outside world. Well, this has contributed a lot to its charm and appeal of this beach. Salubrious atmosphere all through the year, the quiet and calm atmosphere, plenty of water activities and the beach shacks on this holiday destination entices visitors from different parts of the world.

Amongst all the activities, dolphin spotting, parasailing, banana boat rides and sun-basking are highly enjoyed at this beach. Though you can visit this sandy paradise at any point of the year, November to March is considered as the ideal time to make it to the Baga Beach.

2. Aguada Beach

Image Credits : Klaus Nahr – Flickr

Known for its Aguada Fort, Aguada Beach is among the places to visit in Goa. The seashore is positioned in North Goa and is perfect to bask in beachy allures. This destination stands apart with the many historical attractions. It also allures with pristine landscape and the background of ancient citadels. Thanks to the great settings, the beach is also a favourite among honeymoon goers.

3. Arambol Beach

Image Credits : Os Rupias – Flickr

Permeating a distinct bohemian vibe, Arambol Beach is said to be the most beautiful in the state. It lies on the north of Keri Beach and south of Mandrem Beach. This is also a traditional fisherman hamlet.

The sandy shore is considered safe for swimming and hence attracts several family goers. It also lures many foreigners especially during the months from November to March. The accommodation provided is simple in the form of homestays and beach shacks and relatively cheaper. Over here, one can indulge in adventure sports such as paragliding and kite surfing. Those who are interested can also avail of courses in yoga, meditation, Odissi Dance and more.

4. Palolem Beach

Placed in Canacona, Goa Palolem beach offers serene and soothing allures. The beauty of the shore lies in it being mostly untampered. People who reside here include fishermen and foreign tourists.

Such is the exquisiteness of this beach that it was featured in The Bourne Supremacy as the Goan home of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). Each season, bamboo-hut stays and restaurants are opened up by the beach for travellers to get a true experience of the sun, sand and sea.

5. Calangute Beach

Image Credits : abcdz2000 – Flickr

One of the captivating tourist places in Goa, Calangute Beach is constantly bustling with tourists looking for some relaxed and good times. It is located about 15 kilometers from Panaji. The largest beach in north Goa, this place especially gets flooded during winter and summer months. There are several accommodations available here. This is where one can dabble with some water sports such as parasailing and water skiing. With Baga Beach just a hop, skip away, you can reel in some vibrant nightlife too.

6. Butterfly Beach

Image Credits : Mathanki Kodavasal – Flickr

A delightful little sandy cove north of Palolem Beach, Butterfly Beach beckons with silver sands and lucid waters. Not accessible by road, you would have to embark upon a trek of around 2 hours through woody areas to get here. You can even take a ferry ride from Palolem Beach to reach this place. Needless to say, the beach is not crowded. The hills and thick vegetation fringing the sands further add to the allure. It is among the offbeat places to visit in Goa.

Famous islands in Goa:

7. Bats Island

Also referred to as The Pequeno Island, the Bat Island is ideal for adventure seekers. About a kilometre from Baina Beach of Vasco-da-Gama, the delight has a little beach and tiny green stretch. This is where one can enjoy snorkelling or simply spend a lazy day soaking up the charms of the setting.

With snorkelling, you might be able to get a glimpse of star coral, brain coral, sea fans, sea whips, parrot fish, angel fish, squirrel fish, butterfly fish, sea cucumbers and many other denizens of the water world.

8. Divar Island

Lesser known than its famous counterparts, Divar Island is huddled away across the Mandovi River. At this place, you can unravel the appeals of old Goa countryside. Enjoy a pictorial drive amidst paddy hills and woody hillocks. The place was once popular among Hindu pilgrims where several ancient temples existed. They were destroyed by the Portuguese and the main Ganesh idol had to be replaced in Khandola hamlet near Marcel.

 When at the hilltop, you can soak in sweeping sights of the surroundings as well as Old Goa and meandering Mandovi River. The island especially comes alive during the Bonderam festival that is held with great gusto during the monsoon.

Historical places in Goa:

9. Bom Jesus Basilica

Image Credit: Paul Simpson- Flickr

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one ofthe oldest churches in the country, the church of Bom Jesus Basilica was formally consecrated in 1605 and is amongst the top places to see in Goa. This church is considered to be one of the finest representations of Baroque architecture. An important pilgrimage for the Christians, it is here where the body St. Francis Xavier is kept. Aging over several centuries, the mortal remains of his body are still preserved at this church – an astonishing fact indeed.

Located near Gandhi Circle, Old Goa Road, Velha Goa, the best time of the day to visit is 9:00AM to 6:30PM on all days; except Sundays when the church opens at 10 am. Every day mass is held from 7:00AM to 8:00AM. The Sunday mass is held from 8:00AM to 9:15AM. Whether an architecture enthusiasts or a history worm, amongst all the best places to visit in Goa, this ancient landmark with all its glories, will surely keep you stunned!

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10. Fort Aguada

Image Credit: wikimedia

This fort is amongst the many preserved places to see in Goa and essays an era of yore filled with events. A Portuguese fort overlooking the Sinquerim Beach and the Arabian Sea, Fort Aguada was constructed in 1613 and since then it has become a prominent landmark or a reference point for ships visiting the Goan shores from Europe.

Apart from being of navigational assistance, this fort was also of strategic importance for the Portuguese as centuries ago, it added to the defense line of the Portuguese from the Dutch and Marathas. Located in the Candolim Beach, Goa, and at the shore of the Mandolim River, it remains open on all days of the week from nine in the morning to six thirty in the evening. In addition, even one can have many more best happeningthings to do in Goa during the visit with family and friends.

11. Goa State Museum

Image Credit: wikimedia

Located in the capital city of Panjim, the Goa State Museum houses artifacts pertaining to its golden and bygone history. There are about eight thousand interesting artefacts housed in this museum, which makes this place one of the top places to see in Goa. The artifacts include numismatic collections, anthropological artefacts, coins, sculptures and ancient manuscripts.

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There are about fourteen galleries inside the museum and each of these galleries display a select collection of interesting artefacts. For instance, the Sculpture Gallery houses sculptures, Furniture Gallery houses ancient furniture used by royals and people and the Religious Expression Gallery features paintings, manuscripts and such items that display the cultural and religious fabric of Goa.

12. Chapora Fort

Image Credits : Kamaljith K V – Flickr

Soaring above the Chapora River in Bardez, the Chapora Fort though in ruins, is an intriguing place of visit. The stronghold has witnessed the passage of many hands from Portuguese to Marathas. In the recent years, it shot to prominence after the Bollywood movie Dil Chahta Hai was shot here.

The structure as it stands today belongs to the 18th Century. Mostly in shambles, you will find red laterite stone walls, a gate, bastions with cylinder-shaped turrets, some barracks and bushes. Perched on a prominent position, one can get sweeping views of all directions from here. Climbing up here during the day times can require a bit of an effort.  Evenings are relatively pleasant and breezy.

13. Cabo de Rama Fort

Image Credits : Michael Scalet – Flickr

The Cabo de Rama Fort is one of the oldest in the state. Positioned in Canacona, it was formed before the arrival of British. Legend has it that this is the very place where Lord Rama along with Sita sought refuge at the time of his exile from Ayodhya.

The drive to the fortress is a pictorial one. Once at the top, you can soak in the sight of crystal waters fringed by sandy charms and arching palm grooves. Inside the fort is the well-retained church of Santo Antonio, where devotees still come to.

Famous shopping places in Goa:

14. Anjuna Flea Market

Image Credit:  wikimedia

Although Anjuna is a small village in Goa, its fame has travelled far and wide making it one of the most preferred places to visit in Goa. As much as this town is known for the St Michael’s Church, it is known for its flea market as well. Popularized by hippies, the flea market came into being during their time.

Decades ago, Anjuna was thronging with recluse hippies who came from different parts of the world. They would sell wares procured from different parts of the country and world in the form of a flea market. This was when the roots of the Anjuna Flea Market came into being.

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This flea market is located towards the far south end of the Anjuna beach. Take a leisure walk through the market or get indulged in some local shopping, there are lot more to do in this market. It is in this market, where you can find merchandise ranging from clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, dancing dolls, electric and electronic items. While on a shopping trail in Anjuna Flea Market, make sure you have the required bargaining skills! Try using a scooter to reach here as driving can be a chaotic affair at times.

15. Mapusa Friday Market

If you happen to be in Goa during a Friday, do not miss the bustling Mapusa Friday Market that takes place each week. 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. Get your hands on anything to everything from fruits to jewellery, pottery to spice, carpet to home made products and more. You can also but Goan chouriço and seedless tamarind.

Some of the best places to party in Goa:

16. Tito’s Street

Image Credit: wikimedia

If you are looking out for the most happening and electric pubs, bars and restaurants in Goa, Tito’s Street is the spot for you! Some of the famous venues on this street are Café Mambo, Retro Bar, The Club, Red Square, Cock and Bull, World Café and Tito’s Courtyard. There are plenty of events that happen at these places all year round. Visited by local, national and international celebrities, party and liveliness lies in the essence of this street.

A hub of the party animals and the pleasure seeking crowd, it is also the home to some of the luxurious and stunning hotels like Saunta Vaddo, Baga Calangute and Bardez in Goa. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa for the night lovers. Be it discos, nightclubs, resorts, restaurants to hip pubs, Tito’s Street has them all. At Tito’s Street, you are posed with an embarrassment of choices! A serious safety tip is just to be sane!

17. The Baga Deck

Image Credit: SunishSebastian – Flickr

The Baga Deck or De Baga Deck is a fine-dining Italian restaurant that serves some of the most scrumptious and tantalizing foods in Goa. Visitors to this restaurant vouch for this fact and now this restaurant is a landmark of sorts. 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.

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Located at Khobra Wado near Casa Goa, this eating place also serves delicious Mexican foods. The Italian buffet features an impressive array of food items which include soup, antipasti and an enormous desert selection.

Serving the visitors throughout the day and night, it is an excellent destination to spend after-hours. It is among those restaurants that serves food to poor souls in search for food in the wee hours of the morning after a drinking spree! The best time to visit is during the tourist season which starts in October.

18. Curlies

Image Credit: Amaedeus – Flickr

Curlies, a famous beach shack at the Anjuna Beach is considered to be one of the original beach shacks in Goa. Started as a mere beach shack, it now has become one of the major landmarks in Goa. Offering food and drink in a pleasant ambience, this is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Choose your favourite cocktail from the roof top lounge bar and settle down overlooking the Arabian Sea. On special occasions, the visitors can enjoy live music and other related shows, where international DJ’s play reverberating music can easily make you dance, sing and sway in abandonment.

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Located in St. Michael vaddo, Anjuna Beach, this is one of the beach shacks that never sleep. Serving the favourite delicacies, wines and the cocktails all throughout the year, it has now become an excellent venue to enjoy sunset in Goa. Given that it is a safe place to be in, you can visit Curlies any time you wish!

Famous wildlife sancturies in Goa:

19. Mollem National park

Image Credit:  Girish Gavandi – Flickr

Also called the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, this region spreads over 240 sq. km. Amongst all the places to visit in Goa, visitors come here mainly to see the impressive biodiversity of this land and the ancient temples inside the forest. A paradise for the birds and the enthusiasts of reptiles, it houses some of the rare and exotic species of both the species. To name a few of the dwellers, Fairy Bluebirds, Drongos, Hornbills and Wagtails comes up as the most spectacular natives of Mollem National Park.

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Located in the Mollem town which is about sixty kilometres from Panaji, this park is open on all days of the week from eight in the morning to five in the evening. The Mollem forest is famous for the King Cobra, Viper, three-toed kingfisher, Hornbill. Toexplore and discover the most of wildlife, it is always advisable to hire an experienced guide during the visit.

Considering the plenitude of options available for travel, Goa is truly a land of myriad attractions. The meeting point of different cultures from different corners of the world, this region essays the tenets of fine living. Suited for people from all walks of life, Goa attracts peace and pleasure lovers alike.

20. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Among the serene tourist places in Goa, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a trove for bird lovers. It was coined so after the illustrious ornithologist with the same name. The estuarine mangrove habitat is positioned in the Island of Chorao by Mandovi River. You can get here by taking the ferries that ply from Ribander and Chorao. Birds spotted here include striated heron, western reef heron, little bittern, black bittern, red knot, jack snipe, pied avocet and the likes.

Offbeat places in Goa:

21. Dudhsagar Waterfalls

If you are a nature lover, than do not miss the gushing splendour of Dudhsagar Waterfalls, the largest of its kind in the state and the fifth largest in the country. Among the fine places to visit in Goa, this cascade is especially known for its milky white appearance. It is perched high up on the Mandovi River and lies around 10 km upstream from Collem hamlet. The beauty spills over four tires in full force amidst clusters of green and makes quite a sight. The fall is also quite a popular for trekking and lures several adventure enthusiasts for the same.

22. Lamgau Caves

Among the fascinating tourist places in Goa, Lamgau Caves is another place you can dash off to. Tucked away in Bicholim, it is situated around 35 km from north-east of Panaji. The caverns are etched out of decomposed laterite and hence quite delicate. Though incomplete, they make for quite a vision and an important educational and cultural centre.

In here lies a cave that displays an impressive pavilion appearing structure as well as beams and ceiling in the shrine. In the courtyard you will find a stone linga with a tulsi vrindavan as well as a nandi bull image. There is another cave that is mostly used as a shelter during the time of rain. The passage to this cave is a complicated one.

23. Arvalam Waterfalls

Image Credits : Rossipaulo – Flickr

Also known as Harvalem Waterfalls, the Arvalem cascade is where you can lap up of the view of waters gushing through mountains, dropping from 50 metres. It then forms a pool below where avid swimmers enjoy a swim. The waterfall lies about 2 kilometre from tiny settlement of Sanquelim and 8 kilometre from Bicholim, in North Goa.

The salubrious settings make for a great jaunt in the caresses of nature. Rudreshwar temple also lies close by. The best time to get here is right after the rainy season ends, when the whole landscape is painted a fresh green.

24. Spice Plantations visit

If you wish to do something beyond the beaches in Goa, you can opt for a spice plantation visit. There are packages available which involves you exploring the refreshing surroundings and also getting an insight on what all goes behind the makings of an inevitable part of Indian cuisine. You can make a picnic out of the day. Away from the pollution and amidst the harmony of nature, the visit makes for a memorable experience.

25. Casino Cruise

Try your luck and be the game for the night at any of the casinos in Goa! Be it at a roulette table or on a poker session, rule the black jack or simply get luckier at any of the slot machines, Goan casinos offer ample of opportunities to outshine the nights and be the star.

Though Goa has some of the best casinos in the country, the floating casinos are the most popular ones. With the advent of the evening, these casinos start on a spectacular voyage onto the azure waters and brings fortune to the casino lovers. On such a cruise, no matter you win or lose, you will never be disappointed! Casino Royale, Casino Pride and Casino Carnival on the Mandovi River are some of the stunning casinos in Goa.

Amongst the others, Dunes at the Zuri White Sands on the Varca Beach and Chances Casino in the Vainguinim Valley are also two of the highest visited casinos in Goa.

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