Best Places to Visit in Goa: Goa is a place that we all plan for and wish to visit at various stages of our life. Some of us have made unplanned overnight trips to Goa while at college. While others have planned a Goa trip with new colleagues at the first job. And several folks plan a trip to this coastal paradise with their families. I even know of friends who go there almost every year, and take their parents along too. Who just laze around the beaches or visit the churches. While the rest of the family explores all the places they missed last time.
Best Places to Visit in Goa
Also, apart from the attraction for people of all ages. Any mention of a Goa trip also brings forth an oft debated topic – should you visit North Goa or South Goa? Both have their unique charms, and depending on the kind of holiday you are looking for. You could choose the bustling and busy North or the serene and soothing South. Therefore, while trying to compile a Goa tourist places list. We shall attempt to include both North and South Goa, so that our list of best places to visit in Goa is completely inclusive and helps you make the right choice. So here goes, and we start with the complete Goa tourist places list for the south, then moving on to the north.
We recommend that for a single trip you visit either North or South and not try to visit both. Because you will need more days to completely enjoy both regions and also you will spend more time travelling than relaxing.
Goa tourist places list
Vasco Da Gama
This could be a great place to start off your South Goa sojourn, because it is the place from where you can visit several other smaller but very beautiful South Goa beaches. You can reach here from Margao or Panjim, and enjoy the quiet beach town. While you are at this place named after the famous Portuguese explorer, make sure not to miss visiting Baina beach, and also do go in for snorkelling while you are there. Truth be told, this city also has a dark reputation of nurturing gang wars and red light areas. But at long as you can steer clear of them, you have nothing to worry about.
This is one of the most popular (and therefore crowded) destinations in South Goa. And goes against the usual laidback style of the South. But it cannot be left out of any South Goa list. Easily reached from Margao which is almost next door, Colva still does have some soothing locales if you take the effort to venture a little outside town. But as one of the best places to visit in Goa at night. Colva can give you a taste of the groovy North even while you are in South Goa. Enjoy the full moon parties all night at the beaches, for about a week before, after and including the full moon night. If you head straight for the beach early in the morning after partying the night away, you could also catch a glimpse of dolphins there.
Another place which is a short bus ride away from Margao, this place exemplifies the relaxed style of South Goa beaches. Picture postcard palms swaying on the beach will welcome you in, and you can spend hours frolicking in the sun and sand. And while difficult to believe, but it is true that there will be almost no hawkers on this beach to distract you from your sea bathing. Apart from the beach, you can pray at the Our Lady of Gloria Church, or you can gamble at the casino, or do both!
If hawker free beaches are not your style, then head for Majorda, which is 11 kms from Margao. There are plenty of shacks on the beach here. And you can take in the water and the sun in the company of fellow revellers. Literally till the sun goes down, because the sunset view at the next location we will talk about in Majorda is said to be an unmissable experience. There’s a church here which was built in the 16th century. This Church is called the Mae De Deus Church, and you must make time to visit it. And try to stay till sunset. Finally, one major claim to fame of Majorda is that it was one of the first places in India to pick up the art of baking.
So you will find a host of Goan bakers here, and you can pick up delightful breaks, cakes and other confectionery. Of course, Majorda does have its fair share of water sports, so you can experience that as well.
Again a place with a mesmerizing sunset view, this beach is just 7 kms from Margao. This is the very last village on the coast of Salcette, and while you are here you can also see the beautiful confluence of a river (Sal) and the sea. But be warned, if you are looking for a quiet day at the beach you might not like it here, since the beach is full of trinket selling shops. If you like the beach and the town, though, you can get some very quaint resorts where you can plan to stay a night, or two.
The last beach destination on our South Goa list. This is truly a place that exemplifies the spirit of the South in the Goa tourist places list. This destination will offer you the bliss of solitude, and you might want to splurge a bit and lie back at one of the resorts here. Which are without doubt every rupee you will spend. The beach here is not only peaceful but it is well maintained and clean as well. So you shouldn’t miss it for sure. Another nice feature of Arossim is that is offers high quality vintage furniture unique to Goa. We recommend you round off your South Goa visit here and pick up a piece of furniture on your return journey.
We couldn’t finish the South list without including this, primarily because it is not a beach town. Set on the banks of the Kushavati river, it was a historical town considered one of the jewels of the Konkan. It is a wonderful blend of Portuguese and Hindu history and heritage. And you will love seeing the relics of the ancient past still preserved there. Like Fernandez House, Feast of 3 Kings, the headless Nandi bull.
There are so many wonderful places in South Goa we haven’t yet touched upon. Like Benaulim, Bogmalo, Patnem, Colomb, Agonda, Loutolim and many more. If you have the time and the inclination. We recommend that you add these destinations too, and make your trip more complete.
When you hear of Goa, this is the name that is one of the top 5 or even 3 names that everyone takes. The reason is that you can find so many things to do here. Most visitors try to make reservations at the Aguada Resort. Which has its private beach as well. From buzzing cafes to massage shacks, from shopping on the beach to enjoying some water sports, or simply taking a leisurely walk along the long beach. This destination will keep you captivated for days. You can’t miss the imposing fort on this beach. And while you visit it, you will come to know of the rich history of Goa and Aguada.
This place too, like most of North Goa, is bustling with tourists most parts of the year, and has a host of activities to hold their attention. Taking a motorboat ride with or without paragliding included or shopping or eating or enjoying a soothing drink. You will be spoilt for choice during the day. But it is after the sun sets that Baga really comes into its own, making it one of the most important places to visit in Goa at night. The beach comes alive with the young and not-so-young dancing the night away in tune to foot tapping music and a wide assortment of exotic drinks.
A for Aguada, B for Baga and C for Calangute is what most visitors say while talking about Goa. It is joined at the hips with Baga beach, and you can’t make out where one ends and the other begins. It has all the delights that Baga offers, but additionally it is a heaven for adventure sports lovers. Don’t miss the sunset view from this beach, and the delicious local cuisine is also highly recommended.
Honestly we hadn’t planned on making this a list arranged in alphabetical order but that’s how it is turning out to be! Many people prefer to stay here rather than at Panaji, and apart from the ubiquitous sea and beaches, this place offers many other delights. The most iconic among them is the Dona Paula Monument, which is set on a small islet. While there, you can also visit another heritage monument, The Belvedere. If you seek a change from the beach, why not visit the National Institute of Oceanography and see some amazing collections there?
Enough said about the sun, the sand, the shacks and the sports of all the beaches of Goa. What sets Anjuna Beach apart is the unique flea market which is said to have started almost 50 years ago as a small garage sale. And has evolved into one big marketplace where you can shop till you drop. When you have had enough of shopping. You will probably notice that some of the stalls there sell food as well. So dive in and enjoy great Goanese food after you have shopped for hip clothes, artistic pieces and other souvenirs.
You must plan to visit this beach in the evening at least, if not the whole day. Apart from the usual groovy music, you can witness several other performances here, by locals as well as tourists. And if you are running on a tight budget, this destination gives you options that are slightly more economical than many other places in Goa.
Informally regarded as the rave capital of Goa. You must visit this beach, and preferably stay there. If you want to be a part of the awesome rave parties it witnesses. The 30 km stretch of the beach. Which also houses the Anjuna and Calangute beaches, will enrapture you with its pristine sand and fringed by coconut and palm trees.
After the long list of beaches in both North and South Goa. We thought it would be good to end our list of best places to visit in Goa with the capital city of Panaji. It does have water though. If not beaches, in the form of the Mandovi river, which allows you some scenic views. But the highlight of Panaji is its unique architecture, which is a window to the classical Portuguese influence. You will fall in love with the colonial structures with their unique wrought iron balconies or the oyster shell windows. Although it is a capital city, it is very different from the other bustling capitals in India. And gives a sweet taste of the Goan philosophy of life of not taking anything too seriously.
Just like the South Goa tourist places list above, we left out several names in the list for North Goa. And notable among them (which you should also add to your itinerary if you have time) are Mandrem Beach, Mapusa, Bicholim, Arvalem (waterfall), and the Chapora river and fort.
The debate will go on for years about whether North is better or South. But one can’t deny the fact that Goa is a must see destination for any serious tourist. If you are able to cover all of Goa in one trip, that’s good for you. But we recommend that Goa needs to be visited multiple times for the visitor to uncover all her charms.