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Top 20 Places to Experience the Best of Goa Tourism

COVID-19 has really taken the wind out of the sails of those who love to travel, explore & experience all that the world has to offer. It has also affected those who treasure Goa for its beauty, heritage, beaches, nightlife and everything else that makes it a top tourist destination in India. We are sure that you are extremely eager to visit Goa and have a grand time, having been unable to visit it for so long! That is why we have come up with this blog, to remind you once again of the charm and attraction of Goa & what are the top places that let you experience the best of what it has to offer.

Utter the word Goa, and images of beaches with colourful beach shacks, wild parties, flea markets buzzing with tourists & fresh seafood flood your mind. Although it is counted among the top travel destinations in India because of those things, there is much more to this state with its coastline which stretches along the Arabian Sea. There are several points of tourist interest excellent for sightseeing, from waterfalls to spice plantations. You can avail the benefits of an Ayurvedic massage or take a heritage walk exploring the Latin quarters. It is for all these reasons, this wide appeal to everybody, that Goa stands out as both a favourite honeymoon destination and a tourist destination suitable for family holidays. In this blog, we bring you the top 15 places where you can experience the best that Goa has to offer.

List of 20 Best Places to Visit in Goa
  • Panaji, North Goa
  • Margao, South Goa
  • Vasco da Gama, South Goa
  • Mapusa, North Goa
  • Calangute, North Goa
  • Candolim, North Goa
  • Anjuna, North Goa
  • Bambolim, North Goa
  • Agonda, South Goa
  • Old Goa
  • Mandrem, North Goa
  • Morjim, North Goa
  • Sanquelim, North Goa
  • Ponda, North Goa
  • Bicholim, North Goa
  • Valpoi, North Goa
  • Canacona, South Goa
  • Sanguem, South Goa
  • Quepem, South Goa
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Panaji: A relaxed state capital!

Panaji-Church of Our Lady Goa

Panaji should occupy a place in your list of visiting places in Goa, not just because it’s the capital city, but because there are so many places that make for an incredible sightseeing tour. From taking a heritage walk in Fontainhas – the Latin Quarters to spending a day at the Miramar Beach, this city promises you a quality time. Ornithologists and bird lovers can also visit the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, situated just 7 kilometers from here & home to migratory birds as well as common & uncommon species of marsh dwelling birds.

Popular Things to See in Panaji
  • Fontainhas
  • Resig Magos Fort
  • Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
  • Adil Shahi Palace
  • Miramar Beach
  • Kala Academy
  • Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
  • Divar Island
  • Shanta Durga Temple
  • Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Margao: Cultural capital of Goa!

Margao -Damodar Temple Goa

Margao is not the kind of place which you would want to miss while planning to visit Goa. The town claims the tag of being Goa’s cultural capital, and after exploring it, you realize, it’s a tag well deserved. The prominent landmarks in the town are the Municipal Garden, The Holy Spirit Church, House of Seven Gables and Damodar Temple, all of which are famous points of interest for tourists. You should also visit the special market to explore the various species and dried fish. Almost all the specialties that make Goa famous are to be found in Margao, apart from the Margao curry. It’s interesting to know that Margao Curry is exported to Portugal and elsewhere.

Popular Things to See in Margao
  • Municipal Garden
  • The Holy Spirit Church
  • House of Seven Gables
  • Damodar Temple
  • Pandava Caves
  • Margao Market
  • Zalor Beach
  • Sri Chandranath
  • Monte Hill
  • South Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Vasco da Gama: Mostly the beaches!

Bogmalo Beach Goa | Vasco da Gama

The city of Vasco da Gama is named after the Portuguese explorer. If you are planning to visit Goa to spend time on its beaches, then this is where you need to be. There are several beaches like Cansaulim, which is great for watching the setting sunset, or Hollant, perfect for a wild ride with your friends! There are other attractions too, like the St. Andrews’s Church which is 400 years old. There’s also a Naval Aviation Museum, which is one of three such museums in India. If you visit it in March though, you can attend the Shigmo, a festival marked by street dances and colourful parades.

Popular Things to See in Vasco da Gama
  • Mormugao Fort
  • Arossim Beach
  • Bogmalo Beach
  • Cansualim Beach
  • Velsao Beach
  • Hollant Beach
  • St. Andrew’s Church
  • Kesarval Waterfalls
  • Sahakari Spice Farm
  • Naval Aviation Museum
  • Shri Ramnath Temple
  • Three Kings Church
  • South Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Mapusa: Off to the Friday Bazaar!

Vagator Beach Goa | Mapusa

There are many reasons to visit Mapusa during your Goa tour, but one that mentions a special mention is the Mapusa Friday Market. Held every Friday, a visit takes you across stalls selling Goan spices, homemade sausages, fish with marsala ready to cook, vegetables, chillies, cashews and sweets. Located in the Bardez sub-district, it enjoys a close proximity to several beaches like Vagator & Chapora.

Best Things to See in Mapusa
  • Bodgeshwar Temple
  • Mapusa Friday Bazaar
  • St. Jerome Church
  • Maruti Temple
  • Cansaulim Church
  • Church of Our Lady of Miracles
  • Municipal Building (for its architecture)
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Calangute: A town with the Queen of Beaches!

Calangute Beach Goa

Calangute Beach is counted among the most beautiful beaches of Goa, and that is precisely why this town in Bardez district makes it to any Goa travel guide. On any given day on the beach, your eyes will meet scores of backpackers and tourist, all having a great time! There are shacks, lots of clubs, shows being held, open air dances being performed and people enjoying adventure sports like parasailing and water skiing.

Popular Things to See in Calangute
  • Calangute Beach
  • St. Alex Church
  • Tibetan Market
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Candolim: As relaxed as it gets!

Candolim Beach Goa

Candolim, just like Calangute, attracts tourists in Goa for its prime attraction, Candolim Beach. However, if you like your beaches crowded & noisy with a party like atmosphere, you won’t find much to do here! It is for you though, if all you are looking forward to is a sunbath, admiring the sunset, maybe a dip & enjoying parasailing. One other reason that you should visit the beach is the “River Princess”, a bulk carrier which ran aground 100 meters ashore. Pick a sunbed, watch the waves kiss the shore while they are tinged with red & yellow during sunrise and sunset.

Best Things to See in Candolim
  • Candolim Beach
  • Our Lady of Hope Church
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Anjuna: Still a bit hippy after all these years!

Anjuna Beach Goa

If you took a trip to Goa in the 1960’s & visited the village of Anjuna, you would find yourself in the middle of trance parties, hippies in psychedelic colours & free spirited backpackers. Today, you will find all sorts of tourists, both domestic & international, with some traces of that hippie era. One way of getting a feel of that is visiting the Flea Market, which opens on Wednesdays. You can lay hands on all kinds of stuff from sarongs, sandalwood & leather goods to crystals & stones. The other top place to visit is the Anjuna Beach, comparatively less crowded among the other beaches in Goa. To experience the trance scene, visit it in the evening and head towards restaurants like Curlies or Shiva Valley.

Popular Things to See in Anjuna
  • Wednesday Flea Market
  • Anjuna Beach
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Bambolim: So quiet, so lively!

Bambolim Beach Goa

Bambolim will always find a mention among the top 10 places to visit in Goa for its beach. It is a long white sandy stretch of sand, rocks and happily swaying coconut palms which serves both aesthetical & functional purposes (such as, offering shade from the midday sun). On some days, you might see groups of young boys & girls chilling out, but what you will often see are fishermen getting ready to go fishing. It is also a great picnic spot in Goa for a family, as it is pretty secluded and free from vendors and shacks. There is a Bambolim Beach Resort though, where you can try out a variety of cuisines, from Goan to Continental delights.

Popular Things to See in Bambolim
  • Bambolim Beach
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Agonda: Time and tide wait for Agonda!

Agonda Beach Goa

Agonda is a top travel destination in South Goa, as much for its “silent beach” as for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles which lay their nests on it in September. The village by the beach is surrounded by dense vegetation, and is a place where you quite forget to remember words like “time” and “hurry”. Watch the waves of the Arabian Sea lapping the shore, cows enjoying a leisurely stroll and dogs having the time of their life! People who have visited Goa describe it as a top beach destination, it’s not to understand why!

Things to See
  • Agonda Beach
  • South Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Old Goa: Sweeping splendour & grandeur!

Church of St Franscis of Assisi Old Goa

There was a time when the capital of Goa was not Panaji but Velha Goa, better known as Old Goa today. It was a time when the grandeur and unparalleled splendour swept through the city, much of which was visible in its towering churches, cathedrals and majestic convents. It is those spectacular pieces of architecture that have secured for Old Goa a permanent place in any sightseeing tour. The popular tourist attractions that attract tourists today, are collectively referred to as “Churches and Convents of Goa”, and include monuments like Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites). This is the side of Goa that many more people need to see, a side that displays its rich history and heritage.

Popular Things to See in Old Goa
  • Basilica of Bom Jesus (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Se Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Church of St. Francis of Assisi (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Chapel of Santa Catarina (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Ruins of the Church of St. Augustine (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Church of Divine Providence (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Old Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Mandrem: A sleepy coastal village!

Mandrem Beach North Goa

How about visiting a beach in Goa which also offers the opportunity to enjoy an Ayurvedic massage? Mandrem, a sleepy coastal village makes it to this list of top tourist places in Goa for its beach, which is perhaps the quietest in all of North Goa. It is lined with a few beach shacks and some hotels that offer some amazing food, including local delicacies. You can also hire sunbeds and spend a day getting a suntan and spending some quality time. If you are up for a massage, there is a small massage center where you can get one!

Things to see
  • Mandrem Beach
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Morjim: Nesting site of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles!

Don’t bother visiting the town of Morjim stretched out on the banks of River Chapora if seclusion, solitude and tranquillity isn’t your thing. Visit it if you want a quiet day out on the beach enjoying the sunset, enjoying a few local delicacies and taking a walk in the village. Families and friends searching for a top beach destination without the usual commotion should head here. Morjim is also a nesting site for the endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. You will find a post with a board on the beach pinpointing the spot where the turtles hatch their eggs. It is a wonderful site to come across!

Things to see
  • Morjim Beach
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Sanquelim: Nature & Heritage!

Harvalem Caves Sanquelim Goa

The town of Sanquelim finds a place in the popular tourist attractions in Goa for the Harvalem Caves, Harvalem Waterfalls and Rudreshwar Temple. All of these three tourist places can be covered in one trip itself. The Harvalem Caves are a set of caves named after the five Pandavas of the Mahabharata. The caves themselves were excavated into the Laterite Hill and consist of two major caves including a residential chamber. Just 1 kilometer from here lie the Harvalem Waterfalls, which attain their fullest glory during the monsoons, and the Rudreshwar Temple, located close to the waterfall.

Popular Things to See
  • Harvalem Caves
  • Harvalem Waterfalls
  • Rudreshwar Temple
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

 Ponda: Heritage and the smell of spices!

Nageshi Temple Goa

Another tourist destination in North Goa where you can explore the rich heritage of Goa is Ponda, with its temples, an ancient mosque and beautiful spice farms. One of these is the Sahakari Spice Farm, a visit to which acquaints you with various types of spices. The farm is set in a tropical garden. There are also a few stalls where you can purchase spices and oils. Tropical Spice Plantation is another spice farm where you see trees like Mexican Mirchi, Pepper Tree and Lavender Tree. It’s interesting to see & know about the various trees and plants which lend that peculiar taste to our food and make it so delicious!

Popular Things to See in Ponda
  • Sahakari Spice Farm
  • Tropical Spice Plantation
  • Shri Mahalasa Temple
  • Mahalaxmi Temple
  • Shri Ramnath Temple
  • Laxmi Narasimha Temple
  • Safa Shahouri Masjid
  • Vijaya Durga Temple
  • Shri Nagueshi Temple
  • Savoi Spice Plantation
  • Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
  • North Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

Bicholim – Offbeat Nature Getaway

Mayem Lake Goa

Home to the most scenic waterfalls at Aravalem, oldest mosques, ancient Hindu temples and Mayem Lake, Bicholim is a beautiful countryside to explore in Goa for a relaxing holiday. The popular Saptakoteshwar temple is the major tourist attraction here. Despite having no beaches, it is a blissful haven for nature lovers. The picture postcard settings, ancient rock caves add delight to the mind if you are interested in sightseeing of historical places. Though not much to see in terms of tourist places, this place is still worth a visit for a relaxing escapade into the lap of nature.

Popular Things to See in Bicholim

  • Aravalem Waterfalls
  • Pandava Caves
  • Mayem lake
  • Saptakoteshwar Temple

Location – North Goa

Also Read: Beach Tourism in Goa

Sanguem, South Goa – Loners Paradise

Rivona Caves South Goa

Your travel experience will remain incomplete if you don’t visit Sanguem. It is one of the lesser-known destinations to visit in Goa. Though it does not fit in the commercial tourism destinations   in Goa, this place is worth a visit. It is blessed with numerous tourist attractions which will surprise you to the core of your heart. It boasts of mysterious caves in Rivona, which is also known as Pandava Caves the kind of which you will not find anywhere else. It is said that Pandavas of Mahabharata lived in these caves during their exile. Lots of spice plantations, dams and waterfalls makes Sanguem scenic and soothing to the heart and eyes. It’s not a place where you can enjoy the pleasure of beaches but if you want to experience something different from the usual beaches of Goa, Sanguem is a place for you.

Popular Things to See in Sanguem

  • Rivona Caves
  • Rivona Springs
  • Vimleshwar Temple
  • Tanshikar Spice Farm
  • Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple
  • Salaulim Dam

Location – South Goa

Also Read: Must Visit Beach Destinations in Goa

Quepem – Retreat for Magical Holidays

Chandranath Hill Temple South Goa

The lesser-known village of Quepem will enchant you forever with its serenity and tranquility. For a relaxed holiday it is the best place to visit in Goa. It is a small village but you will find everything here. Historical Landmarks, scenic Dams, Churches, awesome Beaches, Restaurants and stunning Temples. The tale of Bhoja Kings to the Portuguese rulers, this place echoes their history in the form of temples and dams. Don’t miss the authentic Seafood in Quepem, it is one of a kind. You must visit this place to blend in the secluded serenity of nature.

Top Places to Visit in Quepem

  • Quepem Dam
  • Shri Chandranath Temple
  • Shri Damodar Temple
  • Kushavati River
  • Morpila SacredGrove
  • Chandranath Hill
  • 2000 years old Banyan tree
  • Canaguinim Beach
  • Betul Beach

Location – South Goa

Also Read:  Top Things to Do in Goa

Valpoi – Adventure Paradise

Valpoi is a must visit tourist destination in Goa for nature lovers and adventurers. The thrills of water rafting, soothing Chorla Ghats and Vagheri hills for trekking and hiking, rocky hills, dense forests, the magnificent and ruined Nanus Fort, serene temples and mosques and the forever blissful Veluz Nagargaon Bridge will definitely blow your heart away. This village’s lifestyle, culture, festivals and folk songs are another delightful treat to make your journey here one of a kind.

Popular Things to See in Valpoi

  • River Mhadei
  • Veluz Nagargaon Bridge
  • Chorla Ghats
  • Vagheri Hills
  • Charavane Waterfall
  • Nanus Fort
  • Maruti Temple
  • Brahma Temple
  • Rede Ghati
  • Diamond Sports Club

Location – North Goa  

Also Read:

Canacona: It’s all about the beaches!

Palolem Beach Canacona Goa

The city of Canacona lies in close proximity to wonderful beaches like Patnem, Rajbaga, Colomb and Talpona. Each of these beaches have something different to offer. At Palolem Beach, for example, you can go boating to Monkey, Honeymoon and Butterfly Islands. Talpona Beach, on the other hand, is untouched, pristine and secluded, with an extremely relaxed vibe.

Popular Things to See in Canacona
  • Rajbaga Beach
  • Colomb Beach
  • Talpona Beach
  • Palolem Beach
  • South Goa
Other Interesting Blog to Read

These are the top 17 places to experience the best of Goa that cover its various attractions including beaches, churches, spice plantations, waterfalls and temples. What part about Goa tourism appeals to you the most, and how many of these tourist places in Goa have you visited? Share your experiences with us!

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Q.What is the best time to visit Goa?

Goa can be visited throughout the year. Monsoons is the best time to visit it for its waterfalls, while winters are great for having a great time at its beaches.

Q.Which beaches of Goa are suitable for families?

Some of the beaches in Goa that are suitable for families are Morjim, Bambolim and Candolim.

Q.Does Goa have its own airport?

Yes, Goa has its own airport called Dabolim Airport or Goa International Airport.

Q.What type of accommodation is available in Goa?

Accommodation options in Goa are available in the form of resorts, hotels, beach shacks and guest houses, depending on your preference and budget. There are five star luxury suites as well as budget hotels, villas, midrange hotels, upmarket hotels and long term rentals.

Q.Which places in Goa are suitable for senior citizens?

Some of the places in Goa that are suitable for senior citizens are Old Goa, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Aguada Fort and Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Q.Where can I experience the nightlife of Goa?

Some of the best nightclubs in Goa where you can experience its nightlife are Tito’s Bar and Club, Club Cubana, Sinq Night Club, Baga Beach and Candolim Beach (for night beach parties).

Q.Do I need a COVID-19 test to visit Goa?

No, you do not need a COVID-19 negative certificate to visit Goa. Domestic travellers too do not need to produce a COVID-19 negative report while arriving at the airport.

Published: 12 Nov, 2020 | Last Updated: 10 Mar, 2022

About the author

Vishwajit Sharma

Writing, for me, is an artistic expression of the countless thoughts flooding my mind. For now, travel content writing is what keeps me going! In my spare time, I like nothing better than immersing myself in a book, along with a cuppa! A classic movie helps too! I define traveling as a process of self-discovery. Hailing from Darjeeling, my ultimate desire is to escape to the hills, with the mountain air and solitude as my constant companions!