Top Attractions & Things To Do In Goa
Goa is the smallest state, yet the most popular tourist destination of India. It is a beautiful coastal region bounded by Maharashtra, Karnataka, and the Arabian Sea. The state has a rich culture, warm people, pristine beaches, and exotic food. It’s capital Panaji exhibits the influence of Portuguese culture as they have stayed there for 450 years, and was one of the longest held colonial possession in the country. Goa is known for its infrastructure, cuisine, historical monuments, and natural beauty. It is the perfect blend of colonial and modern charm that will take your heart away. It is one of the topmost tourist spots for millions of local and foreigners. Goa has some of the finest beaches of the world with clean water and glistening sand.
Goa was entitled as ‘Tourist’s Paradise’ when people started visiting frequently in the 60s for fun and partying. Till date people visit Goa for its scenic beauty, immaculate beaches, its moderate weather, and rich Portuguese heritage. Nightlife in Goa is renowned with more than 7000 bars in the state. There are two regions of Goa- the North and the South. North Goa beaches are perfect for party lovers for its commercial nightlife like the Baga Beach. While the South Goa beaches are more serene and peaceful, making them the ideal spot for honeymooners or people who look for a calm environment. Goa is one such destination, which gives a magical experience to the travellers regardless of the budget. Also, there are end number of hotels in Goa providing all the amenities, rating from 2 to 5 stars and you can book any that is perfect according to your budget.
There are plenty of activities to do in Goa, from beaches to hills, churches, forts & national parks. The choices are so many that it may be difficult to cover all these places in one visit without a touring guide.
Top 10 Things to do in Goa
- Calangute Beach
- Agonda Beach
- Fort Aguada
- Dudhsagar Falls
- Naval Aviation Museum
- Deltin Royal Casino
- Basilica of Bom Jesus
- Go Kart Racing
- Paragliding in Arambol
1. Party on Calangute Beach
The Queen of Beaches, Calangute beach is a paradise for nature lovers and should definitely be on every traveller’s itinerary no matter how offbeat they are travelling. It is the largest beach in North Goa and can accommodate a huge number of visitors. It is located at about 15 kilometres from Panjim, lying on the shores of Arabian Sea. The water and the beach are sparkling clean, thus it is a popular spot for tourists. The place is home to constant sound of popping music and an exciting nightlife. You will also find a number of beach restaurants and local outlets selling junk jewellery, antiques and handicrafts there. Apart from the scenic beauty, the place is also famous for water adventure activities like para-sailing, water-surfing, jet-skiing etc. Do give a visit to St. Alex Church nearby the beach, which has a magnificent architecture and attractive altar reflecting the Portuguese heritage.
Best time to visit: The beach remains busy throughout the year, but during Christmas and New Year, the place has a mystical charm.
How to reach: Get a regular bus from Margoa. Cabs and autos are other options.
2. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach is the second largest beach in South Goa of all the beaches in Goa. A place of tranquillity and calmness. It is a gorgeous three kilometre stretch of marvellous natural beauty and definitely an unspoilt jewel in Goa. The white sand lining with palm and casuarina trees are overlooked by an enormous hill to the south. It’s great for enjoying the waves of the ocean or strolling down in the evening and having a relaxing day at the beach. If you want to take a dip in the ocean or surf, then it will be better that you make a visit early morning when the tides are low rather than visiting in the afternoon or evening as at this time swimming and surfing can be rough. Accommodation facilities like beach huts are available at reasonable rates. Activities like boat rides to nearby beaches are provided and one can also get a sight of dolphins en route. Cabo de Rama Fort stands nearby the beach, which is associated with Ramayana from where you can get a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea.
Best time to visit: October to March.
How to reach: Frequent bus services are available at Chaudi and this is the easiest way to reach. Cabs and autos are also available near the beach.
3. Visit the formidable Fort Aguada
Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is situated at the top of Sinquerim Plateau and on the mouth of Mandovi River. The fort was built by the Portuguese to protect Goa against any attack by enemies from the sea. The fort has a four-storey lighthouse, the upper part of the fort has water chamber and gun powder rooms whereas the lower part was used as a berth for ships. Visit this place early morning before the sun heats up the fort or come in the evening to enjoy the cool ocean breeze. Aguada Beach Resort is one of the best hotels to stay with its princely comforts, personalised services, and maiden beaches.
Best time to visit: September to March
Timings: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
How to reach: Reach from the Panjim bus stand via regular buses, or opt for cab or autos.
4. Experience nature’s beauty at Dudhsagar Falls
Located at Goa-Karnataka border Dudhsagar Falls is the fourth tallest waterfall. It is surrounded by lush green deciduous forest. It is a four step fall over steep hills making it a difficult tourist viewing platform and thus one has to trek quite a lot to see this beauty. Dudhsagar is a Konkan word, which literally translates to ‘Ocean of milk’. There are a number of things to do in Goa that one shouldn’t miss. Take a dip in the river from which Dudhsagar Falls originate. Go for a hike at the Mollem National Park that is just across the river. One can enjoy their stay at hotels like Jungle Book or the Nature’s Nest, which like the name suggests are places to stay in the lap of nature.
Best time to visit: Towards the end of monsoon.
How to reach: One cannot reach the falls directly. First take a train to Londa junction, from there take a local bus, taxi or train to Castle Rock from where the trek to the falls start.
5. Take a step back into Portugese Legacy at Fontainhas
If you’ve always seen Goa as a hippie place with beautiful beaches and amazing nightlife then visit Fontainhas, the oldest Latin quarters, which look like a postcard showcasing the streets of a European city. The architecture is subtle and the houses are in spectacular shades of reds and blues that lends a unique character to the neighbourhood. The name Fontainhas is derived from ‘Fountain of Phoenix,’ which is a water reservoir that can be seen in the Mala area. The bright colours of the houses lift the mood of the travellers. There are many places to eat and for accommodation like the Fontainhas Inn that reflect the old heritage of the Goan community.
Best time to visit: Fontainhas rain soaked streets give the place a special charm and gives you the peaceful holiday you are looking for.
How to reach: It is about 20 kilometres away from Trivim Railway Station. The neighbourhood can be explored the best on foot so don’t forget to carry comfortable footwear.
6. Learn about India’s defence at the Naval Aviation Museum
It is Asia’s only Naval Museum that exhibits India’s naval history over the decades. The main attraction of the museum are the vintage aircrafts, engines, photo gallery, and weapons. The museum also has replicas of the aircrafts such as Donear Bomber, Chetak Helicopters, Sea Harrier, and more. The walls inside provide an insight of the history of Aviation wing of Indian Navy, achievements of officers and awards won by the officers. Situated on high ground, the naval plateau offers stunning views of the Bogmalo beach. If you are travelling with kids or youngsters, this is a must visit museum.
Best time to visit: Whenever you are visiting Goa
Timings & Entry fee: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, closed on Monday; Rs 30 to Rs 50
How to reach: Take a bus or taxi from nearby Bogmalo beach.
7. Try your luck at Deltin Royal Casino
India’s largest and most luxurious casino with 120 gambling tables, and a variety of entertainment such as India’s only dedicated poker room. From the Indian Teen Patti, to American Roulette, Poker etc., it has them all. The alcohol and starters are served according to the package you have chosen. Guests who look forward to staying overnight can stay at their VIP gaming suites. For those who want to enjoy some cocktails under the night sky, can go to their Sky bar. They also have a dedicated room for kids with video games, TV, and books. It is definitely recommended for casino lovers and inbound travellers.
Best time to visit: Visit anytime except for monsoon, as the Sky bar remains closed.
Timings & Price: Open 24 hours; Packages starts from INR 4000
How to reach: Cabs or local taxis are the best way to reach the casino
8. Visit a 400 year old Basilica of Bom Jesus
It is a church in Old Goa, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bom Jesus means Holy Jesus to whom it is dedicated. The church also holds the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who was the Founder of Society of Jesus. It is one of oldest churches in Goa and stands carpeted with marble flooring and precious stones. The church has a Baroque architecture that is basically inspired by the Romans.
Best time to visit: Whenever you are visiting Goa
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM, Monday to Saturday and 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM on Sunday
How to reach: Reach Kadamba Bus stand, book a taxi to the destination.
9. Go racing in Goa at Go Kart Racing
Goa features one of the longest go-karting tracks in the country of length 500 metres. It is located on the hilltop, which provides a splendid view of the surrounds. This go-karting facility is extremely popular in the region because of its impeccable facilities and excellent infrastructure. Helpful instructors are there who will make your go-karting experience memorable. This place also holds State and National level championships. It is a must visit place for all the adventure junkies to get an adrenaline rush and making your trip an unforgettable one.
Best time to visit: Whenever you are visiting Goa
Timings & Fee: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM; INR 200 for 10 laps
How to reach: Easily accessible via taxi or bus
10. Go Paragliding in Arambol and get an aerial view of the city
When you are looking for fun and adventure activities, Goa proves to be the most befitting holiday destination as there are a number of activities to do in Goa. Arambol is a small fishing village, which is about 50 kilometres from Panaji. Arambol is best for beginners with its regular, smooth, and steady sea breeze, perfect for easy and no break flying. Once arriving at the beach, take instructions about the do/s and don’t/s. Post this, get geared up with all the safety equipment and take this exciting flight of 15 minutes, fly above the alluring beauty of Arambol providing you with a bird eye’s beauty.
Best time for flying: October to June
Timings & fees: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Upto INR 3000
How to reach: Take bus from Pernem or opt for cabs or autos
Goa is a place for tranquillity as well as party at the same time, scenic beauty as well as dynamic nightlife and, relaxation as well as adventurous activities. Goa is like a fever, which gets within you at least for a year and you would want to visit it again and again! There are places to visit and activities to do in Goa make sure that on your next trip you explore some of these unique activities and take back home good memories.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
Hey! I'm Gauri.Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice.An engineer turned writer.Loves animals tolerate humans.Has a thing for pizza and old books.Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.