Top 10 places to goa stands in sharp contrast to India’s other bustling urban destinations, with golden sand beaches, tangled palm trees stretching for the sky, and a placed attitude. Even a quick trip to this subtropical haven seems like a vacation inside a holiday. Goa’s natural beauty and serenity will revitalise you, and its busy calendar of events and activities will keep you busy during your free time.
Top 10 places to goa Beach | Goa Tourist Attractions
Tourists from all around the world go to Goa’s popular coastal hotspots, such as Colva Beach and Palolem Beach. But beaches are only the beginning of what makes Goa one of India’s most popular destinations. Unique Portuguese-influenced cuisine, old cathedrals and temples, colourful wildlife, and interesting spice plantations are one of the attractions. You’ll wish you had a couple more days in Goa no matter how much time you spend there.
See our list of the top-rated tourist attractions in Goa for more ideas on how to plan your trip to India.
1. Beaches Off the Beaten Path
While the popular beaches in Goa are known for their spectacular scenery, they may get crowded during peak season, leaving some tourists looking for a calmer natural retreat. Fortunately, Goa is brimming with unknown beach attractions that will keep you away from crowds while still providing you with beautiful sand and surf.
Butterfly Beach is one of Goa’s finest secrets. It includes a beautiful stretch of sand backed by stones that form a postcard-worthy cove teeming with butterflies and blossoms. It’s also a great place to see dolphins in the distance.
To get to Butterfly Beach, you’ll need to take the boat journey from Palolem Beach or Agonda Beach, or do a strenuous forest trek – but the challenges help to thin out the crowds. It’s likely that you’ll have the house to yourself.
While more developed than Butterfly Beach, Utorda Beach is a lovely option to Goa’s more popular beaches. Clean, blue sea, silky sand, and a few modest beach shacks define this beach. If you look attentively when wading in the water, you might see some small starfish.
2. Tanshikar’s Working Spice Farm
For centuries, South India has been known for its abundance of spices such as black pepper, cardamom, and cloves. These natural flavours were, in fact, a big draw for Portuguese traders once they arrived in Goa hundreds of years ago.
Tanshikar’s Working Spice Farm & Ecological Rest House provides guests a glimpse into the local spice scene. This agritourism attraction uses 100% organic methods of agriculture to grow seven distinct spices: pepper, vanilla, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom, and chilli.
Tours of the farm, usually guided by the owner, will provide you with an in-depth explanation of these taste crops as well as an opportunity to observe some of the other items grown on the property, such as betelnut, coffee beans, pineapple, and banana. Tanshikar’s also keeps bees and makes its own natural honey.
At Tanshikar’s, spice farm tours aren’t the only thing to do. Guests may also participate in a vegetarian cooking class, see a boiling lake, walk to the Mainapi Waterfall, and learn to teach yoga. It’s a place where everyone may enjoy themselves.
Address: Netravali, near Smriti Yoga, Sanguem, Goa
3. Palolem Beach | 10 Top Places to Visit Goa
Beaches are a major attraction in Goa, which helps explain why it’s one of the most favorite tourist destinations in India.
Palolem Beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of white sand overlooking the Arabian Sea in south Goa, is frequented by nearly every visitor who visits the region. While simply relaxing and taking in the view is a wonderful way to enjoy this beautiful region, Palolem Beach also has a wide range of activities to keep you occupied. Kayaking, yoga courses, dolphin-sighting trips, and swimming are all options. Palolem’s rustic coco huts, which are constructed at the start of the busy season, are also available for overnights.
Colva Beach is another of Goa’s most well-known beaches, especially among Indian visitors. It features swaying palms and a long stretch of bronze sand where herds of cows bask alongside tourists on occasion. You can hire Jet Skis, go on an exciting banana boat ride, or take a parasailing adventure to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the beach.
Places to stay in the region will provide you with an authentic local experience as well as easy access to Colva Beach.
4. Portuguese-Indian Restaurants
In Goa, food is a major draw. This region of India has a distinct cuisine that blends Portuguese and Goan tastes, differentiating it from the rest of the nation’s cuisine. The meals will include spicy spices, fresh-caught fish, and a lot of coconut.
Vindaloo, a super-hot meat curry made with palm vinegar and dried red chilli peppers, is a must-try for anyone visiting Goa. The mouthwatering vindaloo at Hospedaria Venite in Panaji, Goa’s capital, impresses visitors. Dominick, a Benaulim Beach institution, is another favourite for vindaloo, and it also has front-row seats to some of the best sunsets in the world.
Xacuti, a rich curry with poppy seeds, spice, and coconut, is another Goan specialty. It’s available at Souza Lobo, a beachfront restaurant in Calangute, and Fat Fish, a popular Baga restaurant.
Tourists looking for new seafood will be spoilt for choice in Goa. On Utorda Beach, Zeebop serves delicious fish curry, prawn stew, and spicy sauce mackerel.
At Copperleaf, you can’t go wrong with dinner. Long after you’ve done eating, you’ll be thinking about the fish thali at the upscale restaurant in Porvorim.
5. Basilica de Bom Jesus | Top 10 places to goa
While many tourists arrive to Goa for the beaches, many more see it as a pilgrimage to major religious sites such as the Basilica de Bom Jesus.
The relics of St. Francis Xavier are kept at this Old Goa attraction, which dates back to the late 16th century. With his friend St. Ignatius Loyola, the “Apostle of the Indies” co-founded the Society of Jesus religious order and led an extended mission in India. Since 1999, the basilica has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The modest yet imposing structure is a mix of Doric, Corinthian, and Baroque style with intricate carvings. Interestingly, the building was stripped of its lime plaster in the mid-20th century, making it the only church in Goa without plaster. The Basilica de Bom Jesus has since become worn by monsoons.
You can tour the church on your own or pay a small fee to engage one of the independent guides standing near the entrance. Large ornamental screens may be found within, as well as the body of the resident saint in a coffin formerly adorned in precious stones. It’s a captivating location that will take you back in time.
Every year, in late November and early December, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier draws large crowds to this cathedral. It begins with a nine-day novena and open-air masses and concludes on Dec. 3 with the major holiday.
6. Dudhsagar Falls | Top 10 places to goa
In Goa, waters go beyond the beach. Dudhsagar Falls, a spectacular four-tiered waterfall that reaches 310 feet above the ground, is also located in the state. It’s one of India’s highest waterfalls, and it’s always a popular day trip location in Goa and Karnataka.
To go to the falls, you’ll need to take a cab or rail to the village of Colem. You could catch a view of Dudhsagar Falls depending on which railway route you select. Then you’ll board a shared jeep for a ride into the rainforest, passing via Devil’s Canyon. After around 45 minutes, you’ll finally reach the falls after scrambling over some boulders.
After the monsoon, when the water is gushing, is the finest time to see Dudhsagar Falls. Tourists who want to go swimming can hire a life jacket from the attraction’s vendors.
Hot tip: Every day, only 300 jeeps are allowed to enter Dudhsagar Falls Top 10 places to goa . If you want to go, make a reservation in advance or expect to wait in long lines.
7. Anjuna Market | Top 10 places to goa
There are many markets in Goa, but none compare to the vibrancy and variety of items found in Anjuna Market. Every Wednesday for the past 50 years, hundreds of vendors set up shop on Anjuna Beach to tempt free-spirited tourists with hippy-inspired goods and souvenirs.
Ornate textiles, woven bikinis, deity sculptures, dreamcatchers, hammocks, magnets, snarky slogan t-shirts, beaded jewellery, toys – you name it, you’ll probably find it here.
Even if you don’t want to shop, you should make it a point to tour Anjuna Market for the sights. The flea market is a frenzy of bright items, tough salespeople, large sacks of fresh spices, and street food abounding. One of the reasons Anjuna Market is one of the best locations to visit in Goa is because of ambiance.
8. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Make your way to Panaji, a laid-back city in Goa, to see the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, another historic church.
The beautiful white chapel, which dates from the early 17th century, is perched atop a zigzagging stairway that resembles a wedding cake’s layers. Its symmetrical Portuguese Baroque architecture is beautiful to see. The chapel looks like something out of a fairy tale at night, thanks to the twinkle lights.
The church’s interior is bright and vibrant, even if it isn’t grandiose. The beautiful main altar (dedicated to Mary, Jesus’ mother) and gilded pillars with exquisite carvings are visible to visitors. Around the holidays, blue and white flowering vines decorate parts of the vaulted ceiling.
The Festival of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, that falls on Dec. 8, is a major holiday at this church. Drop over to see it decked up in a spectrum of lights.
Address: Rua Emídio Garcia, Altinho, Panaji, Goa
9. Braganza House | Top 10 places to goa
At Braganza House, a historical mansion that borders Chandor’s village square, you can see how houses in Goa appeared in the 17th century. It’s divided into two sections, one east and one west, both of which are open to tourists to tour at their leisure.
Members of the Pereira-Braganza family live in the east wing. It has a large ballroom with a beautiful marble floor, as well as a tiny chapel with one of St. Francis Xavier’s fingernails on display. Antiques and exotic artefacts abounds in this part of Braganza House.
Braganza House’s original grandeur is maintained on the western side. The Menezes-Braganças own the museum-like facility, which includes a large library with 5,000 leather-bound books from journalist Luis de Menezes Braganza’s private collection, who played a key part in the Goan independence movement. Beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers, ancient portraits of the family, and Chinese china are also on display for tourists.
10. Mahadev Temple | Top 10 places to goa
Mahadev Temple, just 12 kilometres north of Molem, offers visitors the opportunity to see a structure that dates back to the 12th century. Its remote position aided it in surviving centuries of Portuguese and Muslim colonial invasions.
The black basalt temple, which was erected to worship Lord Shiva, is said to be home to a resident king cobra, according to legend. Step inside to view the intricate carvings of skilled carvers, including the ceiling’s lotus flower.