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Best attractions in Goa: Top 25

If you do not know what to see in Goa, but have already purchased a tour to this wonderful state, do not get upset. Unique architectural and historical, natural and “man-made” attractions of Goa are so numerous that you will not be left without vivid impressions and emotions in any case.

What to see in Goa first?

Experienced guides in Goa recommend tourists not to refuse to see the following most interesting and popular sites:

1. City of Panaji

The street with typical Portuguese colonial buildings in Panaji City Daniel Hauptstein

Allocate at least one day to see this attraction in Goa. This small capital city, with its cozy red-roofed houses and narrow cobblestone streets that have retained their original appearance since ancient times, is known for its many architectural masterpieces, temple complexes and colorful port. Literally every building here can boast its own ancient history. Every tourist vacationing in Goa, should see this colorful mix of faiths and cultures. If you love nature, book tours in Panaji to the beautiful Dudhsagar waterfall.

Official website:

2. Fonteynes Quarter in Panaji

The brightly painted house facade of Fonteynes Quarter in Panaji Andean Condor

Our “best sights in Goa” review continues with the oldest and most beautiful quarter of Panaji, built about 200 years ago and consisting of examples of Portuguese-Indian architecture. Cottages painted in green, blue and yellow stretch down narrow streets toward the top of Altino. If you don’t know what to visit in Goa and are passionate about Portuguese and Mediterranean architecture, the sight of the villas with protruding balconies and low-rise colonial houses will thrill you. Your vacation trip without seeing this attraction of Goa will not be complete.

3. Deltin Royale Casino

The Deltin Royale Casino aboard a cruise ship on the Mondovi River Joegoauk Goa

The floating and most famous gaming club in the state, located on the ship. Pay an admission fee and you’ll get to play lots of card games and slots, as well as try free drinks and snacks. If you’re a gambling man, what to visit in Goa is a must, you now know.

Official website:

4. Cubana Nightclub

Nightclub is a favorite place for young people

Few attractions in Goa are as popular with the youth as this outdoor club. The establishment, located on top of a mountain, is famous for its panoramic views of the sea and palm trees and the surreal atmosphere created by numerous candles. You can have fun and dance on the outdoor terraces, visit the VIP area with Jacuzzi, swimming pool and multi-level dance floor. Your trip will not only be unforgettable, but truly fun. This Goa attraction has only the best reviews.

Official website:

5. Palolem Beach

Comfortable gentle descent into the sea at Palolem Beach

If you crave peace and quiet, our recommendations for visiting Palolem Beach

not for you. This place is on the list of “India’s most popular and favorite tourist attractions“: the number of vacationers here is invariably high. The paradise place is reminiscent of Bounty chocolate advertisements: endless blue ocean, gentle entrance to the water, sparkling snow-white sand. Thanks to the location of the beach in the bay, there are no big waves.

See the beautiful places of Goa in this great video!

6. Arambol Beach

The shoreline of the beach is surrounded by picturesque cliffs and dense jungle

The most creative and quite secluded beach in the state: here they fly kites and sunbathe, do yoga and read. The crowd of tourists you will not see here. By the way, if you are interested in budget hotels in Goa, choose them among the local offers. If you do not know where to go in Goa, and already tired of the local parties, come here.

7. Agonda Beach

Agonda Beach is a wide stretch of sandy beach for a peaceful family vacation Tuderna

Surprisingly beautiful and exotic beach framed by kauarins, palm trees and other trees. If you are a connoisseur of pristine nature, be sure to include it on your list of things to see in Goa.

8. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

The entrance to the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a system of stairs with shaped railings

One of the finest examples of Portuguese religious architecture located in Panaji. Against the dense vegetation and clear blue sky the white facade of the building looks majestic and pompous. Near the temple there are souvenir shops, stores selling fruit and sweets.

9. Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Old Goa)

The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is part of the Saint Catherine Cathedral complex in Old Goa

Our ranking of “interesting places in Goa” is not possible without the famous St. Francis Church. One of the 6 great basilicas of the Catholic Church, it is a beautiful structure with traditional Christian and Hindu elements. The date of construction is 1228.

10. Bon Jesus Basilica (Old Goa)

Basilica of the Merciful Jesus is a 17th century Portuguese basilica built of dark red granite

The site is on the UNESNO list, and has served as a center of Catholic pilgrimage for many years. Catholics come here to worship the relics of the Jesuit St. Francis Xavier.

11. St. Catherine’s Cathedral (Old Goa)

St. Catherine's Cathedral was erected to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese in the Battle of Goa in 1510

Another historical and architectural monument included in the UNESCO list. The largest temple complex in the country and one of the largest in Asia.

12. Shantadurga Temple

The Shantadurga Temple was erected in the 18th century during the reign of Raja Chatrapati Shahu

A temple dedicated to the incarnation of the goddess Parvati, who took the name and form of Shantadurga. The statue inside depicts the goddess holding two snakes, Shiva and Vishnu, who were at odds with each other and whom she was able to reconcile.

13. St. Augustine’s Church and Monastery (Old Goa)

Ruins of the monastery complex Siddpai

The tower of St. Augustine’s Church is one of the 4 remaining Jesuit towers. Inside the temple complex itself you can see the altars, eight chapels, and the monastery with the cells of the monks.

14. Anjuna Market

Flea Market in Anjuna

Located near the beach, the flea market has been gathering in its tents of vendors from various parts of the country since early morning. Craftsmen offer wood, silver, bronze, and cotton handicrafts. If you don’t know what to see in Goa in 1 day, but want to buy a lot of memorable souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones, come here. A colorful place, ideal for those who are interested in national handicrafts and locally produced goods.

15. Night Market in Arpora

The Arpora Night Market is the largest shopping and entertainment center Os Rúpias

This market has nothing in common with traditional Indian stores and bazaars. Let’s start with the fact that it is open only one night a week: from Saturday to Sunday. You can compare the “event” to an ordinary hangout (most of the guests and vendors are Europeans, not locals): there are bars and restaurants open, a “central market” with numerous fast-food stalls and an “upper market” offering clothes, shoes and various Indian goods (from spices to cashmere). Be careful when buying things - many of them are common knockoffs of famous brands.

Official site:

16. Naval aviation museum

The Goan Naval Aviation Museum Trinidade

A small outdoor museum capable of offering you quite interesting exhibits. Including helicopters and airplanes, their mechanisms and structural elements. A small two-level house contains models and various documents related to the country’s naval forces.

Official website:

17. Spice Plantations

Spice Plantations is a popular tourist excursion route

During tour you will learn about the peculiarities of growing, drying and grinding plants. The maximum number of plantations are concentrated near Panaji. In addition to contemplating fragrant herbs and listening to the stories of guides, you can spend time here, getting acquainted with elephants (you can make bright pictures and ride on the backs of huge animals).

18. Fort Aguada

The lower part of Fort Aguada is located at the edge of the sea

Behind the impregnable walls of the ancient structure is a vast courtyard with a four-story Portuguese lighthouse. The fort is divided into two parts. The lower part houses the current prison of Aguada. The upper part is equipped with a large-scale moat, underground chambers for water storage, a bastion and powder halls. The Ford is riddled with many hidden passages for escape when emergencies arise.

19. Fort Reis Magos

The fort gun emplacement at Fort Reis Magos

Modest in size, however, a very beautiful and very ancient defensive structure. The date of erection is 1490. At one time there was a fresh water well, barracks, dozens of cannons and a prison. Researchers discovered numerous secret passages and underground vaults. The fort is open to tourists.

20. Bhagwan Mahavir Reserve

Bhagwan Mahavir Reserve

The 240 square area is home to various species of birds and wild animals: bobcats, deer, bears, zambars, gaurs, cobras, pythons, giant squirrels, hummingbirds, porcupines, panthers and leopards. Bhagwan Mahavir is part of Mollem National Park. We recommend a visit to this nature reserve, in part because there are many attractions along the way: elephant stands, temples, and spice plantations. You can see and learn about the main attractions of Goa briefly right on the way to Bhagwan Mahavir.

Goa sights: what else to visit in Goa?

You have read about the most significant and major attractions of the state of Goa. However, apart from them, many other memorable, historical and simply entertaining places deserve your attention:

21. Bondla Reserve

Indian leopard in Bondla Reserve Rigelus

As Europeans understand it, this small reserve is rather a piece of wild jungle of 8 square kilometers, on which cottages and various tourist “lures” are erected. Bondla is popular with tourists and schoolchildren alike, who come here for study projects and picnics. Among the reeds and evergreens, gaur, sambaroo, tigers, and other wildlife live in the wilds of deciduous forests. There are also over a hundred species of birds.

22. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Walking trail at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

We recommend you visit this mangrove swamp in winter, as it is in winter that Salim Ali is home to migratory birds. Inside the reserve is a three-tiered observation tower. Salim Ali Bird is considered the best bird ‘shelter’ in the country. In addition to birds, there are jackals, crocodiles and foxes.

23. Arwalem Caves

Arwalem Caves, man-made and arranged as a temple Kavya Rastogi

A mysterious place, arranged in a laterite hill, and located near the temple of Sri Rudreshwar and the waterfall of Avralem. In fact, it is a kind of man-made catacombs and grogov temple (man-made cave, arranged as a temple set). Tour of the cave, which is divided into 5 sections, is available as part of a tour group or on their own. In each of the sections is a symbol of the deity Shiva - a vertical stone with a round top. One of the symbols, about 800 years old, is decorated in Sanskrit.

24. Arwalem Falls

Lake at the foot of Arwalem Falls

There are no souvenir shops or crowds of tourists at this waterfall site. The place is lost in the Indian jungle, and attracts rare travelers. Within walking distance of Arwalem is the Hindu temple of God Shiva Rudreshwar (the statue of the deity looks directly at the waterfall). Often their funeral rituals (ashes of the deceased scattered over the water) are carried out here by the natives. Therefore, we can not recommend visiting Arvalem with children. But it is a great sight to see for those who are interested in the culture and customs of the locals.

25. Dudhsagar Falls

View of Dudhsagar Falls

On the way to Dudhsagar you will see numerous plantations of spices, bananas and pineapples, endless fields of rice and colorful Indian villages. The water is 300 meters high (over the years, the stream has broken through a small lake, which is now home to giant carp). The best time to visit this waterfall is considered the rainy season. However, keep in mind that at this time, the road to it can be difficult (and sometimes it becomes impossible).

We hope that our attractions of Goa, photos with names and descriptions of which we also provided, have interested you.