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Popular Places to Visit in Goa

Baga Beach

Baga BeachBaga Beach is the most famous of all Goan beaches and as a tourist visiting Goa you really haven’t been to Goa if you haven’t been to Baga. Full to the brim with activities you can indulge in, Baga Beach and its surrounding areas will not give you time to get bored. There is always something exciting going on here. In the morning, the beach is a great place to lounge in, soak in the sun and interact with tourists from all over the world.

Water Sports: Baga Beach is best-known for its jet skiing, parasailing, banana ride and boating water-sports.

Location: Baga, North Goa

How to reach from Panaji: The beach is located about 16km from Panaji. You can hire a cab to reach here or rent a scooter which can serve you for the length of your trip.

Beach Side RestaurantsGo With The Flow, Jamie’s Restaurant, Fire and Ice, Chelsea Beach Shack, Britto’s Bar and Restaurant

Calangute Beach

The largest beach in Goa, Calangute Beach is also affectionately known as the “Queen of Beaches”. It is among the top ten beaches in the world, which means it is one of the tourist places in Goa that you should not miss. It is a big, serene beach with activities enough to fill your mind for the entirety of your trip. The beach alone is a great attraction for tourists. The beach is ideal for both the options,  lying down in the sand without the fear of being run over or trying your hand at some water sports.

There are a lot of options to choose from. The distance of Calangute from Baga Beach is not great; the two beaches are only separated from each other by some rocks. You can choose to have breakfast or lunch at Baga or Calangute. There are also many great sight-seeing opportunities near Calangute such as Morjim Beach, St. Alex Church, the Water Pond of Arambol, Ashvem Beach, the Aguada Lighthouse & Aguada Fort, Nerul River, the Friday Local Mapusa Market, River Betul & Betul Estuary.

You will find Calangute transformed into a beach for the party in Goa in the night as good as the one at Baga Beach. Since Calangute Beach is connected to most other important tourist spots in North Goa, it is a good place to reside in during your Goa visit.

Water Sports: Calangute offers the best in water sports- enjoy kayaking, sailing, wind-surfing, water snorkeling, water-skiing, and fishing here. Parasailing is also a sport you can indulge in.

Location: Calangute, North Goa

How to reach from Panaji: Taking a taxi or cab is the easiest option to reach here

Beach Side Restaurants: Pousada by the Beach, Zuperb, Sousa Lobo, A Reverie, The Chocolate Room

Grand Island

There is no dearth of water related activities in Goa, of course. But while the different beaches up and down Goa offer tourists many options, these options are not to be found all in one place. Not so in grand island. Grand Island is the nirvana of Goan water-sports. There is a lot to be experienced here from diving to snorkelling to fishing. Scuba diving in Goa is the most popular activity because it offers so much in terms of underwater exploration.

There are ship wrecks to be found here as well as some reefs. The “Suzy” wreck and the “Davy Jones Locker” are especially popular with divers as are Serge City, Bounty Rock, and Turbo Tunnel. Experienced and beginner divers both find something to satisfy in Grand Island. You can also go snorkelling. Professional instructors will provide the equipment and the instructions. Bumper boats and banana boats are also popular around the island.

End the day with a fishing trip and a barbeque of the produce you caught. A day trip usually lasts from 8.30am to 4 pm but it can be negotiated beforehand. If you want an in-depth underwater experience, Grand Island is one of the places to visit in Goa. You will come back from your trip exhausted but well-satisfied with your day. Make sure to carry all your swimming and beach essentials as well as spare clothes for the day.

Timings: Varies with the ferry service provider

Location: Grand Island, South Goa

How to reach from Panaji: The island is only connected via water ways so you will have to arrange a ferry ride. This can be arranged at the major jetties in South Goa

Dudhsagar Waterfalls

The Dudhsagar Waterfalls are situated on the Goa-Karnataka border and are one of India’s must-see sights. The four-tiered waterfall structure is one of the tallest in India and is located on the Mandovi River. The white water cascades down from a height of nearly 1017 feet off a nearly steep mountain face. They form a part of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, so the best way to reach them is by entering the national park and taking a van allocated by the park to the falls.

The Dudhsagar trek inside the park is closed to the public but you can still reach the waterfalls by trekking from Kulem and following the jeep trail. Another possible route is the trek from Castle Rock in Karnataka. Reaching the waterfalls will not be an easy task but it is one that is worth every ounce of effort put into it.  They are best experienced during the monsoons as they lose their force during the dry season.

Many tours are organized over this time so you can choose to go as a part of a group. Some tours even have overnight camping options. But remember to go well-prepared to ensure a good experience, especially if you are going on a self-organized trek. The lush green jungle and the beautiful waterfall sending up their forceful sprays are a sight to remember long after you have left Dudhsagar behind.

Location: Sanguem Taluka

How to reach from Panaji: Take a train up to Kulem railway station. However, don’t expect a proper platform here. It is a rough stop.

Tito's Street

Goa is India’s favourite party place. Therefore, you simply have to visit one of the many clubs scattered around Goa on your visit there. Tito’s Street is one of the best clubs you can visit. Tito’s Street, named after the street it is located on, is a club that attracts a lot of crowd especially because of its prime location and its top-notch service. Baga beach, where the club is located, is a party hub so it is no wonder that loads of tourists find their way to Tito’s Street after sundown.

The club is known for its excellent services and this compensates amply for the slightly overpriced tags on drinks and food. The place is made up of two levels: the lower level is a dance floor with a separate dance space for couples; the upper level allows people to sit and watch the activity below while enjoying their food and drinks. The DJ is reckoned to be very good and you’re sure to get in some soul-pumping dancing on your visit.

There are various entry vouchers which have complimentary services included. The vouchers begin from Rs. 1000/-. Their security is also among the best which is very important in a party-climate like Goa’s. It does not matter whether you go during in or off-season. Tito’s Street is an exciting place to party in Goa all year round. Their cocktails are the talk of the town, so make sure you try them out. Nonetheless, even if you aren’t looking to drink, Tito’s Street is one of the places to visit in Goa for youngsters.

Head over to Tito’s Street if you want a great experience which is worth your time and your money.

Timings: 6 pm to 3 am

Location: Tito’s Street, Baga Beach, North Goa

Entry Fee (Couples and Stag):
    -Rs. 1000/- for two.
-Free entry for ladies.
-Rs. 2000/- stag entry

Fort Aguada

Another heritage from the Portuguese, Fort Aguada has been standing stern on the beach facing the Arabian Sea from 1612 when it was built in order to provide defence against the invading Dutch and the Marathas. It was a grand old fort in its time with the capacity to hold 79 cannons among other weapons of defense. It was one of the prized possessions of the Portuguese. Today, it stands as a famous landmark dividing the Sinquerium Beach and the Candolim Beach.

There is an old lighthouse standing within the fort which was built in 1864, the oldest lighthouse of its shape and size in India. Fort Aguada is a great place to explore when you are out visiting the Candolim or Sinquerium Beaches. The architecture gives a good insight into the building techniques of old Portuguese architects and it has some amazing views you should really see. The old fort provides a good view of the sea and the sunset is reckoned to be lovely.

The fort is a great way to spend an afternoon. Afternoons are usually too hot to spend on the beach. But you don’t want to be cooped up in your hotel room when in Goa. So, head over to Fort Aguada and spend your time exploring it. Once you’re done, you can simply sit down and enjoy the sea breezes as you let the afternoon pass by. And then you can head over to either of the two beaches that strike your fancy in the evening. It makes the perfect resting point during your tour of the beaches in North Goa

Location:  Candolim, North Goa

How to reach from Panaji: Buses and taxis are your best options.

Palolem Beach

Palolem is one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches, or at least used to be till it got overrun by commercialization in the form of huts and hawkers. Nonetheless, its peaceful waters bordered by headlands are still very attractive. It is a popular tourist attraction of South Goa. The location makes its sea calmer than others and you can walk almost 100m into the sea with ease. Not only are there many things to do on the Palolem Beach, there are many things you do in the nearby locality.

You can participate in an early morning yoga class for one thing. You can also dance at the offbeat Silent Noise Disco. You put on headphones provided by the club and party into the early hours of the morning without any worry about the police interrupting you because of the noise. There are also many sightseeing options like the Monkey Island and the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Both places make a good day trip around Palolem.

If you wish to simply kick back and relax, Palolem is a good place wherein to do so. Also get an Ayurveda massage while you are at it.

Water Sports: Scuba diving, canyoning, self-paddle kayaking, dolphin watching are some activities you can undertake here

Location: Canaconna, South Goa

How to reach from Panaji: You can either hop on a bus or take a taxi

Beach Side Restaurants: The Olive Room, Café Inn, Canacona, Café Del Mar, Havana Cuba

Bom Jesus Basilica

One of the most important of all tourist places in Goa as well as a central landmark for Catholics, the Bom Jesus Basilica is the place in which the incorrupt body of St Francis Xavier is kept. The Church was built in 1605 and the body of the Saint was brought to it in 1622 where it has laid since in its glass mausoleum. The body is perhaps the greatest attraction of the Basilica. A gallery of Modern Art is also a part of the Basilica.

The building is constructed in baroque style and is considered one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India. You can visit the Bom Jesus Basillica in December for the best experience of the tradition as the feast and novena take place at that time along with Christmas celebrations.

Timings:
    -Weekdays – 9.00am to 6.30pm
-Mass: Sunday – 8.00am and 9.15am
    -Weekdays – 7.00am and 8.00am

Location: Old Goa

How to reach from Panaji: Take a cab or hire a scooter from Panaji

Anjuna Beach

Goa is one of the most toured places in India. Anjuna, a small village on the North coast of Goa, is amongst those few places to see in Goa which receive a lot of tourists. The Anjuna Beach is arguably amongst the best beaches in India. The beach has the perfect picturesque background with hills.

The beach is blessed with beautiful red laterite rock.  Hundreds of people visit the Anjuna Beach every day and enjoy themselves by relaxing on the beach. A flea market is held on every Wednesday in the Anjuna beach. People from all around the state come to this flea market as one can get amazing products at really cheap prices here.

Location: Anjuna, Goa 403509

How to reach from Panaji: Anjuna Beach is 29 km away from Panaji and one can take buses or cab to reach there.

Casino Cruise

This is a little out of the way thing you can indulge in when in Goa. A Casino Cruise is essential, at the basic level, a restaurant, but with the additional casino features for those who want to try a hand at Vegas style entertainment. The ship is docked on one of the many rivers in Goa and is fitted with posh furnishings. The view outside and the rooms inside both make for a great set-up. The casinos are open all round the clock but they really come to life in the night from 9 pm to 3 pm. They are like clubs but instead of the DJ and the party music, you have casino games and low music. They are well-fitted spaces with fine dining options in place including a good selection of drinks.

The visitors can stay on board for up to 12 hours and enjoy the ambiance of the cruise. If you are lucky, you might even end up slightly richer when you come out of the Casino Cruise. Some places even have playrooms for children in case you want to take them along. The tickets are slightly expensive but seeing that they come inclusive of the provision of food and drinks as well as the various other entertainments apart from the casino rooms.

There are dance shows and ball rooms and lovely decks where you can hear the river waters dapple against the ship. If you are visiting Goa as a honeymooning couple, this is a very romantic place to be. There are many Casino Cruises in Goa like Deltin Royale Casino, Casino Pride, Casino Royale, Casino Carnival etc. Most are located close to Panaji.

Timings: 24 hours

Location: Varies by the Cruise you go to

How to reach from Panaji: Cabs are a good source of transportation in Goa