Traveling to Goa??? Here is the complete guide for your Goa Trip.

Are you planning a trip to Goa? Here is the list of best places to visit in Goa, Delicious Goan food that will make you drool and the best hotels and accommodation available in Goa.

 

best places to visit in goa

Goa with its mesmerizing scenic beauty and breathtaking beaches stands out as a prominent tourist attraction worldwide. Over 8 Million domestic and international tourists visit Goa every year. If you are going to be one of them then here is the list of things you should know before you plan your trip.

 

Best Season to visit Goa.

The best time to visit Goa is mid of October to mid of March when the weather is pleasant and the sky is clear. The monsoon season ends by late September and you would find greenery all over. Sea is also very calm during this period and you can get one of the best beach experience.

Average rainfall in Goa: 110 Inch.
Temperature during Summer: Between 30°C to 40°C.
Temperature during Winter: Between 22°C to 27°C.

Tip:

Avoid planning trip to Goa during the mid of June to mid of August as the rain pours for this period. It’s very difficult to step out of the hotel during this time. Also, the sea gets violent and the seashores remain close for any tourist or fishing activities. Though it never floods here.

 

Top 15 places you can’t miss out in Goa.

Beaches, Churches, temples, and forts are the main tourist attractions in Goa and your trip won’t be complete without visiting them. Here are some incredibly beautiful places you really can’t miss out.

Panjim City
Palolem Beach
Calangute beach /Baga beach
Mobor beach
Old Goa
Aguada Fort
Arambol Beach / Harmal Beach
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary
DudhSagar falls
Dona Paula
Sinquerim Fort
Mangeshi temple
Vagator Beach
Anjuna Beach
Shri Shantadurga Temple – Kavlem

 

Panjim City

Panjim being the state capital of Goa is one of the most crowded cities in Goa. Located on the banks of the Mandovi River, the city was built by Portuguese in the 18th century. The city showcases the streets lined with colorful villas an buildings from the Portuguese colonial era.

best places to visit in goa
 
The cruise ride across the Mandovi river is a beautiful experience, especially during sunset time. It is the major tourist attraction of the city. These rides are usually accompanied by Goan cultural activities like Music and Dance. Visitors can view Adil Shah Palace on one side of the river, while the newly built cable-stayed bridge “Atal Setu” adds another feather to the cap.
Timings: 9.30Am to 9.00Pm
Entry Fee: Rs 250-300 per person

best places to visit in goa
 
River Mandovi also houses lavish casino cruises. The entry fees to the Casino range from 2,000 to 3,000 INR. Some of the Casinos also have a dress code; Shorts, sleeveless T-shirts, flip-flops, and chappals are not permitted.
Timings: Open 24 hours
Entry Fee: Rs 2000-3000 per person *Usually unlimited food, alcoholic drinks, entertainment, and an allotment of playing chips is included.

best places to visit in goa
 
Nearly 410 years old Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church at the heart of Panjim city is another beautiful place to visit. Great architecture, peaceful, and photogenic- you will experience a soothing peace at heart. Do avoid wearing shorts (anything above the knees) otherwise, you might not get the entry.
Timings: 9.00Am to 12.30Pm, 3.30Pm to 7.30Pm
Entry Fee: Rs 10 per person

best places to visit in goa
 
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is another great spot for a half day trip. It is located on the opposite side of the Panjim city along the bank of Mandovi River. A ferry service running between Ribander and Chorão will take you the sanctuary.
Timings: 6.00Am to 6.00Pm
Entry Fee: Rs 10 per person for Indians, Rs 100 per person for foreign tourists, Rs 25 per still camera, Rs 150 per camcorder

Distance from the Airport: 26km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 37km

 

Palolem Beach

best places to visit in goa
 
Known as the “Paradise Beach”, Palolem Beach is one of the best beaches in South Goa. Located at a distance of 70 km from Panjim City, this beach is about a mile long and has beautiful white sand lined with coconut trees. Palolem has a range of beautiful accommodation for all types of travelers starting with 5 stars hotels to budget hotels.

It is one of the safest beaches for swimming and beach activities involve Scuba diving, Canyoning, Kayaking and trekking tours. The sea is usually calm and if you are lucky enough then you can get a chance to look at Dolphins quite closely. “Silent discos” are the latest attraction in Palolem. Butterfly Beach, Colomb Beach, Galgibaga Beach, and Rajbagh beach are other less crowded but equally fascinating beaches in the nearby locations.

Distance from Panjim City: 70Km
Distance from the Airport: 62km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 38km

 

Calangute beach and Baga beach

best places to visit in goa
 
Spread over four miles along the Arabian Sea, Calangute beach is the largest in North Goa and is located between Baga beach and Candolim beach. Calangute is a perfect place for adventure and water sports like kayaking, sailing, wind-surfing, water snorkeling, water-skiing, fishing, etc. Parasailing is another extremely famous water activity on Calangute Beach. There are numerous shacks and resting beds along the shoreline. The beach looks exttremly stunning during the night time. The beach also has a big market area where you can find all kind of products.

best places to visit in goa
 
Next to the Calangute beach sits the Baga beach. It is another very busy beach in North Goa and is famous for water sports, such as parasailing, banana rides, and dolphin cruises. Baga beach offers similar facilities as that of Calangute beach.

There are ample hotels, restaurants, and shacks in Calangute, so accommodation will never be an issue here.

Distance from Panjim City: 14Km
Distance from the Airport: 40km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 50km

 

Mobor beach

best places to visit in goa
 
South Goa beaches are comparatively calm and less active, so if you want lone space and yet enjoy the parties, water sports, and other activities, then Mobor could be your choice. The Sal River flows quietly on the other side of the beach to meet the Arabian Sea. There are cruises rides, dolphin and bird tours on the Sal river. Scenic, white-sand with blue water, surrounded by Sal river in a serene environment makes Mobor beach one of the best places to visit in Goa.

Distance from Panjim City: 48Km
Distance from the Airport: 38km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 20km

 

Old Goa

Old Goa is a historical city in North Goa district, 10km from the Panjim city. The seventh ruler of Bijapur, Mohammed Adil Shah constructed the city in 15th century. Old Goa served as the capital city of Adil Shah kingdom until it was abandoned in 16th century due to plague. Remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

best places to visit in goa
 
Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier is the most important church in Goa. Consecrated in May 1605 by the archbishop, Dom Fr. Aleixo de Menezes the church is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautifully built church attracts lakhs of tourist every year.
Timings: 8.00Am to 9.00Pm

best places to visit in goa
 
Opposite to Basilica of Bom Jesus church is the Se Cathedral church, which was built to honour the victory of the Portuguese over Adil Shah, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. The Se Cathedral holds the largest Bell in Goa called Golden Bell. This bell is famous for its strong tone.
Timings: 7.00Am to 6.30Pm

best places to visit in goa
 
Church of St. Augustine is another tourist attraction in Old Goa. Built-in 1602 this ruined church complex is also a part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa. The church was abandoned in 1835 after the Portuguese government of Goa Changed its religious policies, resulting in the collapse of the church in 1842 due to negligence. Initially, the church had four towers of which only one remains. The tower is a four-storied structure built of laterite and 46 m in height.

Distance from Panjim City: 10Km
Distance from the Airport: 36km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 37km

 

Aguada Fort

best places to visit in goa
 
Located at a distance of 15 km from Panjim, Aguda Fort is one of the prime Goa tourist attraction and one of the major heritage sites in Goa state. The hilltop fort, built on the river Mandovi is a popular tourist spot. Tourists turn up in huge numbers especially to watch the sunset. The Aguada fort also has a four-storeyed lighthouse, which was built in 1864 and is the oldest lighthouses in Asia.

Timings: 8.30Am to 5.30Pm
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 per person for Adults, 10 per person for Children, 30 per Still Camera, 150 per Camcorder

Distance from Panjim City: 16Km
Distance from the Airport: 42km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 51km

 

Arambol Beach / Harmal Beach

best places to visit in goa
 
Arambol Beach also known as Harmal Beach is another very popular beach in North Goa. Located at a distance of 35km from Panjim City, it is one of the most beautiful beaches along the Goan coastal line. This relatively less active beach with golden sands and mild waves is a perfect place to swim. It is also famous for the sweet water lake at the end of the adjacent beach “Kalacha beach”. You can also enjoy paragliding and dolphin watching boat trips at this beach.

Distance from Panjim City: 35Km
Distance from the Airport: 60km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 68km

 

Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park

Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary is a 240 square km protected area located in the Western Ghats along the Goa border with Karnataka. It houses several beautiful waterfalls, such as Dudhsagar Falls and Tambdi Falls, and contains several important temples.

best places to visit in goa
 

The Sanctuary is covered with thick forest and has various species of plants, birds, mammals, and reptiles. It is home to the species like black panther, barking deer, Bengal tiger, leopard, bonnet macaque, common langur, civet, flying squirrel, gaur, Malabar giant squirrel, mouse deer, pangolin, porcupine, slender loris, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar, wild dog and many other. Numerous birds, butterflies, and reptiles species can also be spotted. This sanctuary is truly a gift to all nature lovers and wildlife photographers.

Timings: 8.00Am to 5.30Pm
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 per person for Adults, 10 per person for Children, 30 per Still Camera, 150 per Camcorder

Distance from Panjim City: 60Km
Distance from the Airport: 63km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 52km

 

DudhSagar falls

best places to visit in goa
 

Located at a distance of 75 km from Panjim, DudhSagar falls is amongst India’s tallest waterfalls with a height of 1017 feet and an average width of 30 meters 100 feet. Dudhsagar literally means a Sea of Milk in the local Konkani language. It has been an attraction for many of the Bollywood and south Indian movies. Surrounded by thick forests with rich biodiversity the beautiful waterfall lies in the western ghats inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary.

It is a bit difficult to reach DudhSagar fall by road or railway. The best way to reach the waterfall is to hire a forest department jeep near a Goan village called Molem, which will take you through lush green forest and heavy flowing streams to the Spot. This service is closed during monsoon (June – mid-October). You can also reach the waterfall through 10-14km long trecking routes. Some of the tracking routes are closed during monsoon season. The best time to visit the waterfall is during October / November. There are no shops near the waterfalls so carry food and water with you.

Timings: 9 AM to 6.00 PM
Cost of Jeep Ride to Waterfalls: Rs. 400 per person

Distance from Panjim City: 60Km
Distance from the Airport: 63km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 52km

 

Dona Paula

best places to visit in goa
 

Located at a distance of 6 km from Panjim city it is one of the busiest tourists spots in Goa. It is located on the mouth of Zuari river and from the top of this hillock one can have views of the Marmugao Harbour and the Arabian Sea up to the Zuari Bridge to the east.

Distance from Panjim City: 8Km
Distance from the Airport: 28km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 37km

 

Sinquerim Fort

best places to visit in goa
 
Located at a distance of 18 km from Panaji, this small fort stands exactly on the Sinquerim beach offering a perfect view of the sunset. Surrounded by the Arabian sea from all the sides this fort was constructed in the year 1612. The fort looks even more stunning on the full moonlight. All you need is a cup of coffee or a glass of beer and one can spend the whole evening looking at the waves hitting the fort. This place will give you an eternal beautiful experience and peace of mind.

Distance from Panjim City: 14Km
Distance from the Airport: 39km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 48km

 

Mangeshi temple

best places to visit in goa
 
Mangeshi temple is located at Mangeshi Village in Priol, at a distance of 21 km from Panaji City. It is one of the largest and most frequently visited temples in Goa. Dedicated to Bhagavan Manguesh, an incarnation of Shiva, Shri Mangesh temple is 450-year-old. The temple has an interesting story related to it. According to the legend, Shiva had manifested into a tiger to scare Goddess Parvati. Paravati, who was scared at the sight of the tiger, went in search of Shiva and cried out for help, “Trahi Mam girisha!” (Oh Lord of Mountains, save me!). Upon hearing the words, Shiva turned himself back to his normal form. The words “mam girisha” became associated with Shiva and over time the words got abbreviated to Manguirisha or Manguesh.

The temple also has shrines of Goddess Parvati, God Ganesha, Nandikeshvar, Gajana, Bhagavati, Gramapurusha Deva Sharma of the Kaudanya gotra, Mulakeshwsar, Virabhadra, Saanteri, Lakshminarayana, Suryanarayan, Garuda and Kala Bhairav.

Timings: 6.00Am to 10.00Pm

Distance from Panjim City: 21Km
Distance from the Airport: 34km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 27km

 

Vagator Beach

best places to visit in goa
 

At a distance of 19 km from Panjim city, Vagator Beach is among the top places to visit in Goa. It is covered with fine white sand, coconut trees, and huge black rocks. This blue water beach is a perfect tourist destination and the best place for sunbathing. The beach also hosts many midnight parties during the tourist season.

Distance from Panjim City: 21Km
Distance from the Airport: 45km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 54km

 

Anjuna Beach

best places to visit in goa
 
Located at a distance of 19 km from Panjim, Anjuna Beach is the most popular beach among domestic and international travelers. This pleasing beach is famous for its stunning natural beauty with white sands, red laterite rocks, and coconut trees. The beach hosts Moonlight parties every year which attracts thousands of domestic and foreign travelers, especially during the time of New Year and Christmas.

The beach is located north of Baga and Calangute and is adjacent to the Chapora fort.

Distance from Panjim City: 21Km
Distance from the Airport: 45km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 54km

 

Shri Shantadurga Temple – Kavlem

best places to visit in goa
 

Shri Shantadurga Temple is situated in North Goa at a distance of 28 km from Panjim. The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also known as ‘Santeri’. There is a famous tale associated with goddess Shantadurga. Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu. The battle was so fierce that the god Brahma prayed to Goddess Parvati to intervene, which she did in the form of Shantadurga. Shantadurga placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the fight.

Shri Shantadurga Temple is the most important and the biggest temple in Goa. The temple was originally built at Quelossim (Keloshi) in Salsete which was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. Later the goddess was shifted to Kavalem. The current temple was constructed in 1738 in the regime of Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shahu, who was the grandson of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The temple has a huge tank, a Deepastambha and agrashalas (guest houses). Annual festival (Jatra) is held during December every year.

Timings:5:30AM to 12:30PM & 1.30PM to 8.30PM

Distance from Panjim City: 31Km
Distance from the Airport: 33km
Distance from Margao Railway Station: 20km

 

Popular mouthwatering regional food

One of the best things about Goa is its authentic regional food. No trip can be complete without tasting the delicious food served in Goa. Seafood dominates Goan cuisine, the staple foods are rice and fish. Goan cuisine is influenced by Portuguese and native cultures. Rava Fried King Fish, Pomfret fry, Prawns fry, Mackerel Uddamethi, Goan Prawn Curry, Goan Fish Curry, Crab curry, Mackerel Recheado, Chicken Cafreal, Chicken or Pork Xacuti, Prawns Balchao, Goan Sausage are some of the best nonveg dishes to try in Goa.

Goan food offers a lot of good options to vegetarians also. Potato bhaji, Goan Daal rice, coconut curry, Goan tomato and onion salad bhaji, Goan cashew nut curry, Veg masala curry are some of the delicious veg food you must taste.

Goan food is also famous for its variety of desserts dishes. Bebinca is the best dessert you will find in Goa. Serradura, Dodol, Bolinhas, Coconut Burfi, Cashewnut burfi, Patoleo, Channa Doce, Cocada, Neureos, Caramel Custard are some of the tasty desserts.

Nearly all the restaurants and hotels serve this authentic Goan food. Almost all eating shacks on beaches serve great seafood and Goan meal. There are several bars especially on beachline; few of them open till late, so you won’t miss the nightlife.
 

Accommodation and transport

Goa being the world-famous tourist destination has ample of hotels and farmhouses to stay nearly in all cities and towns. There are even beachside huts available for rents on many of the beaches. You can find hotels with a price as high asRs. 12000 and as low as Rs. 500 also. The Leela Goa , The Park Calangute Goa , Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa , Goa Marriott Resort & Spa , Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa , Grand Hyatt Goa, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Goa, Holiday Inn Resort Goa are some of the best luxury hotels to stay. There are hundreds of budget hotels available in every part of Goa.

After reaching Goa you can either hire a cab or rent a bike to explore various tourist spots. Rental bikes are easily available in Panjim city or in any other big cities and also on seashores. There are no online taxi services like ola or uber available in Goa. If you are planning to travel by car then you can either hire a self-drive car or a private cab.

There are ample of state-driven and privates buses on Goan roads. Bus transport service to various parts of the state usually starts from 6 Am in the morning and is available till 8-9Pm in the night. Please confirm the last bus timings at the bus stand and it is always better not to wait for the last bus.

 

Conclusion

We hope that this information was useful in planning your Goa trip. Do let us know your feedback in the comment section. We will be happy to answer your questions as well.

Happy Travels! Safe Travels!
 

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