There are so many fantastic places to visit in Goa that even the sandy white beaches won’t keep you away.
More than two million visitors visit Goa every year for the silken sand, crystalline shores, cocohut culture and the laid-back atmosphere that makes Goa so easy to enjoy and so hard to leave. But there’s more to discover here than the pleasure of warm sand between your toes. Goa tourist places are beautiful and culturally rich – you can go birdwatching in a butterfly-filled forest, marvel at centuries-old cathedrals, venture out to white-water waterfalls or meander the capital’s charming alleyways, all in between lazy beach days (or weeks).
Best Places to Visit in Goa
- Luxurious, white-sandy Goan beaches in the state’s sleepy southern stretches
Grand cathedrals and hilltop chapels in Old Goa
The Portuguese quarters of Panaji (Panjim) and its decadent restaurants
Top Things to Do in Goa
There’s little chance of missing the beach – it’s spectacular and it’s everywhere – but don’t give in to the temptation to laze on it nonstop. Yoga is ubiquitous in Goa – in both long-course and short-class form – and even for dabblers, it’s the perfect yin to beach lounging’s yang. Palolem has lots of trekking and even canyoning opportunities, and birds, forests and waterfalls are just waiting to be enjoyed inland. Goa has a fascinating history that also shouldn’t be missed: set aside some time to explore evocative Panaji (Panjim), Old Goa, Quepem and Chandor.
Top State Festivals
- Carnival (Mar, statewide) A four-day festival kicking off Lent; the party’s particularly jubilant in Panaji.
- Feast of St Francis Xavier (3 Dec, Panaji & Old Goa) A celebration of Goa’s patron saint; once every decade (the next one is 2014), the saint’s body is carried through Old Goa’s streets.
- Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec, Margao & Panaji) Fairs and concerts are held, as is a beautiful church service at Panaji’s Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.