Top 20 attractions in Goa


Goa is a par­adise in the province of India. Kilo­me­ters of beach­es, ruins of ancient fortress­es entwined with vines, water­falls and nature reserves invite lovers of exot­ic recre­ation and enter­tain­ment. Goa dif­fers from the rest of India in com­fort, clean­li­ness and devel­oped infra­struc­ture for tourists.


Who and why should come to Goa

In the high sea­son, up to 2 mil­lion tourists arrive in Goa. Beach hol­i­days, scu­ba div­ing, walks to water­falls and safaris in nature reserves are very pop­u­lar among most vis­i­tors.

Fans of antiq­ui­ties and mys­ter­ies of his­to­ry can see the remains of fortress­es and Old Goa, with its archi­tec­tur­al gems: tem­ples, basil­i­cas and palaces.

Gourmets come here to try the famous Indi­an dish­es sea­soned with the sun and local fruits, and at the same time take a walk through the spice plan­ta­tions.

Active tourists go to Goa to go scu­ba div­ing, watch trop­i­cal fish, go water ski­ing and motor­bikes.

natural attractions

Bhagwan Mahavir Reserve

sapovednik bhar havin

Locat­ed near the West­ern Ghats. The main attrac­tion of this reserve is the impen­e­tra­ble and ever­green trop­i­cal forests, untouched by man. They con­tain over 700 plant species, many of which are found only in India.

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the nurs­ery there is Dudhsagar water­fall, which is con­sid­ered one of the places of pow­er in Goa. You can walk around the park, or dri­ve a car along a spe­cial­ly paved track. Numer­ous ani­mals live in the for­est more often: tigers, pan­thers, leop­ards — how­ev­er, they try not to catch the eye of the pub­lic.

Bandla nature reserve

sapovedik bandla

It is the small­est of all the reserves locat­ed in Goa — its area is only 8 square kilo­me­ters. How­ev­er, this does not pre­vent the nurs­ery from being one of the most pop­u­lar among tourists. For chil­dren, there is a lot of enter­tain­ment here: a zoo with inter­est­ing lit­tle ani­mals, mini-loco­mo­tives, and play­rooms. Adults can ride ele­phants.

The reserve is divid­ed into two parts. The first is wild, the sec­ond is more com­fort­able. In the cen­ter of Bun­dle there is a botan­i­cal gar­den, and around it is a wild for­est with preda­to­ry ani­mals.

Waterfall Arvalem

vodopad arvalem

A water­fall in the region of north­ern Goa from a height of 50 meters brings down its explo­sive waters to the ground. It can be heard for sev­er­al kilo­me­ters.

The streams of Arvalem below turn into a lake, which looks organ­i­cal­ly in a pic­turesque land­scape. Tourists, in addi­tion to the water­fall, also vis­it the stone stair­case that leads to the local tem­ple. And from the obser­va­tion deck offers a beau­ti­ful view of the sur­round­ings.

Caves of Arvalem

pesheri arvalem

The caves are a nice addi­tion to the water­fall of the same name. Locals believe that they were once cut through by Bud­dhists who wan­dered in these parts. They had nowhere to stay for the night, so it was decid­ed to make a couch among the stones.

Accord­ing to sci­en­tists and researchers, caves in this place could appear in the 5th-6th cen­turies. They are five tun­nels that con­verge in the cen­ter. The hall formed by their inter­sec­tion does not exceed two hock­ey rinks in size. On the walls of the caves there are still inscrip­tions in San­skrit, which are about 700 years old.

Dudhsagar waterfall

vodopad dudshasar

The largest Indi­an water­fall is locat­ed in the foothills of the West­ern Ghats. The place is tru­ly leg­endary and a local myth is asso­ci­at­ed with it.

Hin­dus believe that a princess once lived here, who took water pro­ce­dures right in the lake and drank milk from a gold­en jug. One day she noticed that some­one was watch­ing her from behind the trees. To hide her naked­ness, the girl poured milk over her­self. Flow­ing white jets became the basis of the water­fall, the name of which is trans­lat­ed as “milky ocean”.

Cotigao nature reserve

sapovednik kotigao

It is locat­ed near Palolem, and you can get to this reserve on foot. It is this adven­ture that attracts tourists who are forced to wade through the jun­gle to see the nasty mon­keys. Coti­gao is locat­ed on the banks of the Talpona Riv­er.

The main attrac­tions of the reserve are obser­va­tion plat­forms, or rather, the view that opens from them. From a height of 25 meters you can see a water­ing place where wild ani­mals come ear­ly in the morn­ing and late in the evening to get drunk.

Koti­gao appeared rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly — in the 70s, but many ani­mals are no longer there. There are no tigers, bears, hye­nas, leop­ards and gazelles, but mon­keys, wild boars and bison still live in the reserve.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

ptichi sapovdnik

The reserve is locat­ed on the island of Chorao — the largest of the 17 islands of Goa. The man­groves of this place are sim­ply over­flow­ing with wild exot­ic birds. Only here you can see the king­fish­er, black lit­tle bit­tern, sand­piper, king­fish­er, vul­ture, cor­morant and oth­ers. In total, there are about 400 species of birds on Sal­im Ali.

The main flow of tourists comes here from Octo­ber to March — at a time when a large num­ber of migra­to­ry birds arrive. The nurs­ery is open all year round, and in addi­tion to birds, alli­ga­tors, crabs and otters can be found on its ter­ri­to­ry.

architectural landmarks

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

cerkov bogiei materi

Pil­grims and tourists con­sid­er this Catholic tem­ple one of the most beau­ti­ful in Old Goa. The church is locat­ed on a small hill, which offers a mag­nif­i­cent view of the city. The cathe­dral was built at the begin­ning of the 16th cen­tu­ry and was orig­i­nal­ly a small chapel where Por­tuguese sailors came to pray.

Basilica of Bon Jesus


Trans­lat­ed from Por­tuguese, Bon Jesus means “Mer­cy of Jesus.” This is the most fre­quent­ly vis­it­ed attrac­tion of Old Goa, which was for­mer­ly the cap­i­tal of the Por­tuguese colony. Today the shrine is includ­ed in the UNESCO World Her­itage List.

For sev­er­al cen­turies, the tem­ple has been a real mec­ca for pil­grims. Vis­i­tors are attract­ed not only by the beau­ti­ful archi­tec­ture of the basil­i­ca (the build­ing is made of black gran­ite), but also by the fact that Fran­cis Xavier, one of the most revered Catholic saints, is buried in it. His relics, which have been on dis­play for more than 10 years, are con­sid­ered mirac­u­lous.

redi fort

redi fort

When vis­it­ing the aban­doned Fort Redi, many tourists asso­ciate with the car­toon about Mowgli. The stone walls have long been over­grown with wild vines, the paths between the ruins are entwined with tree roots and strewn with leaves, and most impor­tant­ly, on the way to the fort you can meet a huge num­ber of curi­ous mon­keys.

The for­ti­fi­ca­tion was built in this place in the 16th cen­tu­ry by the Savant fam­i­ly. Ini­tial­ly, Redi had a dif­fer­ent name, but was lat­er renamed after a near­by vil­lage.

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

cerkov st francisca

It is an exam­ple of colo­nial archi­tec­ture, which was inher­it­ed from Por­tuguese rule. The cathe­dral is locat­ed in the city of Pana­ji, where it was built in the 17th cen­tu­ry by order of the Viceroy of Por­tu­gal. How­ev­er, the his­to­ry of the church began a cen­tu­ry ear­li­er, when Fran­cis­can monks moored to the local shores and want­ed to found a small monastery.

Ini­tial­ly, there were three altars in the cathe­dral, but now noth­ing remains of the old church. But today a muse­um is opened here, which every­one can vis­it.

Cathedral of Saint Catherine

sobor st ekaterini

A large num­ber of tourist attrac­tions are con­cen­trat­ed in Old Goa. There are many cathe­drals and church­es that are filled with hun­dreds of pil­grims every year. The cen­ter of reli­gious events is the Cathe­dral of St. Cather­ine. In Asia, this build­ing is con­sid­ered the largest struc­ture. The church is made in strict accor­dance with the canons: there are bells, an altar, and a font.

There is a leg­end asso­ci­at­ed with one of the chapels of the cathe­dral. They say that in the 17th cen­tu­ry there lived a shep­herd who want­ed to make him­self a small wood­en cross. While he was work­ing, Jesus Christ him­self appeared to him. What they talked about — his­to­ry is silent. How­ev­er, since then the shep­herd’s cross began to grow. He was placed in the chapel and put on pub­lic dis­play. Believ­ers say that it still con­tin­ues to grow in size.

Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada

The Agua­do Fortress, which appeared in Goa dur­ing the time of the Por­tuguese invaders, is one of the old­est attrac­tions in the state. The fort is locat­ed on the edge of Can­dolim beach and is quite well pre­served com­pared to oth­er defen­sive struc­tures in India. Until now, there is a prison in which the guilty for­eign­ers are serv­ing their sen­tences.

The fort appeared in Goa in the 17th cen­tu­ry and was paved with red stone. In addi­tion to its main func­tion of pro­tect­ing the city, it also served as a reser­voir of fresh water.

Shri Shantadurga Temple

temple shri

This is a pri­vate com­plex in India, which belongs to the Brah­min com­mu­ni­ty, and among the locals is the most revered shrine. Hin­dus believe that the god­dess Par­vati rein­car­nat­ed sev­er­al times in this tem­ple. Accord­ing to leg­end, a con­flict broke out between Shi­va and Vish­nu, which esca­lat­ed into real hos­til­i­ties. Par­vati was able to rec­on­cile the gods, after which peace reigned in the world. It was in her hon­or that this tem­ple was erect­ed.

Church and Monastery of Saint Augustine

cerkov st augustina

The church has not been active for a long time — it was destroyed 30 years ago. At the same time, with obvi­ous delay, it was includ­ed in the UNESCO list. The cathe­dral dates back to the 16th — ear­ly 17th cen­turies and is believed to have been built by only 12 monks.

The monastery pre­vi­ous­ly had all the attrib­ut­es of the Catholic broth­er­hood here: din­ing rooms, bed­rooms, even hos­pi­tal and guest rooms were equipped. The church had four altars and eight tow­ers. After the expul­sion of the monks in the 19th cen­tu­ry, this place was aban­doned.

Fort Tiracol

Fort Tirakol

The small­est but best pre­served fort in Goa. It is inter­est­ing that it belongs to the state only legal­ly, ter­ri­to­ri­al­ly Tira­col belongs to the neigh­bor­ing one. The fortress is real­ly small in size — you can walk around it in just 5 min­utes. The fate of Tira­col was much more suc­cess­ful than that of oth­er forts that have sur­vived in Goa.

It was built in the 17th cen­tu­ry on a small slope next to the riv­er of the same name. The loca­tion turned out to be extreme­ly suc­cess­ful, because from the obser­va­tion tow­ers every­thing that hap­pened near the coast of the Ara­bi­an Sea was vis­i­ble.

Today, Tira­col has been turned into a fash­ion­able hotel. Here you can see ancient lanterns, chests and even spears. And in the inner court­yard is the church of St. Andrew.

Interesting places

Night market in Arpora

nochni rinok

The mar­ket, which oper­ates only at night from Sat­ur­day to Sun­day, attracts a huge num­ber of vis­i­tors, most of whom are Euro­peans. This is a well-known par­ty place in Goa, where a large num­ber of enter­tain­ment venues are con­cen­trat­ed.

The entire area of ​​the bazaar is divid­ed into three parts: the upper one sells clothes, acces­sories and var­i­ous Indi­an fab­rics. In the cen­ter there are cafes where you can relax, drink wine and oth­er strong drinks. In the low­er mar­ket there are enter­tain­ment bars and restau­rants, fire shows are often held.

Naval Aviation Museum

musei avia

Locat­ed right out­side the Dabolim air­port. The area of ​​the muse­um is vast — a large num­ber of air­lin­ers are locat­ed in its court­yard, many of which were man­u­fac­tured in the last cen­tu­ry.

The muse­um was opened in the late 90s. Then his col­lec­tion con­sist­ed of only 6 exhibits. Today, among the most valu­able air­craft car­ri­ers were: French Alize, Lock­heed Super­con­stel­la­tion, Vam­pire, Sea Hawk, Sea Har­ri­er fight­ers and oth­ers.

Fontaines quarter in Panaji


Fontaines Old Quar­ter is one of the most pop­u­lar in the cap­i­tal. It has become such thanks to its small streets that resem­ble Euro­pean court­yards, as well as the most beau­ti­ful alleys and hous­es paint­ed in dif­fer­ent col­ors.

The quar­ter was found­ed 200 years ago — at a time when Pana­ji was con­sid­ered the cap­i­tal of Goa. At the same time, immi­grants from Por­tu­gal began to active­ly pop­u­late this place, so today it is so rem­i­nis­cent of a Por­tuguese town. The name Fonteynes is trans­lat­ed as “quar­ter of foun­tains”. Indeed, there are many sources that pro­vide local res­i­dents with fresh water.

spice plantations

plantacii spesii

Fra­grant plan­ta­tions where spices grow are a real high­light not only of Goa, but of the whole of India. You should def­i­nite­ly see with your own eyes how vanil­la, cloves, car­damom grow, as well as try local exot­ic dish­es gen­er­ous­ly sea­soned with fra­grant herbs.

The main thing is to be able to stop at one plan­ta­tion, since there are a great many scat­tered through­out the state. Inter­est­ing­ly, in addi­tion to herbs and spices in Goa, you can see how pineap­ples, cashews, coconut and papaya grow.


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