Best Things To Do In Goa, India: Paradise On Earth

things to do in goa india

Goa is the region associated most with touristy beaches which have a happening nightlife and over 300-year old Portuguese architecture. In India, Goa is the first place that comes to mind when someone says beach vacation. It is also found on almost everyone’s bucket list. But this is not a place to just visit and strike off the list, once you visit Goa, you will be urged to go again and again. It becomes a tradition.

1. Baga Beach

Baga Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ashwin Kumar used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Baga Beach is named after the ‘Baga creek’ which flows into the Arabian sea. It is one of the most famous beaches of Goa and is a tourist hotspot. It is popular for its nightlife and some very famous clubs such as Brittos, Titos and Mambos. There is also a range of water sports that you can try your hands at.

Baga Beach

Address: Baga, Goa 403519

2. Calangute Beach

calangute beach
Source: Photo by user abcdz2000 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is the largest beach in North Goa and is known as the ‘Queen of beaches’. It is one of the busiest and the most commercialized beaches of Goa. Located between Candolim and Baga Beach, it is a hub for tourists and backpackers from all over the world. The sound of pop beats and rock music in the air elevates the festive mood.

Calangute Beach

Address: Calangute Beach, Goa 403519

3. Anjuna Beach

anjuna beach,Goa
Source: Photo by user Roshan Sam used under CC BY-ND 2.0

It is an unparalleled natural beauty with glowing soft white sand and swaying palms. The full moon beach parties are what attracts crowds the most. The key feature of the beach is the remarkable rock formation nestled over an inlay of white sand, jutting out into the sea. The area was popularly known as the jewel of Anjuna or ‘Ozran’. The place is a favorite spot among hippies.

Anjuna Beach

Address: North Goa District, Bardez 403 509, India

4. Basilica of Bom Jesus Church

Basilica of Bom Jesus, old goa
Source: Photo by user P.S.SUJAY used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This historic church is located in Goa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier. Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade. The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. This church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is over 408 years old and is open to the public every day.

Basilica of Bom Jesus Church

Address: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim, Goa 403402

Website: Basilica of Bom Jesus Church

5. Dona Paula

Dona Paula, Goa
Source: Photo by user Binobose used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Dona Paula is a former village and now a tourist destination. It is a center for National Institute of Oceanography. This location a home for top industrialists and politicians of Goa and hence is the most expensive residential area. It also has the most number of hotels in Goa. It stretches into a crowded place during the high season and is a quiet place during monsoons.

Dona Paula

Address: Dona Paula, Goa

Website: Dona Paula

6. Se Cathedral

Se’ Cathedral, Goa
Source: Photo by user Abhiomkar used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is one of the largest churches in the whole of Asia. Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to be constructed. It was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers in the city. The church has a huge Golden Bell which can apparently be heard all over Goa! The church consists of 14 altars, each one beautifully and intricately carved.

Se Cathedral

Address: Velha, Goa 403402

Website: Se Cathedral

7. Fort Aguada

Fort aguada
Source: Photo by user Nanasur used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This fort and its lighthouse is a 17th-century Portuguese Fort which stands till date on Sinquerim Beach, Goa. It was built in 1612 to provide protection from enemies. It is the most priced and crucial fort for Portuguese, it was also used as prison. It is named after the fresh water spring which provided portable water to the shipmen who stopped near the fort. Hence, it gets its name from ‘Agua,’ a Portuguese word meaning water and 'Aguada’ meaning the place where water is collected. It is so strongly and firmly built that it has never fallen into the hands of enemies and exemplifies the Portuguese architecture in the best ways.

Fort Aguada

Address: Fort Aguada Road, Candolim, Goa 403515

Website: Fort Aguada

8. Dolphin Cruise

Watch the dolphins swim
Source: Pixabay

The dolphins are a way better sight in reality than on Animal Planet! A dolphin cruise in Goa is therefore exciting for the old and the young. Dolphins pepping out of the sea around your boat in a graceful motion is best savored by eye and saved on camera, ideal for a peaceful picnic.

Dolphin Cruise

Website: Dolphin Cruise

9. Scuba diving

Sea Garden of BUNAKEN
Source: Photo by user Asep.saefulloh used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Goa is one of the few places in India offering scuba diving. Diving in Goa is not the best owing to limited underwater visibility, but it is still popular among tourists. The water life and the variety of creatures you get to see are quite amazing. Multiple beaches offer diving facilities, Atlantis Watersports is one of the companies that organizes scuba diving trips.

Scuba diving

Website: Scuba diving

10. City shopping

Anjuna Flea Market, India
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alexey Komarov used under CC BY 2.0

Goa is perfect for shopaholics. It has such funky and beachy stuff which will surely be a threat to your pockets. There are many shopping malls in Goa but the best shopping is done from the stalls near the beaches. The Mapusa Market, Anjuna Flea Market, Calangute Market Square and many other markets serve as the shopping spots in Goa. Night bazaars at different places like Anjuna Beach are also organized. The market at Dona Paula is another famous shopping spot.

Anjuna Flea Market

Address: 10, St. Michael’s Vaddo, South Anjuna, Anjuna, Goa 403509

Website: Anjuna Flea Market

Get the antidote for your Goa flu!

There is not a single person who doesn’t want to visit. The greens and wildlife of Goa make it an ideal hotspot for any person. If you are a food adventurer, you may want to visit the gorgeous spice gardens and try a glassful of cashew feni. Goa provides a respite, not just for the tourists with an appointment with nature, it is also the place for crazy parties and a vivacious nightlife. It is the ultimate tourist destination of India. Go ahead and visit Goa, I’m sure it will become your yearly tradition.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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She has a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and travelling is her passion. She runs a Lifestyle website called Life Simplified 101 which you can check out in the link above. She finds writing...Read more

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