Goa is the the land of beaches, casinos, cuisine and ofcourse, some serious partying! No wonder why many global tourists prefer to call Goa, the "Las Vegas of India". However, there is more to this state than just night clubs and party places. Goa boasts of rich culture and heritage which can be witnessed through its historical monuments. The serene natural beauty is untouched by humans in many parts of the state, making it one of the most picturesque places in India.

In this article, we shall explore the Top 10 Places to Visit in Goa, which includes your not-so-usual suspects!

Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Goa:

Here are some of the best places to visit as part of Goa sight-seeing!

1. Fort Aguada:

If you want to taste a slice of Goa's history, then Fort Aguada is the place for you! Fort Aguada is a seventeenth-century fort that was built by the Portuguese as a defense point to safeguard their territory from the Marathas and the Dutch. It is perched at a high altitude overlooking the Sinquierim beach and was once used as a place to replenish fresh water sources for the European vessels.

Fort Aguada offers breathtaking views of the Arabian sea and is a Monument of National Importance of Goa protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

2. Basilica de Bom Jesus:

Next in line is the Basilica de Bom Jesus, a Roman Catholic church in Goa that is identified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in Old Goa, Basilica holds high importance to Christians, as it contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, who was the co-founder of the Society of Jesus.Even people from other religions make it a point to visit this church to appreciate the ornate murals, baroque style gilded altars and the marble flooring studded with precious stones.

3. Chapora Fort:

Thanks to the Bollywood superhit movie, "Dil Chahtha Hai", a fort that is almost in ruins has turned into a popular tourist destination of Goa. Chapora fort was built in 1717 and was named after the Chapora river on which it stands. History suggests that Portugese and Marathas fought to gain control over this fort, as it worked as a strategic military post.
Tourists flock this place in the evenings to catch a scene view of the Vagator beach next to it. The steep slopes with hints of greenery make it an ideal hangout spot for youngsters.

Also Read: Places To Visit In South India For Couples



4. Church Square:

Church Square is another must-visit spot in Goa that is located in Panjim. It houses a functioning church called Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, originally built in 1541 as a small chapel and later expanded in size by the Portuguese. The symmetrically aligned zigzag stairway painted in a bright white color makes it look picture-perfect.

Church Square is also called Municipal Garden by the locals as it is designed a rectangular part filled with lush greenery where people throng all-day long for relaxation and photography.


5. Shantadurga Temple:

If you thought Goa is associated only with Christianity, you are mistaken! Goa has some of the most beautiful Hindu temples, of which the Shantadurga temple is quite popular. It is said to be around 450 years old where Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Shantadurga or the Goddess of Peace.

The temple is situated about 30 kms from Panaji and the entire complex is on the foothill of lush green mountains. The architectural style is different from other Hindu temples as it has a pyramid-shaped roof with a dome on top and all the pillars and flooring is made of Kashmir marble.


6. Lamgau Caves:

If you are interested to explore some caves, head to Lamgau caves of Bicholim. Located about 25kms from Panaji, Lamgau Caves are a pair of man-made caves cut out of a fragile stone called Laterite. Although the entrance showcases Buddhist style carvings, on the inside of the caves, you can notice Hindu idols of Nandi, the bull along with a Shivaling.

The second cave, larger than the first one was meant to offer shelter for monks during rainy season. The site offers valuable education on our early history and culture, making it one of the must-visit places of Goa.


Also Read: Goa Sightseeing Places


7. Fort Tiracol:

Fort Tiracol is one of the important places in Goa which is located on the northern tip of Tiracol river. The site was originally built in 17th century by Raja of Sawantwadi to shelter navy vessels and armors. In its lifetime, the fort witnessed many battles, wars, defeats and victories, thus playing an important role in our history. It was also the one of the key points from where the Satyagrahis entered Goa to protest against the Portuguese and flew our national flag.

Fort Tiracol offers breathtakingly beautiful views of the Arabian sea from the terrace. Incase you want to stay back and transport yourself to the bygone era, there is a heritage hotel within the fort that provides dining and accommodation.

8. Anjuna Flea Market:

Anjuna Flea Market is a heaven for shopaholics that offers a wide variety of handicrafts, clothing, accessories etc. at dirt-cheap prices. It is a beach-front market that is thronged by foreign tourists and hippies. Mind you, it is not a small area like you think and there is a high chance for you to get lost in this ocean of tiny shops.

Anjuna market is conducted every Wednesday at the Anjuna beach. So, plan your trip well to cover this place!Apart from shopping, you can also enjoy a great party atmosphere here. The market goes on till wee hours of the night, where you can unwind your day with some food, drinks and lively music.


9. Keri Beach:

Also called Querim Beach, Keri beach is one of the best-secluded spots for couples. It is not as as commercial as the other beaches like Baga, Calangute etc. The turquoise waters, the soft white sandy shore and the greenery, offers the best background for your pictures. Keri Beach is an ideal spot for those who want to enjoy some peaceful time with nature and ofcourse, with your loved ones!
If you are in a mood to explore, then you can visit Terekhol fort, an ancient Portuguese fort that take a about 30 minutes from the beach through a ferry ride. The shacks on the beach offers fresh seafood and drinks to chill out for a while!

10. Arvalem Waterfalls:

How can one complete a trip to Goa without visiting its famous waterfalls? While Dudhsagar is undoubtedly the best of them, parents with young children find it hard to go there. The best and safe alternative to such people is Arvalem waterfalls. The low-height and easy access of these waterfalls make it quite popular with tourists.
The best part of Arvalem waterfalls is that, you can combine it with other site-seeing attractions like Lamgau caves. There is also a 13km stretch white-water rafting for adventure seekers.

Also Read: Historical Temples In South India

Those are some of the best places to visit in Goa which are worth a visit! Apart from the template tourist itinerary which covers only famous places, we highly recommend visiting these destinations to make your Goa trip memorable and worth sharing with others!

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