Goa is a largely loved tourist destination in India. From beautiful beaches to pristine forests and occasional cliffs of the Western Ghats, Goa has a lot to offer to its guests. There are ample spots in Goa that can provide you the best holidaying experience. However, to select the best one from all the tourist attractions that this state has to offer is a hard call since they are immense and each has a unique charm of its own. However, we have sketched a guide that you can follow on your tour to cover the prime locations if you have less time in hand. But before we proceed, book a room from the several hotels in Goa and resorts situated along the coastline or if you are looking for something rustic and old-world, then plan your stay at the numerous beach shacks which also provide good lodging facilities. Coming to the major tourist attractions that we were talking about, here is a guide that you can follow.
The Bom Basilica
This is one of the oldest existing structures situated in Old Goa. Carved beautifully in the Baroque style of architecture, you cannot afford to miss this out. The Basilica has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and the name translates to ‘Holy Jesus’. Although the structure is around 300 years old, the bricks and parts of it are still in a good condition. The triangular ceiling is faintly carved with alphabets of I, H and S which form the acronym for the Jesuit belief of Jesus Christ being the Saviour of Men. The flooring has been done with mosaic marbles embedded with precious stones. However, the glitz is comparatively subtle and overall, a soothing one. Above all, the sacred images within the Hall is the Holy Trinity of Christianity. The Church remains open on all days and dresses up beautifully on the occasion of Christmas.
Se Cathedral is a breathtaking church in Goa. With its pearl white exteriors and intricate architecture, it is an iconic structure located in Panjim. Since parking is prohibited here, you need to walk along the streets to reach the Cathedral. However, walking this path will not leave you disappointed as the roads are lined with beautiful Konkani houses and shops. If you are a foodie and want to savour something sweet, then these roads also have a few local bakeries which you can try out. Se Cathedral is a beautiful church from the outside but is more beautiful from within. The intricate glass paintings depict the various phases and stories from the Bible. The Holy Cross at the centre of the Hall is surrounded by candles and hymn books. Besides, there are also quite a few stalls outside the Se Cathedral selling trinkets, pieces of jewellery and other accessories for the visitors.
Reis Magos Fort
This fort has been standing in its place since the existence of the famous Aguada Fort. A visit to Old Goa near Baranguin is simply incomplete without a halt at the Reis Magos Fort. Since it has yet not earned its grandeur and name as a popular tourist spot, the place does not have unnecessary chaos. The Fort has undergone several layers of renovation and stands erect and strong, overlooking the locality of Bardez. If you are looking for a place with the utmost tranquillity and peace, Reig Majos should be your first choice. The red walls made of stone are visible from the other side of the beautiful Mandovi River. It is said that during the rule of the Portuguese East India Company, this fort had been in use as a prison for potential enemies and war prisoners. Some of its cells and cubicles are still intact while the panopticon stands with its notorious glory. If you come to visit here, you will feel more satisfied than you are expecting from this place.
This is undoubtedly the most favourite among tourists from all spheres of life. Calangute, also regarded as the Queen of the beaches in Goa, is located in the northern part of the state. The shore is filled with peppy beach shacks, snack kiosks and juice counters. If you are an adventure lover and unafraid of trying various sports, then Calangute will not leave you disappointed. Several private organisations conduct the activities of parasailing, surfing, speed boating and children’s favourite, the dolphin trips. These trips are conducted on special jetties and boats and they take you to a zone from where you can have a view of jovial dolphins popping up and disappearing in the waters. It is a marvellous sight to behold and therefore, this beach has seamlessly entered into the list of the best tourist attractions in Goa.
A trip to Goa is simply incomplete without a visit to the oldest existing beach in the state. Colva Beach is the name that comes up for this definition. Located at a distance of 35 kilometres from the state bus stand, this beach is filled with nightclubs, karaoke bars and pubs. Due to its distance from the city centre, you may not find a crowd like that of Calangute in here. But as the night sets in, so does the crowd and the nightclubs become active and radiate their glitz. Some hotels in Goa are located close to this place. The Margao Railway Station lies at a distance of 8 km from Colva Beach.
In order to make your travel safe, affordable and comfortable, we recommend you to use zingbus – bus ticket booking service for the best travel experience.
Thus, these are some of the best tourist attractions to visit in Goa. However, the state is not limited to just these gems and upon a little more research, you will find many other places to visit for the best vacation of your lifetime.