As a popular tourist destination well-known on the world map, Goa is one of the most visited places in India. It offers a mix of pristine beaches and golden hues, ancient temples, and impressive architecture. It is also known for its food that’s not just delicious but also nutritious – with lots of veggies and proteins! You will get some good hotels there as well. This list of Top places to visit in Goa will surely put you on the road to discovering a new side to this beautiful land. Also, make sure to book your room in Goa hotels for added experience
1) Church Of Our Lady Of Virtues: This 17th-century church stands majestically on Peddar Road in Old Goa. Originally built by the Portuguese, it is one of the most beautiful churches in the country built in a combination of European and Indian architectural styles. Its interior consists of 362 carved wooden columns and depicts themes like ‘Ecstasy’, ‘Fertility’, and ‘Striking a Nerve’.
2) Fatima Ghat: Built by the Portuguese in 1510, Fatima Ghat is one of the oldest ghat (step-well) in Goa. The steps are made out of river pebbles that help provide an easy access to wells and water. Also known as Kalyanghat, it’s an important landmark in Old Goa highlighting how old this city/town is. It is also said that it was built in the same year when Portugal first came to India.
3) Fontainhas: The south eastern residential area of Panjim, Fontainhas has houses of traditional Portuguese architecture. It is a vibrant neighbourhood, filled with old colonial buildings, narrow lanes, and cool cafes. Wander around the nooks and crannies and discover little gems such as ‘Rua De Ourem’ where the Goan community holds fiestas during the Lent season or ‘Rua Das Flores’ which is popular for its hand-painted Portuguese tiles on houses.
4) Basilica Of Bom Jesus: Located in Old Goa, this church (also known as the ‘Church of Fr. Francis Xavier’) is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Goa. It attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to pay their respects to the remains of St. Francis Xavier and his fellow missionaries who are laid to rest here. The highlight of this church is its rich collection of beautiful Portuguese-era paintings, silver altars, and valuable antique furniture.
5) Galib Nawaz’s Masjid: A beautiful mosque built by a rich Muslim Merchant in 1570 stands tall in Old Goa. This mosque is famous for its intricate carvings and arches. The tomb of the merchant Galib Nawaz lies inside the mosque and can be visited.
6) Goa State Museum: Located at Patto, Panjim, Goa State Museum houses artef acts dating back to 30,000 BC. It also features information regarding the Konkani language and architecture of the Indo-Portuguese period. There are many goa hotels near this place so, book one.
7) Shanta Durga Temple: This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga and it is located in the village Shanta in Bardez taluka. It was originally built by the Portuguese and was later restored by the Maharajas of Goa. The temple has pillars, arches, and walls made of marble.
8) St. Francis Church: Filled with special features such as carved wooden ceilings, stained glass windows, and statues, this church is one of the best examples of Portuguese architecture in Asia. It is also one of the oldest churches in Goa and houses a painting that depicts Jesus being nailed to the cross.
9) St. Sebastian’s Church: Built by Franciscan Missionaries in AD 1586, this church is popularly known as ‘Pousada de Sao Sebastião’ or “St. Sebastian’s Guest House”. It has beautiful art deco statues and is also one of the oldest churches in Goa. It is located in Panjim at the corner of Rego Road.
10) St. Francis Church: Located in Old Goa, this church is considered to be the first church built by the Portuguese and is now a heritage monument under the State Department of Tourism, Goa. The highlight of this church is its beautifully-carved wooden ceiling and paintings featuring scenes from Bible such as ‘The Good Samaritan’ and ‘Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha’.
11) Holy Rosary Church: A beautiful cathedral located in Bambolim, South Goa. It was built in the 16th century under the supervision of Italian architects as a Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is also one of the oldest churches in Goa. In fact, it was here that a Bible written in 1535 by Fr. Manuel Dias was first introduced from Portugal to India by the Saint Francis Xavier.
12) Our Lady of Salambagiri Church: Built-in AD 1475, this church is home to a statue of St. Peter and St. Paul along with other early Christian figures including a bishop and people holding palm leaves over their heads – which was probably meant as a symbol of victory over Muslims who used to capture Christians (called as Salambagiri) from here and take them to Arabia. The church also contains a manuscript that mentions other churches built by Portuguese in India, including the Cathedral of Goa.
13) Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church: This beautiful church was built in 1563 and houses rich wood carvings and paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus. The frieze under the bell tower has depictions of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and carrying a cross on his shoulder. Every year, this church hosts a ‘Festa Junina’, an annual festival in honor of Our Lady of Imaculate Conception who is believed to be the patron saint of the city.
14) St. Paul’s Church: This church is located in Panjim and was built by the Portuguese in 1541. It houses a rare collection of paintings that were produced by the renowned artist Francisco de Pacheco.
15) St. Augustine Church: Located in the capital city Panjim, this church is one of the most important monuments in Goa today. It was built in AD 1510 and has beautiful paintings inside it depicting scenes from Bible such as ‘The Last Supper’.
16) Basilica Of Bom Jesus: One of the most visited churches in Goa, it attracts tourists from all over to pay their respects to the remains of St. Francis Xavier, who is laid to rest here. The highlight of this church is its rich collection of beautiful Portuguese-era paintings, silver altars, and valuable antique furniture. The other special features include marble floors, golden altars, and a museum featuring artifacts related to the saint.
Located in the village Cortalim, about 62km from Panjim, this fort was built in 1548 by the rulers of Salcete. It is an important landmark for tourists today because it shows how significant this village was during the days of Portuguese rule in Goa. This fort represents the architectural style of Portuguese-era Goa as it has large colonial windows, spacious courtyards and offers a magnificent view of the Mandovi river.