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Best things to do in Goa

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Where in the world: Asia  /  India  /  Goa
Many tourists come to this former Portuguese colony to enjoy its clean beaches. You will be able to find a secluded spot for relaxation on the most frequented strips of pristine white sand, such as Agonda Beach, or party from sunset to sunrise at an old hippy haunt, Vagator Beach. If you get tired of swimming and sunbathing, you'll find many things to do in Goa away from sand and water. You could spend your entire Goa vacation exploring the region's historical sites. Old Portuguese fortresses, like Fort Aguada and Chapora Fort, provide a greater understanding of local history, while at the same time awarding travelers with spectacular views.

Goa is best known for its Beaches, Architectural Buildings, and Nightlife.

Top 15 things to do in Goa

1. Agonda Beach, Agonda

Enjoy the vast strips of pristine white sand, along with a beachside candle-lit dinner, at Agonda Beach. Easy on the eye, the large, clean beach features characteristic rock formations poking out of the deep blue water. This doesn’t mean you’ll encounter hordes of tourists; on the contrary, it’s easy to find a secluded spot for some peace and quiet. Rows of bars and cottages line the coast, with restaurants even setting up tables on the beach during the evening for that additional romantic touch.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Baga Beach, Baga

Lounge on the white sands of Baga Beach, a scenic Goa beach lined with palm trees and numerous shacks offering drinks, souvenirs, and water sports equipment. A popular hangout spot for locals, the beach can get crowded, especially during holidays. Head to the north end of the beach to where the Baga creek flows into the sea, rent a banana boat, or try your hand at parasailing. An array of bars and restaurants provide refreshments and entertainment, with the lively, laid-back atmosphere of the beach continuing into the night.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Palolem Beach, Canacona

Rest and relax on Palolem Beach, a scenic Goa beach fringed with coconut palms. The crescent-shaped sandy stretch was featured in the movie “The Bourne Supremacy” as Jason Bourne’s home in Goa. Beach huts line the shore, providing accommodation to tourists and local fishermen, while many restaurants offer refreshing drinks and seafood dishes. Go for a swim, indulge in an invigorating massage, or sunbathe and take in the peaceful atmosphere.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa Velha

A World Heritage Site, Basilica of Bom Jesus serves as the final resting place for widely revered Saint Francis Xavier. Consecrated in 1605, the church and its grand mausoleum housing the canonized Roman Catholic missionary are considered a landmark in Christian architecture. As you approach India's first minor basilica you will be struck by the simplicity of its Jesuit Baroque architecture, looming over the historic streets of Old Goa. Inside, an ornate gilded altarpiece greats you with a warm glow, to the right of which the mortal body of the saint lies, enshrined in the church since 1622.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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5. Calangute Beach, Calangute

At Calangute Beach, rest on a warm, sandy shoreline which shelters a small fishing town. Besides swimming, you can surf, paraglide, or parasail. Well-connected routes enable tourists to reach the beach either via taxi, state buses, or train. Explore the tropical ambience by hiring two-wheelers or rickshaws. If art and culture interest you, visit the local galleries where you can learn about this region's history and religious heritage. Be aware that during monsoon season (June through September), swimming is prohibited.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Sheek Emporium - Armanii Boutique Since 1950, Candolim

Shop for quality clothing at Sheek Emporium - Armanii Boutique Since 1950, specializing in formal wear and wedding attire. Visit tailor Sartaj Ahmad to order your dream wedding dress or tuxedo, get a bespoke suit, or pick out the perfect fabric and color for a garment of your choice--from jeans and T-shirts to elaborate ball gowns. The store also sells custom-made jewelry, with numerous precious and semi-precious stones to choose from.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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7. Varca Beach, Varca

Offering soft white sands and a feeling of solitude in a calm coastal environment, Varca Beach features rows of wooden fishing boats belonging to the local Christian community. Watch dolphins or go on boat trips up the River Sal, or treat your taste buds to some Goan cuisine, known for a variety of seafood delicacies. To add a bit of culture to your visit, drop by the nearby church, one of the oldest buildings in town.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Candolim Beach, Bardez

At Candolim Beach, put your mind and body to rest and taste some of the best seafood in the region. Besides going for a swim, you can also try other water sport activities like water skiing or parasailing. Or, visit the stranded ship that became a tourist attraction after it got stuck on shore in 2000. When you arrive at this piece of coastline, check out the surrounding restaurants and cafes which serve all sorts of dishes and drinks. The beach offers many comfortable accommodation choices, just make sure to schedule your room early--especially during high season--because it can get crowded.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Benaulim Beach, Benaulim

At Benaulim Beach, experience a quiet marine ambience suited for recreation and leisure. Go on dolphin spotting boat rides offered by the fishermen or attend live music performances on the beach. If you want a break from the sun, head to the beach in the evenings, as there is no shade here. The town offers bike, scooter, or car rental. If you want to try local food and purchase quality spices, visit the bustling market nearby.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Cavelossim Beach, Cavelossim

A meandering stretch of snow-white sand lies in stark contrast to the deep black lava rocks at Cavelossim Beach. Remote enough for serenity yet developed enough for comfort, the beach sits in between the Arabian Sea and the Sal River. Take your pick of beachside activities, from dolphin watching tours to water sports. A selection of beach shacks serving up freshly cooked sea food is sure to tempt you, while the scattering of beach bars offer welcome refreshments.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Arambol Beach, Arambol

At Arambol Beach, you can experience the hippy atmosphere that has made this spot popular since the 1960s. Today, the beach appeals to international tourists with a knack for the bohemian. Besides enjoying the sea, you can explore the surrounding scenery that includes a jungle valley, half-salty half-freshwater lake, and a pilgrimage destination called Money Stone. Local markets ensure nobody goes hungry here, while waterfront cafes keep everyone properly hydrated. Once you get accustomed to the overall vibe, consider attending a psytrance or reggae party, or take a yoga class or a few art lessons.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Old Goa, Goa Velha

Experience the history of the once-Portuguese colony that rivaled European capitals with its splendor and wealth at Old Goa, a World Heritage Site. The city steadily grew long before the Portuguese arrived in 1510, but after the conquest, the port city simply bloomed. Visit the Se Cathedral, the largest church in Asia, which took 80 years to complete. The ancient market sites here represent that area where traders once came from China, Arabia, and Africa to trade in silk, spices, and incense. Walk through Rua Direita where shops and palatial villas once decorated the main avenue.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. Colva Beach, Colva

Lined with leafy coconut palms and beach shacks, Colva Beach offers white powdery sand lapped by waves ideal for a range of water sports. To escape the crowds often congregating near the beach's entrance, head north or south and discover a more serene setting in which to catch some sun. A bustling selection of nearby restaurants and street vendors serve up tasty seafood and coconut curries.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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15. Anjuna Beach, Bardez

Lapped by foamy waves and sheltered by tall palm trees, Anjuna Beach is mostly famous for its full-moon parties with trance music. The '60s hippies were the first to discover this spot and organize rave parties, which became a trademark of the area. Ideal for swimming, the southern end of the beach features a rocky promontory that keeps the sea waves calm. The north section of the beach offers a range of small cafes, bars, and stalls selling Kashmiri handicrafts. Note that many, mostly harmless stray dogs travel in packs along this stretch of the coastline.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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