Featuring a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese cultural influences, Goa is a tiny state that hugs the Arabian Sea in India’s west. It boasts beautiful beaches, crumbling colonial architecture and exotic spice plantations that combine to make it one of the county’s most popular tourist destinations.
Things to do in Goa
Whether you want to discover the Portuguese history of Fontainhas or immerse yourself in the state’s natural wonders, there’s a reason why travellers return to Goa again and again.
Visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Goa is dotted with ornate churches dating from its years as a Portuguese colony, with one of the most impressive being the UNESCO-listed Basilica of Bom Jesus. Marvel at its Baroque exterior before stepping inside to see its elaborately carved statues and browse the art gallery where late-20th-century works are exhibited.
Photograph the Dudhsagar Falls. Translating as “sea of milk”, Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered cascade that tumbles 310 metres within the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. It’s at its most impressive during the monsoon season and is traversed by a railway bridge that makes for some spectacular photos when trains pass by.
Explore the colonial streets of Fontainhas. Clustered with Portuguese-style villas dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, Fontainhas is a UNESCO-listed quarter in Panjim. Stroll through its narrow, cobblestone streets to admire the colourfully-painted houses and visit the 19th-century Chapel of Saint Sebastian.
Kick back on the beaches. With a long stretch of Arabian Sea coastline, Goa features plenty of beaches where you can swim or get active with a variety of water sports. Head to the popular sands of Palolem and Baga, spot olive ridley sea turtles nesting at Morjim or escape to the laid-back fishing village of Agonda.
Goa International Airport in Dabolim is the main gateway to Goa while trains connect to destinations across India from Madgaon and Thivim railway stations. Buses are the main means of getting around the state, with both motorbikes and cars available to rent.