12 Best places to visit in Goa for first timers

Goa is one of the hottest travel destinations of not just India but the whole world. It has something or the other for every kind of traveler.

Read this article to find the best places to visit in Goa

A brief history of Goa

Goa holds so many secrets in its bosom. Beaches and shacks are not the only places to visit in Goa, there are many other destinations also.

Historians say that people have lived in Goa for more than thousand years. In Indian mythology, Goa was the place where Lord Parashuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, made his home.

In the medieval age, this place was eagerly contested between the Marathas and the Mughals. The Portuguese, who arrived in Goa in the 17th century, stamped their presence here in an indelible way and their influence can still be seen in the various tourist places in Goa.

Which are the best places to visit in Goa?

Some of the most famous places in Goa are obviously the beaches -Calanagute, Panjim, Candolim , etc. But we will talk more on the lesser known destinations in this article so that the traveler to Goa is armed with more meaningful and valuable information.

  1. Fort Aguada– We would recommend Aguada in Goa on your itinerary and we will tell you why.

Located in North Goa, this fort was used by the Portuguese as a defensive building against the Dutch and the Marathas. The main centre of attraction of this tourist attraction in Goa is its 18 meter tall lighthouse.

2. Deltin Royale Casino – Gambling on your mind? Then, maybe you can check out this casino which is housed in a cruise ship. The Deltin Royale Casino is one of the very few tourist places in Goa where you can have unbridled fun. This place is closed on national holidays. 2,

3. Chapora Fort– Our Hindi movies show many famous places in Goa and the Chapora fort is one of them. This fort was featured in the Amir Khan- Akshay  Khanna starrer, Dil Chahta Hai. The laterite walls of this fort are now ruined but this castle sure gives some brilliant views of the Goa coastline.

4. Pandava caves – One of the lesser known places to visit in Goa are the Pandava caves which are roughly 9 kilometers south of Bicholim. These are 5 in number and there is a Shiva temple in the centre of this complex. For people new to India, Pandavas are the central characters in an Indian epic, Mahabharat.

Pandava Caves in Goa. PC- EXPAT-VISA.COM
Pandava caves in Goa


5. Arvalem Waterfall- Another tourist attraction in Goa is the Arvalem waterfall which is just next to the Pandava caves.  This waterfall is 50 meters high and is a treat to watch

6. Seek salvation at the Mangeshi temple– The Mangeshi temple in the Ponda region is one of the most interesting places to see in Goa. This is a 450 year old seven-storied temple and all the seven levels of this religious place have alcoves for lamps.  Goa is known for not just the Portuguese buildings, but is also well known for many ornate temples and forts. The Mangeshi temple is one of them.

Look no further than this article to explore Goa

7. Dudhsagar Falls- Located 46 kilometers from the Madgaon station, the Dudhsagar Falls are a 4 storied structure and here you can see nature in all its wild beauty. These falls can be seen only from within the trains that cross these falls. There is no permanent viewing platform for these falls so the trains slow down to let the passengers watch the spectacle. If the government develops this area , then the Dudhsagar Falls can become one of the best places to visit in Goa.

8. Ashwem beach–  If you are looking out some me –time at a beach that is not crowded then we recommend you to visit the Ashwem beach in North Goa. It is 27 kilometers from the Anjuna beach  and is less crowded, is clean and well maintained. We consider this beach to be one of the best places to visit in Goa.

9.Arossim beach– This beach like the Ashwem beach is also one of the better places to visit in Goa. It has palms swaying in the breeze, a glorious beach and dazzling white sands. There are two shacks available for tourists here and mostly the offbeat travelers get a place to stay at this beach.

10.Naval Aviation Museum– One of the lesser known places to see in Goa is this museum which houses several naval armaments, helicopters, planes and other objects related to naval warfare.  Goa is a coastal state, and there is a strong presence of the Indian Navy in this state. The objective behind the setting up of this museum is to introduce the tourists and other travelers to the glorious traditions of our Indian Navy. The Naval Museum sure is an important tourist attraction in Goa.

Goa is not just sun, sand and beaches, it is much more

11.Mollem National Park– For wildlife lovers, the Mollem National Park is one of the best places to visit in Goa.  This Park is situated in the eastern part of Goa towards the Goa-Karnataka border. You must have a car or a jeep to reach this breathtaking place.

12. Fontainhas – One of the not so famous places in Goa are is the Fontainhas. Have you been to the Mediterranean lands of Europe? If yes, then Fontainhas will remind you of those lands. Narrow lanes, bright colored houses with projecting balconies and red tile roofs impart a very Mediterranean look to this quaint place. You can book a Heritage Walk through the bye-lanes of Fontainhas to get an insight into the history and architecture of this place.

There are a few other places to see in Goa like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Arpora Night Market, Reis Margos Fort and the Tito’s.

How to reach Goa– Travelers to Goa can either book a flight or take a train. The only international airport in Goa is at Dabolim which is 29 kilometers from Panaji.


  1. Book your train here- www.irctc.co.in
  2. .Goa Tourism Development Corporation-

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