Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan. It is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth-smallest by population. Goa is divided mainly into two parts, North Goa and South Goa. There are many places to visit in Goa which includes famous beaches, churches, and many old structures. Goa tourism is famous all over the world
In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattana, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak. Other historical names for Goa are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.
North Goa is especially for group of friends, solo travelers, and party lovers. Here in this blog, we have shortlisted top 10 must-visit places in North Goa.
1. Calangute Beach
Timings: Open 24×7
Calangute Beach is situated at a distance of 14 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 10 km from Mapusa and 41 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, It is the largest in North Goa and visited by thousands of tourists. The peak tourist season here is during Christmas and New Year, and during the summer in May. During the monsoon season, from June through September, the sea can be rough and swimming is prohibited. The beach offers water sport activities like parasailing water skiing etc. Apart from enjoying the beach, you can also visit St. Alex Church and the famous Tinto market in Calangute.
2. Baga Beach
Timings: Open 24×7
Baga Beach is a popular beach situated at a distance of 15 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus stand. It is located at the north end of the contiguous beach stretch that starts from Sinquerim, Candolim, leads to Calangute, and then to Baga. You can sit here and relax while enjoying Goan cuisines at beach shacks. It is the most visited beach of goa after the Calangute Beach.
3. Basilica of Bom Jesus
Timings: Monday to Saturday 09:00 am to 06:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 06:30 pm
The Bom Jesus Basilica, perhaps Goa’s most famous church is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated at a distance of 9 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand and 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, the church is located in Old Goa, which was the capital of Goa in the early days of Portuguese rules. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The construction of the church was started in 1594 and ended in 1605. Bom Jesus means good Jesus or infant Jesus and the church is dedicated to him. It and is more than 400 years old and is open to the public every day.
4. Aguada Fort
Timings: Everyday10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Fort Aguada is a well-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese fort, along with a lighthouse. The Fort was built by the Portuguese colonial rulers at the Sinquerim beach located south of Candolim. It was built in 1612. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name Aguada, meaning Water. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese.
5. Shri Shantadurga Temple
Shri Shantadurga Temple is a Private temple complex belonging to Goud Saraswat Brahmin community It is situated 33 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 34 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 20 km from Margao Railway Station. Shree Shantadurga temple has an impressive idol of Goddess Shree Durga who mediated between Shree Vishnu(Hindu God) and Shree Shiva(Hindu God) and stopped the fierce full war going on between the two.
6. Chorao Island
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary timings: Everyday 06:00 a.m to 06:00 p.m
Chorão is an island along the Mandovi River near Ilhas. It is the largest among the other 17 islands of Goa. It is located 8 kilometers away from Panaji and 10 kilometers away from the city of Mapusa. This island is true to its Sanskrit name meaning ‘Stunning Precious Stone’. It is mainly known for its beautiful bird sanctuary. By visiting Chorao island you can explore a very interesting ancient history of Brahmin and Portuguese colonizers.
7. Grand Island
Grand Island is located 19 kilometers from Panjim true to its name. It is amongst the most offbeat yet adventurous tourist places in Goa. It offers a grand experience to the lovers of watersports as it is home to excellent Scuba Diving sites. Suzy’s Wreck, Shelter Cove and Bounty Bay are some of the Scuba Diving sites around Grand Island.
8. St. Augustine Church
Timings: Monday to Friday 6:30 am – 12:45 pm and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Church of St. Augustine is a ruined church complex located in Old Goa. The church was built on top of the Monte Santo (Holy Hill), between 1597 and 1602 by Augustinian friars. It is part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa. The church had four towers out of which only one remains. The remaining tower is a four-storied structure built of laterite and 46 m in height. Excavations show that the complex had eight chapels, four altars, and a convent.
9. Casino Palms
Timings: Open 24 hours
Palms most famous casinos in Goa where you can try your luck. It is on the Calangute beach in North Goa. You can enjoy games like roulette and other electronic games here. There is also a chic bar and plush lounges inside the casino where you can enjoy the nightlife.
10. Club Tito’s
Timings: Daily 06:00 p.m to 03:00 a.m
Tito’s is a name worth its reputation in Goa. This club is one of the oldest and most renowned bars in Goa. Right on Calangute beach, It has a perfect setting and a great ambiance. The food is good. Live performances add flavor to an already great place. Prices are on the higher side, like everything else in Goa. In the night time, service is rather slow. Music is loud, but that is the case with every place in Goa.