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This article contains a list of the 15 best places to visit in North Goa for sightseeing.
North Goa is known for its vivacious and lively beaches, the abundance of wonderful cafes and restaurants as well as the many places to visit in North Goa such as the forts, islands, churches, and other sightseeing places. This handy North Goa guide consists of all the information you need to plan a happening Goa trip.
Best Places to Visit in North Goa for Sightseeing
When it comes to the best places to visit in North Goa, there's no shortage of sightseeing options. From forts to beaches to art centres, churches and interesting neighbourhoods, you'll find it all in North Goa.
1. Chapora Fort
Chapora fort has been made famous by the cult classic Bollywood movie 'Dil Chahta Hai'. As a matter of fact, even today you can see college students enacting the famous shot of the movie here. The fort is located very close to Vagator beach. There's a little bit of climb involved in getting here but the view from the fort is well worth the climb!
2. Aguada Fort
Aguada fort is one of the most impressive Portuguese forts still standing intact in Goa. You can visit this fort on all days of the week from the morning at 9.30 am till 5.30 pm in the evening. This majestic fort also holds a lighthouse and you can see a panoramic view of the Mandovi river, that meets the Arabian sea, from the fort. The fort is located in the Sinquerim area in North Goa and you can combine a visit to Aguada fort with the Sinquerim fort. Read more about Aguada Fort in detail on the official site.
3. Sinquerim Fort
Sinquerim Fort is a fun little place located in Sinquerim, not far from the Aguada Fort. The ruins of the Sinquerim Fort look over the Arabic ocean. During the high tide, waves from the ocean wash up against the fort walls creating water showers. It's a lot of fun just standing there and waiting for the waves to hit you.
4. Reis Magos Fort
Reis Magos is one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Goa. As soon as you enter the fort, you'll be mesmerised with the location, unique architecture and the layout of the fort. In fact, the fort even houses a museum where you'll learn a lot more about its history. Facing Panjim city, overlooking both the Mandovi river as well as the Arabian ocean, the location of the Reis Magos fort is to die for! The timings of Reis Magos fort are from 9.30 am to 5 pm and the fort is closed on Mondays. Read more about the fort on the official website.
Parra has been made famous by the recent Bollywood movie 'Dear Zindagi'. In fact, the road became so famous after the movie came out that the road has even been named as the 'Dear Zindagi road' on google maps. You can type either that or 'Parra chapel' into maps to reach here. This unique spot where there are coconut trees and lush greenery on either side is one of the most popular places to visit in North Goa. Such is the beauty of the Parra road that it is featured on every list of the most instagrammable places in Goa.
Keep in mind though, that this is a road used by locals as well as taxi cabs passing through so don't hold up traffic for photo shoots and don't leave litter on the road.
6. Panjim City
Panjim or Panaji is the capital city of Goa. It's identified by the beautiful river view on one side of the main road and colourful buildings on the other side of the road. Apart from the interesting buildings, the old Latin quarters of Goa, beaches and the street art, You can easily find a whole bunch of things to do in Panjim and spend a whole day just exploring the capital city. Don't miss the famous Panjim Church, Miramar Beach, Dona Paula jetty and a Panjim river cruise while you're in the city.
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What goes on behind the scenes: Before I learnt of the conveniences of having a camera with WiFi, I had a basic Canon DSLR without Bluetooth and WiFi. Now, even though I couldn't connect it to a remote and take pictures of myself, I still had to get the job done. So, I'd set-up the camera on continuous mode, keep a countdown timer of 10 seconds and run in front of the camera. Look at my serious expression in this picture then imagine me frantically running away from my camera to stand here and strike a pose. When I look at the picture, I see myself running around in the Goan heat to get this shot. It's an entertaining sight for passersby, that's for sure. ?
Fontainhas, the old Latin quarter of Goa has gained much popularity over the past couple of years. For one thing, the many colourful houses and graphic staircases are quite appealing photo-worthy spots. You can see quite a few youngsters, couples and photographers shooting here all day. Secondly, the rich history of Fontainhas has inspired many Fontainhas heritage walk tours. You can easily book a Fontainhas walking tour or bicycle tour to learn more about the history of this neighbourhood. Alternatively, you can even take a self-guided tour by following my article on Fontainhas - the old Latin quarter of Goa.
8. Old Goa
While you are in the vicinity of Panaji city, take a day trip from Panjim to Old Goa. Here, visit the very famous Old Goa church and one of the many offbeat places to visit in Old Goa such as Se Cathedral, St Cajetan church, St Augustine tower etc. Spare at least half a day to explore all the Old Goa attractions properly. You can even have lunch at a local riverside restaurant called Gene Garden which is near the Ribandar ferry point. Additionally, take the ferry from here to the picturesque laid-back Divar island.
9. Divar Island
When we talk about the best places to visit in North Goa or the popular sightseeing places in North Goa, it's hard not to ignore the offbeat Divar island. This island is located near Panjim city and can be reached by taking a ferry. The ferry point is located in Ribandar which is between Panjim and Old Goa. This island is one of the many offbeat things to do in Goa. Here you'll find a sleepy village, endless greenery, hilltop chapels and such authentic Goan beauty all around!
If you've covered the places to visit in North Goa and are just looking to chill out in a tranquil, almost divine spot, then this is the place for you. Saligao is a beautiful place in the heart of all the North Goa sightseeing places. This particular road, pictured above, in Saligao, is surrounded by open fields and decorated with lamp posts and benches to enjoy the views. Come here to escape the crowds in North Goa.
11. Mae de Deus Church
The Mae de Deus or Mother of Goa church is located in the idyllic area of Saligao in North Goa. This impressive church is an exemplary example of the Neo-Gothic style of architecture. While there are timings for visiting the inside of the church, you can walk around the outside premises at any time provided you're respectful and not too noisy.
12. Museum of Goa
A visit to popular places in North Goa is incomplete without a visit to the Museum of Goa. The museum was founded by the popular Goan artist Mr Subodh Kerkar in the year 2015. The museum houses pieces of contemporary art, a gift shop, a popular outdoor art installation and even a cafe. You can drop-by here while visiting some of the other places nearby such as Saligao and the Mae de Deus Church.
13. Vagator Hilltop
Coming to the North Goa beaches, Vagator is one of the popular beaches here. Known for the epic cliffside views, Vagator is a popular spot to spend the day bathing in the river, dining at some nearby restaurants such as Olive Goa or shopping for souvenirs. There are even quite a few street food stalls in this clifftop area and a few benches to relax and enjoy the view. Additionally, a lot of the rave parties in Goa are held in Vagator, if you're into all that.
No visit to the North Goa sightseeing places is complete without heading to Anjuna. Anjuna is an area which has some extremely popular cafes, amazing restaurants, nightclubs, a beach with water sports and a rocky beach section. Not only that, but you can also get killer sunset views at Anjuna beach. Just head to the famous restaurant Purple Martini to enhance your sunset experience.
15. Siolim Riverside Chapel
Lastly, coming to some of the other offbeat things to do in North Goa, why not visit a quiet riverside chapel where you'll hardly meet another soul?! The Siolim riverside chapel is one of the most beautiful places I've visited in North Goa and so it was hard not to include it in my North Goa guide. Combine a visit to this chapel if you visit the popular Thalassa restaurant which is now located in Siolim itself. The drive here takes you through small villages, unbelievable riverside views and lots of coconut trees.
North Goa Beaches
The North Goa beaches are always happening. You'll find a plethora of souvenir shops, beach shacks, party music, clubs and happy faces. Coming to the popular beaches in North Goa, Calangute beach and Baga beach are favourite ones among tourists. even Anjuna beach and Vagator beach count among the popular beaches in North Goa. If you want a more hippie crowd rather than a touristy crowd, head far north to Arambol beach, Ashwem beach and Morjim beach.
Restaurants in North Goa
You can find some of the most famous restaurants in Goa located in North Goa. The North Goa restaurants range from beach clubs to beachside upscale to riverside romantic restaurants and trendy cafes. There's something here for everyone. In fact, there are so many popular restaurants in North Goa that I combined a list of the best restaurants in North Goa exclusively for you.
Where to Stay in North Goa
There are innumerable hostels and hotels in North Goa. Take a look at some popular picks of hotels in North Goa:
Luxury hotels in North Goa
The infinity pool at Doubletree by Hilton, Panaji, Goa
You can find plenty of luxury hotels in North Goa at various price ranges and unique locations. Some of the popular hotels in North Goa include Doubletree by Hilton, Grand Hyatt, Cidade de Goa, Novotel Goa and of course, there are many more.
Resorts in North Goa
Marbela Beach Resort
Some of the best resorts in Goa are located in North Goa itself. Some of the popular resorts in North Goa include Marbela beach resort, Aria beach resort, Riva beach resort and lots more.
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