Goa attractions include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, village of Ancestral Goa, Palolem Beach, and Anjuna Beach.
Bom Jesus Basilica (goatourism.gov.in/basilica-of-bom-jesus) is located within Old Goa.
The church contains the remains of St. Francis Xavier, Patron Saint of Goa, who founded, together with St. Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuits (also known as Society of Jesus).
The basilica, a Jesuit church, was built in 1695, and today, it is considered one of the best examples of European Baroque architecture in India.
Highlights in the basilica include its mausoleum, with St. Francis Xavier’s body resting within a silver casket…
…a casket that was donated by Cosimo Medici III, the ancient Grand-Duke of Tuscany.
Old Goa, meanwhile, where the Bom Jesus church is located, was the capital of Goa from 1510-1843, located about 10 km from the modern city of Panjim.
The Old Goan area contains several UNESCO World Heritage list churches and monasteries, including…
- Se Cathedral,
- St Francis of Assisi Church,
- Church of Saint Caetano, and
- Bom Jesus Basilica.
Most of these protected churches and cathedrals are from 16th and 17th century.
A very popular way to visit the Old Goa is to make a day trip from Panaji.
From Panaji Kadambini bus stop, there are very frequent connections to the area, and, as an alternative, you can also participate in a guided tour, organized by Goa Tourism.
Of the Goa attractions, Ancestral Goa (www.ancestralgoa.com) village, located within Loutolim, is a museum theme park, showcasing the historic way of life in the Goa region.
The museum theme park combines life during the colonial period with the ancient Goa lifestyle, and lets you familiarize yourself with…
- Goa traditions,
- the historical way of life in Goa, and
- art of Goa.
The village also includes an arts and crafts shop, from where you can buy unique local handmade crafts, made in the tradition of ancient Goa craftsmen.
Palolem beach, on the other hand, is one of the most beautiful beaches of Goa, located within a region known for its nature and idyllic beaches.
As a beach, Palolem beach is quite small and not very well developed for tourists (in terms of services), which makes it authentic.
There are, however, several restaurants, lodging facilities, and shops within the area.
In addition to enjoying the beach, you can do short cruises with the local boaters, with, for example, the Cotigao Wildlife Reserve a short trip away.
Finally, Anjuna beach is the most famous of Goa beaches.
The beach’s reputation comes from the 1960s, when hippies from around the world started to have parties at the beach.
Since those day, the beach has become a center in Goa for nightlife (and beach parties).
Within the beach, you’ll also find “Paradiso“, the most popular nightclub in Goa. However, you may find more authentic parties at the open-air festivals and beach parties in Anjuna.