Things to do in Goa

Top things to do in Goa

Goa has an array of beaches, monuments and forts to offers to its guests. Besides the plethora of water activities and adventure sports, there are innumerous things to do in Goa. A hotspot for tourists, it is popular for a whole lot of activities from shopping to diving to trekking and for leisure trips. Among the umpteen things to do in Goa, cruising, clubbing and beach hopping tops the list. The others include visiting the magnificent churches, mesmerizing waterfalls, ancients forts and venturing on to nearby dainty villages. Have a look at the list of things to do in Goa given below.

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Here is the list of 42 Things to do in Goa

1. Water Adventures at Calangute Beach

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Situated 15km from the capital city of Panaji, Calangute Beach is the largest beach in north Goa. The beautiful golden stretch of sand and scintillating water makes it one of the most visited beaches. You can try your hand at the several water adventure sports which is one among the most popular things to do in Goa.

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2. Relax at the Baga Beach

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One of the most popular beaches of Goa, Baga Beach is located close to Calangute beach, around 30 Km North of Panaji. It is named after the 'Baga creek' which flows into the Arabian Sea and is the perfect destination to witness beautiful sunsets and enjoy the cool morning breeze. Lined with an array of tattoo parlours, tarot shops, palmistry shops, spas, sun decks and some amazing food and drinks shack, Baga Beach gives you a chance to live out your perfect beach holiday.

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3. Indulge in Water Sports

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Goa has been the go-to destination for many when it comes to the thrilling adventure of water sports. The open blue skies, clear aquamarine waters, golden sand, the rhythmic fizzy waves, and the several other hundred things to do in Goa have been attracting travellers from all over the country. Much to any traveller's pleasure, Goa is a spot renowned for both- the peace and calm found on its glistening majestic beaches, and the opportunity for thrill and adventure packed in the different activities one can indulge in at the beaches.

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4. Be a Part of the Exciting Cruise Trips

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The exotic beaches of Goa, pristine waters and breathtaking view of sunset and sunrise is best enjoyed through the luring river cruise. Bounded by numerous rivers, the place makes for an exclusive cruising destination. The experience over journey beats all other activities and things to do in Goa. It gives you an opportunity to indulge yourself into enchanting beauty of the place. Several river cruises with guaranteed fun and entertainment are carried through the day depending upon the daytime, sunset and moonlight. Choose your ride and take back with yourself some mesmerising memories of sunrises, sunsets, and glowing sky during the nighttime. If lucky, you might catch some unforgettable glimpse of dancing dolphins too.

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5. Visit the Beautiful Rock Formation at Anjuna Beach

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Known for its unparalleled natural beauty, glowing soft white sand and swaying palms, Anjuna Beach in Goa is a hot spot for tourists, both domestic and foreign. Situated on the west coast of Goa by the Arabian Sea, it is the perfect epitome of stunning natural beauty and is especially famous for its full moon beach parties. Among the best things to do in Goa, the remarkable rock formation in Anjuna nestled over an inlay of white sand, jutting out into the sea, tops the list. The area was popularly known as the jewel of Anjuna or 'Ozran' and became a favourite spot among hippies who first came here in the late 1950s.

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6. Call Shots at the Casinos

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When one thinks of Goa, inevitably the image of golden sandy beaches, delicious food and drinks and lively casinos. Perhaps one of the most pursued activities and first among the things to do in Goa, would be a visit to one of the many casinos here, which provide a once in a lifetime chance to try your luck. Being one of the very few states where gambling is legal, Goa is frequently thronged by local and foreign tourists who are anxious to play their cards right and win some fortune!

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7. Be Swept by the Beauty of Dona Paula

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With energy to it that is contagious, and an aura full of romance; the Dona Paula is one of the most happening beaches in Goa. Located only seven kilometres away from Panaji, and nestled in the southern part of the headland where the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea, the Dona Paula beach also provides a magnificent view of the Mormugao harbour. The place is always bustling with energy and is the ideal spot to relax and sunbathe, thus making its way to the head of the itinerary and among the top things to do in Goa, of every tourist.

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8. Party at the Tito's in Calangute

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Tito's is a brand name when it comes to clubbing in Goa. The club is famous for its commercial and Bollywood music and a huge dance floor. There is also a private party area available with its own bars on the first floor. Make sure to check this of when ticking the best things to do in Goa.

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9. Go all Out at the Flea Markets

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It is absolutely necessary to shop when in Goa or you might be losing on one of the most exciting things to do in Goa. There are several famous flea markets such as Wednesday afternoon Anjuna market and Saturday night market which are great for shopping. You can buy things ranging from special tea to Kashmiri carpets.

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10. Relax at the Palolem Beach

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A stretch of beautifying white sand, Palolem Beach, located in the South Goa is one of the most fabulous beaches the Union Territory has to offer. Goa indeed is a home to beaches giving out the coolest vibes, but this beach is renowned for maintaining its serene atmosphere. Visiting the beach gives you a chance to spend time among the bamboo beach huts and palm trees layed over a sandy stretch of 1.5 km. Moreover, a refreshing dip into the shades of sapphire is something you call an unimaginable and unforgettable experience.

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11. Experience the Thrills of Scuba Diving

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Goa is one of the few places in India offering scuba diving. Therefore, diving in Goa is always on the itinerary or on the list of things to do, of almost every tourist. Goa is a good destination for beginners to explore the delights of the underwater world. Colourful corals, vibrant fishes, spectacular shells and other tropical aquatic beings adorn the marine world. Apart from that, a large number of shipwrecks, merchant ships and World War II wrecks are the hidden treasure trove of the place waiting to be explored. The absence of strong water current with occasional surges adds serenity to the activity making it perfect for the first timers as well as the professionals.

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12. Shop Your Heart Out

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Goa is perfect for shopaholics. Shopping in the hippie beach town is among the top things to do in Goa. It has such funky and beachy stuff which will surely be a threat to your pockets. You will want everything to be onto your shelters in your house. There are many shopping malls in Goa but the best shopping is done from the stalls near the beaches. From hippie clothing to junk jewellery, from best of drinks to the famous wines, from bamboo to terracotta and brassware work, the markets will serve you with everything you want. 

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13. Treat Yourself at Spas and Massages

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In addition to several other activities and exciting things to do in Goa, treating oneself to a spa or a massage is always on the top. Goa is full of spa resorts and Ayurvedic massage centers. Beachside massages are also available at some beaches. Various spas of Goa which are preferred by the tourists from all around the world are Sereno Spa and Leela Kempinski Goa Spa Center.

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14. Behold to Dudhsagar Waterfalls

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For a destination which is known for, identified and dotted by countless beaches, Dudhsagar falls are a pleasant exception. Initiating from the mighty peaks of the western Ghats, one of the five highest waterfalls of the country and amongst the highest 100 in the world, the falls are divided into four tiers in the Mondovi river. This waterfall when looked at from a distance, appears like a heavy stream of milk flowing effortlessly with much pressure from top to down the hill, finally splitting into three streams of water, heading steadily to their ultimate destination, into the deep green sea.

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15. Shake a Leg at Club Cubana, Calangute

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Night Club in the sky, Club Cubana is an amazing place to visit with your friends for having the most memorable night of your life. It is considered as the best spot to enjoy the nightlife in Goa. It is an upmarket club with the coolest DJs playing the coolest music of all times. If you are a great fan of trance, this place is for you. Goa is for music fanatics and most of them will find their homes at Club Cubana.

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16. Explore the Rich History at Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum has a splendid collection of artefacts belonging to prehistoric and late medieval era. The museum was once an ancient Franciscan Monastery. The Archaeological Survey of India founded the museum in 1964 but was recognised only after 1984. One can find an array of antiques including coins, statues, ivory and wood sculptures, paintings, portraits, maps, inscriptions, stonework, ceramics, etc.

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17. Relive your "Dil Chahta Hai" Moment at the Chapora Fort

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Undeniably one of the most famous forts in Goa, the Chapora Fort is the ideal place to be at for nature lovers, Nirvana seekers as well as for lovers of history. Built by the Portuguese in 1617, the fort has a long and fascinating history attached to it. The Chapora Fort is located just 10 kilometres away from Mapusa and overlooks the beautiful Chapora River. In fact, it is this river that gave the fort its name. The fort is now more commonly known as the Dil Chahta Hai Fort since a scene from the blockbuster movie of the same name features the three main leads sitting in the fort and introspecting about life.

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18. Ride on the Elephants

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There are umpteen things to do in Goa and it has a lot to offer to its tourists from exquisite nature to plethora of adventures. One of the other less known things is its wildlife. Elephant safaris are also available at some places and a lot of tourists head to Tropical Spice Plantation for the safari on the biggest mammal on land, the elephant.

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19. River Cruise On Mandovi River

River Cruise on the Mandovi River is an interesting way to explore the river. The cruise options vary from houseboats, sailboats and yachts and can be specifically chosen to watch the Sunset, for a Party/ Dinner, or a Nature Cruise. The sailing route for Mandovi Cruises allows one to explore the Portuguese colonies and Vanxim and Divar and Chorao Islands. The cruises come with an exciting amalgamation of the Goan lifestyle and hospitality to make it a memorable experience for the tourists.

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20. Spiritual Retreat at Basilica of Bom Jesus

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The Basilica of Bom Jesus church is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. Built in the year 1594 and consecrated in 1605, this church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. It holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade. Up until half a century ago, Goa was the capital of Portuguese rule in India and this is part of their heritage. A site with rich cultural and religious significance, the Basilica of Bom Jesus has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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21. Explore Fort Aguada

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The perfect epitome of Portuguese architecture, the remarkable Fort Aguada and its Lighthouse, which braved the ravages of time, is a 17th century Portuguese Fort standing till date on Sinquerim Beach, Goa. Built in 1612 as a protection from Dutch and Marathas, it is the most priced and crucial fort for Portuguese and covers the entire peninsula at the southwestern tip of Bardez. Overlooking the confluence of Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea, the fort fulfilled several purposes for the Portugal army. At present, the scenic beauty, verdant landscapes, mind-boggling views and the historical importance allures tourists from all over the world.

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22. Adventure Sports at Vasco Da Gama

Vasco Da Gama or also known by its shorter version, Vasco is the most populous and the largest city in Goa. Lying by the mouth of the Zuari River, Vasco was found in 1543 and named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama. Most of the city is a cluster of old landscapes of churches and buildings built in Portuguese style architecture with a background modified by new buildings. Due to the presence of many beaches connecting the town, there are several water sports and activities that you can try your hand at.

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23. Silent Parties at Silent Noise

Goa is synonymous with clubbing and nightlife. Among the several clubs and other party places and things to do in Goa, we bring to you a unique opportunity. Silent Noise is a one-of-a-kind party club situated in Canacona in Goa. You are provided with wireless headsets that you can wear and switch to your own taste of music ranging between a number of DJs and sound tracks.

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24. Unwind at Butterfly Beach

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Butterfly beach is a petit beach in south Goa and lies near Palolem Beach (Canacona). It is a small cove surrounded by dense trees and is a beautiful spot for nature lovers. The beach is named so because the surrounding trees attract a variety of butterflies occasionally, or it may be because the beach itself is in the shape of a butterfly. Enclosed by a thick forest on one side and leading to the open sea on the other, the Butterfly beach has a unique and picturesque landscape, ideal for trekking and hiking. Photographers and artists will find many colourful moments to capture here.

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25. Birdwatching at Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Named after a famous ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary houses the natural habitat along the River Mandovi. The sanctuary has paved walkways amidst the gorgeous estuarine mangroves that make bird watching a delightfully experience to observe the local and migratory bird species.

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26. Parasail at the Best Beaches

Parasailing or para-ascending is an entertaining water sport with two significant instruments- parachute and speedboat. Among the array of activities and things to do in Goa, this sport is most prominent in the land of fabulous beaches, Goa. This sport is safe to indulge in, and also it happens to be a maintained beach activity. With a medley of immeasurable adrenaline rush along with tuned beach landscapes, is a frolicking sight to a lover of adventure and fun.

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27. Take a View at Bambolim Beach

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Bambolim Beach is a pristine beach located in Bambolim which is about 7 kilometres away from Panjim, the capital city of Goa. It is located in the northern part of Goa and is famous for being a virgin beach, untouched by commercialization and is barely ever crowded. For the tourists who are constantly in search of untouched or unexploited beaches, Bambolim beach will prove to be a paradise in Goa. It is a favourite amongst offbeat travellers. The long coastline is perfect for taking a stroll or lazing in the golden sand under the balmy sun. The beautiful beach is a good picnic spot. You just have to pack your essentials and head to the beach on a beautiful clear day.

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28. Cycle through Divar Island

Located at a distance of 10 kms from Panjim in Goa, Divar Island is a slice of heaven tucked away in dense woods amidst natural environment. Connected to Old Goa only through ferry service, this island is synonymous with natural beauty, ataraxy and tranquility. The region is dotted with vintage houses built in Portuguese style, littered with old style churches and is surrounded by evergreen paddy fields. Commonly known as the ?village stuck in time?; the area is still unexplored and unexploited by tourism or commercialization due to its disconnect from the city life. You can just pick up a cycle and ride across the tiny hamlet.

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29. Be Awed by the Beauty at Arambol Beach

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Beautiful and serene, Arambol Beach is counted among the best beaches of North Goa unexploited by the tourist and thus offering solitude to those who are seeking. Considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, Arambol beach has a distinct Bohemian feel to it that no longer exist in any other beaches. It extends to over 16 km and has two beaches. The main beach is named as Harmal Beach, and it is one of the northernmost beaches in Goa. The second beach is accessible only by foot. Arambol Beach is a rocky cum sandy beach blessed with untouched, pristine beauty.

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30. Full Moon Night Parties at Colva Beach

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One of the most happening beaches in South Goa, Colva beach is mainly renowned for its shopping and phenomenal nightlife. The beach is full of shacks and eating joints. The beach area also suggests the luxurious lifestyle of the elite class who owns striking houses or villas that speck the village. With the nonchalant ambiance, mesmerizing view of the endless beach and spirited people, Colva Beach is perfect to feel life in its true sense.

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31. Revitalize at Vagator Beach

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If you are on the lookout for some revitalising beach holiday destinations in Goa, then the Vagator beach is just the place for you. The northernmost beach of Bardez Taluka, the Vagator beach is just 21 kilometres northwest of Panaji and is one of the most stunning beaches that one can find in northern Goa. Unlike other touristy spots, this beach is dirt-free and hushed, and hence a secluded paradise for beach lovers.

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32. Dolphing Gazing at Betalbatim Beach

Located in South Goa, Betalbatim Beach is one of the quieter beaches of Goa. Lined with a plethora of fast food chains, local restaurants and spas, the highlight of the beach is the easy spotting of the dolphins. You can ask the local fishermen who can hike you a ride in a sea to have a glimpse of the dolphins.

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33. Explore the Historical Cabo De Rama Fort

Located on the beautiful coastline of Goa overlooking the gorgeous Arabian Sea, Cabo De Rama Fort is frequently associated with the legend of Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshmana lived in the fort during their 14 year exile. It was built by the Hindu Rulers, however, in the 1760s; it was captured by the Portuguese and used as a military base and later as a prison. It, therefore, is also a historically significant monument in the country.

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34. Tour the Savoi Plantation

Savoi Plantation is a 100-acre organic farm established by Mr. Shetye. The beautifully maintained farm has been open to the public since 1985. A number of fruits, vegetables and spices are grown with immense love and care. A guided and informative tour of the plantation is given to every guest. Exploring the attraction is one of the best ways to come close to nature and take away a tip or two for one's own little garden.

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35. Buy Spices at Tropical Spice Plantation

Tropical Spice Plantation is one of the famous spice plantations in the state. This is another one of the amazing things to do in Goa where you can take a guided tour of the property. The tour consists of traditional welcome with a delicious drink, an informative site tour and a delicious organic lunch made of the fresh farm produce. The guides are friendly and promptly share tips as they explain the ecosystem. One can purchase local spices too to end their fabulous trip with.

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36. Visit the Braganza House

Braganza House is a 450-year-old mansion with a dcor to complement its beauty. The grand mansion houses stunning antique handcrafted teak and rosewood furniture, draperies and paintings placed beautifully all around. The ceilings too have been hand painted and gives the house a regal appeal. A splendid library with a collection of over 5000 books is located in the west wing of the mansion and draws several visitors every day and is considered one of the top things to do in Goa.

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37. Cave Exploration at Khandepar

Caves of Khandepar are four ancient rock-cut caves located in a jungle near Khandepar Village dating back roughly to the 12th century. They were discovered in 1970 and have two interconnected caves, while the other two are free standing. One of them is located a short distance away and the last is located opposite to the first cave. The last cave bears a pedestal which is believed to be made to hold a Shivalinga and, therefore, is considered as a meditation room.

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38. Revisit the Portuguese History at Goa Chitra

Goa Chitra is a museum established in 2010 to exhibit the ancient Portuguese and Goan lifestyle and their traditions through a stunning collection of woodwork, metalwork, weapons, furniture, religious artefacts, etc. The museum actively conducts workshops and activities to share their knowledge about the traditions with the public. It has been titled by the Archaeological Survey of India as the topmost contemporary museum.

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39. Historical Retreat at Fernandes House

Initially known as Vodlem Ghor, Fernandes House is one of the oldest palaces in Goa. The house was built about 500 years ago and is famous for its historic significance and stunning architecture. The heritage structure is now owned by a member of the Fernandes family. There are 25 rooms in total that have influences of Hindu, as well as European architecture, with several antique artefacts on display for the tourists.

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40. Walk up to the Altinho Hill

Altinho Hill is famous for its picturesque location and the splendid view of the city from the hilltop. It is a neighbourhood of Panaji and is known as an elite residential area that has the Archbishop's Palace, the house of the Chief Minister, the All India Radio Station and Government Servant Quarters. The region has a unique charm and tempts many offbeat explorers. It is one of the topmost things to do in Goa.

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41. Stroll Around the Viceroy's Arch

Built in the late 16th century by Viceroy Francisco Da Gama, Viceroy's Arch is a historic monument which once served as the entrance of Old Goa. The monument was built in the memory of and to honour the achievements of Francisco's Great Grand Father and a famous explorer, Vasco Da Gama. The structure is made of laterite and is an important landmark even today on the road that leads to River Mandovi.

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42. Raging Parties and Peppy Clubs

Goa is known worldwide for the ultimate place of raging parties, casinos, cruises while amidst the sea, sand and sun. And while there are several hundred things to do in Goa, the absolutely essential one is clubbing and overnight parties. Out of the very many party places in Goa, most are based on the beach itself. These shacks have overnight parties with free flowing alcohol, blaring music with a variety of genres and the like.

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This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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