11 Best Places to Visit in Goa with Friends

Goa is among the best places to visit with friends in India. Famous for its beaches, mouth-watering food and Portuguese heritage, Goa is the ideal place in South India for you to hang out with friends. Its countless beaches will pull you more into the heartland of Goa. The places in Goa gives a sneak peek into the old colonial era with its brilliant churches and colonial mansions.

The state is split into two districts of North Goa and South Goa. Although, it may seem to people that all the urban cities have the happening places in the south, however, Goa has everything in the North. Even the state capital, Panaji is in the north. Some of the popular beaches in Goa are Palolem beach, Baga beach, Vagator beach and Butterfly beach.

Contrary to the common notion that Goa is not safe for women, Goa is the safest destination for solo female travelers.

A paradise for solo female travelers, Goa lets them indulge in uninterrupted sessions of shopping, relishing electrifying music and satiating their gastronomic cravings. These are some top places to visit in Goa especially if you are a first timer to enjoy the surf, sun, sand and sea. Goa is better for having some seafood, really nice western and Indian food, drinks, making friends, and partying or just sitting on a sun lounge on the beach.

Goa is popular all over the world for the exotic beaches and nightlife, women, partying, and beach side resorts. Many tourists visit this place for all the fun filled adventure in this place touching the Arabian Sea. The fishermen culture goes alongside the celebrations and colors of exciting beaches.

Ancient Churches, old mansions, palm trees, festivals, casinos and nightlife mesmerize travelers. It is a favorite holiday destination for all the bachelors. Well, why not, right! Among the best things to do in Goa for bachelors who can ignore the cheap beers and the beach party with Russian girls in places like Siridao?

Goa is a place where you can enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beaches but there are more recreational things you can enjoy with your family and friends. Yes, we are going to talk about Parasailing in Goa! A fun activity that is a favorite for many tourists in Goa.

There are many places in Goa where you can enjoy parasailing. The famous among them are Calangute, Baga, Sal, Dona Paula, Candolim, and Anjuna. Here you will get the parasailing with combo package where other fun sports like jet ski, banana ride, boat ride, and bumper ride are available. But you can also enjoy parasailing individually.

Parasailing is a fun recreational activity and does not require any special skills. Actually, you are towed behind a speed boat with a parachute. As the boat moves fast you are lifted in the air and fly above the sea with a beautiful view of the scenery below. It’s an amazing experience when you soar above the sea and glide through the air.

Here are the best places to visit in Goa with friends:

1. Chapora Fort

Remember Dil Chahta Hai? The good old days, where movies meant something and used to leave impressions on our mind. Do you know that the Chapora Fort was built with a vision that the tall walls will not be able to cross by anyone? But Maratha chieftain Sambhaji broke this vision and his army crossed the wall with ease.

Nonetheless, this fort holds the essence of history and you can feel the freshness of its surroundings while gazing at the Chopara river and is one of the places in goa to visit with friends. Morjim Beach located on the north side of the mouth of the Chapora River is famous as a nesting site for the olive ridley turtle.

Apart from the Olive Ridley turtles a variety of birds such as sand plover, Bay-backed shrike, Quill, Turnstone, Cuckoo, Kingfisher, Washerworms, Seagulls, Brown-headed, Black-billed and Slender-billed gull together with Crested Terns, Sea eagle, Osprey can be seen. The dolphin watching trips are offered by the local fishermen of Morjim. Russians have made the beach a permanent holiday destination.

2. Basilica of Bom Jesus

It’s true that Goa has the ultimate party-city reputation. However, not many people realize that the steeped-in-history destination is also among the best pilgrimage places in India. Owing to its past Portuguese influence, Goa is home to some really incredible churches that Catholics will love to visit.

Enjoy the brilliant architecture of these churches and the peaceful ambiance they sit in. The most famous one, however, is the Basilica of Bom Jesus which holds the remains of the beloved Catholic Saint Francis Xavier.

Although it is 400 years old, Basilica of Bom Jesus still embraces the authenticity of Christian beliefs. It is Goa's most famous Church and stand still till today. Known for its elegance and simplicity, Bom Jesus stands for good or infant Jesus. Christmas is the best time to visit here with the rows of decorated Christmas tree in Goa.

The mortal of St. Francis Xavier remains here. Once in every ten years you will be enlightened enough to see the Holy remains of his body. If you are in Goa with friends, you must visit Bom Jesus at least once to feel the charm of this beautiful church. Make sure to visit this amazing historical monument which is an approved UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Dudhsagar Falls

Dudhsagar Waterfalls, impressive in the monsoons, are about 10 km from the Collem railway station, on the eastern border of Goa, and accessible by train. if you are willing to pay more jeeps can also get you there over the 14-km stretch through the Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary. One of the highest waterfalls in India, the water falls from a height of 2,000 feet, creating a surreal mist at the bottom.

The view from the top of the falls is breathtaking, especially at dawn. Visitors can stay at Margao and plan a day trip to the fails. 60 km from Margao, along the Goa-Karnataka border.

Dudhsagar Falls, which literally means sea of milk, is one of the main waterfalls in India. Located on the Mandovi River and falling from a height of 610 meters (2,000 feet), these waterfalls are impressive. The milky white water that flows down the mountainsides and the lush green surroundings that create a picturesque backdrop is a sight to behold. Come here during the monsoon when you are in your best shape.

The name itself translated Sea of Milk is self-explanatory to suggest how amazing this waterfalls is. It is a 4-tiered waterfall formed by Mandovi river originating from western ghats. You cannot miss this absolute gem of waterfalls in monsoons.

Away from the hustle-bustle of the city life, stands the Dudhsagar falls situated in South Goa on the eastern border of Karnataka. It is one of the highest waterfalls in India. The waters of the Mandovi River get divided and fall down the high cliff forming milky white foam at the base. Here you can come and enjoy the breeze of the beauty of it. As the name suggests Dudhsagar literally stands by its name dudh, meaning milk.

Although you won't be able to stop there to feel the nature's wonder, but many trains cross this scenic beauty and they usually slow down there to let the passengers enjoy the grace of this fall. This majestic waterfall calms the soul and helps to ease anxiety. Nearby is also the Mollem national park.

The forests of the splendid Western Ghats is a breathtaking view you must see. Other interesting activities around here are swimming at the base pool and trekking through the jungles. It is a true gift from mother nature and one of the best place to visit in Goa with friends.

4. Aguada Fort

Goa has a number of unknown and popular beaches and there are incredible historical structures including the oldest church in Goa. Centered by the Candolim beach, Sinquerim beach and River Mandovi on different sides, this fort dates back to 450 years ago in the sixteenth century. It was initially a defense fort against foreign invasions and part of it is a Jail in Goa.

There is also a functional towering lighthouse of this fort. It offers excellent views of the surrounding beaches and countryside from top.

5. Indian Naval Aviation Museum

This museum is for all those aviation enthusiasts who want to have an experience of a lifetime. It was established in October 1998. Did you know that this it is India's only Naval Museum? Yes, you heard it right. This makes this place a must visit when you are in Goa. You will be bombarded with all kinds of aircrafts, bombs and rockets. This is a museum that you must visit once in a lifetime.

6. Fontainhas

If you are in Goa with friends only for enjoyment and some cheap beers, then you are missing on some great things my dear friends. If you are on excursion, then make it an experience to remember. A Goa trip with friends is an experience to share with the next generation. Go to Fontainhas and explore the old Latin quarters. Barring few occasional temples, it resembles an authentic Portuguese village, let alone an European City.

These are the oldest Latin quarters in Goa that you will see in Goa. It is in the heart of Panjim city. These quarters are bright in colors and extremely delightful to your eyes. You will also see beautiful name plates on these houses as well. You can also visit Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. If you enclave the region between Patto (Panjim bus terminal) upto Miramar, It will appear as if you are in Portugal.

And these are not some standalone heritage spots. These buildings are regular houses and full-fledged administrative offices.

7. Cabo de Rama Fort

Apart from the beaches, South goa is famous for ancestral Portuguese houses and villas. Also great architecture can be spotted in the beautiful churches of Goa. You wouldnt mind to enjoy the local waterfalls and the culture connected here. Since not developed more you are sure to find the big belly Poders and Goans speaking broken Hindi and English like in old Bollywood movies.

Before reaching, the beaches of Canacona, if you take the coastal route you can see the Cabo de Rama Fort (Cape of Rama) dating back to pre-Portuguese times. It was occupied by British troops and also used as a prison before the end of colonial rule. It is surrounded by a moat and has a small chapel inside.

8. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

If you go to south Goa visit Kuskem waterfall. It’s inside the Cotigao wildlife sanctuary. After a ride of about 3–5 km from the old highway you will reach a small village at the foot off the hill. From there you need to climb a little to reach the point where a tall waterfall splashes onto huge rocks. The streak is very thin. You can actually stand below the fall if you can climb in wet rocks.

9. Harvalem Waterfalls

Hidden away in dense jungles, this is one of the most scenic waterfalls of Goa. The waterfall is not known to many and thus visiting this place can allow you to be completely cut off from the crowd. Other nearby places to visit include Arvalem caves and Rudreshwar temple.

10. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

On the same islands, the Salim Ali bird sanctuary is a mangrove habitat for so many species of birds along the Mandovi river. The trails are well paved. It’s a wonderful experience.

11. Anjuna Flea Market

Shopaholics have an amazing time shopping at the markets including the Saturday Night Bazaar, Anjuna Flea Market, in addition to enjoying the thrill of water sport adventure such as parasailing. You can take a romantic stroll on the shacks while purchasing souvenirs, and handicraft items in Anjuna Flea Market. The Anjuna Flea Market opens only on Wednesday.

This is one of the famous night markets. Legend says that this market was started hippies who came from Europe and settled down in Anjuna. They started selling their belonging in this very place to get some money to stay here for a little longer. With the time the small hippie place grew into a famous Anjuna flea market. For girls, there are plenty of beautiful dresses and accessories at very affordable prices.

Anjuna Flea market is one amazing place to visit! Its a place to shop some fun-hippie clothes and hand made stuff, enjoy some trance music, get mouthwatering local food and drinks and call it a night. You will find a lot of beautiful ceramic work here. Never buy on the first price, always bargain. Rates are twice and thrice there.

Creative keychains, cool scarfs, tattoos (don't fall for this tattoo trap as they would say it's just for 20 bucks, then afterward ask you 300, 400 bucks), bags and slings and pretty vintage stuff can be seen there.

These are some of our best places to visit in Goa with friends. But, there is more than this to do in Goa. Goa is one of the most exciting places in India. If you want to visit Goa in the budget, then visit it in October-November only because after that there is a crowd of tourists. If you stay in hostels instead of hotels in Goa, then you can save a lot of money. Here, good rooms are available in hostels for less than 500 rupees. Take our advice to plan a trip and make your Goa expedition a stay to remember. Happy holidays amigos!
Kalyan Panja