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Places to visit in Goa in 2 days

Discussion in 'Goa' started by Tintin, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Tintin

    Tintin New Member

    I only have a two day stay in Goa, and I would like to make the most of this trip I have. I would like to know about the places to visit in Goa in 2 days, starting with the most popular and famous places coming down to the least.

    As I would be on my own, I would be able to cover a lot of sites, and would be planning out the two days very carefully. My interest is in a lot of different things, so when providing the details of places to visit you don't need to think whether I would be interested or not.

    I would also like to know which beach I should visit.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Tintin! Welcome to the forum!

    If spending just two days in Goa, you have to choose a maximum of two destinations in order to fully enjoy your vacation. Goa is a small yet varied state so there are plenty of places that you can explore. Most of the tourist attractions in Goa are in its capital though, which is Panjim. So you can start there and make your way down south since it has the better beaches. However, if you are a party animal, then you can make your way up and reach the central part of Goa. It really depends on your interests which places are best to visit and as well as which beaches are best to visit. So for your convenience, I'll just divide this list into two, one list is for the best places to visit in North Goa and the other list is for the best places to visit in South Goa.

    Top 8 Places to Visit in North Goa for a 2-Day Trip
    • Old Goa - About 10 kilometres east from the state capital, you can find Old Goa. Once the thriving capital of the state, it has now fell into abandonment but evidences of its glorious past are apparent here. The churches here are well-preserved and worth a visit, which include the Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Church of Saint Francis of Assisi. From these churches, you would find the traces of the bygone era. The city itself was built by the Portuguese as well as the structures within it. But after several epidemics plagued Old Goa, it was abandoned by its residents. While walking around Old Goa, imagine its past grandeur and your imagination might take you to places.
    • Reis Magos Fort and Church - Just on the banks of the Mandovi River, there's the Reis Magos Fort. Imposing with its bricked facade, it was built around the 15th century by the Portuguese although there already stood an outpost here built by Adil Shah even before that. Its strategic location made it impregnable to several conquerors but it fell into disuse for a long while. Recent renovations to the fort lead to it being opened to the public and at such, it is one of the most underrated attractions in the city of Panjim. But with its stunning views of both the city and the river, you are going to love visiting this place. The Reis Magos Church located just below the fort is also worth a visit, although it's not as big as the other churches in the region. Evidences excavated from the site though lead to the conclusion that the church was built on a location where there once stood a Hindu temple.
    • Fontainhas - Located as well on the state capital, Fontainhas would take you back to the Portuguese era. But instead of seeing large buildings here, what you will see are residential homes. Such colourful homes, with bright exteriors, front porches and bordered windows, these are the main features of the Portuguese homes. And in Fontainhas, you see just that and maybe a few Portuguese residents too. Take a stroll along the residential area and do visit some of the cafes and boutiques around it.
    • Goa State Museum - The best place for learning about the rich history and culture of Goa is the Goa State Museum. Some of the exhibits include a religious gallery, history of printing gallery, cultural anthropology gallery, art gallery and numismatics gallery. The religious gallery has various collections pertaining to the religious artefacts of the region like idols, traditional lamps and manuscripts. The cultural anthropology gallery has ancient items that were used by people in the bygone era like house wares and agricultural items. Thus, if you cannot visit all the historical sites in Goa, just visiting the museum can give you a glimpse of its rich past.
    • Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary - Reaching this bird sanctuary requires one to ride a ferry from Panjim. The boat ride itself is quite fun and scenic so an added activity for tourists. Once you reach the sanctuary, you can opt to walk amidst the laid paths or again, enjoy a boat ride in the river. Spotting birds like the striated heron, red knot and pied avocet can add to the excitement of visiting the sanctuary. For nature and wildlife lovers, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a nice break from the historical and religious sites of Panjim.
    • Arvalem Waterfalls - The Arvalem Waterfalls is located in Sanquelim, about 40 kilometres away from Panjim. Not as well-known as its counterpart, the Dudhsagar Waterfalls in South Goa, Arvalem Waterfalls is still as beautiful and mesmerising. You can take a bath into the small pool created by the waterfalls at the bottom. Nearby, you can also visit the Rudreshwar Temple, revered by many locals as sacred. Also nearby to the waterfalls is the Arvalem Caves. Though they don't have exquisite carvings, the caves do have a lingam that you can visit and pay your respect to. If you haven't got much time in Goa, you can combine a trip to Arvalem Waterfalls with Panjim and you're good to go.
    • Fort Aguada - Just about 18 kilometres away from Panjim, you can find the Fort Aguada. The fort has different parts, one has been converted into a luxury hotel, one part is serving as a prison and the last part is the one open for tourists. The upper part of the fort, the one open for tourists, has a large water reservoir, a lighthouse and a berth for ships. At its glory, the fort served as a place for watching over invading armies and at the same time, has the largest water reservoir at that time too. It can easily take a whole day exploring fort so do take note of your time carefully.
    • Chapora Fort - This fort is about 10 kilometres away from Mapusa. With a long history behind it, being conquered by the Portuguese and the Marathas, it's one of the best attractions in the region. The fort is mostly in ruins now but you can still spot the escape tunnels built by the Portuguese. The best feature of this fort though is that it provides a commanding view of the nearby beaches of Vagator and Anjuna.
    Top 5 Beaches to Visit in North Goa for a 2-Day Trip
    • Baga Beach - Baga Beach might be crowded and noisy, but it's worth it to visit just to enjoy the chaos. It has plenty of beach shacks where you can enjoy authentic Goan cuisine. Even just sitting around here and watching the people around, you get a glimpse of the different kinds of tourists around the state. If you're someone that enjoys water sports, you can enjoy a variety here like banana boat riding, parasailing, surfing, windsurfing and many more. By night time, the beach transforms into a party area with the likes of Cafe Mambo's and Curlies leading the pack.
    • Calangute Beach - A visit to Goa requires one to visit the Queen of Beaches, that is Calangute Beach. Although crowded, this beach is worth a visit for the numerous beach shacks and shops around it. The beach shacks here offer quite affordable meals that are fresh and delicious. On the other hand, the shops here sell handicrafts and souvenirs that you can take home. As far as the beach goes, it's not as clean or as calm as the other beaches in Goa. But for water sports like windsurfing and jet skiing, you can enjoy them here.
    • Vagator Beach - Comprised of two parts, the Big Vagator and Little Vagator, this beach is a little more laid-back than the former beaches. Out of the two, Little Vagator is more secluded and quiet, lined with golden sandy shores and turquoise waters. The waves here are not that rough so suitable for swimming. If you're visiting the Chapora Fort, the Vagator Beach is just nearby so you can combine them in one trip. There are also numerous food shacks here in case you get hungry.
    Vagator Beach
    • Dona Paula Beach - Just a few kilometres away from Panjim, you can reach the Dona Paula Beach. It is relatively clean and quiet and as a bonus, you can see the confluence of the Mandovi River and Zuari River with the Arabian Sea. You can climb the hillock for a better view of this confluence. Otherwise, just stay at the beach and enjoy the numerous water sports available here. For the best view, visit the beach during sunset or sunrise.
    • Arambol Beach - If serenity is what you want, Arambol Beach is the best place in North Goa for that. Away from the mad crowds of central Goa, you get to enjoy the sea, the sands and the views all to yourself. The water of the beach is shallow enough for swimming too. The downside is that there aren't much water sports here. There are beach shacks though along the central part of the beach but as you venture further, it gets more isolated.
    So these places are just for North Goa and they are arranged accordingly. As you can see, the top five places to visit are in Panjim and the remaining ones are scattered all around the northern part of Goa. So you can easily pick Panjim and then add another destination to your trip. Or you can visit all these places mentioned here but you need to hire a taxi or a motorcycle for that as they are not located in close distance with one another. Like I mentioned, it's better to just pick two destinations than cram all these places in two days. Anyway, we now go to the second list:

    Top 8 Places to Visit in South Goa for a 2-Day Trip
    • Palacio Do Deao - This heritage house was built around the end of the 17th century by Jose Paulo, the Deao. Surrounded by lush greenery, the house stands out with its character yellow hue and sloping roofs. Also present is a front porch and of course white bordered windows. It was just recently renovated by its new owners and was opened to the public. Its mixture of both Hindu and Portuguese styles of architecture is a must see. And while you're there, you can also dine in the restaurant which serves authentic Goan cuisine.
    • Dudhsagar Waterfalls - One of the best natural attractions of Goa is the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, about 46 kilometres away from Margao. It's a little tricky to reach it but the verdict is that you need to either ride a jeep, a train or a bike to reach the waterfalls. All your efforts would be rewarded once you're there. The waterfalls, dropping from a height of 310 metres, surrounded by dense forests, is a sight to behold. More so during the monsoon, when it is fed by the monsoon rains.
    • Cabo De Rama Fort - Located in Canacona, the Cabo De Rama Fort has witnessed quite a few battles. From being built by a Raja of Soonda, to being captured by the Portuguese and thereafter being taken by many other conquerors, it's no wonder that the fort is already in ruins. But still despite this, it exudes power that you would feel as soon as you see the fort. Climbing on top of the fort gives you the opportunity to see the surrounding beaches of Canacona and Colva.
    Cabo De Rama Fort
    • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary - Another attraction is Canacona is the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, so you can combine this with the attraction above. Teeming with flora and wildlife, the sanctuary provides the visitor with a different landscape aside from the beaches of Goa. If you're lucky, you can spot animals like gazelles, sloth bears and panthers. And even if not, the refreshing forests is good enough to revive your soul after a busy day. If you'd like to stay in the forest lodge, just ask permission from the forest officer and you get to have a real wildlife experience.
    • Chapoli Dam - In Agonda, there's this hidden gem that not many people know about, the Chapoli Dam. The lake formed by the dam has many birds flocking to it which provides a good view for the tourists. There's not much activity that you can do here but just enjoy the views though. So if you're someone who enjoys nature, do add this to the places that you must visit in South Goa.
    • Goa Chitra Museum - Learning more about the agrarian sector of Goa entails one to visit the Goa Chitra Museum. Here, you will learn more about how the rural societies live, like the tools they use for crop cultivation and even for cooking. Some of the items that you can see here are ancient carts, vessels, even an ancient refrigerator and farming tools. Located a few kilometres away from the Benaulim Beach, you can combine a trip to the museum with it.
    • Sahakari Spice Farm - A tour around the Sahakari Spice Farm can render you breathless, not only because of the views but also because you would learn a lot while you're in here. The tour already includes a guide which would take you around the plantation and explain the spices to you. Inclusive of the tour fee is a meal, made fresh using the ingredients from the farm as well.
    • Rachol Fort and Seminary - Although the fort has already fell into ruins, the Rachel Fort has an interesting history behind it. It was built by the Bahaman kingdom but has been captured by many more rulers, the Portuguese ruled over it the longest. You can find an arch, a remnant of the fort, standing at the site. The Rachol Seminary, nearby to the fort, is also worth a visit. The seminary has a church, a library and some exhibits that you can explore.
    Top 5 Beaches in South Goa
    • Benaulim Beach - Away from the maddening crowds, the Benaulim Beach is one of the best beaches of Goa. Its white sands and gentle waves are perfect for lounging around. There are only a few beach shacks around the beach so you can truly enjoy the isolation. An excursion away from the beach with a boat ride can lead you to the Paradise Island, where you can indulge in snorkelling. There are also plenty of accommodation options around the beach, like hotels and guest houses so you can opt to stay the night here.
    • Palolem Beach - One of the busiest beaches of South Goa is Palolem Beach but still it remains clean and beautiful. With the numerous beach shacks and hotels around, you also have plenty of options here. If excursions are your thing, then you can ride a boat and reach the Butterfly Island, a few minutes away from here. If water sports are your thing, Palolem Beach is also a great choice for that as you can indulge in jet skiing, surfing or banana boat riding here.
    • Cola Beach - With a lagoon on one side and a beach on the other, the Cola Beach is the hidden gem of the south. Part of its charm is that it is isolated from the region. You need to hire a car or motorcycle and traverse through bumpy roads. After that, you have to climb about 50 metres down to reach the beach. It is pristine, beautiful and untouched by commercialism, what more can you ask for? There are even boating and kayaking facilities here so you can enjoy the lagoon.
    Cola Beach
    • Butterfly Beach - As mentioned before, you need to ride a boat from Palolem to reach this beach. The beauty of this beach is that it's fairly small and clean. It's not approached by many people nor are there any water sports here. If your main aim is just to relax, then do consider this beach. Sunsets here are very beautiful so do visit during that time if you can.
    • Colva Beach - Probably the most crowded beach in South Goa. Here you can indulge in all kinds of water sports and activities. In addition, the shores are lined with all sorts of shacks, restaurants and hotels. So you can stay here and enjoy the chaos, although it's still not as chaotic as Baga Beach so there's that assurance. However, if looking for serenity, skip this place and just consider the beaches mentioned above.
    You can choose one place again in South Goa, if the places in North Goa don't appeal to you. You can add in that destination to Panjim. Or you can opt to visit these places but you cannot cover them all in a day as they are apart from each other. The beaches are also apart from each other and you can only pick one or two of them.

    I hope this helps you!:)