11 Places To Visit in Old Goa Beyond Beaches (2021)


Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by Editorial Staff

To witness the history and culture of Old Goa, We have curated a list of top places to visit in old Goa.

Old Goa, also called Velha Goa, is located beside the Mandovi River in the western Indian state of Goa. Being the former capital of Portuguese India, it is known for its colonial-era monuments like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier, and the Church of St. Cajetan by St. Peter’s in Rome. Another thing Old Goa is famous for is its beautiful catholic churches.

What are the best places to visit in old Goa?

Basilica of Bom Jesus 

Basilica of Bom Jesus

It is a Roman Catholic Basilica and holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. This Church was made in 1605 and is one of the best examples of Baroque Architecture and Portuguese Colonial Architecture in the country.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus translates to ‘Holy Jesus’ and is one of the oldest churches in Goa. It is included in the convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the world.

Divar Island 

Divar Island

Divar is a small island near Old Goa that is not on many people’s list when they visit Goa, but if you want to see Indo-Portugal Goa, you should visit it. It has high historical significance and houses many temples and churches.

If you want to witness time slowing down, this quaint river island in the Goan countryside is a must-visit. Divar is also renowned for its festivals and Uraak, a homemade liquor available here during March and April.

Se Cathedral

It is the largest Church in Asia. It was built in the 16th-17th centuries, has ornate chapels and a bell tower. Dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, Se Cathedral is situated just opposite the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

The Cathedral has a magnificent aura and is very well maintained and hence is a part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa.

Archaeological Museum 

This museum is a marvel of architecture that showcases the artifacts of the Portuguese rule in India. It is located at the back of the famous Church of St. Francis of Assisi. 

The Archaeological Museum was set up under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1964. The museum is divided into eight galleries and contains beautiful sculptures.

Ruins of St. Augustine

It is a ruined church complex also a part of the World Heritage Site, Churches, and Convents of Goa. The Church of St. Augustine was built in 1602 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations to date even after being in ruins. 

Only one of the four towers of the Church remains now, but it is still one of the most sought-after places for Photography in Old Goa.


This place is a UNESCO Heritage and looks the same as a Mediterranean city. Fontainhas is the Latin quarter of Panjim and is best known for its narrow lanes containing beautiful houses, making it the best to walk through. 

Depicting the Portuguese architecture beautifully, It is a neighborhood you’ll wish you had!

Tomb of St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier, a famous Portuguese saint, lies in a silver casket on a high platform in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The tomb is made of Jasper and marble and is housed in one of the chapels.

 After he died in China, this mummy was brought to India and is brought in public for viewing every ten years.

Wax World Museum

Located at the Old Goa Church Complex, this museum is the only art museum listed in Ella. It contains some of the best works of wax statues of eminent personalities like Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Gandhiji, etc. 

Also known as Wax De Goa, Wax World Museum was the second wax museum made in India.

Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort is one of the most ancient forts of Goa. It was built in 1551 and was also temporarily used as a prison for the freedom fighters. The fort is now owned by the Goa Government and has a view to die.

It is said that the name of this fort which is built in a typical fusion style of architecture, mixing Hindu and Portuguese, was laid after three men from the bible.

Church of St. Cajetan

One of the most pretty churches of Old Goa, it takes inspiration from the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. This Church, also known as the Church of Divine Providence, is a marvel of architecture. Church of St. Cajetan is a World Heritage Site and hence definitely deserves a visit.

Viceroy’s Arch

Viceroy’s Arch used to be the main entrance of Old Goa in the past. It was built in the year 1599 in the memory of Vasco De Gama by his grandson. It is a Protected Monument of National Importance in Goa under ASI, connected to Divar Island by Ferry.

Final Thoughts 

Most of the places in Old Goa are religious and prohibit the use of cameras. Also, people are expected to dress appropriately. 

So, if you are planning to visit Old Goa anytime soon, you know where to go to experience beauty and glory at its best and the things you need to remember as a protocol. Happy Travelling!!


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