Goa
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Goa Culture & History

Panaji: Heritage Walk through Goa's Latin Quarter

1. Panaji: Heritage Walk through Goa's Latin Quarter

Meet your guide at the Panjim Head Post Office near the Mala district of Panjim. Walk through the lesser-known but culturally-rich Fontainhas area of Goa, the oldest and largest Latin quarter in Asia. See heritage homes, appreciate Portuguese architecture, meet friendly locals, and experience the cultural side of Goa. Developed in the late eighteenth century, Fontainhas derived its name - "little fountain" in Portuguese - from the springs found at the base of the Altinho hills. A strong Portuguese influence still prevails in this neighborhood, evident from the architectural style and the road names. Begin your walk at Tobacco Square and trace the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa. Along the way, your knowledgable guide will be happy to share information based on your personal interests. Pass by the small Church of San Thome. Stop into the quaint 31st January Bakery for a quick bite. Take photos against the neighborhood’s colorful backdrop as you make your way to the Chapel of San Sebastian. Explore interesting buildings around Panjim Inn, Fundacao Orient, and Galerie Gitanjali. Lastly, visit a famous Goan musician and learn about the Portuguese influence on Goan music. Before heading back to the meeting point, you can stop by a studio which makes handcrafted ceramic souvenirs.

Goa: Private Full-Day Sightseeing Highlights Tour

2. Goa: Private Full-Day Sightseeing Highlights Tour

Visit all the landmarks of Goa on this cultural and heritage sightseeing tour. Travel comfortably from one landmark to the next with a friendly local guide in a private air-conditioned car. Trace the history of Goa from its capital city and beautiful places of worship. Start your day with an early pick-up and head towards Panjim. Appreciate the significance of the Portuguese rule in Goa through the neighborhood known as Fontainhas, Asia's oldest Latin Quarter. Walk amongst the narrow winding lanes and remember to take photos against the bright yellow, green, blue and red walls. Next, head to the former capital Old Goa, now home to World Heritage churches. Marvel at the architecture of the Se Cathedral and the Church of St. Cajetan, and pay a visit to the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Next, visit the Mangueshi Temple, which is of great significance to the Hindu community. After a full day of culture, head to a Spice Plantation located in Southern Goa. Here, you will have a chance to taste a delicious buffet lunch of Goan food preparations. Walk through the Spice Plantation and gain more information on the different herbs and spices used in India. Relax in the green surroundings and peaceful outdoors away from the crowds and noises. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back to your hotel.

Goa: Pub Crawl

3. Goa: Pub Crawl

You will meet your guide near the Immaculate Conception Church before embarking on an exciting pub crawl that will show you some of the best nightlife locations that Goa has to offer. This night out in Goa promises to be a rollicking good time where you'll meet new people in an energetic, fun, and friendly atmosphere. You'll visit three local pubs over the course of 3 hours as your guide shares unique stories about the city and local party culture. You'll also get one free drink at each pub.  Your bar journey will begin at a local bar serving fresh homemade draft beer. Alternatively, you can also try a local wine while watching the calm riverfront and admiring its beauty. From there, you'll head to the next venue where you can sip different varieties of Goan feni, a locally produced spirit. It's said that a trip to Goa is incomplete without a sip of a feni drink, which has been produced for 400 years in a typical Portuguese way. The third stop is situated on the riverside in a 19th-century building. Enjoy a local wine plus traditional Goan food with an amazing view. This place has a typical Goan feel to it. The tour employs a unique style of ‘infotainment’ to ensure that participants are constantly engaged, irrespective of whether you're interested in history or not. This tour will be a unique, fun and memorable experience for everyone. You're bound to make new friends as you exchange stories with your fellow travellers from all over the world.

Old Goa: Walking Tour of Heritage Churches

4. Old Goa: Walking Tour of Heritage Churches

Meet your guide at the Viceroys Arch in Old Goa. Explore the significant buildings of the area with a local expert guide and storyteller. Experience Goa's Portuguese heritage on a walking tour filled with historical stories and personal anecdotes. Learn about the history of Goa’s former capital. After visiting the Viceroys Arch, continue to the Church of St. Catherine. Trace the arrival of the Portuguese in India, who called the area “the Rome of the East.” Walk past the ruins of Old Goa to Se Cathedral, the largest church in Asia. Admire the decorative frescoes in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, which depict the life of the patron saint. Afterward, enter the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which houses the remains of St. Francis Xavier.

Hampi 2-Day Sightseeing Tour from Goa

5. Hampi 2-Day Sightseeing Tour from Goa

Spend time in Hampi, a magnificent city of ruins on the UNESCO World Heritage list, on a 2-day trip from Goa. During your tour, you will visit this city located in the state of Karnataka beside the Tungabhadra River. Enjoy valuable insight into the history of the area as you learn about the artistic excellence and power of the former rules of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijaynagara Empire. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Goa - Hampi In the morning you will be picked up from Goa and make the drive to Hampi. Upon arrival, check into a 4-star hotel. Take a walk along the Tungabhadra River toward the Hampi market, which you will have time to explore. Then enjoy free time and spend the night in Hampi.  Day 2: Hampi - Goa (Meals: B) Wake up early for a trip to Matunga Hill to watch the sunrise. Then visit Virupaksha Temple, the most famous and oldest temple housing the deity of Shiva. You will also see the Vittala Temple complex, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy, and more. After lunch, begin the journey back to Goa.

Goa: Cultural Fontainhas Walk

6. Goa: Cultural Fontainhas Walk

Your guide will meet you at your tour meeting point, from where you will be taken to your first attraction of the Panjim Church. Following that, head to the stepped street of the Altinho Hill and the Archbishop's Palace. You'll then see one of the oldest High Courts of India, before encountering the Goa's Chief Minister's Official Residence. You'll then walk through Portuguese-influenced lanes and centuries-old buildings and cafes, before encountering the Chapel of St. Sebastian in the Fontainhas neighborhood. Following that, take in a modest art gallery consisting of both Scandinavian art and original works by locals. You'll finally visit the Hindu neighborhood in Fontainhas, before encountering Lord Hanuman, situated on top of the Altinho hillock. At the conclusion of your experience, your guide will be happy to recommend further places in Goa for you to visit depending on your interests.

Goa Street Food Tour

7. Goa Street Food Tour

Explore the best of Panjim neighbourhood, one of the most popular districts in Goa. Begin at Panjim Church and walk through the stepped streets, passing through the Portuguese-influenced lanes, centuries-old buildings, and cute little cafes and markets where you will sample some local dishes.  Taste a variety of local street food of Goa including local dishes like Xacuti curry, sweet Peda, cucumber mint juice, and various types of chats, cutlets and more. Witness the preparation of these local favorites and get an in-depth understanding of local food culture. Eat in traditional, rustic restaurants and stalls that are frequented daily by the locals for an authentic experience. All locations are of a high-quality and work with the local partner to give you the best possible culinary experience.

Goa: Spice Plantation Tour and Traditional Local Lunch

8. Goa: Spice Plantation Tour and Traditional Local Lunch

Escape the crowds and noise of the beaches for a few hours and visit a spice plantation located in Ponda, a city in southern Goa. Discover tropical plants laden with fruits, herbs, and spices on a guided walk of the plantation before enjoying a homely meal. Try authentic Goan cuisine and taste the local drink, Feni, made from cashews. Start off with a private hotel pickup in an air-conditioned car. En route, sit back and take in the views of the paddy fields and villages, or ask your driver for suggestions about Goa and for stories about its people. Upon arrival at the spice plantation, receive a traditional welcome of a warm, soothing herbal tea. Then, set off on a short guided walk around a section of the plantation. Feel free to touch, smell, and taste the different fruits and trees. Depending on the season, you can observe cinnamon, black and green cardamom, mace, piri-piri chilies, coconuts, green pepper, and allspice. Learn more about the uses and health benefits of each spice with the plantation's staff, including tips on how you can incorporate them for your own well-being. After the tour, savor a Goan lunch spread, prepared fresh on the plantation and served in earthen pots. Lunch includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and incorporates the spices grown locally. Sample feni with your lunch, a favorite liquor among the locals produced from fresh cashew fruit and distilled in a traditional pot. Before heading back to your hotel, have the opportunity to purchase spices from the on-site shop and visit a local Hindu temple, if you want.

Goa: 5-Hour Coach/Taxi Guided Tour from Mormugao Harbor

9. Goa: 5-Hour Coach/Taxi Guided Tour from Mormugao Harbor

You will be met at the cruise port by our driver who will guide you to your transportation. We provide a shared air conditioned taxi/coach service from Mormugao Harbor Port to major tourist attractions in Goa. Your journey will take you to Panjim City which is the capital of the Indian state of Goa. Your walk will take you through the Portuguese Latin Quarters of Fontainhas (or Bairro das Fontainhas, in Portuguese). Many of the traditional houses were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, and their red-tiled roofs are what attracts tourists to this area year after year. You will then proceed Old Goa or Velha Goa (Velha means "old" in Portuguese) where the old Goa churches are. The remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Goa contains churches affiliated to various congregations, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of S. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier. The tour will then take a drive to the Spice Garden/Plantation where you will be welcomed in a traditional way before heading back to the cruise port. On the way back there will be a short visit to Bogmallo Beach.

Divar Island: Local Goan Village Tour with Traditional Lunch

10. Divar Island: Local Goan Village Tour with Traditional Lunch

Go on a tour of Divar Island and discover the mix of paddy fields, ancient temples, pretty churches, Indo-Portuguese houses, and winding roads that speak to the region's complex history. As you disembark the ferry, meet locals sitting with their fishing rods cast in the Mandovi River and learn about the methods they use to snare a catch.  Then follow your local guide into the village, appreciating the rainbow of colorful houses lining the streets. Learn how the Portuguese occupation of the area shaped the village for centuries to come. Check out the 16th century St. Mathias Church, the quaint Our Lady of Candelaria Chapel, and the ancient Saptakoteshwar Temple. Stop into a traditional Goan bakery to see how the local bread is baked and snag a few recipes from the chef. After touring the village, fill up on a delicious lunch in a traditional Portuguese house. At the end of the tour, head up into the island hills and stop for a magnificent view of the Old Churches of Goa and the river below before taking a ferry back to the mainland.

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What people are saying about Goa

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 7 reviews

We had a really enriching experience, loved walking through the colorful lanes and learning about roosters, roofs, sweets (got to eat some sweets as well) and Christmas, among other things. The tour ended with songs and we learnt a lovely dance step! Our storyteller was fabulous too!

fantastic ! my guide was amazing with little care! I had a great time . I would even be ready to redo ♥ ️ Divar Island is a place to preserve, far from noise and the city .. a real haven of peace on Goa

The tour guide Nelson was great, he told us great stories about Goa and was there with all his love, you can tell he enjoys it. Super great

It was very informative and entertaining. I had lovely two hours.

Guide was knowledgeable about the sites we visted.