Goa is perhaps India's premier tourist destination. The coastal territory receives heavy tourist footfall all year round and apart from its natural resplendence; it is also one of the most popular party destinations in the world. It is not just the beaches and the sunny climes that set Goa apart from the rest of its coastal peers; the list of activities in Goa also adds to your myriad experiences.
Your Goa experience is incomplete without the breathtaking golden beaches. Beaches are the heart and soul of Goa. They are quite a few interesting places to visit in Goa, and once you soak in the vibes of those places, you will value the beauty of the places all the more. Apart from the feel-good vibes, Goa houses a number of popular eateries like the famous Tito’s, Café Mambo among others. Goa has a unique Portuguese influenced architectural style, and old architectural sites like Cabo de Rama Fort attract many historical and archaeological enthusiasts from across the globe.
No doubt, Goa is a place that celebrates life, and this is woven in all aspects of Goa; the culture, cuisine, dialect and of course the lifestyle. It is quite normal to imagine sandy beaches and free-flowing beer when you think of Goa, but the state has a lot more to offer in terms of fun, food and experience. The land of the surf, sand, and sun can be a wholesome family experience for people of all age groups. Here’s a list of top 10 things to do in Goa with your family:
Things to do in Goa with the family
Things to do in Goa
Spice Plantation Tour
Trip to Dudhsagar Falls
Chill on the Beaches
Explore Wildlife Sanctuary
Discover Old Forts
Revive Your Soul at Verna Springs
Dive in The Majestic Ambiance of Goan Nightlife
A Day to Relive the Heritage of Goa
Trek to Butterfly beach
Be part of a silent party
Walk through the Dark Passages of the Goan Caves
Feel the Chills in the Eerie Environs Dona Paula
Escape in the Hot Air Balloon
1. Visit a Spice Plantation
A visit to one of Goa’s spice plantations will be invigorating and refreshing. The scent of the place will transcend you into a state of oneness with nature. Goa has two prominent spice plantations – the Sahakari Spice Farm and the Tropical Spice Plantation, both in Ponda – which offer tours of the farm. At Tropical Spice plantation, you can see more than 75 species of exotic birds. Goa is the largest exporter of spices in India. So you can learn about the different spices cultivated there and also gorge on a delicious local lunch.
2. Go Go-Karting
Amongst the popular things to do in Goa, go-karting is all set to become one of the most popular and kid-friendly activities in Goa. Goa Karting Pvt Ltd’s tracks are in Nuvem, South Goa, and Arpora, North Goa. The Arpora one is 340 metres in length and is ideal for adventurous tourists, thanks to its narrow stretches and U-shaped turns.
3. Make a Trip to Dudhsagar Falls
To witness nature at its finest, take the family to see the awe-inspiring Dudhsagar Falls. Located in southern Sonaulim, near the Karnataka border, these four-tiered falls are on the Mandovi River. To look at the falls in all their glory, visit in the monsoons, but even if you can’t, it’s fine because they are incredible any time of the year.
4. Chill on the Beaches
What better way to keep the kids occupied than a trip to the beach? Between swimming, building sand castles, and playing beach sports, kids of all ages are bound to keep themselves busy. In the meantime, you can kick back on a sun lounger with a book in hand and take a nap. Goa has myriad beaches to choose from, but we would recommend the ones in the south for complete solitude. If you’re looking for the hubbub of city life, Ashwem, Morjim, Calangute, and Anjuna in the north should do the trick.
5. Indulge in Water Sports
When it comes to water sports, can any kid say no? There are a number of such activities in Goa to keep them busy, including banana boat rides, jet skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, and paragliding. Popular beaches for water sports are Baga, Candolim, and Calangute.
6. Splash Around in a Waterpark
If your kids love theme parks, take them to one of the three water parks in the state. Choose from Splashdown Water Park at Anjuna, Froggyland Water World at Nuvem, and Blue Whale Water Park at Baga. Make sure you carry your swimsuits along!
7. Shop Till You Drop
Older kids, especially girls, will enjoy the street shopping options throughout Goa. From trinkets and costume jewellery to beach dresses, swimsuits, and flip-flops, you can find everything you need. Flea markets such as Arpora Night Market are great to pick up some alternative shopping treasures. Spend the evenings grooving to some cool tunes and dining on delicious food.
8. Look for Dolphins
Amongst various other exciting things to do in Goa, Dolphin watching is an interesting activity for your family. Designed to intrigue even the most sceptical travellers, you can be assured of sightings of both Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin and shy finless porpoises here. Take the 5-6 hour tour offered by John’s Boat Tours in the early morning – they follow a ‘no dolphin, no pay’ philosophy, which means that your sighting is pretty much guaranteed.
9. Be One With Nature in a Wildlife Sanctuary
When you think of what to do in Goa, the thought of visiting a wildlife sanctuary probably never crosses your mind. The state has two marvellous sanctuaries for bird and animal lovers to visit – Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The former is located on the western tip of Chorao Island alongside the Mandovi, and you can spot birds such as striated heron, western reef heron, black bittern, jack snipe, pied avocet etc. Mudskippers and fiddler crabs crawl around the sanctuary in plenty. At Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Molem, it is common to sight gaur, sambhar, leopard, spotted deer etc.
10. Explore Old Forts
If you’re thinking of what to do in Goa with frisky, active kids, we have the answer. Take them hiking up to one of the state’s old forts that offer gorgeous views of the city from the top. To keep it simple, stick with Fort Aguada in Candolim, near the Taj property of the same name. This won’t require much walking, and if the kids are interested in history, you can teach them about the fort’s Portuguese Goan history. If you want a more adventure-laden experience, head to Charpora Fort. You can either climb up from Vagator beach or drive up and enjoy the short hike up. It is worth the effort because of the breathtaking views.
11 Revive Your Soul at Verna Springs
Everyone has heard of Dudhsagar falls, but Goa is actually home to a lot of other famous waterfalls. The place has no dearth of fresh water despite being a coastal area, thanks to the numerous waterfalls and various other water bodies which make Goa one of the most sought-after location. One such place is Verna Springs. Also known as Kesarval Springs, they are situated close to Verna Cliffs from which they get their name. The spring is known for its ambient beauty and is popular as one of the best picnic spots. If you are looking for the most beautiful things to do in Goa, then a visit to this spring tops the list. The spring is merely 20 km away from the capital city of Goa and entices tourists with its appealing view.
The spring emerges from between the rocks, and the surrounding area is home to a vast array of flora and fauna. The falls overflow during the monsoon months is raging with a gusty flow of water, and during summers the water narrows down. Amidst the silvery glistening beaches and the historical monuments, spare some time to unlock the true beauty of nature. And what could be better than being surrounded by the soothing sound of the spring?
However, the place is not what it used to be due to a heavy influx of tourists who have started to explore the not so popular areas around Goa. While this helps the economy, you could be in for a disappointment if you expected to be alone near the spring in all its glory. There is also a local myth surrounding the spring; it is believed that the water from the spring has healing and restorative properties.
A lot of people visit Verna Spring for skin rejuvenation and to get rid of skin related ailments. It is not just for those who have dermal issues, though. Even the most cynical of traveller would find the water fresh and rejuvenating. The spring is open for the public between 9 am to 7 pm, and you can take a bus to Cortalim and then use local conveyance to visit the springs. The area is only 22km from Panjim, and you go on a pleasant scooter ride to cover the distance. It is advisable to carry an extra set of clothes if you wish to take a dip.
12 Casino Cruise
If you are travelling to North Goa after having arrived in Panjim, there is something you can’t help but notice; huge cruise boats docked and decked up for a party. Now, this might seem like an exercise in decadence but sometimes it doesn't hurt to splurge, and Goa seems like the perfect place to begin. Undeniably, Goa is known for its nightlife and exotic parties and being in Goa without hitting the casino would leave your Goa trip incomplete. There are plenty of casinos, the one that tempts all travellers is the ‘Casino cruise’ and is among the most popular things to do in Goa. A casino cruise is essentially a floating restaurant with a casino in it, for all your mid-water gambling desires. The casinos are theoretically open all the time but the late hours of the night and the wee hours of the morning are the best timings to indulge in some government approved gambling. The ambience is similar to clubs, but instead of blaring techno music played at the clubs, the music is more soothing. If you are the one that loves to roll the dice or spin the wheel, then playing at the casino cruise is one of the best things to do in Goa. Onshore cruises offer electronic games which are one of the best activities in Goa to indulge with your family.
Hop around the shore to catch a glimpse of the animated coastline, hit the bar, sip a drink and go crazy with vibrant games, exotic dishes, and live music. Prices range from average to high, and you are free to choose your package and get ready to feel the aura of the casino extravaganza. The entry fee or the tickets include food and beverages and allow visitors on board for 12 hours. By the grace of your lady luck, you might hit the right number and end up winning a decent amount. Apart from the casinos, the boats also have ballrooms and beautiful decks where you can find quiet moments between the hustle and bustle of a casino. Nearly all the cruises are located close to Panjim. And you can easily visit them availing the transport of your choice. Be it the lovely music or the exotic delicacies, the gaming gamble or the gorgeous view of the sunset, visiting the cruise casino is one of the exhilarating experiences you would ever indulge in.
Timings Monday to Sunday - 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fees INR 10,000
13 Dive in The Majestic Ambiance of Goan Nightlife
As the sun slides off the horizon, the mood in Goa rises high. Offering a blend of excitement and thrill, Goa is the best place to experience vibrant shades of nightlife. Goa harbours a list of party locations, and late-night partying is one of the best things to do in Goa. If you wish to rejuvenate after partying then hitting the beach after dusk is a must. The city dazzles in neon lights, adorned with glistening bulbs, rustic music and delectable dishes infusing the perfect atmosphere to fall in love with the city. No doubt nightlife in Goa offers an exemplary proportion of assortments that offers every tourist the right speck of joy and happiness.
It could either be the celebration under the moonlight with people from across the world, singing and dancing to the beats of live music or chilling at the beach. Goa, no doubt, is indeed a beautiful place to visit on a family vacation. Sneak out to the pulsating beach parties experiencing the pleasure; the city has in store for you. Relive the thrill at the night clubs in Goa and spin through the rustic noise of Goan nightlife. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations, people seek to spend some of the best time of their life. Indulging into the exorbitant craze of Goan nightlife is no less than a treat to yourself and is amongst the most exotic things to do in Goa.
Majority of parties are held around the Goa trance theme. You would find people flocking to this place as the sun sets. Nearly all the beaches in Goa host night parties are enthralling tourists and offering them a dynamic nightlife experience. Head out of your hotel room to see the sunset at the beaches and visit the shacks bustling with the tunes of music echoing all around.
14 Holistic Healing
While listing the things to do in Goa, why not gift yourself a yogic retreat? True, that most of us visit Goa to infuse a sense of thrill, romance and a flavour of fun, but the activities in Goa, do not end there. For all the yoga lovers and wellness seekers, Goa is a perfect place. With a plethora of resorts that offer various wellness programs, Goa is the next city to opt for a vacation with your family. Most of the places dwell in North Goa that organises wellness events during October to May. So, if you are in the town during these months, do not miss spending a part of your trip rejuvenating and reviving your spirit to life.
Right from ayurvedic treatments to natural therapies, the programs are well-equipped and are moderately priced. You might have an excellent time partying at the beaches, but now it's time to seclude yourself from the noisy city and pamper yourself. Goa invites tourists to indulge in spiritual activities and embrace the majestic aura of yogic retreat. These sessions include a plethora of activities in Goa. Right from reiki healing courses and meditation to session of t’ai chi and spiritual exploration, Goa offers bountiful holistic experiences. Soak the peaceful ambience at different yogic centres and get relieved from all your stress.
Several tourists visit Goa only to endure the benefits of yoga reviving their soul. It goes without saying that yoga offers a blend of peace and refinement and what could be a better place than Goa. Lofty mountains, rolling hills, exuberant landscapes, golden beaches, and azure waters portrays the perfect atmosphere to unwind and relax. Be it the peaceful environs or the charming ambience, Goa sees thousands of tourist flocking the place and embracing the aura wholeheartedly. The verdant greenery adjacent to the stunning beaches turns Goa, a haven of peace and tranquillity.
Retreat programs are pre-planned and last for two days. It comprises all, from meditation to philosophy, boat trip to beachside dining. Every moment spent here infuses the essence of peace and harmony. While partying and beach surfing are happening things to do in Goa, yogic retreats are effective ways to gift yourself peace and serenity.
15 A Day to Relive the Heritage of Goa
The party capital of India undoubtedly drives popularity owing to its exotic beaches, vast landscapes, and exuberant nightlife, yet there are many more in the list of things to do in Goa. One of the exciting things to do in Goa is to experience the cultural vibes in Goa. In case you are looking to entertain yourself with a few of the best activities in Goa, then visiting churches is a must. Goa houses some of the most beautiful and elegant churches that promise to enthral you.
Goa is more than just the beaches, and the architectural churches are a testimony to that. Weaving the legacy of its heritage and culture, Goa boasts quite a few chapels that will surely captivate your mind and soul. Exhibiting Portuguese style of decor, Churches in Goa has stellar designs and spectacular interiors luring the attention of tourists. The Churches perfectly voice the remnants of ancient Goa and has their noteworthiness.
If you are one who is fascinated by the vibrant heritage of this city, then visiting churches offers an exceptional life-changing experience. There are Churches where you can enjoy the solitude while there are others wherein you will experience the religious zeal of the believers. There are also others which are renowned for their spectacular architecture and rich legacy. The majestic edifice provides a sense of peace and calm atmosphere along with a glimpse of intricate carvings.
Bring peace and calmness as you visit the exorbitant churches in Goa. Se Cathedral, Church of St. Cajetan, Bom Jesus Basilica, etc. have flamboyant architectures that unveil the glory of Portuguese culture and rich Goan history.
16 Trek to Butterfly beach
Soaking the sun lying on the sandy beaches are few of the exciting things to do in Goa. The unexploited Butterfly Beach owns a list of activities in Goa. Deemed as one of the buzzing tourist spots in Goa, Butterfly Beach is popular not only for the tranquil ambience and the turquoise water but also because of the activities one can indulge in the beach. The view of aqua porn waters flowing over the golden sand turns the location perfect for indulging in adventurous activities.
Watching dolphins dance, crabs and goldfish play, diving in the rustling water or going gala at the rumbling nightlife are common things to do. What turns this place a tourist delight is the opportunity to trek to this beach. An architectural land is hidden in the bed of aquamarine life, and splendid views add to the elegance of Butterfly beach. Defining the essence of peace and bliss, Butterfly beach has a semi-circle shape, and as the name says, a plethora of butterflies whimsically hop around it. Though Baga beach tops your bucket list of things to do in Goa but visiting this place would add to your exotic Goan travel experience. .
It is common for tourist to take a boat to reach the Butterfly beach, but the adventure seekers find a way to add thrill as they plan to visit this spectacular beauty in South Goa. The beach is around 2 km away from Agenda Beach, and a trail through the jungle takes 90 minutes to reach the beach. The trek starts from the Agenda road, that is 5 km from Palolem. Walk straight till you find a bend in the street until the point of Leopard valley. Five minutes’ walk from this point leads you to the narrow passage where you could see the farmers grow cashew nuts to make feni during winter.
As you stroll across the path, signs on trees and rocks guide you straight to the beach. The entire route encompasses paddy fields, thick forests and rice fields that you can witness on your way. Nothing could be better than emerging out of the wild woods and amaze yourself with the panoramic view of golden beaches blanketed with aqua porn waters. No wonder, trekking to the butterfly beach is one of the most beautiful things to do in Goa. So, visit Butterfly beach and make your Goa trip adventurously different than the regular tourists.
17 Be Part Of A Silent Party
Tourists flock the city throughout the year in this party capital of India. The amazing picturesque view of the beaches adorned with glistening lights capture the serenity of the place. But the zinging night parties sway off the peace into charts of high music. Whether you are a die-hard party fan or fond of sightseeing in various places, partying in Goa is something you would not like to miss. It would be hard to defy the urge to dive in the mesmerising experience of dancing to the beats and enraging your spirits. No doubt, the silent party fun is one of the majestic things to do in Goa
With a plethora of night clubs and bars, the Goan life after dusk has its unique essence. Heart throbbing music, basket stuffed with delicious drinks and an exuberant atmosphere is all a part of an exotic Goa experience. Though this is something, you all know about Goa, what sets the mood of party lovers today are the silent themed parties trending all over.
Started a couple of years back, Palolem in South Goa was the first to conceive silent parties. The place is itself known for a calm, diversified and quaint atmosphere. Where loud noise parties are bound to break laws, Goa takes extra efforts not to violate laws and at the same time sustain the party mood of its tourists.
Silent Party is all about having a pair of headphones that work wirelessly to connect you to different DJ channels, and you can listen to any song of your choice. Control the volume, the bass, the DJ selection and enthral yourself as you wear those big headphones and tune in the music of your choice.
Sitting in the backdrop of beaches and having those pair of headphones with a piece of soft romantic music is all you need after a tiring day. However, if you are still high on spirit, hit the dance floor, tune in your favourite number and there you go. Neon lights, exotic dishes, fireworks, and UV displays all infuse thrill and adventure to your Goa trip.
Places to opt For Silent Party:
Location: Neptune Point Beach Resort, Palolem
Entry: Rs. 600 (includes headphone hire charges)
Timings: 9 pm to 4 am
Entry: Rs. 600 (including headphone rental)
Timings: 9.30 pm to 4 am
Location: Arambol, South Goa
Entry: Rs. 350 (including headphone rental)
Timings: 10.30 pm to 4.30 am
Location: Palolem, South Goa
Entry: Rs. 400 (including headphone rental)
Timings: 10 pm to early morning
Head down to any of the above places. Choose not only your drinks or snacks but also the track you would love to hear and experience the exotic sojourn cast by these places making unforgettable memories in Goa.
18 Walk Through The Dark Passages Of The Goan Caves
As you explore the things to do in Goa, an unusual experience would be walking through the dark Goan Caves. Do not restrict yourself to the conventional definition of Goa but experiment few of the heart throbbing activities in Goa. Hardly any of us know about the existence of Goa's surreal cave that offers a blend of both historical and natural significance. Few of the caves that thrive in the city are natural caves whereas some are man-made. Where the historical monuments witness heavy footfall, the verdant caves are likely to remain in solitude and so the best place to visit with your family.
Exploring the dark caves is one of the exciting things to do in Goa. While you are at one of the caves in Goa, you would gift yourself an unforgettable experience for a lifetime. Of the several caves in Goa, the Arvalem and the Lamgau are perfect for sneaking out and hunt to know the historical aspect of Goa. This incredible experience would guide you to pass through the cave formation, at times crawling below to stay by the rock-cut forms giving more to your adventurous trip.
A visit to one of the caves drives you back to the prehistoric times where you see yourself standing as a caveman. Light a bonfire, see the magic of late dusk unwind beauty and captivate all. Narrating the tales of Goa's artistic past, such caves have been carved to promote religious acts. The Verna cave is the largest and caon accommodate 1200 people. Buddhist Rivona Caves have miraculous formations enthralling your visit to Goa and turning your tour worth remembering.
19 Feel the Chills in the Eerie Environs Dona Paula
It would be sacrilege to leave Dona Paula out of a list of the most popular activities in Goa. The place has a love story associated with it and thus draws many couples from all over the world. There is a legend surrounding Lady Dona Paula and how she still waits for her lover. A lot of people visit to catch a glimpse of her ghost which is said to reside there still.
Subdued with romance and myth, visiting the Dona Paula is one of the adventurous activities in Goa. Fuel your spirit to experience the haunted sight at the beach, and unveil the mystery locked behind the tranquillity of the place. A plethora of tourist drive to this secluded beach to catch a glimpse of Dona Paula rise above under the shadow of moonlight.
And it's not just the history that turns Dona Paula a significant attraction and finds a place in your list of things to do in Goa. Being in close vicinity to the mainland Panjim, Dona Paula’s party scene is primarily eclipsed by other popular beaches and remains a popular tourist destination. There are a lot of water sports opportunities in Dona Paula and enthusiasts from all over the world visit to engage in them. There are several beachside restaurants and shacks in Dona Paula. So, when you are listing the things to do in Goa, you ought not to miss this mystical beach.
20 Escape in the Hot Air Balloon
So, after you are done with all the top activities in Goa, the adventurous tours and the thrilling cave rides, it's time to embark on the journey of Hot Air Balloon. Goa is a place adorned with myriads of attractions and concocts of things to do, and one of the recent additions in the list of activities in Goa is hot air ballooning. When you feel the need to escape the hustle bustle of your daily life, rising in the hot air balloon is the activity you should indulge in. Imbued with thrill and adventure, hot air ballooning adds magic to the entire trip to Goa. Where Goa sets the mood of all the tourists, the beauty with which it eludes the tourists away from the beaches turn it into an ideal spot for your next vacation.
Hot Air Ballooning is one of the most adventurous activity things to do in Goa. Paint a picture of you flying in the air inside the basket, witnessing the alluring nature at its best as the thunder breeze ripples through your clothes. This is sure going to be a memorable experience for your visit to Goa. As you fly higher, you would reach a point that remains hidden from all and that voices nature's elegance in its immaculate form. And the view from the top is too spectacular to be expressed in mere words.
This turns more beautiful and exciting when you are high above with your loved ones. Being with your partner high above, holding hands and confessing your love would be by far the best moments you would experience in Goa. And why just partner, being with your family or friends adds a different vibe to the entire Goa vacation.
Where to go?
Assolda Football Ground, Chandor, South Goa, Goa.
15th October - 15th May; 6:45 AM onwards
A place that isn't limited to just fun and frolic, the list of things to do in Goa is endless. The place has something that lures all kinds of tourists. Make a list of the best activities in Goa as you plan your next vacation. Irrespective of the season you choose to travel to Goa, you can experience the best of Goa with family at the Club Mahindra resorts. There are a number of resorts in and near Goa that offer luxurious accommodation and access to private parts of the beach. Of all the places to stay, Club Mahindra Varca Beach Resort in Goa is one of a kind. For those who prefer peace over bustling party scenes, Varca Beach Resort offers it all. One can easily experience the calming influence of the sea here. Comfortable rooms equipped with all the modern amenities, this is the best resort to stay with your family. The resort always provides excellent hospitality and impeccable service to the guests. The resort has an in-house restaurant where you can relish the local cuisines of Goa with your family. There are also several fun-filled activities you can indulge in. As a Club Mahindra Member, you can enjoy family holidays across the numerous Club Mahindra resorts for 25 years. Have a look at the Club Mahindra reviews before you plan your tour to Goa and get set to have some of the best time with your family in Goa. Also, have a look at this detailed tourism guide of Goa to make the most of your family vacation in Goa.