Regardless of whether you are young or old, rich or poor, single or with someone special, Goa always has something to offer for every age group and budget. The sunshine state provides you the opportunity to explore its rich history through various means. You can spend your time visiting forts and chapels, rent a cycle or a motorbike to explore picturesque islands and beaches, go bar/cafe hopping in some of the trendiest neighborhoods, or indulge in eccentric and freakish adventure sports. It could become difficult for you to decide where to start with so much that Goa has on offer. To help you get over the confusion, we have put together a list of Goa’s 7 most popular hangout places that will help kickstart your party. Plan your schedule to include these places, and you are all set to have a guaranteed fun time. Let’s get started.
The 7 Most Popular Hangout Places in Goa
- Fort Aguada
Fort Aguada is located in Candolim, North Goa, and is a nice and easy walk away from the Taj Fort Aguada Resort. The Portuguese built it in 1612 as a means to defend themselves against the Marathas and the Dutch. Today, it is a well-recognized tourist hotspot. The fort’s freshwater spring, which once acted as a pit stop for ships looking to restock freshwater, is a major attraction among locals and outsiders. It is precisely why it has been named the Aguada Fort as Aguada means water in the Portuguese language. The fort stands atop a hill that provides an expansive view of the sea and a scenic eyeshot of the point where the river Mandovi meets the sea. What adds to the popular hotspot’s charm with a spectacular sunset view is that there is no entry fee.
Fontainhas is also known as Goa’s Latin district. It is surrounded by the Altinho hills on one side and Ourem Creek on the other. The candy-colored homes once served as residences for the Portuguese administrative officers and rulers. Today, the place has emerged as a cool tourist destination and has much to thank Instagram for its revival. Its rusty and cobbled narrow streets and bylanes make you feel like you are in the European countryside. So much has the place been under Portuguese influence that even the roads are named after significant events in Portugal’s history. However, don’t let the place’s history fool you. The tourist attraction in Panjim is home to Goa’s funkiest bars, art galleries, restaurants, casinos, and designer boutiques.
- Reis Magos Fort
Reis Magos is the oldest fort in Goa, located in a town that goes by its name or vice versa. The beautiful and well-maintained fort is an ideal destination for those looking to spend quality time away from the hustle and bustle of Goan beaches. The Portuguese fort, built in 1551, offers a spectacular look of the Mandovi river and Panjim city. You can walk unhurriedly around the fort’s rooms and ramparts and take in the magnificent sea view. You can climb down the stairs at the base of the fort and visit the famous Reis Magos church. The fort features a museum and a room that has been dedicated to Mario Miranda’s art creations. The place is a popular hotspot for music concerts, weddings, art festivals, and movie screenings. You need to pay an entry fee of INR 50 before you can enter its premises.
- Sinquerim Beach
Where one beach ends, another awaits you. That’s the charm of Goa. The Sinquerim beach is located towards the end of the Baga-Calangute-Candolim beach, right under the nose of the grand Taj Fort Aguada Resort. The picturesque beach with golden sand is a great way to enjoy a lazy day out. Unlike Goa’s other crowded beaches, the Sinquerim beach is quiet and is excellent for scuba diving, swimming, beach volleyball, banana boat rides, water skiing, and windsurfing. If that is not enough already, there is also the Aguada fort nearby.
Assagao, a small Goan village, has fast become a favorite tourist destination over the last year. The village’s quiet and lush green surroundings are home to Goa’s best restaurants, boutiques, and hospitality services. Its long winding roads with lush green trees on the sides, great food, luxury cottages that offer unconventional stay packages, and bungalows with a cozy ambience are just some of the reasons why Assagao is now an integral part of a tourist’s itinerary. What has made the place even more in-demand is the presence of eating joints such as Vinayak, Gunpowder, Suzie’s, The Burger house, and SEA that offer fantastic seafood and fish platters, cocktails, gourmet burgers, and several other innovative cuisines. Some of Assagao’s popular places to stay include Hotel Astoria, Namaste Jungle, The Project Cafe, and Botanique. And to top it all, if you are an avid shopper, there is the People Tree Design Studio, Rangeela, and No Nasties. With all this and more, who could you blame for not wanting to come back?
- Palolem Beach
The Palolem beach in South Goa is an excellent option for those looking to hang out and relax on the beach. It is surrounded by rocks on two sides and palm trees on one, which offers a safe and peaceful beach time. The place is a heaven for swimmers and lovers of adventurous water activities such as sailing, kayaking, and boating. What’s more, there are a host of shacks, stores, and cafes leading up to the beach that serve as popular hangout spots. Some of these famous shacks include Magic Italy, Ciarin’s, Little World, Sundowner bar, Cafe Inn, and Dropadi.
- Candolim Main Market
Try taking a walk down the Candolim road to experience the magic of Goan evenings. Feel the excitement as people make their way to the nearest bars, pubs, and shacks. Places like the Fisherman’s Cove, Watson’s, Cafe Chocolatti, Davide’s Pizzeria, Calamari beach shack, Candolim deck, and Bomras provide you with great choices of drinks and lip-smacking food. The designer stores and garment stalls lining up the Candolim road offer great products that suit every pocket. The real fun starts later in the night when the whole Candolim road is buzzing with energy and excitement, thanks to clubs like SinQ and Showbar.
The list of places to hang out in Goa is endless. Quite contrary to the belief that Goa is only famous for its beaches, the list above is a testimony of its architecture, Portuguese history, mixed culture, and the beauty of its villages. Your Goan journey can not be considered complete without visiting these places that should ideally rank the highest on your itinerary. So, the next time you plan to visit Goa, make some time, draw a map, and ensure you breathe in the spectacle offered by Goa.