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Colonial Sites in Goa

Colonial Sites in Goa

Long before flower children stormed the white-sand beaches of Goa, explorer Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India, kicking off the Portuguese era of colonization lasting from 1505 to 1961. From Portuguese churches to Mediterranean villas, here are the colonial sites you shouldn’t miss in this Indian state.

What to See

  • Fort Aguada — a 17th-century fort and lighthouse once used to protect the colony against invaders

  • Basilica of Bom Jesus — home to the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a founder of the Jesuit order

  • Sé Cathedral — built during the 16th century and one of the largest churches in Asia

  • Fontainhas — Panaji’s Latin Quarter, where narrow streets brim with colorful Mediterranean architecture

  • Museum of Christian Art — a collection of Indo-Portuguese art from Goa, the only museum of its kind in Asia

How to Visit

  • Take a step back in time during a sightseeing tour of Old Goa, with its numerous churches, monuments, and museums.

  • Take a heritage walk through the streets of Panaji, the new capital of Goa, with an archaeologist guide.

  • Spend a day exploring the museums of South Goa to dig deeper into its colonial history.

  • Ride the Goa hop-on hop-off bus from one historic attraction to the next.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Private Portuguese Heritage Tour: Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Dona Paula Beach in Goa

Private Portuguese Heritage Tour: Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Dona Paula Beach in Goa

star-4.5
11
Uncover Portuguese history and influence on this private half-day Portuguese heritage tour from Goa. Gain a deeper understanding of the state’s colonial past on visits to Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Born Jesus—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This epic tour includes a visit to the city of Panaji, where you see the impact of the Portuguese in Fontainhas, the Latin Quarter. Catch incredible views of the Arabian Sea from the Dona Paula Jetty before enjoying a traditional lunch.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$87.00
Price varies by group size
From
$87.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Cultural Tour: Ancestral Goa, Shantadurga Temple and Spice Village Including Lunch

Private Cultural Tour: Ancestral Goa, Shantadurga Temple and Spice Village Including Lunch

star-4.5
6
Experience the culture of Goa, sample its aromatic cuisine, and gain an insider’s understanding of Hindu religion on this full-day private tour. Explore Ancestral Goa with your guide and learn about efforts to preserve art, culture, and the environment. Check out two Hindu temples that showcase Portuguese influence and visit a spice village where you unlock the secrets of India’s most prized export. Hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a traditional Indian lunch, are included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$116.02
Price varies by group size
From
$116.02
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Panjim Heritage walk with professional guide and option of pickup and drop

Panjim Heritage walk with professional guide and option of pickup and drop

Take a heritage walk through Panaji with an expert archaeologist guide, who will teach you all about the historical and cultural significance of the churches, temples, and typical homes of the city. This part of India is culturally unique, and your local guide will explain this so you get a better understanding of Goa. This tour is best suited to active travelers, as a moderate amount of walking is involved.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$53.34
Price varies by group size
From
$53.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Museums of South Goa with guide and lunch

Museums of South Goa with guide and lunch

Explore the many museums of South Goa to learn about its history and heritage. Visit the Chitra Goa Museum to learn about the area’s ethnography; the Bigfoot Cross Museum showcases what rural life was like through a miniature village; the Christian Art Museum features many works of Indo-Portuguese Christian art; the Museum of Archeological Survey of India displays artifacts from prehistoric times to the medieval period.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$144.00
Price varies by group size
From
$144.00
Price varies by group size

Private Cultural Tour Ancestral Goa,Shantadurga Temple and Spice Village & Lunch

Private Cultural Tour Ancestral Goa,Shantadurga Temple and Spice Village & Lunch

Enjoy a full day private tour of cultural Goa. You will explore ancestral Goan history with your guide and learn about the efforts to preserve art, culture and the environment. Visit temples and gain an understanding of the Hindu religion as well as see the influence of the Portuguese. The tour also includes a visit to a spice village where you will unlock the secrets of India’s most prized export. Highlights • Ancestral Goa Cultural Center • Shantadurga Temple • Mangueshi Temple • Spice Plantation tour • Buffet Lunch
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$223.00
Price varies by group size
From
$223.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Goa Walking tour: History, Culture, Art and architecture

Goa Walking tour: History, Culture, Art and architecture

star-5
1
There is more to Goa than its beaches and nightlife. On this guided walking tour, explore its streets, busy markets, old-world architecture, and more. First, visit the local markets of Panjim, while passing landmark buildings. Then, hop into a tuk-tuk to head to the Fontainhas area to grab a beer or a feni (a spirit distilled from the cashew fruit). Plus, see a Portuguese-inspired church and visit a local art gallery.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.00
Price varies by group size
From
$85.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Old Goa & St Estevam island tour including ride on canal boat & lunch

Old Goa & St Estevam island tour including ride on canal boat & lunch

Tour the historic Kadamba Plateau, breathtaking sights, a glorious cathedral, churches & a monte (small hill) in & around Old Goa. Thereafter visit St. Estevam island and enjoy a canal boat ride. Includes return hotel transfers from Calangute or Candolim in North Goa.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$148.00
Price varies by group size
From
$148.00
Price varies by group size