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.