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    Image credit: wikimedia

    Goa has always been about sunshine and good times; North Goa embodies that philosophy and ensures that anyone who visits this part of the tropical paradise leaves with pleasant memories. There are extensive tours organized here which provide the opportunity to visit the favourite hotspots in and around the vicinity. From the famous Coco Beach to the Aguada Fort, North Goa has exotic locales that merit exploration. Tourists can also enjoy visiting some old heritage sites which include a host of churches and convents that reflect the architectural brilliance that Goa possesses. 

    Listed below are some of the best things to do and places to visit in North Goa:

    1. Water Sports

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Water sports have become very popular owing to the adventure lovers. Among the best things to do in North Goa,they vary in their degree of difficulty. Some of the famous water sports here include parasailing, jet skiing, boating, surfing and wind sailing. Calangute, Baga, Candolim, Anjuna and Vagator beaches offer these recreational activities. The best season to indulge in these adrenaline pumping activities is during the winter months spanning from October to February. The climate is conducive for such high-octane activity. Individuals are asked to specifically follow instructions given by the expert guides who are usually found on-site. If training is provided, ensure to follow the drill to be aware of the safety precautions required. 

    [Expericence the Under water walk in Baina beach]

    2. Visit Churches and Historical Landmarks

    There are a number of old churches which were built during the time of the Portugese and still remain famous for their architectural brilliance. Several pilgrims make their way to some of these churches in order to fulfill a vow or a religious duty. North Goa is also home to some famous historical landmarks which have gained popularity among both local and international tourists.

    Some of the famous churches that one should visit when in North Goa include the following:

    • Church of St. Francis of Assissi
    • St. Catejan Church
    • Reis Margos Church
    • Church of Our Lady of Miracles
    • Fort Aguada
    • Fort Aguada Jail
    • Chapora Fort

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    The best time to visit these revered sanctums is early in the morning. The sun tends to be quite strong late afternoon which is why most tours are usually wrapped up by 12 noon.  These churches are some of the best places to visit in North Goa because of the history and the architecture they represent. 

    [Enjoy the Dudhsagar Trek in Goa]

    3. Shopping (Saturday Night Market, Anjuna flea market)

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Shopping in Goa is among the most popular things to do for tourists in and around the area. There are a plenty of market stalls and flea markets which sell everything under the sun. Enjoy shopping for a range of quirky jewellery, clothes and other cool items. A hit among the tourists are the indigenous items sold by the local vendors.

    Anjuna Flea Market is a favourite among people. Here you are also likely to spot goods that are normally not found elsewhere. Take the time to haggle for the things – from clothes to jewellery and souvenirs that are on display because chances are that you might get them for cheap.

    Image credit: flickr

    The Saturday Night Market in North Goa provides a unique experience. The great buzz, colourful stalls and the unique items on sale all combine to provide a truly fun experience. There are a host of craftsmen, musicians and artists that also throng the area, making this one of the best places to visit in North Goa.

    Unique craft items and local junk jewellery as well as the floral printed shirts and shorts are just some of the things that one should buy at these markets. Make sure to bargain well in order to get the best possible price.

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    4. Walking tours of Goa

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    North Goa has so much to offer with respect to architectural marvels and places of significance. These walking tours provide an enriching experience by exposing tourists to the old world charm that the land possesses. From the old corners of the city to some of the monuments of historical significance, these tours are considered as the best way to explore the city.

    The heritage tours are quite popular among the tourists as it allows them the opportunity to visit some famous forts – Aguada and Chapora forts. Along the way, group members can also enjoy sights of some famous Hindu temples which are architecturally brilliant. The tour includes few famous churches and convents in the area.

    Embark on a food walking tour by visiting some famous bazaars in the area which provide an aromatic experience. These walking tours usually do not exceed 4-5 kms at a stretch taking into consideration the various age groups that are a part of the tour. Children are usually allowed on these walking tours. One is asked to dress comfortably and sport shoes that are road-friendly to avoid exhaustion and feet pain. Tourists are advised to carry a large bottle of water and a sun cap to keep cool.

    [Walk through the Spice Plantation in Goa] 

    5. Biking around

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    The best way to travel around North Goa is on a bike. It helps save time and money too. They are easily available for hire from the capital of the city – Panaji. One of the best places to rent these bikes and scooters would be Daud M Aga Cycle Store which can be found opposite Cine Nacional. If you are staying in a guesthouse, you can always ask the owners if you could rent their 4-wheelers – some of them actually oblige. However, you need to have your riding license if you plan on the same.

    [Here is what you can do in southern part of Goa]

    6. Wellness Activities: Yoga, Ayurveda, Massage & Spa

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    Goa provides the perfect setting for rest and relaxation. There are a number of wellness activities that tourists can indulge in when holidaying in the tropical paradise. Yoga, massage and spa treatments offer guests the chance to rejuvenate their senses while pampering themselves.

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Among the best wellness centres in North Goa is The Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre. It offers yoga, ayurveda and healing for those individuals who are on a budget. The centre also sells some great wellness products which range from herbal oils, powders and healing teas. A seven-day package for an individual would include all activities, meals as well as some sightseeing options in and around North Goa.

    Among the other famous wellness centres in Goa, The Mandala, Satsanga Retreat and Purple Valley Yoga Retreat, are equipped to provide wholesome yoga and meditation packages

    7. Silent Party

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    Silent parties in Goa have revolutionized the way people enjoy the nightlife in the city. Each person in attendance at a silent party wears a headset which is plugged in to the main sound system. While the music plays, people are found grooving without causing noise pollution. These headsets are usually rented and are returned once the party is over. North Goa has a few places which have introduced the concept of silent parties, making it one of the unique things to do in North Goa.

    8. Get a Tattoo

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    If you ever need to get inked while in Goa, you might just end up with some cool and radical tattoos that are worth the pain.

    The Big Ben Tattoo Parlour in Anjuna and Andy’s Tattoo Parlour are among the best in the area. Do be cautious though and ensure that the place you choose is hygienic and the needle is new. 

    [Experience the thrilling Snake watch in Goa]

    9. A night in the cruise/yacht

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    A yacht/cruise experience in Goa should be among the top things to do. The entire experience is quite enthralling. The yachts are usually clean and chic and are great for sun-bathing or just enjoying the sights and sounds of the place that surround this tropical paradise. Good music, food and even some dancing is what anyone can expect. Panaji is ideally the best place where one can opt for a cruise ride. You could also avail of a cruise from Santa Monica which then offers breathtaking views of the entire bay area. There is also a full-moon cruise geared for individuals who enjoy the beauty of a post-sunset cruise which is among the more romantic things to do in North Goa.

    [Enjoy the Housebout Tour in Goa]

    10. Dayout at Splashdown Water Park

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    Splashdown is considered as one of Goa’s premier and most popular water parks. Visited by thousands of local and international tourists every year, it is a great place for adults and children alike as there are separate areas dedicated to different age groups. The entire facility has around 5 swimming pools that are shallow and deep, catering to beginners and experienced swimmers. Apart from the pools, there are slides and flumes in addition to other fun features which make for great entertainment.

    Among the fun places to visit in Goa, The Park is open throughout the week from around 10-30 am to 6-00 pm. The entrance fee for weekdays is slightly less than the amount for weekends. There are different rates for children, adults and senior citizens.

    11. Travel Guitar Making

    Image credit: wikimedia

    Goa is known for promoting some unique but fun things to do. Among them, guitar making is a course music lovers should try. Travel guitars are usually smaller than their regular counterparts and are intended for use during travelling as they are hassle-free to carry around.

    There are travel guitar making workshops and courses held in North Goa for individuals who love to play live music on the go. These courses have been designed to ensure guitar building – from bending sides to even designing a customized rosette. Hand tools are usually used during the workshop and an instructor is always present to provide guidance and support to the group members. This workshop usually lasts for 15-20 days (5-6 hours a day). They function between November and March owing to the large influx of tourists during these months. 

    12. Try your luck at a Casino

     Image Credit: wikimedia

    Goa is among a handful of states in India where gambling is actually a legal form of entertainment. There are a number of casinos which are a part of five star hotels. However, most of the casino action takes place on moving ships replete with live tables. The experience is something very unique as it transports tourists to another world – among the most favorite things to do in North Goa.

    Listed below are some of the best casinos in North Goa:

    Caravela - Panaji
    Crown Casino - Panjim
    Casino Palms - Baga
    Casino Paradise – Alto-BetimPorvorim

    There are packages that can be availed by individuals who want to gamble. However, if you are an inexperienced gambler, the slot machines are your best bet at actually winning anything. The other card games include high stakes and can be quite intimidating. Ensure to wear smart casuals and avoid beachwear as there are strict rules which every person needs to abide by. 

    13. Coastal Bike Ride (Royal Enfield)

    Image Credit: Vir Nakai - Flickr

    If you want to truly experience the virgin beauty of Goa along its magnificent coastline, then a bike ride on a Royal Enfield is sure to be an exciting and enthralling experience. Goa’s coastline is dotted with fabulous sites that will make any bike ride an absolute pleasure. From gorgeous beaches, quaint huts to people reveling on the golden sand, there is so much that pleases the eye along this coastline of Goa. The journey is not all smooth sailing as the road can get a little bumpy in spots. However, this is short-lived as the sounds of the crashing waves provide a whole new sensation.

    An individual undertaking one of these extensive coastline bike rides will require a valid driving license. Also, a helmet is a must when riding along with light clothes to make the journey a pleasurable one. 

    14. Go-Karting 

    Image credit: Frederick Noronha

    Go-Karting has become a popular sport in Goa and has gained a massive following because of the thrill involved. North Goa has one of the best tracks for go-karting in the state. In fact, the best go-karting track in all of Goa is located in Salcette Taluk which is located North from Margao on the NH-17.

    The track has a lot of twists and turns and is quite complex in some parts. An individual requires some amount of skill to navigate the track. There are various grades which cater to various demographics and experience levels.

    All those who decide to embark on a go-karting adventure must wear a helmet as it is part of the safety instruction.

    15. Watch a Tiatr

    Image Credit: Chris Goldberg - Flickr

    If you are in the mood for a live musical theatre performance, then witnessing a tiatr is something that all tourists must do. These musical performances are performed in the local Konkani language and usually include dancing, singing and a lot of music. The themes and topics which form a part of these performances range from political to social issues. Tiatr Academy Goa is among the famous venues which showcase these tiatr performances. Kala Academy in Panaji and Ravindra Bhavan and Gomant Vidya Niketan in Margao are some of the other places which showcase these performances to audiences from around the world.  

    [To experience a cultural treat in goa like no other, click here]

    16. Learn dancing

    Image credit: Sveta Suvorina

    When in Goa, one must indulge in some dancing. It helps lift the spirit and gives you a thrill. These dancing classes are great for both beginners and for those that have a little experience. There are a number of dance styles which are taught, they include ballroom dancing (salsa, rumba, cha cha among others), hip hop, freestyle and other dance forms which are also popular. 

    Jason and Sylvia Dance Academy is among the best places to learn these dance forms well. Katie Holland, an Egyptian dancer is also well-known for her classes. If you are looking for fun things to do in North Goa, this is among the best. 

    17. Goa State Museum Visit 

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    The Goa State Museum is a must-visit destination for individuals who want to experience the great history of the tropical paradise. The museum houses some great architectural and sculptural pieces that hail from the Portugese period. Hindu and Jain sculptures are also on display for tourists. The museum is open from Mondays through to Fridays (9.30 am to 5.30 pm). Photography is strictly prohibited.

    With a myriad list of things to do in North Goa, there is so much to do and see in North Goa. Avail of all the charms this land provided and head back home with sweet memories. Goa has more to offer than just the sun, sand and sea. There is a Goa that is way different from the Goa we’ve seen in movies.