Churches in Goa are the impression of Portuguese influence in Goa. These cathedrals in Goa are the lifeline of the local Goan people and like-minded tourists as well. Goa's spiritual, cultural, and social aspects are personified much by the Churches of Goa. The extremely popular cathedrals in Goa house exquisite Christian artwork in their museums. What remains the same in every Goan Church is that each of them celebrates a feast dedicated to its specific patron saint annually. Locals of the villages and districts get dressed up in their traditional avatars. The music procession is carried out, followed by the village band and many delicacies.
Explore the churches of Goa on your next trip because they can give you glorious reminders of the bygone ages. Broaden your knowledge about Goa tourism which is restricted to the fact that Goa is famous only for pristine beaches, golden sands, sundowners, colorful shacks, and coconut trees. On the brighter side, international tourism in Goa flocks to Churches after the beaches. The churches in Goa are the lifeline of Goa tourism after the beaches and enticing nightlife.
The Goan churches have grand designs and depict the glory of the Portuguese left years back in Goa. Not merely a place of worship for Christians only. Even non-Christians visit the churches in North and South Goa. Did we mention that some famous churches in Goa were used as filming locations for many Bollywood movies?
Discover and learn the cultural and historical significance of the churches in Goa on a well-guided excursion. There are UNESCO World Heritage Churches in Goa scattered from North to South Goa and are flanked by palm-fringed trees on both sides. A guided day trip to the cathedrals in Goa will introduce you to the interior of the Goa churches and the brilliant work of marble and precious stone on their floors.
Get familiar with the saying that Goa is the ‘Rome of the East’ because of its dozens of churches. The architecture of the churches of Goa personifies the Tuscan style, Portuguese-Manueline, Corinthian style, and Baroque style architecture. Plan to explore the churches in Goa to delve deep into the history to find out how the Portuguese ruled Goa for 451 years and brought western culture to Goa at its initial time.
Check out the spectacular churches in Goa from North to South district:
Se Cathedral Church
This is one of the biggest churches and convents of Goa. Ideally, it is located in Old Goa and houses the largest’ Golden Church Bell in the entire state. Portuguese-style architecture is clustered with a Tuscan peripheral and Corinthian core, adding to the beauty. UNESCO has crowned Se Cathedral Church in its tentative list of heritage sites.
Gliding carvings that work inside the church are amazing to watch. Also called St. Catherine’s Cathedral, the purpose of building this church was to celebrate the victory of Afonso, a Portuguese ruler, to commemorate his victory over the Goan city in 1510. That same day was also the feast of Saint Catherine, which is why the cathedral was dedicated to her.
- Location: Velha, Goa 403402
- Timings: Weekdays – 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM
- Sunday – 7:15 AM, 10:00 AM, and 4:00 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 25 kilometers/45 minutes (approx.)
Church of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception
Built-in Baroque style architecture is the famous hilltop catholic church of Goa nestled in the Panim, the capital town. It is popular among tourists because the Church of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception was used as the Dilwale and Josh movie backdrop. Annually on 8th December, locals and tourists flourish here to attend our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Festival.
This famous Goan church addresses the masses in Konkani, English, and Hindi. This UNESCO-crowned church was first built in 1541 as a chapel and later revamped into an enlarged church in 1609. Come across the old plated and marble statues of St Paul and St Peter. Then, traverse through the zigzagging stairs to reach the top area and marvel at the scenic views surrounding the church. Did we mention that this church of Goa houses the second largest bell of one of its kind in Goa?
- Location: R. Emidio Garcia, Altinho, Panaji
- Timings: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM– 7:30 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 29.2 kilometers/45 minutes
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Christened a UNESCO world heritage site in Goa, one of the famous and oldest churches in Goa. Its architecture is of Baroque style. Inside the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the body of St. Francis Xavier lies, and it also houses the surreal impressionist paintings of Dom Martin Basilica Bom of Jesus.
This church is a big hit of Goa tourism because the Portuguese have declared it their Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin worldwide. The interior flooring of the church is dotted with precious stones and marble. In addition, the Basilica of Bom Jesus has an art gallery to witness Biblical scenes and 36 paintings.
- Location: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim, Goa 403402
- Timings: 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM on Sundays and from 9 AM to 6.30 PM on weekdays
- Distance from Goa Airport: 29.2 kilometers/45 minutes
Church of St. Francis of Assissi
Comprising a beautiful blend of Tuscan, Baroque, and Corinthian-style architecture, the Church of St.Francis of Assisi is Goa’s most revered Roman Catholic church. Initially, it was a small chapel when it was built, but later, in 1661, the church was revamped. Get enamored by the scenes of the Bible on the church wall and paintings from the 17th century. Opposite this church is another famous church of Goa - Basilica Bom Jesus in Old Goa. There is also an archeological museum to visit which remains closed on Fridays.
- Location: Off National Highway 4, Goa Velha, Goa 403110
- Timings: 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 27.2 kilometers/47 minutes
Church of St Paul
A ruined Church of St Paul is nestled on the road from Old Goa to Ponda. Its foundation was laid in 1541 on the day of the conversion of St Paul, and the church was completed on 25th January 1543. Later in 1560, the church was pulled down as its condition was poor. Now you can see its arch in the basalt stone, which is touted as the old church’s facade. There is a college attached to the church named St. Paul College, a famous educational institution in India.
- Location: Old Goa to Ponda road
- Timings: 9 AM - 5:30 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 18.5 kilometers/32 minutes
Church of Our Lady of Miracles
The history of this church dates back to 1594, and initially, it started as a military chapel. Later, it got revamped many times. It was the Portuguese who built this church. Legends of the Church of Our Lady of Miracles depict that earlier. There was a temple in this place where the church was encapsulated; thus, it is a famous religious place for Hindus and Christians. The annual festival on the 16th day after Easter is the renowned gathering held at this church. Even the architecture of the church is intriguing.
- Location: JV9J+GV7, Sircaim, Goa 403502
- Timings:7 AM - 10 AM and 4 PM - 11 PM on all days
- Distance from Goa Airport: 27.4 kilometers/46 minutes
St Alex Church
This is a stunning white church in Goa near Calangute Beach to manifest positive vibes on Goa’s trip. It was built in 1697 and is the only church of Goa that boasts a Cupola Falsa in Indian-style architecture. A small lake serves as the perfect backdrop amidst the village’s greenery and serenity. When you walk into the church, its Rococo-style architecture will tempt your soul.
- Location: Saligao, Goa 403519
- Timings: 6:45 AM -7:45 PM and 4:30 PM in Weekdays, 6:45 AM - 7:45 PM, 6:00 PM in Saturdays - 6:15 AM; 7:30 AM, 8:45 PM and 5:00 PM in Sundays
- Distance from Goa International Airport: 39.3 kilometers/1 hour 4 minutes
Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
It is a 475 years old church positioned on the bluff where you can marvel at the views of the Mandovi River and its nearby surroundings. Church of Our Lady of the Rosary is one of those churches whose architecture is entirely inspired by Portuguese design without incorporating the Goan architecture touch.
- Location: Fatorda Margao, Goa, 403602,
- Timings: 9 AM -5:30 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 27.5 kilometers/47 minutes
Church of St. Anne
One of the finest examples of colonial Portuguese Baroque architecture, the Church of St.Anne, is a catholic church and a world heritage moment. The church has a facade of 5 stories, and lush greenery encapsulates the church. This is the same place where the annual cucumber festival is celebrated every July. Attend morning prayers for peaceful, positive vibes.
- Location: Talalulim, Goa
- Timings: 6.30 AM– 6.30 PM (Open all days)
- Distance from Goa Airport: 22.7 kilometers/38 minutes
Reis Magos Church
The Reis Magos Church is on the way to the famous Calangute and Candolim Beach. This catholic church has a whitewashed facade and boasts impressive and colorful interiors. The Reis Magos Church is very close to the Reis Magos Fort. Attend the annual festival of Festa dos Reis Magos in January.
- Location: Nerul - Reis Margos Rd, Reis Magos, Goa
- Timings: 9.30 AM – 5 PM
- Distance from Goa Airport: 35.1 kilometers/60 minutes