What are the Must-Visit Churches in Goa?

Goa is synonymous with beaches and partying. Celebration and Goa go hand-in-glove. It is also the best place to relax and de-stress yourself with yoga and wellness centres, and also enjoy some privacy in the private Islands. But one of the less known alluring historical and cultural elements in Goa is its churches!

If you are into history or architecture, then the churches of Goa are a paradise for you. I’m usually curious about stories and myths behind historic structures, so the Goan churches never stop amusing me. The beautiful and intrinsic architecture of the ancient Goan churches is a part of the Goan culture and tradition. They bring the colonial era to life before our eyes!

Read on to learn about the must-visit churches in Goa. 

Must Visit Churches in Goa

I am always intrigued by buildings that bring history alive. The Goan churches built during the Portuguese colonial rule are an architectural marvel. I’m bringing a comprehensive list of ancient churches worth visiting during your Goa trip. 

1. Basilica of Bom Jesus 

One of Goa’s oldest and most historic churches, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, was constructed in the late 15th century and is recognised and preserved as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This should tell you how significant the church is. This is one of the pilgrimages in Goa, attracting many tourists from across the country. But people also visit the church to understand the history behind the monument.

Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the finest buildings showcasing Portuguese architecture in India. The church is inlaid with precious stones, and the elaborated and ornamented altar is gilded for a luxurious look. The church also houses the relics of St. Francis Xavier, which are displayed to the public every ten years. Thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the church when the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are displayed. The extravagant paintings of Dom Martin Basilica never fall short in astonishing the tourists.

2. Se Cathedral

The 16th-century church, one of the largest in Asia, was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Mughals in Goa. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and the altar is decorated with paintings of the saint on either side. One significant historical attraction of this place is the golden bell, the largest and the most magnificent of the five bells in the church.

The church houses 14 altars with intrinsic carvings, and the main altar is gold-plated. The architecture of the Se Cathedral Church is a spectacle and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can take your camera inside the church. Do not miss the picturesque opportunity!

3. Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount

As the name suggests, the church is located on a hilltop and offers a panoramic view of Old Goa, a compelling view of the Mandovi river and Chorao island. The church features a simple exterior but contrastingly grand interiors. It houses four grand altars and detailed paintings and sculptures. The view of the church during the sunset is spell-binding!

A festival is annually organised in February, bringing musicians and music-lovers worldwide. So, if you are a music lover, visit Goa during the festival and relish the musical aura in the region.

4. Santa Cruz Church

The Holy Cross Church in the Santa Cruz village is a replica of the Se Cathedral, built to aid in converting the local population to Christianity. The church incorporates Indian and European architectural styles, and the façade resembles the Se Cathedral Church. The intricate carvings are carefully replicated in the enormous main doors leading to the chapel. 

5. Church of St. Cajetan 

Constructed in the Corinthian architectural style with European Baroque-styled intricate carvings, the Church of St. Cajetan is a gorgeous one in South Goa. The church’s architecture resembles the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, which attracts tourists from around the globe.

Mosaic dominates the church’s interiors, with one main altar and six other altars, three on either side. The 300-years old church is perfectly maintained even today. At 1 km from Panjim, the church is easily accessible by road, and you should add this church to your list of must-visit churches in Goa.

6. Mae De Deus Church

One of the most beautiful and stunning churches, Mae De Deus Church, is the only Neo-Gothic-styled church in North Goa. The church looks like a castle with its white exteriors and numerous finials on the façade, surrounded by lush green Goan countryside. The architectural beauty of the church is more pronounced during the night, with all the lights illuminating the miraculously beautiful church.

The church houses six altars in addition to the main altar, all gilded in gold plating with detailed carvings on them. The beautifully designed church attracts not just religious tourists but also people visiting the church to relish the architecture and the peaceful surroundings of the place. The church is located near Calangute beach, making it more attractive for visitors.

churches in goa

Goa is famous for its numerous Portuguese-style churches. Churches tell us more about the colonial history of Goa. They are historical symbols of Goa and its culture. Churches are not just for religious people, but also for people who love history and marvellous architecture. 

You can look at the extensive list of churches in Goa here. This blog provides a compiled list of my favourite churches in Goa. I hope you found my list helpful.

To know all the offbeat/hidden locations in Goa, check out my article, Exploring Goa on Solo Travel Journey


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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