Panaji

Travel Guide
Panaji featuring street scenes

Low-rise and laid-back, this characterful riverside city has a distinct European flavor and a range of Indo-Portuguese architecture.

Goa’s capital, Panaji, is still commonly referred to by its Portuguese name, Panjim, and the legacy of its old colonial rulers doesn’t end there. Aesthetically, it is reminiscent of Portugal with ample green spaces, whitewashed churches and atmospheric old colonial quarters.

Panaji was a small and sleepy riverfront village up until the mid-19th century, when it replaced Old Goa as the capital of Portuguese India. Most of its development was orchestrated by its Portuguese rulers and the wide streets, neat layout and Portuguese-inspired architecture all act as evidence of this. Look for pastel-painted classic colonial buildings which have been given a characteristic Goan injection of color.

Be sure to climb up Altinho Hill to enjoy the views of the city and get your bearings. The surrounding neighborhood, known as Altinho, is worth wandering about. Seek out interesting old buildings including the sprawling Bishop’s Palace, the 17th-century Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Secretariat Building, the one-time home of Portuguese viceroys. The labyrinthine heritage quarter of Fontainhas and Sao Tome also has clusters of colonial architecture, while monuments like the Mahalaxmi Temple act as reminders of its Hindu heritage.

Don’t forget to sample traditional Goan cuisine while here. Be sure to try much-loved local staples, such as piri piri shrimp or sorpotel, which is a spicy pork and offal stew.

Panjim can also make a great base for exploring Old Goa, which is located just 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) from the city. The once-thriving and grand colonial capital was abandoned in the 19th century after several bouts of plague struck its inhabitants. Other worthwhile excursions include boat trips to the nearby picturesque islands, such as Chorão and Divar, and to the popular Miramar Beach.

Some of the best times of the year to visit Panaji are between late October and early April when temperatures are warm but pleasant. The nearest airport is in Dabolim, which is about a 40-minute drive from Panaji. The city is also connected by bus to many other major Indian centers, including Mumbai, Mangalore and Bangalore. Much of Panaji is walkable, but should you need to go further, local bus services and auto-rickshaws can help.

Where to stay in Panaji

Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Miramar Beach, Panaji, Goa
The price is £154 per night from 1 Dec to 1 Dec
Located in Panaji, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within 2 mi (3 km) of Miramar Beach and Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Salim ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (364 reviews)
"Awesome.. property was excellent… location is very good with entrance to beach from hotel… staff very courteous polite n friendly…would love to stay again.."

Reviewed on 4 Sep 2021

Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Cidade De Goa - IHCL SeleQtions
Cidade De Goa - IHCL SeleQtions
5 out of 5
Vainguinim Beach, Dona Paula, Panaji, Goa
The price is £170 per night from 29 Nov to 29 Nov
This Panaji resort is on the beach, 4.9 mi (7.8 km) from Deltin Royale Casino, and within 16 mi (25 km) of Basilica of Bom Jesus and Candolim Beach. Sinquerim ...
4/5 Very Good! (152 reviews)
"The beach which is almost like a private beach is very special. Only the room could have been slightly better rest everything was superb."

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2021

Cidade De Goa - IHCL SeleQtions
Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
5 out of 5
Vainguinim Beach, Panaji, Goa
The price is £235 per night from 29 Nov to 29 Nov
Located in Panaji, this beachfront hotel is connected to the convention centre and within 1 mi (2 km) of Vainguinim Beach and Miramar Beach. Mandovi River and ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (18 reviews)
"Staff were courteous and the sea view from the room was amazing, but WiFi coverage was poor and cellular network was poor as well, I could not even receive or make calls from the room."

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2021

Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
The Postcard Velha
The Postcard Velha
4.5 out of 5
D-69/4/5, After Gandhi Circle, Near Church of Our Lady of Mount, Ella, Panaji, Goa
The price is £378 per night from 9 Dec to 9 Dec
Situated in Panaji, this luxury villa is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) from Arch of the Viceroys and 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Basilica of Bom Jesus. Church of St. Cajetan and ...
The Postcard Velha
SaffronStays Cabo de Goa
SaffronStays Cabo de Goa
5 out of 5
SaffronStays Cabo de Goa, Panaji, Goa
Situated near the beach, this luxury villa is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Odxel Beach and within 3 miles (5 km) of Miramar Beach and Bambolim Beach. Mandovi River is ...
SaffronStays Cabo de Goa
OneGoa by Acasa
OneGoa by Acasa
4.5 out of 5
Panvel - Kochi- Kanyakumari Highway, Near Goa Marriotts and Near Dona Paula, Panaji, Goa
Situated near the beach, this luxury villa is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Bambolim Beach and within 3 miles (5 km) of Goa Medical College and Hospital and Our Lady ...
OneGoa by Acasa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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