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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

Altinho, Panaji, Goa, India


5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Altinho is noteworthy for its historical sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and Bishop's Palace.

Fontainhas, Panaji, Goa, India


Well liked for its historical sites and restaurants, you might stop by Deltin Royale Casino and Miramar Beach while you're exploring Fontainhas and the surrounding neighbourhoods.


Top hotels in Panaji

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Miramar Beach, Panaji, Goa
The price is Rs5,354 per night

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 ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (353 reviews)

"Very Nice Property, Had a good stay !!"…"

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2020

Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Vivanta Goa, Panaji
Vivanta Goa, Panaji
5 out of 5
Dr D B Bandodkar Road, Panaji, Goa
The price is Rs4,000 per night

This family-friendly Panaji hotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Kala Academy and Bishop's Palace. Church of Our Lady of Immaculate ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (327 reviews)

"Rarely have I been treated so well as during my three days at Vivanta. Customer service, from the concierge to the waitstaff, was elevated to an art form. My best wishes go out to Vivanta in the difficult days ahead; I look forward to returning in Covid-free days in the future."…"

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2020

Vivanta Goa, Panaji
Surya Kiran Heritage Hotel
Surya Kiran Heritage Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Behind Campal Garden, Campal, Panaji, Goa
The price is Rs4,992 per night

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Kala Academy, Deltin Royale Casino and Miramar Beach. 18th June Road and Mandovi River are also ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)

"Great place to relax. We had comfortable room with big bathroom. The service was excellent."…"

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2018

Surya Kiran Heritage Hotel

Popular places to visit in Panaji

Miramar Beach
Image for Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach

4/5(23 reviews)

Located within easy reach of Panaji, this city beach is an enchanting spot from which to watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
Image for Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

4.5/5(17 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Panaji with a stop at Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.

18th June Road
Image for 18th June Road

18th June Road

You can take time to visit 18th June Road during your travels to Panaji. While in this family-friendly area, you can savour the top-notch restaurants.

Reviews of Panaji


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 39.130434782608695%
4 - Good
4 - Good 47.82608695652174%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 13.043478260869565%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good


7 Nov 2019

An interesting place for a day's walk about but then you need to go further afield. A few interesting bars around the municipal gardens but you have to hunt for them. The Fisherman's Warf next to the hotel is good for a meal and/or a drink.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Jun 2019

Visit to wine shops and cashew outlets a must do

3/5 - Okay


31 May 2019

Lots of construction activity with new roads and bridges

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

18 Mar 2019

the casino the cruise the excellent food very freindly people and the nice hot weather