Goa is definitely one of the best tourist destinations in India, where millions of tourists visit every year to enjoy the sun, sand and spectacular beaches. Along with its beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and world-class eateries, Goa is also known for its history and culture. If you want to explore this side of Goa, you should visit the capital city of Goa, Panjim, also known as Panaji.
It is best to visit Goa in the months between November and February.
Dabolim Airport or Goa International Airport is the main airport to reach the city of Panjim. Madgaon is the main junction of Goa where all trains stop. If you are travelling by your vehicle, you should take National Highway (NH) 17, which has been renamed as NH 66.
Panjim is home to a number of world-class cafes, where you can taste Chinese, European, and Continental cuisine. Aunty Maria, Café Coffee Day, Café Real, and Bombay Coffee Roasters are some of the best cafes to visit in Panjim. If budget is not a concern for you, then Panjim has some of the most luxurious hotels of Goa that you can stay in like Vivanta Panaji, the Crown, Treehouse Neptune Hotel, and Goa Marriot Resort & Spa. Here, you can also get some budget-friendly hotels like Pramila Court, Mini Rendezvous Beach Resort, 4 Dona Paula, Hotel Arcadia, and Campal Beach Resort.
Shopping should one of the best parts of your Panjim trip. Municipal Market, Caculo Mall, Khadi India, MarcouArtifacts, Barefoot, and Velha Goa Galeria are some of the best places to visit in Panjim for shopping.
This historical structure is counted among the oldest churches in India. The place is highly revered by the people of the Christian community. The 17th-century church contains the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, and it is considered as India’s first minor basilica. The church is one of the best attractions in Panjim for both Christians and non-Christians, and UNESCO declared it as a world heritage site as well.
You can visit the church any day to enjoy a glimpse of baroque architecture in India. Here, you can see the casket of St. Francis Xavier’s body as well. The contemporary artwork will definitely draw your attention.
Goa has been the hub of a number of cultures and societies, and Panjim is the best place to explore its historical richness. The state museum located here allows tourists to learn more about Goa’s history and its people. The museum, also known as the State Archaeology Museum, houses more than 8000 artefacts including sculptures and paintings. Founded in 1977, the museum is situated in Panjim’s Pato area, and it is open for visitors every day except Sundays. The museum can be an ideal place for tourists who want to know more about Goa’s historical heritage through different art objects and antiquities. The museum houses a number of galleries where you can enjoy glimpses of contemporary art, printing history, Christian art, cultural anthropology and many more.
Originally built in the 16th century, this historic church represents the Portuguese and Goa style of architecture. The name of the church represents the Christian belief that St. Anne conceived her daughter Virgin Mary without committing the original sin. This is one of the most popular historical structures and tourist attractions in Panjim, and you must have seen its exterior building in many Bollywood movies as well. It is established on Dada Vaidhya Road and it is a well-known landmark of the town. History says that Portuguese sailors would visit the church for thanksgiving prayer after or before their long voyage. The church looks beautiful even in the night, and here you can spend some time at the benches of Church Square.
Goa is the land of sun, sand and beaches, and you cannot complete your Goa trip without visiting its spectacular beaches. Dona Paula is one of the best beaches near Panjim, and you can reach there in a few kilometres drive from the Panaji city centre. It has a lookout tower too from where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the sunset and Fort Aguada. It is considered as a lover’s paradise, as it has a love story attached to it. As per the folktale, Dona Paula was a Viceroy’s daughter. She fell in love with the son of a fisherman and jumped off the cliff because of disapproval from her family. When you mount atop the lookout tower, you can get an amazing view of the Mormugao harbour. These are some of the tourist places to visit in Goa near Panjim.
The sanctuary is spread across 440 acres of land and it is named after the famous ornithologist Dr Salim Ali. If you are a nature lover, then this is a must visit place for you. You can reach there by a 6 kilometres drive from the main city of Panjim. The mangrove forest is the home of hundreds of species of birds including woodpeckers, egrets, herons, sandpipers, eagles and many more. This sanctuary is one of the top places to visit in Panjim.
Popularly known as Azad Maidan, the park holds historical significance too. The park once contained the statue of Portuguese General Afonso de Albuquerque, but it was later moved to the Archaeological Museum following the liberation of Goa. However, the garden contains the mortal remains of Goan freedom fighter Tristao de Braganza, who died three years before the state became liberal.
Reis Magos Fort is a small fort owned by the government of Goa. Being the oldest fort in the state, it is listed under Goa Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. Originally built to be a defence fortress, it was later used as a jail and then as a hospital. After being abandoned in 1993, it started to crumble under the elements of nature. After restoration in 2008, it is now serving as a cultural and heritage centre of the city, along with being a major tourist attraction in the area.
If you are travelling with kids, then this can be an ideal place to bring a big smile on their faces. The science centre is managed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the centre is located a few minutes away from Panjim’s Miramar Beach. Here, you can enjoy a number of scientific objects that will help your kids to learn science in a playful manner. The science centre contains a 50-seat digital planetarium that shows the magical view of the sky. This can be one of the adventurous places to visit in Panjim for your kids.
Panjim is home to a number of casinos, and if you are in Goa interested to try your hand on the board, then you should visit the Deltin Royal Casino. Located at the RND Jetty in Panjim’s Dayanand Bandodkar Road, the casino is a hot favourite destination for tourists interested in casino games. The casino offers numerous games and lucrative tournaments. If you are not interested in gaming, you can spend time in restaurants or enjoy exclusive live entertainment. Deltin Royale Casino has India’s largest gaming vessel.
Shopping is one of the best things to do in Panjim, and the city offers a lot to tourists who love shopping. Here, you will thoroughly enjoy your shopping spree. If you love indigenous handicraft, you should roam around the local market to fulfil, your thirst and these can be some of the best places to visit in Panjim for a couple.
Panjim is a cultural and historical hub of Goa, and people come to this place to get the real taste of Goan culture and tradition. While you are in Panjim, try these things out and make your trip memorable in the city.
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