Panaji

Travel Guide
Panaji showing 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

Vivanta Goa, Panaji
Vivanta Goa, Panaji
5 out of 5
Dr D B Bandodkar Road, Panaji, Goa, 403001
The price is $88 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23
$88
per night
Feb 22 - Feb 23
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Panaji. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (357 reviews)

Reviewed on Dec 17, 2022

Vivanta Goa, Panaji
Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
5 out of 5
Vainguinim Beach, Panaji, Goa, 403004
The price is $182 per night from Feb 20 to Feb 21
$182
per night
Feb 20 - Feb 21
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Panaji. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Popular attractions Vainguinim Beach and Dona Paula Beach are ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (47 reviews)
"Amazing property and even better service - every attention to detail is taken care of and every member of the team treats you as a special guest. Strongly recommend this properly."

Reviewed on Jan 28, 2023

Taj Resort & Convention Centre, Goa
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Miramar Beach, Panaji, Goa, 403001
The price is $196 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$196
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this 5-star luxury resort in Panaji. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (391 reviews)
"This establishment is a true gem of Goa. The stay was very pleasant and the entire staff/crew really strive hard so that you have a comfortable stay. The facilities could use a few upgrades. for e.g. the glass panes of the Juliette balconies were flimsy and felt like the could break any minute. Same ..."

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2023

Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
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.
Acasa Anantam
Acasa Anantam
3 out of 5
Anantam Complex, Near Bay 15, Odxel, Dona Paula, Panaji, Goa, 403002
Stay at this 3-star beach aparthotel in Panaji. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Odxel Beach and Vainguinim Beach ...
Acasa Anantam
OYO 38693 Vivenda Rebello
OYO 38693 Vivenda Rebello
3 out of 5
157 Campal Heritage Precint Next to, Wenvell Rodricks Design Space Campal nve, Panaji, Goa, 403001
Stay at this 3-star apartment in Panaji. Enjoy daily housekeeping, a kitchen, and private bathrooms. Popular attractions Campal Gardens and 18th June Road are ...
OYO 38693 Vivenda Rebello
Casa Tropicana- Homestay
Casa Tropicana- Homestay
3 out of 5
22/9/A, Jetty Road, Panaji, Goa, 403004
Stay at this 3-star beach villa in Panaji. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the pool and the overall value in our reviews. ...
3/5 (2 reviews)
"Great room with a view Not pleased with check in, breakfast times"

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019

Casa Tropicana- Homestay
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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