Panaji or Panjim (Portuguese name for Panaji) is the heartbeat of the hip and happening state of Goa. The city overlooks the Mandovi River with floating casinos and cruise liners echoing back the shimmer and sparkle of the neon lights in the water at night. For locals, this is a routine passing affair, but for tourists, this is sheer delight. The city of Panjim has its own aura and forms an inevitable part of the Goan expedition.
Panaji is one city where even a light stroll through the streets can be as relaxing as performing yogic exercises. The Portuguese touch to this cosmopolitan city has traveller’s visiting it from near and far. Checkout the city’s charms that add lustre to this Goan jaunt.
1.Fontainhas or Latin Quarters
The quaint locality of Panaji is not just another avenue in the city, but has got many tourists fall in love with it at first sight. For those who are art and architecture aficionados, this place is a treasure of neoclassical architecture. The narrow streets with overhanging balconies, terracotta roofs, and wooden doors, make for the most pretty sights around. An experience of staying in one of the guesthouses in Latin Quarters can be much more rewarding than staying in one of the finest hotels in Goa.
2. Basilica of Bom Jesus
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is an excellent example of Baroque architecture. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Xavier’s in a beautiful casket made of silver which is held up every 10 years for public viewing. Beautiful green lawns and gardens inundate this edifice and the whole place has a very peaceful and divine aura. [Also Read: Why Goa Is An Ideal Location For Tying The Knot]
3.Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
A very popular landmark of Panaji, this church has been a part of many movies, for the architectural design is so majestic that it has tourists pouring in to visit this place once. The sight at night is even more pretty with the whole edifice illuminated with lights. Cameras aren’t allowed inside, but the outside premises serve as a perfect spot for some photography. [Also Read: Top 10 Things to Do in Goa]
For the gamblers, this floating casino is no less than heaven. For a country where casinos are banned, this place stands out. On a pretty expensive side, the casino is a good place for a snazzy evening outing with friends. Best time to visit is at night when the whole casino lights up and reflects back in the water. Good luck for this one!
5.Mandovi River Cruise
Usually starts at 6 or 7 pm in the morning from the Mandovi Bridge, the cruise is one of the most sought after attractions in the Old City. Enjoy a moonlit dinner at the deck and for entertainment there are Goan dancers and musicians onboard. The cruise amps up the whole tour through the city. [Also Read: Tour To GOA, Portuguese and Indian Culture]
Goa’s Dabolim Airport is well connected to major cities across the country. It is recommended to book the tickets at least three months in advance, since Goa is heavily crowded in the peak seasons. Indigo Airlines, Spicejet, Air India, etc. roll out surprising flying deals that one must keep an eye on. So, have a happy and safe trip!