I lived in Goa for three months. During my time in Goa, I connected with the place as a local and trust me; Goa is so much more than just beaches, alcohol and parties. Panjim, the capital of Goa is settled along the river Mandovi and is undoubtedly the most colourful and beautiful city one can experience in India.
Every single day in Panjim was as exciting and cheerful as it could be. Goa makes you happy. Goa makes you free.
Goa is the place to be if you appreciate history, culture, music, people and life.
Also, if you can, plan the trip during the months Goa hosts festivals like, Goa Carnival, International Film Festival, etc. The city is decorated with lights and colours and hosts theme based open celebrations all day and night at its famous attraction points.
Having been a Portuguese colony, the city’s soul is hugely inspired. Sadly, it’s in transition to being the modern, administrative capital while still struggling to keep the historical essence intact. Though the older structures stay, the new buildings have started overpowering the image at a few places.
This article is about capturing the city in a day. Considering the popular tourist culture I observed here, people head to the North and South of the state as soon as they land here. I want to highlight the uniqueness this city holds in itself.
The day can be started with a long run at the Miramar beach followed by breakfast at Lily’s Flower in the Dona Paula area. It’s close by and the milkshakes they serve are heavenly and very healthy!
Goa State Museum can be visited if history, archaeological excavations, sculptures interest you. The depiction of Goa’s freedom struggle is sure to fascinate you. It is a visit of 1-2 hours varying as per the interest. You can then head to Panjim Church and walk around the local market.
The next on the list is a heritage walk through Fontainhas. It is located on the opposite side of the Patto area, being connected by a pedestrian bridge.
Fontainhas presents the majestic Portuguese influence on the architecture here. The houses, restaurants, art galleries represent the Portuguese architecture and are painted in strong, bright colours. Being in this area transports one to a different era and in the simplest terms makes one happy. Here you’ll find lovely restaurants and cafes like Panjim Inn, Viva Panjim where one can have lunch and later also visit the art galleries.
Cafe Venite a beautiful, small cafe in Panjim serves delicious food with great atmosphere. One of my personal favorite and recommended.
As the evening draws in, the sunset observed from the Kala Academy on DB Road is beautiful. Kala Academy is an art and cultural centre overlooking the river Mandovi. Here, one can sit adjacent to the lighthouse and enjoy the golden sunset.
The academy frequently hosts cultural events like concerts, plays, discussions, dance performances which are free of cost, open to all and again an experience.
If casinos are an interest, Panjim can host you to many in-cruise casinos sailing on river Mandovi at night. They’re one of the best in India and the age limit here is 18.
Treat yourself to dinner at a place of your choice and you can call it a day.
- The people of Goa are very simple and helpful. If asked, they’ll always help with directions, places to eat, etc.
- If you hire a two-wheeler, make sure to carry an extra bottle of petrol to avoid any problems. The local transport is a cheaper option and is safe.
- Panjim is a safe city for female travellers but general precautions apply everywhere.