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If you have only one day to explore Goa's many delights, here's what I suggest: UNESCO World Heritage monuments in Old Goa, combined with Panjim's Latin quarter and markets, and finally sunset at Miramar beach. Old Goa has grand churches and cathedrals whose history and architecture have earned it the title "Lisbon of the East," while Panjim, the current capital, is known for its old quarter (Fontainhas) which retains its distinctly Portuguese atmosphere. Although North and South Goa also have many attractions, I have focused on Old Goa and Panjim because they are centrally located, and you can cover these areas stress-free in one day.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

8 Places

12 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites

Se Cathedral

Architectural Buildings

St. Cajetan's Church

Architectural Buildings

Museum of Christian Art

Speciality Museums

Fontainhas

Neighbourhoods

18th June Road

Gift & Speciality Shops

Houses of Goa Museum

Speciality Museums

Miramar Beach

Beaches

Deepa_Krishnan's City Tips

  • No visit to Goa is complete without a taste of the famous Goan cuisine. Panjim has many options to suit all budgets.
  • Try Panjim Inn, Viva Panjim or Mum's Kitchen for good Goan food. Ask for local specialties including seafood, chorizo, the famous vindaloo, sorpotel, sanna, and bebinca.
  • Vegetarians need not despair! Bhojan at Hotel Fidalgo offers a good Gujarati thali.
  • If you want tandoori food, then Delhi Darbar is a tasty option. For Italian, I'd suggest Baba's Wood Cafe, near the Maruti temple. Both have vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
  • If you are staying on one of the beaches to the north or the south, you will have to travel 30 minutes to an hour to reach the sightseeing areas.
  • Panjim is an easy central point to reach, with buses and taxis going there from all parts of Goa. From Panjim, you can get to Old Goa by auto-rickshaw, taxi or bus.
  • You can identify the state-run Kadamba buses by their blue and white color. Check bus timings — especially the last bus returning in the evening.
  • Autorickshaws are widely available. They can be flagged down, or you can go to a rickshaw stand. Though they are supposed to use meters, they often don't — fix a price beforehand.
  • If you are traveling solo, you can use motorcycle taxis called "pilots," which help beat traffic. Negotiate prices ahead of time.
  • Traditional Goan culture is laid back and best summed up by the word "susegad" (relaxed and contented). Service in some places may be slow — go with the flow.
  • The dress code is more relaxed in Goa than in other parts of India. However for visits to religious places, it is best to dress somewhat conservatively.
  • The beach in this list (Miramar) is a family beach. Avoid sunbathing and swimming in revealing swimwear.
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    Basilica of Bom Jesus
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
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    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    The Basilica of Bom Jesus contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuit order and a famous Catholic missionary who traveled to several parts of Asia. A visit to this grand baroque building, completed in 1605, imparts a sense of the religious and political history of Goa.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The basilica is near the Old Goa bus stop. You can easily walk from there.
    • Go early to avoid large crowds of tourists.
    • Every ten years there is an exposition of the mortal remains of St Francis. Check online for the next one scheduled.
    • The annual feast of St. Francis Xavier is held between November and December. Thousands of people come to pray at the basilica.
    • Mass is held in both Konkani and English. Check their website for timings.
    • The Se Cathedral, the Church of St Cajetan, and several other churches of Old Goa are walking distance from the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 108 things to do in Panjim
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Grand old Chuch in old Goa 11/07/2018
    • Must visit for the believers 10/07/2018
    • Basilica of Bom Jesus
    Address:
    Old Goa
    Panjim 403402
    India
    Phone:
    +91 832 228 5790
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:30 - 18:30
    Mon - Sat
    09:00 - 18:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Se Cathedral
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    The biggest and most imposing of all of Old Goa's churches, Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine, on whose feast day the Portuguese took possession of Goa by defeating the armies of Bijapur and their Ottoman allies. The Tuscan-style exteriors are attractive and the Corinthian interiors are spectacular in both size and detail.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Walking distance from the Basilica of Bom Jesus. It is also next to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, a nice place to visit if you have time.
    • The Archaeological Museum is situated nearby. This museum is well organized, with good displays that make the most of a neat little collection.
    • During the exposition of St. Francis Xavier (which takes place every 10 years), the casket is carried from the Basilica of Bom Jesus to the Se Cathedral.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 108 things to do in Panjim
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful church in beautiful gardens 14/07/2018
    • One of Old Goa’s two most famous churches 30/06/2018
    • Se Cathedral
    Address:
    Old Goa
    Panjim
    India
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Cajetan's Church
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    St. Cajetan's Church was built by Italian Theatine monks, modeled on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A visit to this distinctive domed church should be combined with a look at the Viceroy Arch and Adil Shah's Palace Gateway, which are all that remains of the Shah's grand palace. The palace was once used as a dungeon for heretics during the Inquisition, and then torn down to provide building material for Panjim.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It's a short walk from the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Se Cathedral. The Church is also near the Old Goa Ferry Terminal.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 108 things to do in Panjim
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Christianity of Goa 29/06/2018
    • Beautiful Church 27/05/2018
    • St. Cajetan's Church
    Address:
    Old Goa
    Panjim 403001
    India
  • Save
    Museum of Christian Art
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    A lovely but small museum, situated next to the ruins of St. Augustine tower and monastery, and in the immediate vicinity of the Church of Santa Monica in Old Goa. The museum building is so beautifully restored and presented that it is a treat for the eyes.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Entrance tickets are not high, but there is an additional camera fee if you want to take photos.
    • The museum shop has a nice set of small gifts and souvenirs. (Profits go toward the maintenance of the museum.)
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #168 of 389 things to do in Goa
    • Art lovers 09/05/2018
    • Good collection of artefacts, but on the expensive side 03/03/2018
    • Museum of Christian Art
    Address:
    Annexe, Convent of Santa Monica
    403402
    India
    Phone:
    +91 832 228 5299
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    09:30 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Fontainhas
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    Fontainhas, the heritage quarter of Panaji, is a must-visit for its lovely old-world charm, quaint Portuguese-influenced villas, and quiet narrow residential lanes with overhanging balconies. St. Sebastian chapel, in the heart of the district, contains a striking life-size crucifix from Goa's Inquisition period, and to the north lies the old quarter of Sao Tome, where there are many old administrative buildings, souvenir stores and little shops to explore.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Check out Fonte Pheonix, which provided clear spring water from the Altino hills in the 1800s.
    • Shop at Velha Goa Galeria for old-style tiles, vases and other ceramic objects.
    • If you're visiting in November, don't miss the street fair, which celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament.
    • At St. Sebastian's chapel, notice that the image of Christ on the crucifix has its eyes open: perhaps designed to strike fear into the hearts of heretics during the Inquisition!
    • Some of the old houses have been converted into heritage restaurants. Try Panjim Inn or Viva Panjim.
    • You can toss a coin in the old well down the road from the chapel, and make a wish.
    • On a hill at one end of Fontainhas is the Maruti Temple. A walk to the top offers beautiful views of the area and river, plus a chance to watch the daily prayers at the temple.
    • If you're interested in contemporary Indian art, check out Gallery Gitanjali.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 108 things to do in Panjim
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • old world charm 21/06/2018
    • A nice heritage walk along narrow lanes 20/06/2018
    • Fontainhas
    Phone:
    +91 832 223 5555
    Other:
  • Save
    18th June Road
    Gift & Speciality Shops
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    A long stretch of busy shops. Big brands and smaller stores selling everything from clothes to food to music, and so on can be found here, in addition to many restaurants. And, at the end of the road, is the gleaming Immaculate Conception Church.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Goa produces some of the best cashews in the world. Buy some to take home at Zantye Cashewnuts.
    • Parking nearby is difficult. Park in Campal and walk from there.
    • Stop at Aunty Maria in Hotel Fidalgo for a quick coffee/tea break, accompanied by delicious snacks or pastries.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 17 Shopping in Panjim
    • The main Panjim market 11/07/2018
    • What a dump 24/05/2018
    • 18th June Road
    Address:
    18th June Road
    Panjim 403001
    India
  • Save
    Houses of Goa Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    An alternative to an afternoon of shopping during your limited time in Goa is a visit to Gerard da Cunha's Houses of Goa Museum in Porvorim. This makes a lovely introduction to the architecture of traditional Goan homes, and they also have works by Goa's beloved artist, Mario Miranda, on sale.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Closed on Mondays.
    • You need a rickshaw, taxi or car to get here.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 3 things to do in Porvorim
    • An insight into Goan home architecture 30/06/2018
    • Do visit if Architecture Interests you 17/03/2018
    • Houses of Goa Museum
    Address:
    Opp. Nisha's Play School, Torda
    Salvador do Mundo
    Porvorim
    India
    Phone:
    +91 832 241 0711
    Other:
  • Save
    Miramar Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Deepa_Krishnan Says:

    End a day of sightseeing watching the sunset at the popular Miramar beach, a fun spot frequented by families who come to enjoy the evening breeze. Not the cleanest of beaches in Goa, perhaps, but very popular nonetheless, and conveniently located.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Not recommended for sunbathing or swimming. Dress modestly.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 108 things to do in Panjim
    • Things some don't know about Miramar Beach 16/07/2018
    • Long beach 14/07/2018
    • Miramar Beach
    Address:
    3 km from Panaji Centre
    Near Dayanand Bandodker Marg
    Panjim
    India
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