Local Tourism

Things to do in Panaji

Things to do in Panaji

Top attractions in Panaji

Panaji, the capital city of the Indian state of Goa, offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some of the top attractions in Panaji:

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

This iconic church is one of the oldest and most famous landmarks in Panaji. Its whitewashed facade and a prominent bell tower make it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.


Located in the old Latin Quarter of Panaji, Fontainhas is a charming and picturesque neighborhood known for its narrow winding streets, colorful Portuguese-style houses, and artistic vibe. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and explore the unique architecture.

Reis Magos Fort

Situated on the northern bank of the Mandovi River, the Reis Magos Fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The fort has been restored and now houses a cultural and heritage center, showcasing Goa’s rich history.

Miramar Beach

Just a short distance from the city center, Miramar Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax, take a walk along the shoreline, or enjoy beautiful sunsets. The beach offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city.

Goa State Museum

Located in Patto, Panaji, the Goa State Museum showcases the history, culture, and art of Goa. It has an extensive collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts that provide insights into the state’s rich heritage.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Situated on the western tip of Chorao Island, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a haven for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts. It is home to a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species, including herons, kingfishers, and egrets.

Dona Paula

A popular tourist spot, Dona Paula offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea and the Zuari River. The area has a romantic legend attached to it and is known for its picturesque viewpoints and a statue of Dona Paula.

Kala Academy

This cultural center is dedicated to promoting and preserving Goan art, music, and dance. It hosts regular performances, exhibitions, and workshops, providing visitors with a glimpse into the vibrant artistic scene of Goa.

Market Day at the Municipal Market

The Panaji Municipal Market is a bustling market where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, local handicrafts, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local Goan culture and pick up some unique items.

Boat Cruises on the Mandovi River

Embark on a scenic boat cruise along the Mandovi River, where you can enjoy live music, dance performances, and traditional Goan cuisine while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

These are just a few of the top attractions in Panaji, and there is much more to explore and discover in this vibrant city.

Things to do in Panaji

There are plenty of things to do in Panaji that cater to various interests and preferences. Here are some popular activities and experiences in the city:

Explore the Latin Quarter

Take a walk through the colorful streets of Fontainhas, the old Latin Quarter of Panaji. Admire the vibrant Portuguese-style houses, quaint cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops. Don’t forget to capture some Instagram-worthy pictures of the picturesque neighborhood.

Visit the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Step inside this historic church, known for its striking architecture and a prominent bell tower. Take in the serene atmosphere, light a candle, and soak in the religious and cultural significance of the church.

Enjoy the Beaches

Although Panaji doesn’t have its own beach, you can easily access nearby beaches like Miramar Beach, Dona Paula, and Caranzalem Beach. Spend a relaxing day on the sandy shores, sunbathe, take a dip in the sea, or indulge in water sports activities like jet skiing and parasailing.

Shop at the Panaji Market

Explore the bustling Municipal Market in Panaji, where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local Goan culture and pick up some unique items.

Visit the Goa State Museum

Discover the rich history and culture of Goa at the Goa State Museum. The museum houses a fascinating collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts that depict the heritage and traditions of the region.

Indulge in Goan Cuisine

Panaji is a food lover’s paradise, offering a diverse range of Goan delicacies. Sample the famous seafood dishes like fish curry and prawn balchão, try traditional sweets like bebinca and dodol, and sip on refreshing coconut water or feni, a local alcoholic beverage made from cashew or coconut.

Take a River Cruise

Enjoy a scenic boat cruise along the Mandovi River, which offers a relaxing and picturesque experience. Opt for a daytime cruise or an evening cruise that features live music, Goan dance performances, and a delicious dinner.

Visit the Mario Miranda Gallery

If you’re an art enthusiast, make sure to visit the Mario Miranda Gallery, dedicated to the renowned Goan cartoonist Mario Miranda. Admire his iconic artwork, which humorously portrays Goan life and culture.

Explore the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Located on Chorao Island, a short distance from Panaji, this sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. Take a boat ride through the mangrove forests and spot various bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and eagles.

Attend Cultural Events

Check the local event listings to see if there are any cultural events, festivals, or performances happening during your visit to Panaji. From music concerts and dance performances to art exhibitions and literary festivals, there’s always something happening in this vibrant city.

Remember to check the timings, entry fees, and availability of activities and attractions beforehand to plan your itinerary accordingly.

Panaji Tour Packages

FAQs on Panaji Tourism

What is the best time to visit Panaji?

The best time to visit Panaji is during the winter season, which spans from November to February. The weather during this time is pleasant, with mild temperatures and lower humidity. It’s ideal for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities.

How can I reach Panaji?

Panaji is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Goa International Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, which is approximately 28 kilometers away. The city is also accessible by train, with the nearest major railway station being Madgaon Railway Station. Panaji is well-connected by road, and you can reach the city by buses, taxis, or private vehicles.

What are the accommodation options in Panaji?

Panaji offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. You can find luxury hotels, boutique hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and budget accommodations in and around the city. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.

Are there any safety concerns for tourists in Panaji?

Panaji is generally a safe city for tourists. However, it’s always important to take basic precautions like safeguarding your belongings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and being aware of your surroundings. It’s also advisable to follow any specific guidelines or advisories provided by local authorities or your accommodation.

What are some nearby attractions to visit from Panaji?

Panaji is centrally located in Goa, making it a convenient base to explore other popular attractions in the state. Some nearby attractions include the famous beaches of North Goa like Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna, the historical Aguada Fort, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Goa, and the vibrant nightlife of the state’s capital city, Panaji.

Are there any cultural festivals or events in Panaji?

Panaji hosts several cultural festivals and events throughout the year. The Goa Carnival, held in February or March, is a major highlight with colorful parades, music, dance, and feasts. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is also held in Panaji and attracts film enthusiasts from around the world. Additionally, there are music festivals, art exhibitions, and literary events that take place in the city.

Can I rent a vehicle to explore Panaji and its surroundings?

Yes, you can easily rent a vehicle like a car, scooter, or motorcycle from various rental services in Panaji. Having your own vehicle gives you the flexibility to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. However, it’s important to have a valid driver’s license and familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and regulations.

Are there any restrictions or guidelines regarding photography in Panaji?

Generally, photography is allowed in public areas and tourist attractions in Panaji. However, it’s always advisable to respect any signage or instructions regarding photography, especially in religious places or private properties. If you plan to take photographs of local people, it’s polite to seek their permission first.

Are there vegetarian or vegan food options available in Panaji?

Yes, Panaji offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan food options. Many restaurants and eateries in the city have vegetarian dishes on their menus, and some even specialize in vegetarian or vegan cuisine. Additionally, you can find vegetarian street food, local snacks, and fresh fruits and vegetables in the markets.

Is it necessary to carry cash, or are credit/debit cards widely accepted?

While many establishments in Panaji accept credit and debit cards, it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially for small vendors, local markets, or places that may not accept cards. ATMs are easily available in the city where you can withdraw cash. It’s always good to have a mix of payment options to ensure convenience.