Churches, temples and mosques
There’s something for everyone in Panjim, Goa, from white-washed Christian churches to decorative mosques that sit beside magnificent Hindu temples. You’ll see Renaissance architecture in Goan temples, while Christian prayers are sometimes sung in Konkani, the local language.
If you get to visit just one church in Panjim, make it Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This colonial-era Portuguese church is the spiritual and geographic hub of Panjim. A chapel was first built here in 1540, and then in 1619, the church you see today was constructed. Historically, when sailing to Lisbon, this church was the first port of call, when Panjim was just a small fishing village.
Take a once-in-a-lifetime excursion
Up for a day trip with a difference? A mere two-hour drive from Panjim are the Dudhsagar Falls, nestled in the jungle.
Feast your eyes on the Mandovi River, which cascades a remarkable half-kilometre down a vertical rock face into a cavernous, green pool. The name ‘Dudhsagar’ means ‘sea of milk’, which may be a reference to the white spray and foam created by the waterfall as it dives into the waters of the lake.
Take a dip in the water or pose for a photo on the edge. You’ll be sure to see monkeys swing from branch-to-branch near the water – you may even have the chance to get near to them if you’re prepared to share your food!
A night owl’s haven
Love nothing more than a good old night out on the town? Panjim boasts a lively night scene with more all-night bars, clubs and eateries than anywhere else in the district. You only have to walk down Goa’s busiest street, the 18th June Road, to uncover some of the more bizarre but delectable seafood options. Or why not relax outside the bars towards nightfall? Alternatively, try your luck at the enormous deluxe floating casinos in Panjim.
Or head to Down the Road, one of the best pubs in Goa, located close to the Old Patto Bridge. Treat your taste buds to an a la carte menu, served alongside a wide range of spirits. Alternatively, spend some effervescent hours listening to lively music – Down the Road plays some of the best club beats, as well as holding karaoke competitions.
Goa State Museum
Housing a modest collection of pre-colonial artefacts and carvings from old Hindu temples, Goa State Museum shows the importance of local traditions at different points in time. Located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in Panjim, it’s one of the few museums in Goa that features exhibits, relics and items relating to religious expression, cultural anthropology, sculptures and gems of information on Goa’s struggle for freedom.
The museum is open on weekdays between 9:30am and 5:30pm. What’s more, it arranges short screenings for students on advance booking. These videos tell the story of the rich cultural, heritage and anthropological past of Goa. Entry to the museum is free and it is divided into several galleries.
There are so many things to do in the bustling city of Panjim, from iconic waterfalls, museums and churches to temples, beaches, and colourful Portuguese backstreets. The city isn’t crowded with tourists and offers the chance to engage with the friendly Goan people. Whether you want to sight-see or relax, Panjim in Goa manages to mix the oriental with the Mediterranean seamlessly.