Panaji, India
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Panaji Hotels

The capital of Goa, Panaji wears its Portuguese influence proudly. Wandering its tree-lined avenues, white-washed villas and cobbled streets, you'd be forgiven for forgetting you aren't actually somewhere in Europe. It also helps that the pace here is so much slower and more idyllic than many other cities in India. You can sit and chill out by the flowing Mandovi River for hours, visit little shops amid the Colonial buildings, or head to the local beach for yet more relaxation. It's what Goa's all about.

Things to see

Right in the heart of the city, on a square that's always alive with the hubbub of locals and visitors alike, stands a stunning landmark – Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, one of the oldest religious buildings in the whole of Goa. Dating back to 1540, it's a Colonial masterpiece, with a facade as white as a wedding cake which dazzles in the sun. The Portuguese influence can really be experienced in Fontainhas, which is Panaji's "Latin Quarter" and is a charming warren of old winding cobbled streets, red-roofed villas, ornate verandas and wooden window shutters. The opposite of all this tranquillity can be found on 18th June Road, the main shopping thoroughfare of Panaji, where everything from brand name fashion to locally hewn handicrafts can be found amid the racks and stalls. Another major attraction of the city is the Goa State Museum, whose thousands of exhibits include Hindu sculptures, Portuguese manuscripts, and ancient coins and carvings. No stay in Panaji would be complete without a trip down the coastline to Miramar Beach, a perennially popular Goan hotspot with fine sand, lapping waves and sweeping views over the sea. You can also take a ferry over to island of Chorao where the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary will beguile your senses with its lush forests and colourful population of kingfishers, kites, eagles and other wildlife.

Hotels in Panaji

You can stay in the lap of luxury in this part of Goa, with hotels in Panaji offering 5 star style and service. In high-end guestrooms you can recline on Egyptian cotton sheets, or sit on a balcony with a cool drink to hand while looking out at the picturesque Portuguese-style streets, before heading to a rooftop terrace or for a dip an outdoor pool. If you're here for work, you can also make use of business facilities and WiFi access. There are plenty of mid-range hotels in Panaji as well, so you can holiday here on a tighter budget too.

Where to stay

There's no shortage of hotels in Panaji catering to the many tourists who want to immerse themselves in everything Goa can offer. There is accommodation around the city centre, as well as on the Mandovi River so you can get views of the great waterway from your guestroom. Alternatively, you can stay amid the quaint surroundings of the Latin Quarter, or pick a hotel within strolling distance of Miramar Beach.

How to get to Panaji

Flying to Panaji? You'll be arriving at Goa International Airport, which is around a 45 minute drive away, depending on the traffic, and during the peak season it offers flights to and from a huge range of cities including London, Copenhagen and Moscow. The nearest train station to Panaji is in Karmali, which is only a short drive away. Auto-rickshaws offer a convenient way of getting around the city in a jiffy.

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