Located on the far western coast of India and bordering with the Arabian Sea, Goa is a small seaside state that is a colorful and interesting fusion of Indian and colonial Portuguese styling. Well-known for its beaches, as well as its laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, Goa has been attracting a wide array of foreign tourists since the 1960s.
The Portuguese originally colonized Goa in the early 1500s and much of their culture and architecture has remained to this day. Once the Portuguese secured the state, they installed their own language, religion and European ideals, which is still evident in modern Goa with its array of churches and cathedrals.
Goa has two main districts: North Goa and South Goa. Within each district are several sub-districts which have towns, villages and small cities. Colonial architecture is still prevalent in Old Goa, the one-time capital city, and Panaji, the new capital city that took the reigns after Old Goa's demise.
Mapusa, an interesting market town located inland, is alive with locals buying and selling during the day and offers an authentic Indian atmosphere. Anjuna is one of the most popular beaches in Goa, attracting thousands of foreign visitors who enjoy the picturesque seaside and lively flea market.
One of the most scenic areas of Goa, Arambol Beach offers visitors a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere to unwind and enjoy the natural surrounding beauty. There are numerous beach side huts, hotels and bungalows as well as souvenir shops and inexpensive eateries.
One of the more developed beaches in Goa, Anjuna has been a popular destination with backpackers, hippies and ravers for many years. The picturesque landscape and array of modern amenities make it a good base for tourists. Nowadays there are some newly built mid-range hotels which are attracting European holidaymakers looking for a slightly more luxurious vacation. Perhaps the biggest draw is the regular hippy market held here.
Old Goa is a historic city located in north Goa which was once the capital city and boasted a population of over 200,000 — exceeding that of Lisbon and London at the time. Old Goa was home to an abundance of Portuguese built churches and buildings, of which only a few can still be seen.
This busy market town is a taste of authentic India with large crowds of locals trading at the popular market. Tourists will enjoy the bustling market that provides great bargains on clothing and souvenirs. Mapusa is also a main town for transport, offering buses to many other parts of Goa.
The capital city of Goa, Panaji, also called Panjim, is a beautiful fusion of colonial Portuguese styling and modern India. The city has a wide array of attractions and amenities catering to tourists including sporting activities, cultural landmarks and extensive transport connections.
Hotels near Panaji
Situated in the north district of Goa, Ponda is well connected to other parts of the state by road and is the fastest growing city in the region. Ponda is the entrance point to some of the wildlife sanctuaries of Goa and the well-known Dudhsagar Waterfalls. Find more information about Goa and hotels in the area:
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