Goa, the Indian paradise

Goa was one of the most special and different places I have visited! Being a European the culture shock can be felt when the moment you land yet it is an exciting cultural shock where you find new exciting things to explore!

TRAVEL TO GOA – INDIA      

  1. AIRPLANE to Dabolim Airport (airlines such as Air India or Jet Airways flight there) – depending on the country you are flying from you may be able to flight directly to an India airport and from there take a smaller flight to Goa or you may have to stop at another country first such as France or Germany.

From the airport to the center

  1. TAXI – it is the best way to travel to the center and also to travel around the center. Indian public transportation isn’t very developed so taxi is the safer and fastest option.

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Goa has many places to explore and one thing that is visible straight way, especially for me being Portuguese, is the influence of the Portuguese architecture and culture in the city!

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Some places I recommend visit are the Old Goa and Panaji, it used to be Goa’s capital and it is where all the monuments are at.

Mãe de Deus church is a must see. It is located in Saligao, Bardez. Its illuminated view in the evenings and the nights has a paradisical charm. That is the best time to view this exquisite piece of Gothic architecture in Goa. Originally situated at Daujim, in Old Goa in the 16th century, of which today only the tallest cross on a pedestal is seen. The church dedicated to the Mother of God came to be built at Bardez in the 19th century.

Mão de Deus Church
Mão de Deus Church

Basílica do Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The church is located in Old Goa. It is India’s first minor basilica, and is considered to be one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India.

Fontainhas is an old Latin Quarter in Panaji. It maintains to this day its Portuguese influence, namely at the architectonic level, such as narrow and pretty winding streets as found in many European cities, old villas and buildings with projecting balconies painted in the traditional tones and roofs made of red coloured tiles. The Fontainhas’s heritage ambiance represents the traditional Portuguese influence in the area.

Along with their monuments make sure to stop at their clean water and peaceful beaches such as Varca beach.

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During my staying I stood the the Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada hotel, it was a great choice that I really enjoyed! It is a luxury all inclusive hotel perfect for a relaxing and peaceful holiday!

Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada Hotel

Prices from: £200/264.72€/$290

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Another thing I felt in love with in Goa was their food. I loved all the food there! Best places to eat in my opinion are the small restaurants they have by Varca beach such as Jolinn Restaurant or Rina’s Corner Restaurant. They are all huts by the sand very welcoming and with such tasty food! I recommend you to try their Chicken pandulhe and matsala, their grilled fish and the natural fresh juices – everything is so good!

Jolinn Restaurant and Rina’s Corner Restaurantss

Prices in average: 3£/4€/$4.40

fish

bread

To me it was interesting that even though Goa is India’s richest state you can still see the poverty in the streets so he made me curious to see what it is like their poorest state (a trip I will make sometime!). Goa is also the only Indian state where drinking is allowed so you will find a lot of Indians who go to Goa as tourists and may see them drinking a bit more than usual.

Oh and one last thing, everyone speaks English so don’t worry about learning their dialect.

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Goa, India – take a note

Goa is a state located in the South western region of India. It is by area the smallest state of India and the fourth smallest by population. With beautiful beaches Goa is one of India’s richest states and it was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure. It was also ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population.

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Panaji is the state’s capital and Vasco da Gama, named after the Portuguese navigator who discovered India, is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in 1498 and conquered it after. Goa is a former Portuguese province and it was not until 1961 that it was annexed to India being no longer Portuguese overseas territory.

Mão de Deus Church
Mãe de Deus Church

Goa is visited by a large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its clear water beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It also a wide variety of flora and fauna making the landscape even prettier.

Tomorrow Manuel, a Portuguese student and traveler, shares his experience with us about a place he has truly enjoyed and even went back a second time! Don’t miss out!

“Goa was the place where I felt for the first time the real meaning of peace. It was the first time I was in a very different reality but felt comfortable with it.”

Manuel Ribeiro

Country: India

Country’s capital: Goa

Official language: Konkani

Currency: Rupee (1€= 73.5 INR ; £1 = 94.4 INR ; §1 =67.6 INR )

Population: 1,817 millions

Total area: 3.702 km²