Located in the eastern section of the capital city of Panaji, the old Sao Tome district is one of the most atmospheric and traditionally Portuguese neighborhoods in Goa. Once known as Goa’s “fleet street,” the neighborhood centers on the General Post Office, now housed in an old tobacco trading house. To the side of the post office sits the Sao Tome Chapel, originally built in 1849 and renovated in 1902. Across from the post office sits the former site of the town pillory, where criminals were executed until 1843.
The quaint, cobblestone streets and narrow, labyrinthine alleyways surrounding the post office are lined with both well-maintained and rather dilapidated old-world houses painted in a myriad of pastel hues. Duck in to one of the district’s traditional Goan taverns for a feni, a local spirit made from either coconut or the fruit of the cashew tree.
The Sao Tome District and neighboring Fontainhas are best explored on foot over the course of a morning or afternoon to really soak in the colonial Portuguese charm