Situated on the banks of Ourem Creek in Panaji, Goa's capital city, the charming neighborhood of Fountainhas is dotted with charming old homes dating back to the mid 19th century. Fontainhas occupies land that was reclaimed in the 18th century and gets its name from the natural springs situated at the edge of the area.
This charming area attracts travelers with its old-fashioned Portuguese-style architecture: beautiful old houses painted in pastel hues of yellow, green, blue, and pink with large balconies and red tiled roofs. It’s a fun place to wander and take photos, whether independently or as part of a group. Some heritage tours involve walks through the area, and many visitors end up stopping by the 1818 Chapel of St. Sebastian, a highlight of the neighborhood.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes and sun protection, as this area is best explored on foot.
- Fontainhas is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone with an interest in old architecture.
- Don’t forget your camera; this is one of the most photogenic spots in the city.
How to Get There
Fontainhas is located just across the Rio de Ourem from the more modern commercial hub of Panaji, and it takes about 15 minutes to get there by foot from the Panjim Bus Stand. If you're visiting Panaji from North Goa, you'll need at least a half hour to get there by car from Calangute or about 45 minutes to an hour from Anjuna and Vagator.
When to Get There
Because Fontaihas is an outdoor destination, it’s wise to visit either early in the morning, when temperatures are at their most manageable and the light is still good for photography, or in the evening, when the area begins to cool down and locals come out to walk around. If you visit in February, don’t miss the Fontainhas Festival, a week-long event celebrating art and culture in the neighborhood.
The Chapel of Saint Sebastian
Most visitors make a point of stopping at the Chapel of St Sebastian, situated at the southern end of the area on a small square where locals traditionally celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament. Inside the chapel is a crucifix that used to hang inside of the Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa, one featuring an eerie image of Christ with his eyes open.