Things to do in Fontainhas
One of Goa’s most vibrant places in the heart of Panjim
If you’re in Goa and want to experience life during the colonial period, then the Latin Quarter of Fontainhas is just the place for you! Situated between the Althino hill and Ourem creek, the Latin Quarter sits modestly, like a hidden gem in the capital city of Panjim.
Imagine walking through streets, lined with houses dressed in red tiled roofs, colourful facades, projecting balconies and cobbled paths, all of this undoubtedly makes Fontainhas, one of the most picture perfect locations in Goa.
Fontainhas is a locale in Goa that still retains its colonial charm through its houses, lanes, food, drink and more, which is why UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage zone in 1984
Not only do the colourful houses and period architecture serve as a reminder of the good old days, but the people here also narrate stories about the lives of their ancestors, while most of them continue to converse in Portuguese even today.
From the homes of prominent personalities to street names with historical references, every nook and corner of this Latin Quarter carries a delightful surprise element! The vivid art of Azulejos is still alive, here, with its intricate blue and white designs, adorning niches, name plates and more.
Take a walking tour of Fontainhas
As you walk through the narrow lanes of Fontainhas in Goa, notice that every structure has an interesting element, piquing your curiosity! And, the best way to understand the locale would be by taking a walking tour.
The Fontainhas Walking tour puts into perspective what this ancient Latin Quarter is all about and the best way to experience it would be to book The Fontainhas Heritage Walk by Make It Happen that covers not just history or legacy or locale, but it gives guests a slice of life through experiences, ranging from food to music to appreciating its quaint architecture.
The Fontainhas Walking Tour in Goa is an experience that brings one closer to life in Fontainhas.
Enjoy authentic food and more
There are loads of things to do in Fontainhas. Food bloggers and foodies will find some of the oldest and most popular bakeries and restaurants, serving authentic Goan-Portuguese food, in this part of the city. The absolute favourite bakery here is Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, serving some of the finest traditional Goan sweets, made the old-fashioned way in a wood-fired oven. A great pit stop to try some divine Goan sweets!
Various houses in Fontainhas have now been converted into cafes, restaurants, hostels and more. Bombay Coffee Roosters, Caravela, The White Balcao are just some of the popular cafes and hostels that you shouldn’t miss. Viva Panjim, Verandah restaurant, Hotel Venite have long been serving authentic Goan as well as well as Portuguese cuisine. Each of these places have their USPs, and relive the old colonial charm and flavour through their food spaces.
Want to sit with friends and try some heady local drinks of Goa? The Quarter keeps the element of old school ‘Taverns’ alive! You can try Goa’s local Feni and Feni-based cocktails, here. Some of the hottest places to try them at are Antonios@31 and The Joseph Bar, among others.
So, what else can you do in Fontainhas?
Visit art galleries
Calling art aficionados! Apart from appreciating the captivating architecture, stories and food in Fontainhas, you could hop into the art galleries here. The Gitanjali Art Gallery and Antonio Xavier Trindade permanent art gallery at Fundação Oriente, are two fascinating spaces that should be on your bucket list. Prominently painted in red and white, the Gitanjali gallery is a postcard-perfect structure that one can’t miss while passing through the lanes of Fontainhas. Over the years, this space has not only hosted artworks by well-known artists, but it has evolved into a converging point. This quaint gallery houses an art studio, café, conference venue etc, and plays host to activities such as book reading, poetry and an assortment of workshops, on a regular basis.
Another space not to be missed is the art gallery of Fundação Oriente that houses the permanent exhibition of great Goan artists, Antonio Xavier Trindade and his daughter Angela Trindade. Every time you look at the work of Trindade, whether it is the first time or the sixth time, the detail and texture will leave you awestruck each time.
These are just some of the things to do when in Fontainhas. It has so much to offer people from all walks of life, from studying the graffiti art, meticulously painted on walls to houses built in a bygone era to the famous street with colourful houses on either side. So, the next time you are in the city, take a walk or ride through Fontainhas, and get set to go on a passage in time!