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Goa is visibly different to the rest of India, due to  its past Portuguese colonisation and was isolated from the rest of India for 451 years. The establishment of the republic of Portugal on the 5th of October 1910 led to religious freedom for Goa. For the first time since the beginning of European rule, Hindus were allowed to freely practice their religion. In 1961 the Portuguese left Goa



Public agencies work  5 days a  week, are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Shops and supermarkets take a longer lunch break, from 1-3pm, sometimes even half an hour longer, but open mornings around 8am and close circa 6-7pm.

The main public holidays or celebrations take place at Christmas, Day of the Republic, Id-ul-Zuha, Gudi Padva, Good Friday, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi (both days), Gandhi Jayanthi, Dussehra, Diwali, Id-ul-Fitr, Saint Francis Xavier’s Day, Goa Liberation Day, Mahashivratri, Holi and Id-e-Milad.

These days are also to be considered when applying for a visa, as Indian embassies and consulates  also closed (including in Europe)

The best time of year to visit Goa is from the middle of November to the end of March, as then the weather is pleasantly warm and dry with a light wind





Larger towns are Panaji, Margao, Vasco da Gama, Old Goa and Mapusa.

Goa has also numerous other, smaller, charming and sometimes overcrowded towns, such as those along the coast like Calangute, Candolim, and those inland like Chaudi, Canacona, Sanvordem-Quepem, Bicholim and Pernem. In addition, Goa has almost 350 villages, often picturesque and each with its own character.